Having been to 4 Cuban all-inclusive trips and having spent much of my summers at home outside, I have some experience on how to get a great tan with minimal burn and I will share some of my tips and point out mistakes that I have seen people do. Everybody's body is different so you can use my advice as a guide but always follow what works best for you.
My first rule is, if you are planning to tan with no other purpose or activity in the sun, DO NOT put on sunscreen. I have made this mistake in the past and have burned in some areas while I was white in others. My travel buddy lathered himself up in sunscreen and was white at the end of our trip this past November despite spending much more time tanning than me.
All I do is lay out in the sun for 20-25 minutes each on my back and then on my front. I spend the rest of the day relaxing in the shade. My shoulders and the back of my neck tend to be my problem areas when it comes to burning so I expose those less to the sun by either taking advantage of shadows or covering those areas with a towel or shirt while tanning the rest of my body.
If you have a purpose out in the sun that does not require you do an activity at a certain time, for instance, gardening in your backyard, you can also avoid putting on sunscreen if it is after 3pm. What I find works very well for me is that the sun does not burn my skin after 3pm no matter how long I am outside. This enables me to get a fairly deep tan and also gives me a ton of exposure to the vital Vitamin D that the sun provides.
If you are in the sun at high noon during the summer then I do recommend sunscreen, but focus mainly on your problem areas for burn. For instance, if I am playing in a beach volleyball tournament all day then I completely lather up my shoulders and upper back, put a fair amount on my face, put some on my arms and chest and just a little bit on my stomach and lower back and not one drop of sunscreen on my legs.
If you are not sure what your problem areas are I would recommend lying out it the sun for 20 minutes (or less to be safe) each side as I described above to really understand what each area of your body can tolerate before it burns. Chances are you will not tan equally across your body like me and catering your sun exposure to where you need it the longest while focusing the bulk of your sunscreen application to your problem areas will really help you in getting a great, natural tan.