What it is: Finca la Vigia is Ernest Hemingway’s former home about ten miles outside Havana. It’s a sprawling estate on a hill with a swimming pool, Hemingway artifacts, and the Pilar, the author’s famous boat. The impressive home is also where he wrote The Old Man and the Sea and For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Why go: Is it touristy? Of course it is, but it’s also among the best-preserved grand homes in the country, and there’s usually a Cuban band playing near the entrance with a full rum bar, of course. You’ll also hear clever anecdotes about Hemingway’s time here, like when he used to spy on Ava Gardner skinny dipping in the pool.
Even for seasoned world travelers, Cuba is still a bit of a mystery. This island nation, just 90 miles from the United States, seems not only a world away, but an entire half-century away as well. From the classic cars in the capitol to the pastoral living in the countryside, Cuba has staved off the invasion of commercial tourism that other parts of the Caribbean have felt. And even as eased restrictions on Americans have seen mass tourism creep in, the place is still fascinatingly unique.
Because it’s so different from the rest of the world, visitors’ main problem is finding the best things to see and do in Cuba once they arrive. We’re here to help; from the old world architecture, must-try restaurants and cabaret shows of Havana to the pristine beaches and tobacco farms of the countryside, there are the sites you need to see in Cuba.
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