Cuba with Kids
Cubans love children. There is scarcely a better way to meet locals than to travel with a youngster in tow. And Cuba is rich in activities for kids, from glorious sugar-sand beaches to energetic live street music.
Good to Know
Tourist-class hotels offer comfortable lodging for little ones, typically charging nothing extra for kids under 16 (although you may need to pay extra for a crib or roll-away cot).
Cuban restaurants often serve meals family-style, making it possible for timid eaters to try a little of this and a little of that, perhaps settling on a heaping plate of beans and rice or a second (and third?) helping of roast pork. Make sure to let your children know the importance of drinking bottled water rather than straight from the tap.
To be on the safe side, take with you any children’s supplies you can’t live without—diapers, medications, sunscreen, or baby food—as availability of these items can vary in Cuba.
Rental cars in Cuba do not always offer children’s car seats.
Things to Do
Cuba’s complicated history and its current political situation may not mean much to the kids. But there’s plenty to keep youngsters occupied on this Caribbean island, beginning with a long list of outdoor recreation options.
Beaches. All beaches in Cuba are public and they're are a number of great, swimmable spots with facilities, including Playa Pilar and Playa Flamenco in the North and Playa Ancón in the South.
Santo Tomás Cavern. Set on the westernmost tip of Cuba just west of Viñales, this cave system, one of the largest in the Western Hemisphere, twists and turns underground for some 28 miles (45 km), up and over 8 levels. Explore the cavern outfitted with headlamps, clambering up and down ladders past rock formations hidden beneath fields of coffee. The 90-minute tours are led by English-speaking guides.
La Boca de Guamá. This attraction off the Autopista Nacional, near the Laguna del Tesoro, includes a crocodile farm (Criadero de Cocodrilos), an open-air Indian museum and boat rides. See the crocs’ sinister smiles from the perspective of several boardwalks and raised wooden platforms before taking a boat trip to the Laguna del Tesoro, at the center of which stands a tiny island, home to a recreated Taíno Indian village. For added excitement, book a stay at one of the island cabañas of Villa Guamá, little thatched cabins that sit perched on piles above the water and are connected to one another by hanging bridges.
Cuban Baseball. In much of Latin America, soccer is king. In Cuba, baseball reigns supreme. You can catch a game at arenas across the country from October to April. In Havana, games are played by one of two home teams, the Industriales and the Metropolitanos, at the Estadio Latinoamericano, just a stone’s throw from Revolution Square.
Live music. At venues across Cuba, professional orchestras and dance troupes perform music ranging from classical favorites to Spanish-inspired son and Afro-Cuban tumba. You’re likely to stumble upon organized and impromptu concerts at centrally located city plazas as well as at Cuban restaurants and cafés.