Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and a hub of culture, history, and outdoor adventure. If you’re planning a last-minute vacation, you’ll find an array of accommodation and transportation options to Cuba, no matter the season, and plenty of attractions and experiences for a memorable trip. You could lounge on picturesque beaches, stroll the streets of colonial cities, tour historic museums, and dive on colourful reefs, all within reach of vacation rentals. Whether you’re planning a trip with the kids, a quick couple’s getaway, or time away for yourself, find out more about last-minute Cuba vacations to find inspiration for your trip.
Varadero for beach fun
Boasting white-sand beaches and the sparkling turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, Varadero is one of Cuba’s most famous beach destinations and a great last-minute escape from the cold north. You’ll find numerous hotels with rooms available at the last minute, many that include exciting amenities like onsite pools and spas. Varadero has many attractions away from the water, including the Cueva de Ambrosio and Cueva de Musulmanes cave systems and the Varadero Ecological Park. You could also visit Parque Josone, a vast park with flower gardens, a pool, and a lake for paddling and boating. Plenty of watersports are popular in Varadero, including diving, snorkelling, and deep-sea fishing.
Old Havana for history buffs
Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Old Havana is a historic city that offers a glimpse into the rich Cuban past. Filled with cobbled streets and neoclassical and baroque buildings, Old Havana is the best place to explore historic sites in Cuba. You can visit attractions like the Plaza de la Catedral, Castillo de la Real Fuerza, and Plaza Vieja. Old Havana is great for last-minute trips, since you can visit any time of year and you can book last-minute flights and accommodation.
Guardalavaca for romantic escapes
Boasting glittering beaches and lush foliage with a laid-back atmosphere, Guardalavaca is the best place for a last-minute couple’s trip. You’ll have plenty of beaches to choose from for sunbathing and sunset viewing, along with beachfront hotels and vacation rentals. If you want adventure, Guardalavaca offers jungle tours, sailing trips, and the Dolphinarium for swimming with dolphins. Other highlights in Guardalavaca include the Santiago de Cuba and Chorro de Maita, a recreated Taino village and burial site.
Parque Nacional Vinales for outdoor adventure
Parque Nacional Vinales is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a vibrant parkland with limestone cliffs, lush valleys, dense forests, and an abundance of wildlife. You can book accommodation in nearby Vinales to take advantage of hiking, horseback riding, and climbing in the park’s Sierra de los Organos range. You’ll also have an opportunity to traverse old agricultural valleys where fruit and tobacco grow. If you don’t want to stay close to the park, you can take a tour from Havana and stay in the city.
Baracoa for family trips
Baracoa is the oldest city in Cuba and a great place for a last-minute family trip. The city was founded in 1511 and boasts colonial architecture, beautiful beaches, lush jungle, and plenty of activities. You can take the kids to Playa Maguana to spend time by the water, swim, and fish. Kids will also like the Museo Municipal, a fascinating museum in a historic fortress with exhibits on Baracoa’s history. Another fun activity is hiking in El Yunque, a peak surrounded by a verdant jungle where rare birds and wildlife live. You’ll find plenty of accommodation for families in Baracoa that will keep you close to all the attractions.
Peninsula de Zapata for animal lovers
Home to one of the largest wetland environments in the Caribbean, Peninsula de Zapata is a haven for rare wildlife and the perfect spot for a last-minute Cuba vacation. The biosphere reserve is home to parrots, waterhens, heron, crocodiles, and other native species. You could also tour the Gran Parque Natural de Montemar, a nature reserve on the peninsula, or Playa Larga in the Bay of Pigs, a long beach with excellent dive sites along the reef. Another highlight is the Criadero de Cocodrilos, a crocodile farm with rare and endangered crocodile breeding programs and feeding demonstrations.