- National sports are baseball and boxing
- Ideal for diving, snorkeling, windsurf,...
- Trekking in mountain ranges
- Horseback-riding at the beach
Sport is very important to Cubans, something they are very proud of, and rightly so. They have had outstanding athletes for over a hundred years. If we had to name a national sport it would be either baseball or boxing. More than half of the Olympic medals won by Cuban athletes have been for boxing. However, other sports such as soccer are also popular. Cuban athletes are not backed by big sponsors – they compete for the sake of the competing and for the love of it. Given the often difficult economic situation of living in Cuba, many athletes have seized the opportunity to find fortune abroad and have consequently defected from Cuba.
Ever since 1961, recreational sport has come to the forefront, with Castro passing a law giving all Cubans the right to practice sport.
Cuba is a great place for visitors to participate in sporting activities. Given the island’s idyllic location in the Caribbean Sea, water sports obviously make up an important part of popular tourist activities. These water sports include diving, snorkeling, windsurf, fishing and surfing. The best places for water sports include Varadero, the Keys, Pinar del Rio, Guardalavaca, and Isla de la Juventud, from which excursions leave to the coral reef.
Trekking is a drier alternative however official permission is needed and it is advisable to hire a local guide. There are some amazing things to see while you hike, such as Turquino Peak, in the Sierra Maestra range, the highest peak of the island. The Cubitas Mountain Range near Camagüey has amazing rivers that run among cliffs, whereas the Escambray Mountains, near Trinidad, have very dense tropical vegetation in the surrounding environment. The Guaniguanico Mountain Range towards the north of the island offers a spectacular landscape of rivers running among mountains and limestone caves.
Another option is horse riding, offered by some tourist farms in Baconao and Trinidad.