Hola Amigos! A warm welcome awaits anyone who is lucky enough to venture to the most fascinating Caribbean island in existence. As Cuba continues to open up and develop as a fabulously rewarding family holiday destination, more and more of us are taking the opportunity to visit.

Vibrant, colourful, and dripping in atmosphere, a holiday to Cuba truly does offer something for everyone. Enjoy a glimpse into a country that has been in a virtual time warp for decades; a place where sitting in a bar, sipping mojitos or mocktails whilst people watching can be all the entertainment you need. There are a host of adventurous, historical and cultural options, from exploring the tobacco fields and fincas of Vinales to learning to scuba dive or snorkel in crystal clear Caribbean waters. Salsa classes also available, should you want to shake things up!

Cuba with children - beach with turquoise sea

Enjoy a host of fun activities but plan in plenty of time to relax on Cuba’s Caribbean beaches

With a lovely mix of activities on offer, here are our Top Ten ways to really make the most of your family holiday to Cuba.

Holidaying in Cuba with kids – Top 10

1 – Hang out in Havana

Cuba street scene on a family adventure holiday

Take a ride around town in a classic American chevy

Think Havana and images of classic cars cruising along the main strip or posing in Parque Centrale instantly come to mind. There’s nothing more quintessentially ‘Havana’ than taking a ride in an American chevy or similar – we can even arrange an airport transfer in one. For a more authentic experience, though, walk further into the backstreets and you’ll discover a more battered reality, with locals still driving clapped-out, rusted versions of what you’ll see in the main tourist areas. You can hang out in Havana on both our example Cuba itineraries.

2 – Go ziplining through the Cuban countryside

Cuba - Zip line La Terrazas

All the family will enjoy the zipline canopy tour at Las Terrazas

Calling all adrenaline junkies! Whilst Cuba may be behind many countries when it comes to tourism development, zip wires are out in force! Take to the skies in either Vinales, Las Terrazas or the Valle de los Ingenios outside Trinidad for a wonderful way to experience the Cuban countryside. Toddlers can go in tandem, too. A must on any Cuba with kids holiday. Our Cuba in 2 Weeks example itinerary includes time at family-favourite, community eco-project, Las Terrazas, where you can zipline, go boating and swim in waterfalls.

3 – Enjoy the best food on the island!

Lobster and chips on a Cuba with kids holiday

Simple lobster and chips on the beach… yum

Cuban food is much maligned: portions are vast but speaking truthfully, visitors are sometimes underwhelmed by the staple rice and heaps of meat that’s available in many bars and cafes. Fear not, for we have discovered some of the best food on the island. For ice-cream, make a beeline for Parque Coppelia’s, (re-opened 2019) the world’s largest ice-cream parlour serving 30,000 people a day (there’s a separate queue for tourists). For seafood, head to one of the many casas along the Zapata Peninsula for freshly caught crab, lobster and prawns.

For vegetarians, then the organic finca outside Vinales offers plate after plate of delicious meals using homegrown fruit and vegetables – reservations are essential. For views, then it’s rooftop dining at Casa Milagrosa in Trinadad, with the mountains of Topes de Collante as a backdrop.

4 – Jump in a horse and cart in Vinales or go horse riding

Just sit back, relax and soak up the chilled vibe of rural Cuba

The lush plantation scenery of Vinales offers a more relaxed vibe and activity than the capital. Older kids can go horse riding and families with younger children can hop aboard a horse cart ride around the area, stopping off to visit local tobacco plantations (cigar puffing optional) or coffee plantations, too. It’s an educational but also fascinating way to learn more about rural Cuba. You could easily spend a few days here exploring or just soaking up the atmosphere, as on our Highlights of Cuba itinerary.

5 – Go wildlife spotting in the Zapata Peninsula

Cuban Emerald Hummingbird - Zapata Peninsula - Cuba with kids recommendation

Spot tiny iridescent hummingbirds and bright pink flamingoes on the Zapata Peninsula

Whilst the Bay of Pigs near Playa Larga is arguably more well-known for its abundance of marine fauna – and a failed invasion inspired by the USA in the 1960s – for families who love wildlife, we recommend a guided tour of the nearby Zapata Peninsula. Here, you’ll see flamingos, pelicans, hummingbirds, swamps, crocodiles, lizards, and crabs. Your guide will also take you to the Bidos Salt Mines where so many birds congregate. We loved it! Another top tip is stopping to check out Cueva de los Pesces, a flooded cavern also known as ‘Fish Cave’. Speak to one of our travel consultants if you would like us to add this in to your trip – it can fit well into our Cuba in 2 Weeks itinerary.

