The allure of Cuba is as thick as cigar musk and as strong as a double rum on the rocks. But despite the world’s fascination with the Pearl of Antilles, the average gay traveller couldn’t name a city beyond Havana. If you fall into said category, we’re here to help!
Read on for three must-see UNESCO World Heritage Cities every gay traveller should scribble into their Cuban itinerary.
Trinidad is Cuba’s most flamboyant city. It is a kaleidoscope of colonial houses, each one more brightly painted than the last.
During the day Trinidad seems to retain an inimitable languor as farmers navigate donkey’s between vintage cars and busses. Doors are left ajar and windows unshuttered. Melancholic grandmothers lean onto the open sills, chewing cigars and watching time go by.
At night, the city’s plazas fill with the seductive allure of salsa and live music. Like a powerful magnet, residents are drawn into the town centre to dance. Be wary: the city becomes a near-impossible maze at night. Arm yourself with a clearly marked map to guide you back to your Casa Particular (homestay).
After a night of rum and rumba taxi south of Trinidad to Playa Ancón. The pristine beach is often lauded as one of Cuba’s finest and it is the perfect place to nap away a hangover.
No Cuban city shows off the country’s early wealth more than Cienfuegos.
The central Paseo del Prado is an example of elegance and grandeur. For example, posh boulevards are lined with pastel mansions proudly touting manicured terraces and French shutters. Inside these luxurious mansions you’ll see elaborate chandeliers and candelabras.
Cienfuegos overlooks a stunning bay that beckons tourists to explore. Our favourite experience in this seaside city is savouring a sunset from Palacio del Valle. Afterwards, consider a stroll along the malecón (esplanade).
Unlike the two aforementioned World Heritage Sites, Viñales is not an example of Cuba’s early luxury and wealth. You won’t find French mansions or chandeliers. Instead, most of the locals in this agricultural settlement live in half-finished housing. It is the kind of town where everyone knows everyone and no one puts on pretense.
The real draw to this lush region are the limestone mogotes (steep hills) jutting out of the verdant countryside. In fact, Trinidad’s natural beauty is so astounding, it was famously considered as the primary filming location for Jurassic Park.
This is a tropical Eden ever gay traveller needs to witness.
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