Best Places to Live in Cuba | 10 Exciting Tropical Destinations

Cigars, mojitos, coffee, and Che Guevara are some of the first things the mind springs to when you think of Cuba. Beautiful beaches, spectacular mountain ranges and quaint fishing villages are also on the list of what makes Cuba a great place to stay.

This island paradise in the Caribbean has much more to offer than just being a great tropical vacation destination. Let’s explore some of the exciting cities Cuba has to offer.

Best Places to Live in Cuba for…

  1. Expats: Havana
  2. English Speakers: Cienfuegos
  3. Digital Nomads: Camaguey
  4. Solo Travelers: Cayo Granma
  5. Couples: Trinidad
  6. Groups: Varadero

Top 10 Places to Live in Cuba

1. Havana

Best Place to Live for Expats

Cost of Living: $

Havana, the capital city of Cuba, is a bustling town that many travelers have been enticed by. Similar to life in the Bahamas, Cuba has a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere.

Tip: To understand and immerse yourself in the diverse culture of Havana, be sure to go on one of the many guided day tours on an off-day.

Who Would Like to Live There:  There is a large number of expats who now call Havana home, so you will have the opportunity to network and meet new people.


  • Efficient healthcare
  • Reasonably priced housing
  • Diverse and vibrant nightlife


  • Crowded during the tourist season (December – March)
  • Prejudice towards the LGBTQI+ community
  • You might get scammed by local street vendors

2. Cienfuegos

Best Place to Live for English Speakers

Cost of Living: $

Cienfuegos is widely known as Cuba’s Pearl of the South. The town has a rich history as the center point of the Cuban Revolution (1953-1959).

The well-preserved French Colonial architecture and heritage mixed with Caribbean culture results in a unique and quirky environment.

Tip: The Historic Center of Cienfuegos is UNESCO Heritage certified. Explore the oldest buildings in town with a local guide when you have some downtime. 

Who Would Like to Live There: Cienfuegos is mostly English-speaking, and there is a sizeable English community and university.


  • Low cost of living
  • Good public transportation structures
  • Diverse eateries and bars


  • Beaches are not ideal for swimming due to jagged rocks
  • Crowded and noisy
  • Tap water unsafe for drinking

3. Camaguey

Best Place to Live for Digital Nomads

Cost of Living: $$

Camaguey is the third largest city in Cuba and is home to an extensive network of international students and travelers. It boasts historical architecture and beautiful seaside landscapes.

Even though it has a population of around three million, Camaguey is one of the lesser-known towns in Cuba. This means there are not many tourist activities or a stampede during holiday seasons.

Tip: Santa Lucía Beach is a beautiful, quintessential Caribbean beach that is well worth a visit for a day of relaxation. 

Who Would Like to Live There: Digital nomads will enjoy the many digital workspaces and reliable Wi-Fi Camaguey has to offer.


  • Beautiful beaches
  • Diverse and vibrant nightlife
  • Well-maintained infrastructure


  • Slightly more expensive cost of living
  • Largely Spanish-speaking
  • Not many activities apart from the beach

4. Cayo Granma

Best Place to Live for Solo Travelers

Cost of Living: $$

Cayo Granma is a charming fishing village on an island off the coast of Santiago de Cuba. It is home to many fishermen and red-roofed houses, providing a vibrant island vibe.

This small island community is rich in culture and provides a tranquil working environment during the week. The streets are lined with beach cafes that provide free internet and authentic Cuban coffee.

Tip: Various ferry tours around the island are available at low prices. These tours are great for immersing yourself in the local culture. 

Who Would Like to Live There: Cayo Granma is safe and has a low crime rate, making it the perfect destination for solo travelers.


  • Large, friendly English community
  • Spacious and less crowded
  • Beautiful beaches


  • Low maintenance of roads
  • No lifeguards on duty at beaches
  • Not much nightlife

5. Trinidad

Best Place to Live for Couples

Cost of Living: $

Trinidad is a brightly-colored town lodged between beautiful beach coastlines and scenic mountains. It is a highly favored destination for film crews and photographers due to its breathtaking scenery interspersed with historical charm, colonial architecture and cobbled streets.

