Cuba

Cuba is very beautiful island country. It is famous for several things – cigars, beautiful girls, music and longtime government of Fidel Castro, better known in his homeland as El Commandant. Many people believe that Cuba is the most beautiful island in the world. It is difficult to determine whether this is so or not, but surely if you once glimpse the natural beauty of this tropical paradise will never dream about another place. Just your mind will be occupied by the accumulated feelings and impressions of this amazing island. The magic in Cuba is everywhere – it can be seen and even heard. You can feel it in the food and drink, architecture, in the smiles of the local people and even in the air.

cuban architectureGeographic location, boundaries and size. Cuba is an island country situated in the Caribbean. Geographically belongs to the continent of North America. It is located between 19 and 23° north latitude. There is no land border with other countries.

It occupies the entire territory of the largest island of Cuba as well as numerous smaller islands. It has a total area of 109,886 sq.km. Cuba is a part of the so-called Greater Antilles, which have a continental origin.

Nearest neighbours of Cuba are the U.S. (Florida, which lies about 150 km north of Cuba), Bahamas, Haiti (about 85 km), Jamaica (about 145 km), Cayman Islands and Mexico (Yucatan Peninsula).

Climate of Cuba. Cuba has warm tropical oceanic climate. Temperatures are high throughout the year and rainfall is concentrated during the summer months in the period from May to October.

In rainiest months rainfall reaches around150 – 200mm. The summer is hot and humid with temperatures around 30 – 31°C and the winter is a little drier, sunny and not so hot.

In January, daytime temperatures are about 24°C. Perhaps the climate of Cuba would be ideal if this island paradise was not often on the path of the hurricanes. The season of tropical storms coincide with the rainy season and generally lasts from May to October.

cayo blanco cubaWhen the temperature of the Atlantic in this part of the world reaches 30 degrees or more, the accumulated energy literally erupts in the form of hurricanes.

Therefore, the active tourist season on the island of freedom is winter. And not only that you can escape from snowy hug, which occupies much of the northern hemisphere, but you even must be careful with the tropical sun, and necessarily to use sunscreens!

Nature of Cuba. The relief of the island country is diverse. There are many different relief forms – from low coastal plains to hills and medium altitude mountains.

The highest point in Cuba is called Pico Real del Turquino. It is located in the southeastern corner of the island and rises to about 1974 meters above sea level.

The coastline of Cuba is quite indented. There are many small coves and peninsulas. Around the coast of the island country has a huge number of islands, most of which are small in territory.

Cuba has very beautiful beaches with white sand and emerald waters. Around the island there are beautiful coral reefs. Much of the territory of Cuba is covered with tropical rain forests.

The rest of the country is occupied by savannah-like areas. According to many travellers Cuba is considered to be the most beautiful island in the world.

coral lagoon cubaFauna of Cuba. In this country one often can meet such species as alligators, frogs, iguanas, snakes, scorpions, small mammals such as rodents and bats, and a huge variety of birds.

The island is home to some incredible bird species such as hummingbird, which is known for its ability to fly in one place and even backwards.

This allows the little creature to feed on floral nectar. Some native species could not be found elsewhere in the world. This is normal, because Cuba has no land connection with another country.

One of the most iconic animals of the island is the Cuban Hutia. This is a small mammal that cannot be found elsewhere. In practice, except alligator on the island there are no other large predators.

cuba caribbean seaPopulation. The population of Cuba is about 11.5 million people. It is the most populous island nation in the Caribbean. The main part of residents are white – about two thirds.

The rest consists of dark-skinned and mulatto. In the country live also a small number of Asians. The majority of the white population consists of immigrants from Spain, since Cuba was a Spanish colony.

Cuba is world famous for the beauty of its girls. According to many people the Cubans are one of the most beautiful women in the world. The country has four cities with a population of over 300,000 inhabitants:

-Havana (2.2 million inhabitants). Havana is the capital of Cuba. It is the largest and most dynamic city in the country. It is located in the northwestern parts of the island and is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities is the New World.

The old part of Havana is in the list of World Heritage by UNESCO. With its ancient architecture, Havana reminds the European cities.

car havana cubaThe streets are narrow; there are many old churches and other architectural monuments. One of the biggest attractions is the fortress El Morro and its lighthouse.

It was built in 1589 by the Spaniards, who ruled the island for centuries. In 1762 the city was conquered by the British, and today is the most important attraction of the Cuban capital. The fortress is located on the coast and offers beautiful views of the city.

-Santiago de Cuba (560,000 inhabitants). The second largest Cuban city is located at the opposite end of the island of freedom. The city has important historical significance for the Caribbean island. Here in 1959 was proclaimed the victory of the revolution.

