Discover the Most Popular Sports in Cuba

Cuba, officially known as the Republic of Cuba, is an island country situated in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean. Comprising the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and other archipelagos, it holds a unique geographical position fostering a diverse marine ecosystem. Positioned west of Hispaniola, with Havana as its capital, Cuba boasts a rich cultural heritage and is home to major cities like Camaguey and Santiago de Cuba. Sports in Cuba also contribute to its rich cultural heritage.

With a population of around 11 million people, it stands as the second most populous country in the Caribbean, offering visitors a pristine destination with a long coastline and hospitable locals.

Inhabited since the 4th millennium BC, Cuba underwent significant changes following the arrival of the Spanish in the 14th century. As a Caribbean destination, it promises a unique blend of experiences, from exquisite cuisines to a mix of cultures and historical features awaiting exploration. Culturally diverse, Cuba is a multiethnic society founded by ancient red Indians, Africans, and Spanish Europeans, also being one of the founding members of the United Nations.

Cuba’s economy, one of the world’s few planned economies, revolves around industries such as sugar, tobacco, skilled labor, and coffee. The country’s tropical climate, influenced by northeasterly trade winds and Caribbean waters, sets it apart, being more subtropical than tropical. When planning a visit, understanding the prevailing conditions is crucial for proper dressing.

For sports enthusiasts, Cuba is a haven. The Cuban people have a passion for three main sports, reflecting the country’s vibrant sporting culture. To fully appreciate your visit, it’s essential to be acquainted with these popular sports in Cuba.

Popular sports in Cuba

Street soccer in Cuba

Sports hold significant importance in Cuba, serving as a means for many to uplift their lives and escape prevailing poverty. Especially during the coup, numerous individuals turned to sports as a pathway for personal improvement.

The sporting culture is deeply rooted in the country, with many Cubans having connections to Spain, enjoying games played there as well as those indigenous to Cuba. Despite its relatively small size, Cuba boasts a wide array of sports, reflecting its rich culture, diversity, and abundant fauna and flora that enhance the overall experience for visitors.

Crucially, baseball stands out as the national sport of Cuba, embodying the passion and dedication of the Cuban people towards this particular game. Beyond baseball, various other sports have gained popularity in the country, contributing to the vibrant sporting scene that captivates locals and visitors alike.


Baseball stands out as one of the most played and cherished sports in Cuba, proudly holding the title of the national sport. When visiting the region, you’ll encounter the fervor and passion for baseball, with many Cubans being well-versed in the game. Whether you’re an amateur or an expert, there are various places where you can partake in the sport, as over 60% of Cubans engage in baseball, emphasizing its widespread popularity.

Children often begin their baseball training at an early age, contributing to the deep-rooted knowledge and appreciation for the sport, making it an exceptional experience for enthusiasts.


In Cuba, surfing emerges as a popular tourist activity, particularly in the eastern part of the country where tropical laws favor the sport. It’s advisable to plan your visit between August and November for optimal surfing conditions, while the northern side offers friendly waves from December to March.

Safety is paramount, so it’s crucial to prioritize precautions when exploring unfamiliar surfing spots. Carrying appropriate safety equipment is a must to mitigate potential risks associated with the sometimes high waves.


Cuba stands as the premier destination for golf enthusiasts seeking the best courses in the Caribbean. Hosting numerous tournaments annually, the country attracts golfers from around the world. To fully enjoy golfing in Cuba, explore different regions, participate in local golf tours, and engage in the sport alongside the welcoming local community.

Beyond the allure of the golf courses, Cuba provides an incredible opportunity to bask in the sun and partake in various tourist activities, creating a well-rounded experience for visitors.


Soccer, commonly known as football in various parts of the world, is a prevalent sport enjoyed by many in Cuba. As you explore the country during your visit, be sure to take in the exceptional features that contribute to the vibrant soccer culture. The national federation, Asociación de Football de Cuba, serves as the governing body for football in the country, overseeing its development amid significant changes.

Cuba boasts some of the best soccer fields, providing an opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in football activities. The sport holds a special place among the youth, with strong support for both local and international teams. Cuba has produced numerous soccer icons, and exploring the various sporting arenas allows you to appreciate the passion for soccer in this amazing island nation.


Boxing is a big thing in Cuba.

Cuba, an iconic holiday destination, offers a perfect setting to enjoy sports like boxing. Boxing has a rich history, gaining popularity, especially in the pre-revolution era, and continues to thrive in the country. Your visit to Cuba promises an opportunity to witness or even participate in exciting boxing matches.