Tip: Discoteca Ayala is an exciting and unique nightclub built in a natural cave a hundred feet underground. It is the main attraction in town and is well worth a visit for a night of revelry. 

Who Would Like to Live There: Trinidad is a great destination for couples who are looking to settle down on a tropical island.


  • Great transportation systems between nearby towns
  • Unique nightlife
  • Low cost of living


  • Street names are lacking and cannot be found on GPS
  • Not safe for solo travelers
  • Food and drink prices get inflated over weekends

6. Varadero

Best Place to Live for Groups

Cost of Living: $

Varadero is internationally-acclaimed for its crystal clear turquoise water and sparkling, fine white sand. Aside from the pristine beaches, the town is also known for its colorful storefronts, beach bars and affordable restaurants.

Tip: La Casa De Al in Varadero is the Cuban home of the infamous mafioso Al Capone, also known as Scarface. The house has been preserved and turned into a museum that makes for a fascinating day out for true crime lovers. 

Who Would Like to Live There: The low cost of living in Varadero makes it a great destination for groups and families who are traveling with children.


  • Efficient healthcare
  • Family-friendly
  • Low cost of living


  • Beaches are crowded during tourist season (December – March)
  • Public beach facilities are not well maintained
  • Very few ATMs

7. Viñales

Best Destination for Hikers

Cost of Living: $

Viñales Valley is a breathtaking rural area surrounded by lush mountains in the western point of Cuba. It is best known for its agriculture, where the world’s finest tobacco is farmed.

Tip: Various guided hiking tours through the mountains and tobacco fields are available if you want to take a day off to spend in nature. 

Who Would Like to Live There: Hikers will enjoy the beautiful scenery and established hiking trails.


  • Great for active adventurers, hikers and cyclists
  • Quiet throughout the year
  • Fantastic fresh produce markets


  • Lacking transport infrastructure
  • Far from medical care
  • Not many nightlife activities

8. Cayo Coco

Best Destination for Beach Lovers

Cost of Living: $$

Cayo Coco is a small resort island north of Havana with amazing, tranquil beaches perfect for a day of relaxation. There are many beach bars along the coast, each providing unique signature cocktails and traditional Cuban food.

Tip: Rocarena Climbing Center is an excellent destination for an active day out and offers a variety of adventure sports and activities. 

Who Would Like to Live There: Beach lovers will enjoy Cayo Coco’s beautiful scenery and shallow, calm waters.


  • Spacious beaches
  • Great public facilities
  • Several fine dining experiences


  • Higher cost of living
  • Not much nightlife
  • Expensive transportation

9. Baracoa

Best Destination for Nature Enthusiasts

Cost of Living: $

Baracoa, the oldest city in Cuba, lies on the tropical east coast. The town is surrounded by lush countryside, and the mountainous area has waterfalls and jungle terrain. Rare birds and plants thrive in this environment.

Tip: To experience authentic Cuban culture, stroll around Parque Independencia, the central square in town. Many local, handmade products and specialized eateries can be found here. 

Who Would Like to Live There: Nature enthusiasts will enjoy the varying natural terrains and sceneries Baracoa has to offer.


  • Low cost of living
  • Many different guided tours through natural landscapes
  • Vendors with authentic Cuban products


  • Few public facilities
  • Hiking tours get fully booked quickly
  • Limited public transportation

10. Santa Clara

Best Destination for History Buffs

Cost of Living: $

Santa Clara in central Cuba is a city rich in history and features two significant monuments and a museum dedicated to Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution. It also has many shops, cafes and restaurants with beautiful, scenic views.

Tip: Take a stroll through Leoncio Vidal, Santa Clara’s central park, for a relaxing afternoon break. 

Who Would Like to Live There: History buffs will enjoy learning more about Cuba’s colonial past and the revolution.


  • Low cost of living
  • Vibrant nightlife
  • Many digital workspaces


  • Unsafe tap water
  • Limited public transport
  • Sporadic flooding during the rainy season (May – October)








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