Cuba is the Caribbean's largest and least commercialised island and one of the world's last bastions of communism. Its relative political isolation has prevented it from being overrun by tourists, and locals are sincerely friendly to those who do venture in.
Although you can't quite hear the colonial architecture peeling in the streets, even Cuba's larger towns are pretty relaxed. The most frenetic it gets is in the middle of an enthusiastic chachachá, and the loudest it gets is behind one of the huge finned American cars chugging the streets.
If you want it even quieter, Cuba's backcountry and beaches are perfect chillout destinations for hikers, swimmers, cyclers, spelunkers or those who just want to smoke a fine cigar under a palm tree.
The Helms-Burton Act has allowed Cuba to find its place in the post-Soviet world gradually, without the sudden destabilizing shock of mass consumer tourism from the United States. It's only a matter of time before American-imposed travel and trade barriers fall. No doubt millions will come when flights from Miami resume. Clearly, the time to go is now.
Facts for the traveller
Money & Costs
Off the beaten track