-Camaquey (350 000). The third largest city in Cuba is called Camaquey. It is located inside the island about 60 km from the northern coast and about 70 km from the south. Northeast of the city is located the international airport “Ignacio Agramonte”.

The city looks much more relaxed compared to Santiago de Cuba and particularly the capital Havana. Here, most of the buildings are low – usually one and occasionally two floors.

-Holguin (320 000). Holguin is located in the interior of eastern Cuba. Like Camaquey the city is also landlocked. North and northwest of the city are several not very high hills, but they still offer a beautiful panoramic view.

The main problems of Holguin are not very different from those of the most cities in Cuba and are associated with the aging infrastructure. However, the city owns a typical Latin American charm.

cuba resortEconomy. Cuba is one of the few countries in the world that still apply the model of centrally planned economy. Leading here are not the free markets, but the active state participation in the economy.

However, in the country in recent decades there is significant progress – in 1981 the private sector was only 8%, but until today its share has increased 3 times!

It can be seen a smooth transition to market economy, that improves the prospects for economic development of the island country. Despite the lack of fully free-market Cuba is not a poor country.

Besides a decent income, the residents have free access to education and health care. It is known that many inhabitants of developed and rich countries travel to Cuba to receive high quality medical, dental and educational services at low prices.

Today the standard of living in Cuba is higher than in many countries of Eastern Europe for example.

For the Cuban economy are very important the tourism industry and the manufacturing of cigars, which are the symbols of Cuba in the modern world. The island country is also known for its high quality rum.

Tourism in Cuba

Although still in the communist regime, Cuba was able to be among the leading tourist destinations in Central America. The engine that drives the local tourism industry is the great combination of the local nature and culture.

The island country not only offers staggering beaches, but also year-round tourist season. Who would not wish to lounge under the shade of a coconut tree while the hot tropical sun is shining around in the height of winter in January or February?

The most beautiful beaches in Cuba

1.Playa de Oro, Varadero. One of the most beautiful beaches in Cuba is located in Varadero on the peninsula of Hicacos on the north coast of the island.

Playa de Oro is among the most attractive places for sunbathing in the country. The sand is white and the waters are usually calm and azure.

The under water visibility is high and close to the shore you will find beautiful coral reefs. For this reason Varadero is excellent for diving and attracts many fans of underwater experiences.

2. Cayo Coco Island. If you visit the small island of Cayo Coco you will feel like you are into the paradise. The island is located near the northern coast of Cuba towards the Bahamas.

Beaches are unnaturally beautiful, and the surrounding lagoons can make you forget about everything. Usually there are not many people, so this place is perfect for privacy.

havana cuba3.Cayo Guillermo. Cayo Guillermo is a small island which is located next to Cayo Coco. Because its beauty the place was declared as a National Park. The extraordinary nature is like a background of a chill out video.

All beaches are on the north side of the island. Adjacent to the beach there are some small hotels, bungalows and holiday villas. Everything is shrouded by tropical flowers, trees and shrubs.

4.Playa Lucia. This lovely place is located in the western part of northern Cuban coast. Like most places in this beautiful island country the sand is white and tender, and the water – clean and transparent.

Large waves crash into the coral reefs far from shore, so around the beach the waters is usually calm. Numerous coconut palms take care of that to provide sufficient shade for tourists.

producing of cigars in cuba5.Puerto Arturo. Puerto Arturo is a small resort in the northeastern parts of Cuba. Although its length is less than one kilometer this fabulous beach look like a dream. The sand is snow white and abundant tropical vegetation enables you to find deep shade just a few steps from the sand.

6.Guardalavacha. This beautiful resort is located just fifteen minutes east of Puerto Arturo. The two resorts fall into one tourist area.

The beauty is not different from that in Puerto Arturo. Playa de Guardalavacha offers classic heavenly scenery and many coconut palms. A few steps from the turquoise waters and fine coral sand is located Bahia de Naranho National Park.

The region offers one of the most beautiful beaches all over Cuba – Playa Esmeralda (Emerald Beach). Although smaller this beach is incredible! Emerald Beach owes its name to the emerald colour of its waters.

7.Cayo Largo. Cayo Largo is located on the southern coast of western Cuba. Speaking of beautiful beaches should be noted that Cayo Largo is definitely a favourite of our team.

Here is the brightest sand, the most transparent and azure waters and the people (if there are people) are very few and there is always space and freedom in abundance. Here you could enjoy of calmness and loneliness on the beach without anyone to disturb your peace.

tropical beach cuba8.Cayo Rosario. Not far from Cayo Largo is located Cayo Rosario. It is also located on the southern coast of Cuba.

