The island of Cuba is the largest in the Caribbean To travel to Cuba is to immerse yourself in a universe that is both surprising and challenging. The pearly color of the long stretches of beaches are as famous as the so recognizable musical rhythms. Going to Cuba is a dream because this country is as majestic as it maintains the vagueness. Cuban politics do not in the slightest hinder the possibility of discovering the charms of the country and its welcoming local people. With a discount on Cuba, take the opportunity to visit the island in the footsteps of Native American peoples, explorer Christopher Columbus and conquistador Hernan Cortes.
A trip to Cuba that will be memorable
These vacation destinations are symbolized by the crossbreeding of the island. From Spain to Africa, Cuba draws its roots, history and culture to showcase the best in each. In this sense, Ibero-colonial architecture is an illuminating confession. Note of course that the island is not a haven of wealth and tranquility either. Poverty is present for the majority of Cubans even if the school and health systems are delusional. No need to broach the political subject with the locals, they will carefully avoid answering you and having such a conversation. However, their sense of hospitality and welcoming are undeniably their characters. Cubans are delighted to introduce you to their traditions which include music, dance and song.
Cuba has an area of approximately 109,980 km², making it the largest in the Caribbean Sea. It also explains the willingness of the settlers to settle there and develop there upon their arrival. The current population census counts 11.5 million inhabitants, of which more than three million reside in the capital of Havana and its suburbs. The main cities are Santiago de Cuba, Camaguey, Holgin, Santa Clara, Guantanamo, Bayamo, Las Tunas, or even Cienfuegos. For all the information for a trip to Varadero, see this link.
The spoken language is Spanish while the existing currency on the island is double with on the one hand the national currency which is the Cubano peso, and on the other, the convertible peso for tourists. The latter currency replaced the US dollar. Note that one Canadian dollar is roughly equivalent to fluctuations in currency exchange of 0.98 Cuban pesos.
Cuba is under the leadership of Raul Castro who took over from his brother Fidèle Castro. The country has a socialist regime with a single political party. This dictatorial regime based on communism was therefore strongly rejected by the United States following the 1959 revolution. Indeed, since 1962, the island of Cuba has been subject to a US blockade. Many Cubans have found refuge in the United States, especially in near Florida, where they constitute a significant minority.
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The Cuban population is quite young and tries to take advantage of the financial windfall brought by the development of tourism. It must be said that this territory brings together all the assets to become an ever more attractive destination. There are for example several sites classified as World Heritage by Unesco: the old town of Havana and its fortifications, the castle of San Pedro de la Roca located in Santiago de Cuba, the Viñales valley, the city of Trinidad and the valley of los Ingenios, the archaeological landscape shaped by the ancient coffee plantations in the Southeast of Cuba, the historic urban center of Cienfuegos, the Desembarco del Granma National Park, the old town of Camagüey, and finally, the Alejandro de Humboldt. Note also that the dance and music group named Tumba Francesa de Santiago has taken its place on the Unesco list as intangible cultural heritage of humanity. These sites are all tourist destinations to favor during your trip to Cuba.
A Cuba destination is actually vacation destinations! The island is outlined in the Caribbean Sea while stretching over 1250 kilometers. The Cuban territory is therefore quite narrow, the greatest width not even exceeding 200 kilometers! Remember that Cuba is not just about the presence of a single island because it is an archipelago. For example, there is the Isle of Youth (isla de la Juventud) and a multitude of islets forming a sort of confetti called cayos. These include cayo largo, cayo coco, cayo levisa, cayo guillermo, etc. these cayos are real little pieces of earthly paradise. You will find crystal clear water, very rich seabed and radiant sunshine. Accommodation on site is provided by comfortable Cuba hotels.
If Cuba is bordered by the Caribbean, in its center rises a low mountain range even if certain sierras, west of Santiago, are famous for having sheltered part of the revolutionaries, notably the Sierra Maestra.
The climate that prevails in Cuba is tropical even if local specificities emerge. As a result, the island only experiences two seasons, one dry in winter and one wet in summer. The duration of the dry season goes from November to May with a temperature constantly approaching 25 ° C. The wet season, from June to October, reveals short but rather violent rains. Warm waters are generally perfect for triggering cyclones, which is the case in Cuba during the wet season. Nevertheless, civil security makes it possible to anticipate these events in order to perfectly protect the entire population.
Going on a trip to Cuba will make you want to come back
Book a hotel in Cuba is to create an opportunity to borrow the local culture to the sound of music and the rhythm of dances. And you have the choice with first of all the mythical rumba. Based on percussion and vocals, it alternates three styles. The first, quite physical, is for men, the second, slower, for couples, and the last is more inflamed. The close bodies are the benchmark of Latin and therefore Cuban dances. Another classic is the Mambo and cha-cha-cha from Mexico City in the 1940s. Drums, jazz and woodwinds delight the ears.
Other more or less contemporary music is revealed in Cuban parties: batanga, bolero, guajira, tonada, reggaeton, etc. Do not forget to introduce yourself to salsa, knowing that if the term is Cuban, it is in New York, via the Cuban-Puerto Rican community, that these famous sounds were born.
This trip to Cuba will also allow you to taste the culinary specialists of the country. Let yourself be tempted by the Guama crocodile, a meat similar to veal. Dare the lobsters and crabs, accompanied why not by staple foods rice and black beans. In terms of meat, the cochinito is recommended grilled, roasted and even fried! Finally, enjoy the ubiquitous fruits such as guavas, planter bananas, papaya and other mango. Also, don't forget to taste the rum and its many cocktail versions ... in moderation of course!
From your hotel in Cuba, you have the possibility to do many sports activities. The presence of the Caribbean Sea is very appreciable for scuba diving. Go sea kayaking, boating, or even deep-sea fishing trips. For lovers of walks, go to Viñales, in the Zapata peninsula, the Humboldt National Park or the mountain range in the center from the island. On the famous cayos, enjoy the sun for endless lazy sessions barely interspersed with swimming and snacks.
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Those interested in Cuban history and heritage are not left out. From the Bay of Pigs to Havana, from Trinidad to Santiago de Cuba, walk the streets, the old towns and step back in time.
The capital of Havana is a must visit with its unmissable Spanish colonial architecture. The fortresses and the straight ramparts from the 17th century appear with magnificence and gravity on the seafront. Follow in the footsteps of the Spanish colonizers by treading the historic city center called Habana Vieja. Thanks to the renovation works, the splendors of yesteryear have been given a second lease of life. Time stands still and the weight of history emerges in the form of the silhouette of the religious building, the Plaza de la Catedral. Then direction in the footsteps of cigar factories and the Museum of the Revolution.
Access to hotels in Cuba is fairly straightforward thanks to reservations made in advance to make your life on site easier. Trust, for example, Lonely Planet Cuba which offers addresses for all budgets. In addition to the hotel establishments which are shared by five large Cuban chains, there are campsites. These are actually residential spaces with bungalows. For a short time now, it has been possible to sleep with locals to get to know Cubans' daily life as closely as possible. Finally, the seaside regions welcome establishments run by foreigners with all the comfort and luxury service.
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