6 – Be amazed by striking street art

Che Guevara stencil on Ministry of Interior - Havana - Cuba with children holiday

Look out for Che in the Plaza de la Revolucion

Whilst the capital may be renowned for its atmospheric bars and classic cars, it’s also becoming well known for its street art, too. This will fascinate young children, teens and adults alike. Don’t miss the mega mural on the Hotel Habana Libre or the enormous steel stencil of Che Guevara in Plaza de le Revolucion. Throughout the city, different neighbourhoods have devoted themselves to the scene. Our favourite is Fusterlandia (once the former fishing community of Jaimanitas) on the city outskirts. Here nearly 80 homes are completely covered in colourful mosaics. The locals say it’s like walking through a dream.

7 – Visit Iguana island on a catamaran

Boats, beach and benign iguanas! A favourite Stubborn Mule trip when holidaying in Cuba with kids

Does a day trip to an island paradise sound appealing? Then hop aboard a shared catamaran to Cayo Iguana, an incredible island not far from Trinidad. This has all the usual tropical island criteria (white sand, fabulous snorkelling, bath-warm waters) but also, as the name suggests, it’s home to a large population of Cuban Iguanas. Wow! Visit Cayo Iguana on either of our sample Cuba itineraries.

8 – Learn to salsa like Strictly Come Dancing!

Cuban dancers illustration - for Cuba with kids post

Book some family fun on the dance floor, you wont regret it

Did you know that Cuba has its own ‘brand’ of salsa, Salsa Cubana, which differentiates it from other styles that became famous in the 1970s? Where better to learn it than here, where we can arrange for your whole family to strut their stuff at one of the local dance schools – hilarious and HUGELY enjoyable. An unusual souvenir to take home, too!

9 – Find out about Che Guevara in Santa Clara

¡Hasta la victoria siempre! Learn about Cuba’s folk hero and enjoy a leisurely city tour

Check out Tripadvisor, and you’ll find a visit to the Che Guevara statue and museum in Santa Clara is rated as the number 2 thing to do in Cuba – ‘unmissable’. We think this needs a caveat. For family travellers, the quality of the experience seems to depend on two things: 1) the age of the children and 2) the quality of the guide. For those over the age of 10, and with a guide we recommend, you’ll be enthralled and fascinated by the heroics and leadership of Cuba’s folk hero. Can you even understand Cuba’s past without it?

10 – Hit the beach!

Beach at Cayo Coco - Cuba with kids holiday

Take a break from sightseeing and kick back on one of Cuba’s many tropical beaches

Ultimately when holidaying in Cuba with kids, it’s going to be about the beach.  Cuba has a stunning coastline packed full of gorgeous, sandy tropical beaches. Enjoy endless watersports at the popular resort of Varadero, lounge under palm-fringed shades at a luxury resort on Cayo Santa Maria or cruise to Cayo Levisa, every child’s idea of a desert island (with rustic resort attached). Go loco on Cayo Coco, watch turtles hatch on Cayo Largo – and which kid doesn’t want to snorkel the Bay of Pigs! For other beach ideas check out our Best Family Beaches.

Cuba with kids – how to visit

Want to know more? We have two Cuba itinerary examples – see Highlights of Cuba and Cuba in Two Weeks. Or check out our Cuba family holidays section for more ideas and see Places to Visit in Cuba. For a pictorial, day by day guide, have a look at Stubborn Mule Consultant, Helene Cooper’s, Postcards from Cuba.

To chat with one of our team about family travel to Cuba, simply ring us on  01728 752751 or send us a message via our contact page.

Liddy Pleasants, MD Stubborn Mule Travel
We’d love to hear about your holiday to Cuba with kids so do send us your reviews and opinions – [email protected].