Cuba Travel Guide
Cuba is located at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico, the island of Cuba is also characterized by unspoiled white sand beaches and cays as many of its Caribbean neighbors. Cuba has been under a communist regime since 1959 and this has resulted in a political isolation which has spared Cuba from the effects of commercial tourism.
An ongoing trade embargo imposed on Cuba by the United States has caused shortages of food and essential commodities on the island.
Useful Information about Cuba
Total – 11.2 million
Havana – 2.8 million
Santiago de Cuba – 472,255
Holguín – 346,191
Camagüey – 321,992
42,426 sq miles / 109,884 km²
Jose Marti International Airport; Code: HAV
6,578 ft / 2,005 m
Cuban peso (CUP); Equivalence 1$ (or $MN) ~ $0.038 USD
Tourists, however still enjoy visiting the capital city of Havana with its crumbling colonial Spanish architecture and its pulsating salsa filled nightlife. There is much to see in this captivating city on whose roads ply quaint modes of transport such as the ‘coco taxis’ and the two humped indigenous public buses called ‘camellos’.
UNESCO has declared Havana Vieja or Old Havana a world heritage site for it has grand buildings and plazas which are leftover from the Spanish colonial era.
Centro Havana has superlative museums such as the Revolution Museum and the National Capitol. Havana’s Vedado district has cafes, restaurants and grand hotels which have attractions such as cabarets and salsa dancing. Also, located there is Malecón which is a seawall where locals often congregate and salsa the night away. The town of Trinidad is yet another tourist magnet. Located between the Topes de Collantes Mountains and the Caribbean Sea, the town is surrounded by sugarcane plantations which were the mainstay of the Cuban economy during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Trinidad with its cobbled streets, old-world dwellings with red tiled roofs, wooden shutters and wrought iron adornments has also been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Yet another town worth visiting is the town of Santiago which was the original capital of Cuba located in the province of Santiago de Cuba in the south east section of the island.
Located near Santiago is The Boconao Park a world heritage biosphere reserve spread over an area of 80,000 hectares. The reserve has wildlife sanctuaries and coffee plantations within its environs. This serene and picturesque valley has luxuriant fields of tobacco, coffee and other crops which are farmed by old world agricultural techniques. A limestone cave system of stalagmites and stalactites also exists in this captivating valley.
The island of Cuba with its distinct old world feel makes for a refreshing get away.