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What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

There are beaches near and far: Vinales, Trinidad, and Santiago de Cuba. There is an unfortunate sameness to towns and cities outside of Havana, and that can be boring. Also, diplomats can't stay at "casas particulares", they have to stay at hotels. So we end up staying at expensive all-inclusive hotels that have a sameness about them. The best gems seem to be in Havana itself. - Jan 2, 2016
Many opportunities to attend music/dance/etc performances. The beaches just outside the city are fantastic. The new paladars (private restaurants) are fun to try and some are very good. - May 4, 2014
Nice beaches to the east, Cigar shops, Excellent Ballet, Great baseball (different stlye of play though), toursit spots are nice a few times but lose their luster when you consider the real world on the edges of them. CLO and the Marines have an active event schdule throughout the year. - Aug 14, 2013
Many outdoor activities such as tennis, baseball and cycling. There are golf and horse riding facilities close to the city. Deep sea fishing and scuba diving available. There are numerous cultural events. - Jul 9, 2011