Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, and has a population of approximately eleven million. It is easily accessible from USA and also from Mexico. The culture of this country is influenced by the Spanish and Latin cultures. The official language in this country is Spanish. Spanish touch can also be seen in the architecture of the capital city of Havana, and also in Santiago and many other cities, as Cuba was a Spanish colony once.The natives of this island nation are a very lively people, and enjoy various kinds of music and dance forms, including salsa and Son de la Má Teodora. Cuba is famous not only for tobacco, but also for tourism.
Cuba is famous for its beautiful and excellent beaches. Hence, one of the most popular forms of tourism here is the beach tourism. Some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean are found in this country. Some of these beaches are isolated and yet to be explored. The coastlines have soft and white sand, and the seas have beautiful and electrifying blue water. There are also coral reefs and cays in Cuba. The areas around some of the beaches are developed and have hotels and restaurants. Many of these beach resorts offer water sports, scuba diving, snorkeling, and many other activities. Some of the popular beaches that a tourist would favor visiting include Varadero, Playa Ancon, and Santa Lucia. Some of the cays that are frequented by the tourists are Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Paredon Grande, and Cayo Sabinal, which lie on the northern coast of Cuba. An undeveloped beach that lies on the eastern tip of Cuba is the Playa Corinthia. Though it is isolated, it is a great place to swim.
Once upon a time, Cuba was known as gambler's paradise, as it had a large number of casinos. After the Cuban Revolution in 1959, Prime Minister Fidel Castro outlawed them all. From then onwards, there are no casinos, and gambling is prohibited on this island nation.
The best time to visit this island is from the month of November to April. Cuba enjoys a tropical climate, so the weather is quite hot and humid throughout the year. Tourists should avoid visiting this island nation during the rainy season. Maximum amount of rainfall is recorded from the month of May to October. It is also occasionally hit by the hurricanes, as it lies in the hurricane belt.
Tips for Tourists
Given below are some of the important facts and information that a tourist traveling to Cuba should know.
- The Cuban Peso is the official currency of this country. The denominator is centavos. The currency symbol is $MN.
- Though initially dollar was used for transaction, in the year 2004 the government of Cuba announced ban of commercial transactions using dollars. However, the shops and restaurants accept Euro.
- There are very few ATMs in Cuba, and even if you find one, there is no guarantee that it will have sufficient funds. Some of the ATMs would not be in working condition. So, carry traveler's checks and exchange them at your hotel. The services at most banks are very slow and most of them close by 3 p.m. Also, remember to take your passport for exchanging traveler's checks or withdrawing cash using credit/debit cards. A few government-owned CADECA are one of the places where a tourist can withdraw cash using debit or credit cards.
- Keep in mind that a credit card issued in America is not accepted in Cuba. This is because of the political embargo between the two nations. It is advisable to avoid criticizing the government or Fidel Castro when you are in this island nation.
Cubans are friendly and expressive people. They have an ability to strike conversation easily with a stranger. However, as a tourist, you should be careful while talking to them. The reason is Cubans always strike a conversation is that they have economic gain in mind.