The allure of Cuba to many is its warm, gentle beaches of the Cuban Keys and Varadero, a little Caribbean paradise with unmistakable rhythms of son, free-flowing rum, and the world’s best cigars. However, a trip to Cuba without visiting Havana and its vibrant colors, amazing classic cars, historic Old Havana, its port, and the ocean boulevard, El Malecon, would be a sin. Likewise a trip without indulging in the Cuban trinity of rum, coffee, and cigars would also be a travesty.

If you needed more reasons to travel to Cuba, whether for your first time or for a repeat trip, this February, Havana hosts the 16th Habano Cigar Festival, featuring cigars, cigars, and more cigars. For any cigar aficionado, the eyes of the global cigar market will be wowed in Havana from February 24th through the 28th with special events, music, nightlife, and cigar tastings. Some of the best cigar brands in the world will be showcased such as Hoyo de Monterrey, Trinidad, Cohiba, Romeo y Julieta, and more.

To make your Cuban experience complete, I would recommend you plan to attend the Habano Festival, but also make time for diving into Havana’s culture, tastes, sounds,  more. Here are my do NOT miss tips:


1) Convertible Classic Car Ride along the Malecon

2) Mojito and cigar on the terrace of the Hotel Nacional


3) Walk to one or both of Hemingway’s favorite bars in Old Havana: El Bodeguita del Medio and La Floridita

4) Skip the Tropicana. Go for a Buena Vista Social Club performance either at Cafe Taberna or more a more laid back jazz performance at El Gato Tuerto

5) Have a Cuban coffee at El Escorial off Plaza Vieja

In order to have the best of Havana with the Habano Festival, classic cars, drinks at Hemingway’s favorite hangouts, Cuban coffee and music in Old Havana, try First Choice, which has vacation rentals that offer the best of travel, proximity to all the sites with amenities to make you feel at home instead of at just another hotel room anywhere.

So, if you were looking for another reason to travel to Cuba, now you have it. You can jump back in time with a ride in a convertible through Havana, dance the night away to Cuban Jazz of course fueled by Cuban rum, and attend Havana’s 16th Annual Cigar Festival.

Although I have spent over seventy-two days in Cuba over the last year, I would go back for another taste in a heartbeat. The culture is genuine and bursting with creativity; everyone is an artist: musician, dancer, or poet. Don’t miss your chance to go now!

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