Most of the travelers travel Cuba counterclockwise – starting with Vinales and going towards Est (Oriente) or the other way around – go far east and start coming towards Havana.
Personally did an infinity loop from west to east and return, because since Cuba is so narrow you can go in just a couple of hours from north to south.
1. Pinar del Rio and Vinales
Just 3 hours drive from Habana, Vinales is a very tourist only village. You can do tabaco tours, to the painted wall, lots of hikes or take a horse tour, or rent a bicycle, or jump into the touristic bus.
How to get there: Viazul from Havana, Santa Clara, Vinales, or taxi, no trucks.
Known for Varadero – the place to party, beach. Matanzas the city is not touristic.
How to get there: Viazul from Havana, Santa Clara, or taxi. Be careful that some buses go directly to Varadero don’t pass Matanzes.
The city itself doesn’t have much to offer, but since is slightly less touristic and cheaper can be is a good harbor to go around on day trips to Trinidad, Santa Clara, Rancho Luna.
How to get there: Shared taxi or Viazul buses from Vinales, Havana, Santa Clara, Trinidad. Trunks or jeeps from Santa Clara.
4. Villa Clara
The capital city is Santa Clara which is a mixture between the city of Che and a crossroads city. Is indeed a nice stop for a couple of days just to see the monument and museum of Che, the mausoleum, and the bullet proof train and get the feeling of a heavy history.
How to get there: Shared taxi from near by cities: Vinales, Habana, Cienfuegos,Trinidad or by bus – all the Viazul buses with destinations other than Vinales and Varadero, pass Santa Clara.
5. Santi Espiritu
Known for Trinidad – a small and picturesque colonial city. Expect it to be full with foreigners. Near Trinidad you have Ancon Beach very good for diving and a day by the beach.
How to get there: there is a bus local bus /taxi going to Ancon Beach (2 CUP = ~2 x 1/25 EUR) or the touristic one (8 CUC = ~8EUR).
You can get to Santi Espiritu by Viazul, trunk, shared taxi, taxi.
6. Ciego de Avila
People coming here are usually coming for Cayo Coco – a resorts only island with stunning white beaches. You can get there only by taxi and it’s cheaper to take it from Ciego de Avila (50 CUC=~50 EUR), instead of Moron (60-79 CUC = ~60-70 EUR), even the distance is longer.
Either than Cayo Coco, there is plenty of nature in Ciego de Avila. Around Moron – Laguna de Leche – a nice and quite place for a day or afternoon. You can get there by city bus from Moron. The crocodiles – from Morun take a bus towards Bolivia and ask the driver to tell you when to get off for the crocodiles.
How to get there: To Ciego de Avila you can get by taxi or Viazul or Trucks.
To Moron you can either take a bus/truck, train or taxi. Moron is the harbor to Cayo Coco.
The city is on a crossroads so a day stop may be more than enough.
8. Las Tunas
The locals say is a dusty city and the ones who traveled to the province say the beaches are not that nice.
Is only a place full of history and the place for Granma mission. Depending on your interest, it may be worth a visit.
10. Santiago de Cuba
Santiago has a lot to offer in terms of culture, music, parties, small beaches and some mountains located near by.
Be aware that this city can compete to the world record in terms of harassment on tourist and especially on women. If you travel by yourself, try to get along with people.
How to get there: Viazul from almost any city, trunk from Guantanamo, and other cities around.
Has a bad reputation of being one of the most dangerous cities in Cuba with a lot of weird faces. Stay in groups and you’ll be safe.
Holguin is the gateway to Guardalavaca – one of the best diving spots in Cuba.
How to get there: To get to Guardalavaca you can take either a taxi or a truck. To Holguin you can get with Viazul or by trunk from the small cities around. eg. Moa.
If you want to see nature, Baracoa is a great choice. It has hills, wonderful viewpoints, sea, delicious food and nicer people. You have several day hikes options, boat trips and nice beaches.
How to get there: If you are coming from Holguin and you don’t want to do a detour in Santiago, take a shared taxi which will go straight to Baracoa, or take a trunk /jeep from Holguin to Moa and a jeep from Moa to Baracoa.