Typical feature here is the scant vegetation, and the main advantage is that the place is almost deserted. On the white sands there are often small catamarans with which young and not so young couples arrive here seeking seclusion.

Here come mainly enterprising tourists who want to enjoy and get to know Cuba really well. The reason is that Cayo Rosario is more isolated and less popular tourist spot.

9.Cayo Santa Maria, Playa Perla Blanca. It is located in the central parts of northern Cuba is Cayo Santa Maria. The island is a popular tourist destination.

The beaches are magnificent – the sand is white with light pink nuance. This is due to its coral origin. In fact, here is the place to note that coral beaches are most beautiful and exactly they are those who delight us from the pages of the travel magazines.

10.Playa Ancona. Playa Ancona is located in southern central parts of Cuba. This is another of the countless opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the paradise Cuban beaches.

Tropical vegetation, crystal clear sea and white sand invariably present in the surrounding landscape. Here and there on the beach grow coconut palms that make tourists feel like in heaven while they are lounging under the bright tropical sun.

tropical cubaDo you want to discover Cuba? In Cuba there are many things that will be interesting to see and do while you’re there.

First we should note that this country is a lot cheaper in comparison with many other famous destinations and you can afford comfort and luxury without to spend a lot of money.

Although this is a Spanish-speaking country at any resort you can talk to staff in English. Ask for details of visa in advance!

Know that visas are not required only for people with German citizenship and this is perfectly natural – though Cuba is a tourist country and Germany is the biggest sender of tourists.

If you visit Cuba will probably be quite interesting for you to see where and how locals produce the world-famous Cuban cigars. This is one of the biggest attractions of this Caribbean nation.

Many visitors want to see what is the process of production and what is the way of the cigars before that luxury item appears on the international market. The country has beautiful architecture.

Art deco style and modernism are predominated. Like in the most destinations in the Caribbean, the colonial style here has become a calling card of the island.

The reason is the successful combination of modern architecture and ancient radiation. One of the most saturated with feelings experiences is to sit in a little cafe or restaurant among the narrow streets of the capital Havana and to enjoy the slow rhythm of life.

Even at first glance it appears that in Havana there is something that strongly reminiscent of Spain, but tinged with a unique tropical feeling.

Unfortunately the history of Cuba has been marked by struggles for independence, war, revolutions, and long communist regime.

All this has left deep scars in the “face” of this island nation, although have not erased the smile of the locals. Known fact is that despite of the regime, limited freedom and the other difficulties Cubans are among the happiest people in the world.

tropical rainforest cubaThe most important historical facts about Cuba. Cuba was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Previously, on the island lived only local Indian tribes.

After the arrival of Columbus, however, the Spaniards settled here. They brought their culture, mentality and lifestyle. They spread here the Catholic faith.

Because of the sugar cane plantations here were brought against their will huge number of dark-skinned Africans.

In 1762 England conquered the island of Cuba, but only a year later they returned the island to Spain because Spain in turn gave up Florida to England. In 1898, U.S. began a war with Spain and the reason was their wish to conquer Cuba.

Soon, the U.S. won the war, but only a few years later, in 1902 Cuba gained independence. In the mid 20th century after numerous attempts Fidel Castro took power.

The victory of the revolution was declared on January 1, 1959 by Fidel Alejandro Castro Rus. A month later he became Prime Minister. In 1976 he became president of the State Council of Cuba.

It is a major political figure in the country until 2008 when it withdrew due to ill health. On 24 February the same year he was replaced by his brother – Raul Castro.

Cuban cuisine. Like the local population and culture, Cuban cuisine also combines elements from Spain and the Caribbean with a slight African touch.

Although Cubans frequently consume meat, in the local cuisine still prevail mainly seafood, which is typical for most of the island nations in the world (e.g Japan).

On the table locals often serve beans and rice. The consumption of eggs and dairy products is also relatively high. Characteristic of the Cuban cuisine is the preference of fruits compared with vegetables.

Exotic tropical fruits are often used for garnish to main dishes or for making desserts. Of beverages do not miss the Cuban rum.

It is one of the most valuable goods that the country exports worldwide. You will be surely impressed also by the vast variety of cocktails.

varadero cubaWhen is the best time for tourism in Cuba? The best time for tourism in Cuba is the winter months. It is advisable to travel in the period from November to April.

Thus, not only that you will avoid the hurricane season, but will also travel at a time when temperatures are much more enjoyable.

What clothes to wear for tourism in Cuba? If you plan to spend your next holidays in Cuba you need the thinnest summer clothes that you have with no matter what time of year you travel.

Make sure that you have enough sunscreen with high SPF (sun protection factor)! Tropical sun is much stronger than in Europe or majority of the USA for example.