Cuba is an archipelago, located in the Caribbean Sea at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico, is formed by the Island of Cuba, the Isle of Youth and more than 1600 cays and islets. Its surface area is 109 884.01 square kilometers. It limits geographically 21 km from the Bahamas, 150 km from Florida, 210 km from Cancún and 140 km from Jamaica.
It has a population of just over 11 million inhabitants and its capital is Havana, where around 2 million people live. Other important cities are: Santiago de Cuba, Holguín, Camagüey, Santa Clara, Las Tunas, Bayamo, Cienfuegos, Pinar del Río, Matanzas, Ciego de Ávila, Trinidad ...
It was discovered by Christopher Columbus on October 27, 1492. The conquest and colonization provoked the extermination of its aboriginal inhabitants, so they imported blacks from Africa to exploit as slaves. This mixture defined the Cuban population and culture. The 10 of October of 1868 began their independence struggles against Spain, whose domination was maintained during 4 centuries. The United States intervened in the war and established a pseudo-republic in 1902 until the 1st. Of January of 1959, in which triumphed the Revolution led by Fidel Castro, with its transformations essential for the life of the country.
There are usually high temperatures. Average annual values range from 24 ° C in the plains to 34 ° C. The season from November to April is less hot and is known as winter, while the months of May to October, hotter, are called summer. The average relative humidity is high, with averages close to 90%. The daily maximums, generally higher than 95%, occur at sunrise, while the lows fall, at noon, to 50-60% in the interior of the territory.
Prodigal country in artistic and creative manifestations, has contributed to the international culture with important names of writers, thinkers, dancers, musicians, painters, poets and singers. The Cuban cultural infrastructure consists of theater halls, museums, art galleries and cinemas, which show not only samples of the national heritage of all times, but also of world art. It is home to important international events such as the Ballet Festival, plastic arts biennials, popular music festivals and the Festival of New Latin American Cinema, among others.
In all the hotels there are medical services and in the main tourist centers of the country there are Clinics and International Pharmacies. The Cuban health system is characterized by one of the most comprehensive primary care programs in the world, the lowest child mortality rate in Latin America and free services for the entire population.
- Currency: There are two currencies in Cuba: the Cuban Peso (CUP), and the 'Convertible' Peso (CUC). The official currency is the Cuban peso (CUP). This Cuban Peso is for the exclusive use of Cubans. The so-called "Convertible Peso" (CUC) is the only legal tender for foreign visitors. Foreigners must change foreign currency upon arrival; This can be done at the international airport or at your hotel. You will find banks and exchange offices 'Cadeca' in the main cities. With the CUC currency you can make payments of cash purchases in shops, hotels, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, taxis, car rental companies etc. The CUC exchange rate is measured by the value of the US dollar: 1 USD = 1 CUC. Import and possession of US dollars is allowed. In the change from the US dollar to the CUC, a 10% tax is applied (subject to change).
When you return to your home country, you can change the CUC in USD at the airport.
Credit Card: Credit cards issued in the United States are NOT accepted. Mastercard and VISA issued elsewhere (eg Canada or Europe) are accepted in most tourist entities. The ATM cards of the United States also do not work in Cuba.
The change from CUC to CUP is 1 x 24.
- Security: Cuba is a very safe country to travel, although, like all places, minor crimes occur almost always related to theft and theft. It is not prudent to expose your belongings and it is recommended to leave expensive jewelry at home or in the hotel safe.
When you go on the road, keep luggage and other belongings out of sight. When parking the car, look for a car park with a parking lot that will monitor your car. Avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas.
- Language: Spanish is the official language. Especially English is widely spoken, especially in hotels, restaurants and information centers for tourists.
- Electricity: In Cuba the electricity is 110V / 60Hz, although 220V / 50Hz is available in many hotels and private homes. Sockets are mostly two-prong flat type used in the United States (Type A).
- Telephone: ETECSA, the Cuban state telephone company, has roaming agreements with most of the world's leading carriers. You can make phone calls from the telephone offices, called 'telephone centers', in major cities. Most public telephones use telephone cards that can be purchased at kiosks or at most tourist hotels. In most hotels, the operator will help you make an international call. Making an international call can be expensive; Check the rates before making a call.
- Internet: Internet access in Cuba is scarce and generally slow. Generally in Hotels, business centers and some parks they have WIFI. To access this WIFI requires the purchase of cards with user and password. The price of 1h of Internet usually 1.50 CUC.
- Airport regulations: Visit the Customs website http://www.aduana.gob.cu/
- Documents: To travel to Cuba you need a valid passport for at least six months and a tourist card or VISA. The Tourist Card is issued automatically with the purchase of tourist services at any authorized travel agency or like VISA at a consular office in Cuba, applying and paying the corresponding fee. You must also have medical insurance to travel to Cuba. Business trips, extended stays or work, require special visas, so you should go to the Cuban Consulates or Embassies.