Mini Guide to Cuba
Located in the Pinar del Río province, Viñales is a mountainous national park with plenty of caves to be explored. It was Fidel Castro’s favorite region of Cuba and, rumor has it, the farmers produce the best tobacco in the world.
There’s a lot to do in Viñales such as hiking, rock climbing, and cigar factory tours. However, the highlights are the caves, with special attention to Gran Caverna de Santo Tomás, which has 45 kilometers of galleries on eight levels.
Parque Nacional Ciénaga de Zapata
Ciénaga de Zapata is another national park just two hours south of Havana in the Matanzas province. The landscape is somewhat similar to the Everglades National Park in Florida, with swaps and beautiful beaches.
It’s considered one of the best places in the world for birdwatching as visitors can spot Cuban Pygmy Owls, Grey-fronted Quail-Dove, and Tocororo, the country’s national bird. It’s also possible to go scuba diving in the freshwater cenote nearby.
Safety and Health
Cuba is generally an extremely safe country. Violent robberies and gun crimes are virtually non-existent, so visitors are more likely to fall victim to the well-established scams. With common sense and a little research, travelers will enjoy a smooth ride.
Tap water is not drinkable in Cuba, so it might be a good idea to stay away from homemade juices. It’s important to take repellent as Dengue Fever and Chikungunya are a real threat and should be taken into consideration, especially by pregnant visitors.