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Top 7 Books To Read Before Visiting Cuba

June 9, 2020

Cuba is a destination that inspires. Her history, art, food, architecture, natural wonders and people, are one of a kind, filling the senses and leaving you breathless. The island has touched the lives of many from seasoned travelers to world-famous authors like Ernest Hemingway. Start dreaming about your adventure with the help of these books all inspired by Cuba.

1. The Old Man and in the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (1952)

Drawn to the island by its alluring deep-sea game, Hemingway quickly fell in love Cuba and made it his home. While living on the island, he wrote this enduring classic that largely contributed to him winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.

Interested travelers can step into Hemingway’s novel exploring the fishing village of Cojimar and look out across the deep blue waters where the old Cuban fisherman battled the giant marlin. Ask us about our Hemingway House Tour to learn more about this famous author, and how he spent his time in Cuba.

Book available on Amazon.

The Old Man and the Sea | Photo via NPR

2. Made in Cuba by Molly Mandell (2018)

Meet 30 Cuban ‘makers’ from across the island that have turned their passions into a profession. With skill, dedication and creativity, these artists, entrepreneurs, farmers and musicians have been able to innovate and build without the ease of technology. These Cubans are a part of a growing private sector fueled by Cuba’s DIY (do-it-yourself) culture.

Throughout a trip with Cuba Candela, travelers will meet inspiring entrepreneurs like the ones in the book and may even recognize some of the faces.

Book available on Amazon.

Made in Cuba | Photo via Amazon

3. Havana Modern: Twentieth-Century Architecture and Interiors by Michael Connors, photographed by Nestor Marti (2014)

Havana is a magnificent blend of aesthetics. The captivating architecture and interiors reveal the layered history of European and American influence.

Havana Modern highlights the modern movement in Cuban architecture from the 1900s to 1965. Historian and Caribbean design expert Michael Connors reveals stunning shots of private homes and mansions scattered throughout the capital city.

Book available on Amazon.

Havana Modern: Twentieth-Century Architecture and Interiors | Photo via Beautiful Now

4. Reef Libre – Cuba, The Last Best Reefs in the World by Robert Wintner (2015)

On the island’s southern coast below calm blue water lies one of the world’s top dive spots, still largely untouched by humankind. The “Gardens of the Queen” named by Christopher Columbus has lured world-famous divers eager to experience the unscathed reefs unlike any other.

Famed diver, Robert Wintner, shares some of his stunning shots captured while diving off the shore of Cuba. The diverse marine life and vibrant corals are sensational, but trust us, they are better in person.

Book available on Amazon.

Reef Libre – Cuba, The Last Best Reefs in the World | Photo via Goodreads

5. Cutting Edge Art In Havana: 100 Cuban Artists by Mayret González-Martínez and Yoanna Toledo-Leyva (2015)

Cuban creativity transcends space and time, with inspiring works on display in traditional museums, galleries and flooding the streets. 100 Cuban artists highlights some of the many talented contemporary art professionals working on the island from seasoned professionals to young aspiring artists. This book serves as an enticing preview into some of the artists you may meet on our exclusive art tour.

Book available on Amazon.

Cutting Edge Art in Havana: 100 Cuban Artists | Photo via Amazon

6. Cuba! Recipes and Stories from the Kitchen by Dan Goldberg, Andrea Kuhn and Jody Eddy (2016)

This is not your average cookbook. Through 75 Cuban inspired dishes, authors Dan, Andrea and Jody reveal the variety of flavors they discovered on their many trips to Cuba. Perfect to whet your appetite before you travel or to bring home some of the tastes of Cuba that you cannot live without.

Book available on Amazon.

Cuba! Recipes and Stories from the Kitchen | Photo via Amazon

7. 300 Reasons to Love Havana by Heidi Holinger (2018)

For 30 years, Heidi Holinger has continued to travel to Cuba, always returning to the capital city of Havana. Holinger captures her favorite moments and shares in detail what makes Havana so remarkable. She introduces you to the whole city from the peanut vendor who calls out in the streets to kids playing soccer. Her vibrant pictures of Baroque and Colonial architecture transport you to the magical city. You may fall in love before you even reach Havana!

Book available on Amazon.

300 Reasons to Love Havana | Photo via Amazon

And of course, our Guidebook

Lack of information in Cuba can make planning a trip difficult and stressful. As a destination specialist, we have the local connections, knowledge and experience to keep travelers informed. Our Guidebook provides reliable information and insight on the latest travel rules, how to prepare for an upcoming trip and inspiration to satisfy your Cuba cravings.


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