Cuba is home to some of the most wonderful beaches in the Caribbean. It is also the largest island in the Caribbean, offering more than just a beach. Cuba is also home to some of the most amazing historical sites in the Caribbean. It’s tempting to stay on the white sand beaches of Varadero but there are so many places to visit. Cuba On top of the variety of experiences, it is also one of the safest and friendliest countries to visit! Here in Canada, I feel like we often take Cuba for granted. Many of the people who reach out to me specifically asking for Cuba are from the United States. Americans are dying to go!! We are so lucky that not only do we have easy access to the island, it is also usually the most affordable place to enjoy all-inclusive packages.
All-Inclusive Resort Towns
Varadero is a long stretch of peninsula where a majority of the all-inclusive hotels are located. Many visitors will choose to stay in one of the all inclusive resorts in Varadero and enjoy the white sand beaches and stunning turquoise waters. Staying in Varadero allows plenty of opportunities to explore Cuba and many companies now offer excursions such as a day trip to Havana.
Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria are small islands off the north coast and are becoming the new hot spot for Canadians looking for all inclusive resorts in Cuba but want something different than Varadero. These little islands were hit fairly hard after the horrendous hurricane season in 2017, but many used the time to make mini renovations around their resorts.
Other Places Worth Visiting
Although here in Canada we tend to only stay in all-inclusives, Casa particulars are the most popular accommodation option for those who prefer a more authentic experience outside of the tourist hot spot. If you leave Varadero, you will likely be staying in these bed and breakfast style accommodations. It is a great chance to meet locals and enjoy some real Cuban cuisine (it is not the bland stuff you have been hearing about at resorts!)
Havana is the capital of Cuba! It is not really an “all-inclusive” hotspot but you haven’t really experienced Cuba until you have strolled down the streets of Old Havana. As mentioned earlier, many visitors staying at an all-inclusive in Varadero should at least spend a day here. El Floridita is the spot to grab a Daiquiris! I mean, it will definitely be busy and full of tourists, but it’s worth visiting anyway. It is said to be one of Hemingway’s favorite spots! There is so much culture and history in Havana, you can’t not appreciate it.
Viñales is a small town on the western side of the island. Visiting the Tobacco farms in Viñales valley is home to many Tobacco farms and hiking trails. Gran Caverna de Santo Tomásn is also in Viñales and which is the largest cave system in Cuba. Gran Caverna de Santo Tomásn tends to be visited through a 90 minute tour and trust me, it is incredible.
Revolutionary’s will love Santa Clara Here you can visit the Che Guevara Mausoleum lives with the remains of the famous revolutionary. In the centre of the city, a bronze statue watches over. There are as many memories here as in Havana (if not more!).
Why Cuba is a Great Destination Wedding Choice
Imagine yourself in your wedding dress standing next to classic cars – the photo opportunities are limitless. Cuba is one of the easiest destinations for Canadians to get legally married. If getting legally married in destination is important to you, this is a major perk! It’s also one of the most affordable all inclusive destinations which make it easier for guests to attend.
If you are worried that your guests may worry about Cuba because they have “been there, done that, hated the food”, consider looking into Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria which are rising in popularity as “something different”. Although I would never claim that the food in Cuba is as good as the other destinations (in popular opinion) you may be considering, the weather is consistent and the beaches are beautiful. The food also tends to be better off the resort if your guests are the explorer type. Plus there are resorts were the food is better than others and I am happy to help you narrow down your options. (Side note: I feel guilty implying the food is bad here. Food is always subjective and what one loves someone else may not.)
That being said, there is so much uncertainty with the United States and Cuba right now. If you are planning on having American guests attend your destination wedding, Cuba is probably not the best choice.
Credit and Debit cards are not widely accepted and many will not work! You might be safe with a Canadian credit card but please make sure you have enough cash for your trip (including enough for your wedding package!). Bring your Canadian dollars to exchange once you land in Cuba.
Thinking about a Destination Wedding in Cuba?
Your VERY FIRST step should be downloading my FREE 9 Step Guide for Canadians Planning Destination Weddings here .