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Cuba Travel Guide and Tips Part I

Cuba Travel Guide

Have you ever considered to go to Cuba? If so, many details worry you, about how to travel to Cuba in a safe and entertaining way. This Cuba Travel Guide is the handbook that will help you organize your trip. This guide is made by a Cuban, so get ready to enjoy the best of Cuba!

Cuba Travel Guide Quick Facts

Location

  • Cuba is an archipelago of the Sea of the Antilles, also known as the Caribbean Sea. Because of the geographical position at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico, since colonial times it is known as “The Key of the Gulf”. It is the largest island in the Greater Antilles. The closest countries are Haiti, the Bahamas, the United States, Jamaica, and Mexico.
Cuba Travel Guide Map
Map of Cuba

Capital

  • Havana is the current capital city of the Republic of Cuba and at the same time one of the fifteen Cuban provinces. Havana is the most populated city in Cuba and the entire insular Caribbean, with a population of over two million people.

Area

  • Cuba is the longest island of the Greater Antilles with 104556 km², the length of its coasts is 3209 km in the north, and 2537 km in the south. Cuba is compared to an alligator because of its elongated and narrow shape. It is the 15th largest island on the planet.

Population

  • Cuba has approximately 11 million people (11,239,234). Characterized by the mixing of descendants of Spaniards, Africans, Chinese and some French, Arab, Haitian, Jamaican and Italian migratory flows, among others.

Climate

  • Cuba generally has high temperatures. In the plains, the average annual values go from 24 ° C (75.2 ° F) and up to 35 ° C (95 ° F) and more on the eastern coasts.
  • The average relative humidity is high, with averages close to 90%. The effect of high humidity gives Cuba an intense feeling of heat during a large part of the year. Between September and November cyclones and hurricanes are frequent.

Language, Electricity and Time Zone

  • The official language of Cuba is Spanish.
  • 110V, 60Hz or 220V, 60Hz (North American, European, or Italian plug) and Time Zone is UTC -5.

An Overview of Cuba

Regions

  • Western Cuba has 5 provinces and 1 special municipality (Pinar del Río, Artemisa, Havana, Mayabeque, Matanzas and the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud).
  • Central Cuba includes 5 provinces (Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Santi Spíritus, Ciego de Avila, Camagüey).
  • Cuba East has 5 provinces (Las Tunas, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba, Granma, Guantánamo).

Main Cities

  1. Havana.
  2. Santiago de Cuba.
  3. Santa Clara.
  4. Pinar del Río.
  5. Holguín.
  6. Camagüey.
  7. Cienfuegos.
  8. Matanzas.
  9. Bayamo.

Culture

Cuba is pure culture and I do not say it because I am Cuban. As a result of our traditions and customs inherited by Spaniards and Africans, our island has great cultural richness.


In addition, in Cuba, there are many national and international artistic events throughout the year which makes it an important cultural venue.

Throughout the country, there are multiple theaters, museums, art galleries, cinemas and public spaces that are part of the Cuban cultural infrastructure. Above all, Cuba is famous for its important artists and creators.

Religion

Religion in Cuba is marked by history. The Catholic Church arrived in Cuba with the first Spanish conquerors and was the one with the greatest expansion.

Therefore the African religions, brought by the slaves, took an important role. Further, elements of spiritualism were incorporated.

Consequently, there is a particular religious diversity in Cuba dominated by Catholicism and the Yoruba religion originally from Africa.

Derived from the Yoruba culture was the so-called Regla de Ocha, popularly known as santería. In conclusion, Santería has as its center of worship a pantheon of deities (orishas), each of them invested with different myths, attributes, and powers.

Among the most important are: Olofin, Olorun and Oloddumare, as supreme powers and Changó, Yemayá, Obatalá, Ochún and Elegguá among others.

An Overview of Cuba

Music

Cuban music is the expression of the original rhythms and melodies of Cuba, whether they are indigenous or introduced by Spaniards and Africans.
Some musical instruments that give Cuban music its unique sound are The Tres (Spanish for three), a smaller than usual guitar with three pairs of metal strings; conga drums, bongo, clave and the güiro (gourd).

Sports

The Cuban sports practice, its achievements, and results have led Cuba to become a true power in this branch, but also to be an object of admiration throughout the world. The national sport is baseball and all the locals feel a great passion for this sport.

Cuban People

We Cubans are the result of the fusion of African and Spanish cultures. Also influenced by the French, Italians, Arabs, Chinese and other different cultures that were integrated to form the national identity.


A Cuban is recognized anywhere, for his joy and emotion, great sense of humor and hospitality. For Cubans, there is no unresolvable situation and we make jokes up to the most serious. Cubans are good communicators, dancers, curious and above all very talkative people.


During your trip to Cuba, you will surely have the opportunity to chat and engage with locals. This is a great opportunity to learn about Cuban idiosyncrasies and immerse yourself in the local culture. Follow The tips from this Cuba Travel Guide and enjoy Cuba like a local!

Rum, Tobacco and Coffee

All cigars or cigars in which 100% of the tobacco that composes them are grown and manufactured in Cuba after multiple and severe controls both at the level of the agricultural process of cultivation and drying.

Along with tobacco, sugarcane is a fundamental agricultural product for Cuba’s economy.
Rum is a brandy obtained by fermentation and distillation of molasses, which are a by-product of sugarcane juice.


Cuba produces sober and balanced rums, with the body and aging in oak. Among the best are those produced by the brands Havana Club, Santiago de Cuba, Legendario or Caney.

In Cuba, coffee is one of the areas of the national economy that requires greater effort given the ecological conditions in our country. Undoubtedly, Cuban coffee is delicious and strong. In Cuba, you can buy coffee packages either in grain or ground. Undoubtedly this is an excellent souvenir to take back home.

Want to learn more about Cuban Tobacco? Check out this amazing blog

Currency

It is very important when planning your trip to Cuba, that you know everything about the currency. There are two types of currency in Cuba: the Cuban convertible peso (CUC) and the Cuban peso (CUP).

The Cuban peso, the national currency of Cuba, is the one most used by locals. As a tourist, you will need more Cuban convertible peso (CUC). My recommendation is that if you travel from the United States of America you bring euros since the dollar is penalized by more than 10%.

We are not finished yet! In the next blog: Cuba Travel Guide II, you will find all the tips and the best places to visit in Cuba.

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