• Walking and Jogging: The important thing for foot travelers to remember is to drink much more water than usual, since the Cuban sun can quickly dehydrate even the most athletic outdoorsmen. The best location for walking is the Pinar del Rio province in the western part of the island, with its forested, lightly populated areas. Try the national park of Guanahacabibes, a huge nature reserve with paths that wind through thick trees often occupied by colorful birds. Casual runners will find that it is satisfying to run anywhere along the coast and even through major cities – the Havana streets are a pleasure to jog along although you may have to dodge sidewalk construction. The Marabana, Cuba’s marathon, takes place every winter in Havana and attracts competitors from around the world.
  • Water Sports: Fishing, scuba diving, and swimming are the water activities of choice in Cuba. You’ll need a permit to fish, but experienced anglers will want to seek out marlin, swordfish and dorado and perhaps enter the Hemingway International Fishing Tournament. Scuba diving is best in Cubanacan, Santiago, and Cayo Largo, where underwater reefs and multicolored fish make each dive memorable. Swimming can be done all over the island and is immensely enjoyable because of Cuba's 70 degree water temperatures. Try Playa Giron, a sparkling, sheltered cove known to most Americans as Bay of Pigs. A word of caution: only swim in salt water, not fresh water, as it is possible to acquire parasitic tropical diseases in fresh water.
  • Horseback riding: The Soroa hotel in Pinar del Rio offers scenic horseback tours up into the mountains, as do the hotels in the Bayamo province. If altitude isn’t for you, arrange to ride with the Varadero hotel group down into the green Yumuri Valley.