Old-school vehicles, serene beaches, quiet walks through the woods: these are just a few of the things that visitors will find in Cuba. It is a unitary sovereign state in the northern Caribbean.

The country lies south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas. It is west of Haiti, and north of Jamaica. The country covers the island of Cuba, Isla de la Juventud, and also other small archipelagos.

Cuba’s pleasant climate, white sandy beaches, colonial architecture, and diverse culture make the country an attractive travel destination.

Its largest city is Havana. Cuba is also the largest island in the Caribbean. Despite the devastation that has torn apart Cuba in the past, the country retains its dignity. It also remains a fun destination for travelers. Beyond the white sand beaches that cover its north coast, you can also explore the country’s thick forests and crocodile-studded swamps, peaceful countryside, and rugged hills.

Make a trip to Viñales, a national park in the Pinar del Rio province. Here, you’ll also find the Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra del Rosario, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Sierra del Rosario mountains.

Both medical and cultural kinds of tourism are popular in Cuba. Visitors from Europe, Latin America, Canada and the United States come to the country in search of medical treatments, such as eye surgery, neurological disorders, and orthopedics.

Due to its rich culture, consisting of various cultures of Europeans, Africans, and natives, Cuba is attractive for cultural experience seekers. This cultural mixture is reflected in music, dance, architecture, food, and handicrafts.

Note: the Cuban government provides a strong policy against another popular kind of tourism in the country – sex tourism. Various legal measures were taken against both locals and visitors, involved in sex industry services. The prison sentences in this sphere range from 7 to 25 years.

Things To Do In Cuba

Cuba has a long stretch of vibrant Caribbean coastline, which is rich in ivory-white beaches. The continuous coastline does not turn dull but has cultural towns studded in its rim. Not only that the Old cities preserve the grand buildings lining the cobbled street pathways. From walking along the historic town square to diving among the coral reefs, Cuba has an array of things you can do and places you can go.

VARADERO

There is no better way to start exploring Cuba, than on a Caribbean beach. In the Peninsula de Hicacos you will come across the beach Varadero. Palm trees adorn the coastline of sandy beach in Varadero. Turquoise blue waters, gently lap in the shore. Tourists lounge in the expensive beachside resorts. Varadero offers much more than a stretch of sand. You can dive and snorkel in the underwater park of Cayo Piedra. Parque Natural Punta Hicacos is rich in wildlife and vegetation and is a reserve which sports two mysterious caves where you can go caving. A secluded land of Parque Josone is a haven for those who seek to commune with nature in a lakeside view.

PLAZA VIEJA

Two hundred years ago when the clock stopped, Old town in Cuba stopped changing. That is what it feels like when you see the vibrant Old Town Square dotted with historical buildings. Nothing has changed in 200 years, except it has become better. Artists from around the world visit it to gain inspiration. Hemingway himself loved visiting Bodeguita de Medio. One day in the Old Town will take you to Plaza de la Catedral, Castillo de la Real Fuerza, and Casa del Conde Jaruco. The list of attractions can go on, but these are the major ones.

TRINIDAD

This city dates back in time when it was notorious for the slave trade. The era of the 17th century brought prosperity to Trinidad. Old colonial buildings interrupted by beautiful palm trees make a lovely sight. The Central part of the city holds the exquisite statue of Church of Holy Trinity. Different types of buildings from the 17th and 18th century sprawl over the city. Casa de Ademan Oritz, Plaza Mayor, Palacio Brunet are some examples.

THE MALECON

Compared to the rest of the Cuba, the Malecon is just a baby. It came into existence in the 20th century. There are no particular landmarks, but the delightful ambiance of the city attracts visitors. It runs from Vedado to Haban Vieja. This seven kilometers of seafront has stunning art –deco and Neoclassical buildings. You will love capturing the essence of the city in your lenses.

SANTA CLARA

After some time in Cuba, you will start to feel the monotony of waterfront views. Where else o go other than the beaches? Santa Clara is a historical site. It is here that the valiant hero Che Guevara led his army. His tomb is erected here- Memorial Comandante Ernesto ‘Che Guevara. There are museums which explain the details of the battle between Guevara and Batista troops. Other than the battle history Tetro de la Caridad is a refreshing old theater of 19th century that still survives.

CASTILLO DE MORRO

A battle will now lead you to a prison. Castillo de Morro is the fortress which served as a prison in the late 1700s. Originally designed to be a castle (protection against pirates), it turned into a prison. There are many levels in the fortress which tourists can explore. Sitting atop on the cliff at Bay of Santiago, Castillo de Morro is something intimidating yet arresting. There are also biosphere reserves(Parque Baconao), museums and cemeteries in the second largest city in Cuba, where you can go.

Language

The official language is Spanish. The predominant religion is Roman Catholicism. 

Getting Around

In all Cuban cities and towns, taxis are rather easy to find. Also, if you want to hire a car, it is better to do it through a tour operator in your home country. When taking a car, make sure it has a spare tire and a jack. Roads are not is a very good condition. They frequently have potholes and poor lighting, so be aware. 

Money and Currency

The local currency is Convertible Peso. The approximate exchange rate is CUC$1.01 for US$1. In some tourist areas, Euro is acceptable. US Dollars, on the other hand, are no longer acceptable. In fact, if you want to exchange US Dollars, you will have to pay an additional 10% commission.

The currency exchange is available in banks and casas de cambio. You will need to show your passport to exchange money. MasterCard and Visa cards are easily acceptable if they don’t belong to the US bank, but you should keep in mind, additional charges are possible. ATMs are common, but the rule about US cards is the same.

Electricity & Plug Type

The electric sockets and plugs are of types A and C. Also, the voltage can be either 110V or 220V. 

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July 30, 2016 12:00 am Published by 5 Comments

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