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General Information About Havana Vacations
Located along the north-west coast of the Cuba, Havana has a rich history of conquest, colonial prosperity, and tourism. For anyone who loves to explore culture and history, Havana vacations present an opportunity to explore over 400 years of western history, architecture, and culture. As a tourist destination, Havana has a long history which dates back to the early 1900s. Havana vacations have, at different times through the 20th century, represented the greatest opportunity to mingle with powerful gangsters, Hollywood stars, artists, and the western elite. But tourism in Havana has changed in more recent years, and all-inclusive Havana vacations have become an opportunity to explore the rich history of one of the world's most significant cities. Known as the "Paris of the Caribbean" in the 1920s and 30s, and the "Latin Las Vegas" in the 1950s, Havana vacations dwindled following the revolution in 1959. In the late 1970s and early 80s, the Cuban government opened the door to foreign investment in tourism, and the industry began to bloom once again, with new all-inclusive Havana vacation resorts being established in the late 80s. Economic depression hit Cuba in the 1990s with the fall of Russia, and Havana vacations suffered. However, following heavy investment, tourism climbed to record numbers in 2008, and all-inclusive Havana vacations now represent Cuba's main source of income.
All-inclusive Havana vacation packages generally appeal to couples and singles who can appreciate the music and cultural opportunities in Havana, as well as seasoned travellers who wish to explore a significant piece of history. Short stays (3-4 nights) are typically more popular, and many tourists choose to split their stay all-inclusive Havana package holiday between stays in Havana and Varadero for the greatest holiday value and variety. All-inclusive Havana vacations are not the typical choice of Canadians in search of sun destination travel – this destination is more about history that it is about sun and sand. Havana is a busy urban centre, although surprisingly safe compared with other major world cities. Although the Cuban government has begun to invest in major restoration efforts, Havana is a very large city, and little more than 10% has been restored. Therefore, all-inclusive Havana vacation tourists should not be alarmed by some of the sites of deteriorated buildings in the relatively flat, colourless environment of Old Havana. Getting around the city while on an all-inclusive Havana package holiday is no problem via taxis and public transportation, and car rentals are certainly not necessary. We also recommend that tourists stick with bottled water.
Havana packages offer good value for those who take advantage of a meal plan, and there is so much to see. However, all-inclusive Havana vacations are not your typical sun holiday filled with water sports and shopping – music, cigars, rum, history, and culture are the main attractions in Havana. For those who can appreciate these attractions, all-inclusive Havana vacations are a great travel option, and day trips to Varadero are available for those seeking a bit of everything.
Sand and Sun on Your Havana Vacation
All-inclusive Havana vacations are not for beach-lovers, although day trips to Varadero's beautiful beaches can address this issue. The original Havana vacation beaches are located east of Havana, but these are very public, and there is very little actual beach leading up to the water. For those in search of a beach-lover's paradise, considering another sun destination would be recommended.
Havana package holiday weather is typically very good. Located not far south of the coast of Florida, the months of December and January can be cooler, and all-inclusive Havana vacation travellers should be sure to pack appropriate clothing during this time of the year. Average high temperatures during the winter months are typically around 26?C (79?F), and lows dip to an average of 19?C (66?F). Temperatures begin to ramp up beginning in March, peaking in August with average highs of 31?C (89?F), and lows only getting down to an average of 24?C (75?F).
Hurricane season, with its unpredictability of storm events, typically lasts from July through December, peaking from mid-August to mid-December. Although Havana vacations are rarely impacted by hurricanes, the possibility remains. However, when booking Havana vacation packages, you can rest assured that tour operators will not fly you into a hurricane, will act fast to get you out in the event of any development. You can find great Havana vacation package deals during hurricane season, and the economic advantage is well worth considering. We recommend that you speak with one of our tripcentral agents to fully understand the great value benefit vs. limited risk associated with travel to this region during hurricane season.
Things to See and Do on Your Havana Package Vacation
All-inclusive Havana vacations offer most of the cultural events and attractions that tourists may expect from such a large urban centre. For those looking for casinos, Havana vacations are not the place to find them – although casinos were a big part of Havana culture during the heyday of American occupation, there are none to be found today. However, nightlife is big in Havana, and all-inclusive Havana package holidays are definitely well suited to those who appreciate great jazz and Latin music, as well as night clubs, theatre, ballet, and more. Havana has a huge music scene, and all-inclusive Havana vacations often attract musicians and music lovers who wish to explore Havana's great Latin and American-influenced music culture.
For great dining, the best restaurants can be found in the best hotels, and selection is comparatively limited. International hotels tend to offer the best variety and quality of food for Havana vacationers, in contrast to the limited selection of relatively bland local fare. For those shopaholics, it should be noted that Havana is not a great shopping destination, and all-inclusive Havana vacations are not the best option for the avid shopper. However, there are some outdoor markets and local stores presenting opportunities to purchase crafts, cigars, and rum while on a Havana package holiday. A word of caution to cigar buyers – be sure to purchase your cigars from a legitimate vendor, and keep your receipt so that you do not have your purchase confiscated at the airport. It should also be noted that banking in Havana is somewhat limited, mainly available at the Airport and hotels.
The real major attractions for most Havana vacation tourists can be found in the many historical and cultural sites. Old cars and buildings, steeped in history, will provide countless photo opportunities. There are many fortresses from the days of Spanish colonial occupation, as well as castles and churches, all with historical significance. The Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña is one of the most impressive colonial Spanish fortresses ever constructed, and no all-inclusive Havana vacation would be complete without visiting this great historic site. Revolution Square, as well as remnants from the revolution (war-scarred relics) in the Square of Weapons, tell of Havana's more recent history. Also, all-inclusive Havana vacation tourists can walk in the footsteps of such historic figures as Hemingway, and many other artists, Hollywood stars, and gangsters who once ruled Havana. With such a rich and diverse history, Havana vacations offer nearly unlimited opportunity to explore.
For the real jazz lover, an all-inclusive Havana package holiday in December is worth considering, when the Havana International Jazz Festival is on. Other Havana festivals include The International Havana Ballet Festival, Havana's International Film Festival, and the Habanos Cigar Festival, all world-class festivals worth investigating. For the sporting activities enthusiast, all-inclusive Havana vacations offer a unique focus on baseball, a big part of Cuban sports culture. Although there is one decent golf course on the island, Cuba is not really a golf destination. Likewise, for water sports such as scuba and snorkelling, all-inclusive Havana vacations have little to offer, and divers should consider other, more appropriate holiday packages.
All-Inclusive Havana Vacation Package Availability, Accommodations, and Value
All-inclusive Havana packages are available out of Toronto, non-stop, daily, and also out of Montreal, although departures are not as frequent. Many Havana vacation travellers choose to fly into Varadero, year round, and then transfer to Havana, approximately 3 hours from the airport.
Havana vacation hotels vary between old and new. East of the city, where the beaches are located, older, economical Soviet-style hotels can be found, but these are often occupied by locals and students in search of economical Havana vacations. Hotels in the city cater to the business crowd, offering superior quality Havana vacation accommodations. Of note, the National is an historic hotel that was once popular with the rich and famous during the time of American occupation.
For those planning a wedding in the sun, Havana vacation weddings are not a popular choice, and pretty much not an option worth considering. We recommend that you speak with one of our travel agents who can assist you with selecting a more appropriate destination to plan your dream wedding.
All-inclusive Havana vacation packages offer good value, and the opportunity to explore significant western culture and history is outstanding. For the right kind of traveller, all-inclusive Havana vacations are a great choice.