Your Guide to Visiting Topes de Collantes in Cuba

Small waterfall in Topes de Collantes

Topes de Collantes is a nature reserve in Cuba’s Escambray Mountains. It offers some of the best hiking trails in the country with its thick jungle interior, ribbons of waterfalls, natural pools, coffee plantations, and an appealingly cooler climate. After weeks exploring cities and beaches, and fighting against the heat, I decided to take a … Read more

20 Best Things to Do In Jamaica

People by swing at beach in Jamaica

I had my reservations about Jamaica. Despite being one of the most popular islands for visitors in the Caribbean, a quick search online told me that tourism in Jamaica has developed substantially since the glitterati jetted to the island in the 1950s. These days, all-inclusive resorts have become one of the major ways to visit. And, if … Read more

23 Traditional Jamaican Foods & Drinks

Plate of Jamaican food with plantain, pork and rice

Eating the traditional food of a country is one of the best parts of travel for me. In fact, if I don’t enjoy the local food, I’ve been know to get food depression. Fortunately, Jamaica has some fantastic flavours to try. Whether you’re about to visit Jamaica or are looking to pull together a tropical … Read more

10 Essential Things To Know Before Visiting Cuba

Street art of che guevara seen in cuba

Cuba is a unlike any other country I’ve visited and it’s safe to say that this out-of-kilter Caribbean island requires a bit more research and planning than your average trip. Having recently completed my second trip, here’s my list of what you need to know about Cuba before you visit covering everything from visas to … Read more

La Boca: One of the Best Beaches in Cuba

Orange jacaranda tree on beach in La Boca cuba

Being one of only two foreign faces in the tiny beach town of La Boca in Cuba is one of those travel experiences that will likely endure right down to my dying days. I hadn’t set out on a quest to find one of the best beaches in Cuba, but leaving La Boca I’m confident … Read more

Visiting Disco Ayala in Hotel Las Cuevas, Trinidad, Cuba

Inside Disco Ayala at Hotel Las Cuevas in a cave in Cuba

As I engaged in my rapid departure from what had become an ugly experience at Varadero’s beach resorts, I was desperate to replace my memories with something novel and exciting. Fortunately, within 24 hours, my wish was to be granted when I found myself at a rave in a cave at Disco Ayala, an exceptionally … Read more

The Bad Side of Varadero Beach Resorts in Cuba

Varadero beach with palm trees

“Varadero beach is full of tourists” seems to be the automatic response I get from any independent traveller who I speak to about Cuba. It’s a curious response given most of these self-professed “non-tourist” travellers I meet (otherwise known as backpackers) have never actually visited Varadero Beach. They are simply citing a stereotype that has … Read more

The Hershey Train in Cuba: The Slow Way To Varadero

casa blanca station with hershey train in Cuba

Cuba’s Hershey Train is the epitome of how travel should be. Lazy, unpredictable, social and slow. As someone who crammed herself into London’s commuter trains for the best part of a decade, always watching the clock, multi-tasking the entire journey (sipping coffee, sleeping, standing, emailing and reading all in one shot), travel was a chore. … Read more

The Best Casa Particulares (Homestays) in Cuba

casa particular entrance with mini house figurine outside

If you could trace the origins of the phrase “Mi Casa es Tu Casa” (translation: my house is your house), I’d put money on the phrase being invented in the casa particulares in Cuba. To many people, particularly those most familiar with staying in hotels when they travel, renting a room in a casa particular … Read more