Apart from the delicious foods, vibrant music and very friendly people, Cuba is also a country which perfectly caters for sports and outdoor enthusiasts. There are a number of great possibilities for enjoying the great outdoors and it is perhaps no surprise to you to hear that water sports are one of the key opportunities to enjoy a sporting break here. Below I mention the various possibilities.
Take a walk along one of the beaches in the resort areas of Varadero and you will very quickly notice a number of agencies offering diving and scuba diving. These Caribbean waters attract a large number of tourists looking to combine a holiday in the sun with a chance to get in some high quality diving. There are many diving schools also for those of you looking for training and many of these schools have been regulated and reputable and used by the major tour companies. (More on diving breaks). For diving, there are outstanding beaches and areas on the islands. Cayo Coco beaches and Cayo Largo beaches offer two great locations.
Deep sea fishing is a particularly popular option for visitors, but you can also choose form fly fishing, spinning and lure fishing. Swordfish, marlin and sailfish can all be caught in the waters here. If you like to compete, then you might want to time your visit with the annual International Marlin Fishing Tournament. One of the easiest ways to find out about the various fishing boats which take people out each day, is to head to one of Havana’s two marinas and to walk around. The main marina in Havana is the Marina Hemingway located at Calle 248 y 5a Avenida, in the Santa Fe area of Havana. (More on fishing in Cuba).
Baseball is, without doubt, vital to the people here and there is no better way to experience true Cuban culture, than to go to one of the league games. Even though there is only official an amateur league, the standard is high and a visit to a ‘Serie Nacional de Béisbol’ league game, will give you a chance to experience life here alongside the locals. The league runs between November and April each year and you can normally get tickets through your tour operator, if you are travelling to Cuba with a travel company. The atmosphere is fantastic at these games, with most games often a sell out, especially with teams such as Santiago who I got to see. (More on baseball in Cuba).
If you are an animal lover or simply love horse riding, then the tourist farms in Baconao and Trinidad are the best place to head to. Try the ‘Horseback Baconao National Park’ in Santiago de Cuba, where they offer saddled rides through to the chance to experience bare back riding.
Boxing – For fans of contact sports, boxing is a huge part of the sporting scene. If you are visiting one of the smaller cities, you can often find the option to attend a boxing match (bout).
More water-sports – Apart from scuba-diving, you can try a wide range of activities including snorkelling jet-skiing and windsurfing. These are sports that Cuba is perfect for, with its coastline, hence the reason why the islands already have more than forty scuba diving centres. The best places for water sports fans in Cuba are Varadero, the Keys, Pinar del Rio, Guardalavaca, and lastly Isla de la Juventud.
Trekking – For those who prefer the feel of good solid earth beneath their feet, trekking is also an option in Cuba with the right permits and a local guide to accompany you. The Sierra Mistra range, which boasts the highest peak on the island is ideal for trekkers and also possesses some interesting footpaths.
Cycling – In researching Cuba, if you have been looking to take an activities related holiday in Cuba, you will no doubt have come across one of the companies who offer cycling tours of the main islands. Cycling around Trinidad and Santiago are great ways to get a bit of exercise as well as get to see the countryside.
Golf – For those of you who love golf, courses can be found in or close to Havana and Varadero. Although not perhaps up to the standard of the world’s top courses, if you are visiting the island anyway, these are certainly courses which will give you the chance to enjoy a relaxing game in the Caribbean sun, followed perhaps by some Cuban rum?!