Situated 217km south of the Florida tip in the Caribbean Ocean lays the two islands of Cuba. Cuba is comprised of its mainland officially known as Cuba and the special municipality island, Isla de la Juventud. This beautiful Caribbean island offers a mix of its old city incredible views and its wonderful warm beaches along its coast side. All of it seasoned with one of the top of the world rum, cigars and national rhythms that will bewitch you! To explore the island you could begin with its main city and capital: La Habana, well known as the “ Caribbean pearl” due to its extreme beauty. You could just walk around or ask a cab for a ride in one of the stunning old cars that still are used in this frozen on time city.
Stroll Old Habana´s cobblestones streets and appreciate its ancient colonial style constructions. This Spanish style town with its center and surrounding plazas and churches has been restored for preservation. You will feel like taken back in time, watching its architectural style. Take some time to admire the old style houses and small hotels that still keep the decoration from the past centuries in perfect conservation and will catch your eye while you walk.
As many cities built by the sea in Latin America , La Habana has a fortress to protect the city from pirate attacks. Take a walk to the fortress to admire its army collection and watch the Cuban soldiers dressed in tidy uniforms. You will obtain a panoramic view of the city form this point for your album!
Trying Cuban typical food and of course a Mojito at the “Bodeguita del Medio” is a classic. This was Hemingway´s favorite spot, its walls are covered with pictures of the famous that had visited the restaurant; also, stopping by “El Floridita” for the best Daiquiri in the world is a must on your Habana vieja tour!. Keep in mind that Cuba is extremely humid and hot; then, this will be the perfect excuse for a refreshing Daiquiri.
While in la Habana, don't miss the opportunity to visit a cigar factory and appreciate the Cuban technique for making the popular Habanos, mostly rolled by women due to its delicate hands, a job done in the past by kids.
Combine this cultural Habana experience with a relaxing stay at Varadero the most popular beach destination. An incredible powdery sand beach and real crystal blue sea will be waiting for you.
While in Varadero, you will have the possibility to choose from a selection of short trips to explore and experience the wonderful nature surrounds the island. Diving, sailing, golfing, fishing, swimming with dolphins and much more are just a sample of the activities you could do while in Varadero. Pack your swim suit and sun block for the most amazing island adventure!
There are 14 provinces in the 44,662 square miles of the nation with the majority of the Cuban population living in and around the capital city Havana . To assist in the administration of political affairs the government of Cuba has divided the 14 provinces into 169 municipalities. With a population of 11,096,395 people it is one of the most populated Caribbean countries for its land size. With 70% of the population living in Cuba's urban regions the countryside is left largely uninhabited.
Cuba enjoys a subtropical climate with year long warm temperatures and higher than normal humidity levels. Being situated in the centre of the Americana hurricane zone Cuba encounters regular hurricanes during the months of June to October. Travel to Cuba during hurricane season is not recommended.
Transportation in and around Cuba has received a significant upgrade since the visit of Pope John Paul II in January 1998. Prior to this the road infrastructure comprised of poorly neglected streets and highways. The upgraded road infrastructure now provides over 50,000km of well established highway links and inner city roads which provide a direct link to all of the major cities. Visitors to Cuba can confidently travel with ease and conveniance in buses and cars throughout the country.
Air transportation to, from and within Cuba has also seen a significant upgrade with the provision of economic air travel using any of the 17 major airports throughout the country. Ten of these airports have been designed predominantly to provide international operations to assist with the surge in business and tourist travellers arriving in Cuba.
Although Cuba is trying to encourage international tourism within their country immigration regulations are quite stringent. With the current relations between the USA and Cuba , US citizens are not granted the right to enter the country, unless exceptional circumstances are proved. Visitors from other countries are expected to be in possession of a valid passport, visa, tourist card (identifying where you will be staying and travelling to), a return airline ticket, and proof of financial substance.
The Havana Carnival which is held in July is a popular tourist event in Cuba . The Carnival features parades and jazz dancing events based on Cuban culture. The event brings about many of the finest food carts on the island allowing visitors to try the local cuisine for a relatively cheap cost. The Carnival marks the end of the sugar harvest and was originally started by the islands slave population as this was the only day of the year that they were able to celebrate. Some on the island call the Havana Carnival the Cuban National Slave festival as it recognises the work performed by slaves in the early history of the country. Interestingly Christmas day has only been celebrated in Cuba since the Pope visited the island in 1997.