Cuba Travel Guide

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Cuba Information

Population: 11000000

Time Zone: GMT - 5 Hours

Driving side: On the right

Languages: Castilian Spanish, English in the tourist areas

Religion: Catholic
other Afro-Cuban religions

Emergency #:

Cuba Local Customs

Cuba although relaxed compared to a few years ago are still fairly conservative, there are no nude or topless beaches and be aware of your dress in the street.

Cuba Culture

Cubans are proud of their history and in the land of Castro, Che Guevara and Hemingway are also proud of their culture, with just about every small town having at least a museum. Lots of statues and art galleries and they are crazy about music and dancing. Colourful carnivals and a very lively nightlife almost everywhere on the island. If you like the dark suits and miserable faces you won't enjoy Cuba.

Cuba Popular Destinations

Havana A must for any visitor to Cuba, not only for its history (which is fascinating) but also for the atmosphere and spirit of the place. Havana is divided into three main sectors which are Old Havana, Central Havana and Vedado. Go for a walk with the locals along The Malecon the 7km stretch along the beach front and marvel at the ornate architecture while the sun sets or the Old city that still seems stuck in the 50s with it's museums, churches, Cafes and bars. This is not a boring city.

Santiago de Cuba On the south east coast lie's Cuba's second city, perhaps the most passionate city in Cuba and has an African atmosphere (maybe that's from the area's strong historical links with the slave trade). From the Parque Cespedes the city spreads out in a maze of alleys and small streets with the Calle Heredia being the main street. Many interesting houses and museums are located in a compact area. If you are here in July take in the Rio style carnival to see that Cubans can samba with the rest of them.

Cienfuegos and Trinidad Two historic and beautiful cities on the southern coast of the island separated by a magnificent stretch of coast. Cienfuegos is more Arabic in style whereas Trinidad has an African touch. Explore them both and you will be busy for about a week.

Santa Clara In the rural heart of Cuba is this charming city, with its artist's quarter and homage to Che Guevara. Inland it's a mixture of sugar cane fields and jungle.

The Coco's The islands in the north are connected to the mainland by a 16km causeway and are well geared for tourism. Typical palmed beach paradise.

Moving Around Cuba

Car Car hire is expensive as is petrol, but car is the best way around the island. The roads are not that bad with the worst being in the eastern part.

Bus Public buses tend to be overcrowded and infrequent and for long distances you would be better off getting the more comfortable coach.

Train Trains connect all the major cities, but are a bit ancient and not that clean and at least they get you there most of the time.

Plane A good choice if time is a limit. The domestic airline covers a fair amount of areas and would cost about double a train or coach.

Ferry There is a ferry service connecting the mainland with the islands, they are slow and leisurely. Check for timetables.

National festival and holidays

May Day May 1st Celebrated throughout the country with workers parades and marches.

July 25th 27th Celebrating Castro's troops attack on the Moncada Garrison, his first act in anger of the 1959 Revolution. Held in a different city every year complete with a speech by the boss himself.

War of Independence October 10th is the national celebration of the launch of The War of Independence against the Spanish in 1868.

Useful Cuba Links

Located between the Sea of the Antilles and the Atlantic Ocean, Cuba is an insular country bathed by the sun and full with human heat.

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