Many Cuban boxers actively participate in international competitions, including the Olympics and world championships, showcasing the nation’s prowess in the sport. Boxing rings can be found in various parts of the country, providing a glimpse into the enduring love for this iconic sport.


Basketball in Cuba

Contrary to popular belief, Cuba has made significant contributions to basketball, producing iconic talents recognized globally. During your visit to this part of the world, explore the exceptional basketball activities that make Cuba a noteworthy basketball nation.

Take time to review basketball courts and indulge in some hoop action, immersing yourself in the country’s basketball culture. Cuba’s participation in Olympic basketball tournaments, where they achieved a remarkable 3rd place ranking in 1972, attests to the nation’s prowess in this sport.


Volleyball is a big thing in Cuba.

Contrary to common expectations, volleyball holds a special place in the hearts of Cubans. While in the region, you’ll discover various facets of this sport, whether it’s beach volleyball or the traditional version, played on courts scattered across the country.

Cubans have showcased their prowess at the international level, clinching medals in some of the most competitive competitions worldwide. Notably, the Cuban women’s volleyball team stands out as one of the most successful teams globally, making it worthwhile to explore the different fields where this beloved sport thrives.


Athletics in Cuba

In Cuba, athletics emerges as another major sport, with a growing number of individuals embracing a healthy lifestyle through participation. Many Cubans have ventured into international sports events, including the Olympics, achieving commendable success and securing numerous medals.

For those visiting, experiencing the exceptional tracks in the country is a must. Cuba boasts iconic athletes, and the younger generation is actively exploring and engaging in this sport, contributing to its continued popularity.


Cuba unfolds as an exceptional destination for cycling enthusiasts, offering diverse terrains, from picturesque beaches to challenging landscapes. The country is renowned for its cycling competitions, and you have the opportunity to explore some of the best cycling spots throughout Cuba.

The professional cycling track at the Via Blanca Stadium is accessible to both experts and amateurs, providing a perfect opportunity to traverse the region on two wheels. With Cuba hosting numerous international cycling competitions, the facilities are top-notch, ensuring a memorable and fulfilling experience in this cycling-friendly region.


Deep sea fishing in Cuba

Fishing, typically undertaken for sustenance, takes on a different dimension in Cuba as it is considered a sport. Deep-sea fishing stands out as one of the most thrilling activities, prevalent in various parts of the country. Utilizing techniques like spinning, lure fishing, and fly fishing, enthusiasts have the chance to catch impressive creatures such as swordfish and sailfish.

Further reading: Dangerous animals in Cuba

While chasing different species of fish, prioritizing safety is crucial. Wearing proper gear and navigating the Caribbean waters cautiously is essential due to high waves and potentially hazardous fish species. Cuba hosts the annual US International Marlin Fishing tournament, providing an opportunity for fishing enthusiasts to showcase their talent.

Horse Riding

Horse riding in Cuba

For animal lovers, horse riding is a popular activity in Cuba, offering a chance to explore various locations such as Baconao, known for horse racing. The Bacalao National Park in Santiago de Cuba is an exhilarating destination for horseback riding during your trip.

Ensuring safety is paramount, and proper riding gear should be worn to prevent accidents. Having a tour guide is advisable in unfamiliar areas, ensuring a safe and enjoyable horseback riding experience.


Sailing in Cuba

Sailing emerges as one of the most popular sports in Cuba, thanks to the diverse coastal areas the country offers. Exploring Cuba allows you to discover different regions where sailing can be enjoyed. This outdoor activity provides opportunities for both leisurely sailing and competitive competitions.

If you decide to join sailing competitions, you can navigate the waters using massive ships and sails. Safety should always be a priority as you explore different parts of the country, ensuring a secure and enjoyable experience amidst the vibrant sailing community in the region.

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving in Cuba

Scuba diving stands out as one of the most popular sports in Cuba, owing to its extensive coastline along both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific. The Caribbean Sea, in particular, offers an ideal environment for exploring breathtaking marine life. While basking in the sun on the coastline, diving enthusiasts can indulge in high-quality scuba diving, encountering a variety of creatures that inhabit the ocean. With two major beaches dedicated to scuba diving, ensuring you have the proper gear is crucial before venturing into the waters of the Caribbean.

Cuba proves to be a perfect destination for those seeking a sun-soaked experience, inviting visitors to explore pristine white sandy beaches. If unfamiliar with the waters, hiring a guide is advisable, as they can provide insights into encountering different shark species that may inhabit the region.


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Aurimas Bio

Hi there! I’m Aurimas, a man behind Go Look Explore. I’m passionate about hiking, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, and everything outdoors related. Let’s connect.