Useful information to know Cuba
Get to know Cuba
Find a little bit of necessary information that we would like to give you to know a bit about the society, history and tourism in Cuba. Know, learn and do not forget to dive in Cuba, remember that we like history and we like you to tell us yours. Do not forget that we Cuba Blue Diving, gives you a series of special information.
Cuba is a very peculiar place, with a personality so strong that it may leave you somewhat stunned at first, to try to understand it you have to know its history. Cubans are the largest treasure in Cuba: talk to them, be polite, ask questions and respect all opinions!
Cuba is an archipelago with 110,922 km2 of extension, located in the Caribbean and is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico in the northwest, the Atlantic Ocean in the northeast and the Caribbean Sea in the south. The capital, which is the largest city in inhabitants and smallest in land, is Havana Cuba is an archipelago with 110,922 km2 of extension, located in the Caribbean and is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico in the northwest, the Atlantic Ocean in the northeast and the Caribbean Sea in the south. The capital, which is the largest city in inhabitants and smallest in land, is “The island of the treasure“.
The country is divided into 14 provinces and 169 municipalities, with a population of about 11 million inhabitants, basically formed by descendants of spanish and africans and by the mixture of both racial groups, known as criollos. In addition, the presence of some chinese descendants is remarkable.
Cristóbal Colón when he arrived on the island for the first time in 1492, said: "this is the most beautiful land that human eyes have seen" and that's the way it is, if you still do not know her, do not doubt to get in contact us We help you.
A little history
Do you remember to Cristobal Colon that I tell you? He was a Spanish admiral who discovered the island on October 27, 1492. The conquest and colonization caused the extermination of its aboriginal inhabitants, so they imported African blacks to exploit them as slaves. This mixture defined the Cuban population and culture.
On October 10, 1868, they began their independence struggles against Spain, whose domination lasted 4 centuries. United States intervened in the war and established a pseudo republic in 1902 until January 1, 1959, when the Revolution led by Fidel Castro triumphed, establishing essential transformations for the life of the country and making Cuba one of the safest countries in the world.
Currently, who runs the country is the leader Miguel Diaz-Canel. There have been many changes in politics, religion, social and economic, many positive and negative changes product to the blockade implemented by the United States of America.
But this is really a place of joy of beautiful things, good vibes and good information, knowledge and adrenaline, so we will leave politics aside.
Our culture and our religion
The Cuban people is very cultured and loves cinema, theater, reading, ballet and all kinds of cultural events. Cuba has contributed to the international culture with important names of writers, thinkers, dancers, musicians, painters, poets and singers. Cuban crafts is interesting, with outstanding works in leather, vegetable fibers, wood, stone, metal and sea products. Cuba's cultural infrastructure consists of theater halls, museums, art galleries and cinemas, where not only samples of the national heritage of all times are presented, but also the world art.
Cuba is host to important international events such as the Ballet Festival, biennials of plastic arts, festivals of popular music and the Festival of New Latin American Cinema, among others.
The Cuban state declared itself "atheist" until 1998, when it was re-classified as "non-denominational". There is freedom of creed and highlights a religion of African origin called "Santeria" (also known as Yoruba, Lucumí).
There are also catholic and protestant churches, jehovah's witnesses, orthodox, muslim and others, but none with as much influence in the lives of cubans as in other countries of America. However, the religions that abound most are the Yoruba and the Catholic religion.
Security in Cuba?
Cuba is a country with a lot of security, with a very low crime rate. The tourist is well received and very protected, however, in the streets there are police officers who can be called if help is needed.
However, as in any other tourist location, you should take precautions such as not forgetting your wallet and personal belongings in public places, not taking out a lot of money to make small payments, be alert to scammers or liars looking for tourists, because in their great Most are harmless and easy to identify.
The transport that you may have never seen
Cuba have a lot old cars that seem to come straight out of a time machine. You know why? Americans who lived or were traveling in Cuba when they left in January 1959 left the cars and other properties, which were confiscated and distributed to the population.
As a curiosity, we tell you that these cars are called "almonds" and yes, it are beautiful and for more curiosity, today most walk, always with many inventions and arrangements made by the Cuban mechanics, many of them with hydraulic address, air conditioning, good comfort lounge, good suspension, As if it were all a modern car.
On the island there are several ways to move:
- taxi that make you a personalized tour, ie from the site to pick you up where you leave, money which ranges from 10USD
- by public taxi (shared with other people), these go by specific route lines; price of 0.50USD / person
- by bus, known as “guaguas” (the cheapest), price of 0.05USD / person
- and in the case that it is interprovincial trips, since there are airlines and long distance buses, price from 15USD / person.
Taxi drivers are the best encyclopedia of Cuba: take the journeys to soak up history, anecdotes and lots of laughter. And get ready to listen to a lot of traditional Cuban music and especially a lot of reggueton and salsa (not just in taxis).
There is also the train variant, but it is not recommended as they are usually very slow and small. Another option is to rent a car, there are both state and private companies that rent modern cars so that you can move freely throughout the country, whose price varies depending on the time but ranges from 50USD.
Telephony and Internet
ETECSA (Telecommunications Company of Cuba S.A, by its initials in spanish) is the only telephone company in Cuba. In each city there is a telephone center with Internet access. This is where you can buy both phone cards and data to browse the internet.
The most economical and original way to stay is to sleep in private cuban´s home. These homes are family run and state regulated and offer room service with a bathroom included and can even provide local food services, tourist information and more. As an experience, it can be unique.
Let's not forget the classic hotels on this island, in addition to very good quality are hotel complexes with all the facilities. There are hotel categories all inclusive in which you consume everything you want in the hotel, totally included in the price of the lodging.
Traditions and Gifts
The Cuban tobacco it is the best in the world and its cigars, made by hand, are extraordinary.
Other interesting purchases are those of cuban music and rum. We have shops and markets for many places, where you can also find varied crafts in the form of wood carvings and paintings.
The authorized places to buy Cuban products are the Habano houses, the Rum Museum, and Craft Centers.
The "jama", our food
The typical kitchen is called criolla and in popular slang it is known as “jama“ and it is very simple and economic. The base of this cuisine, which is a mixture of Spanish and African, is based on local products such as pork, yucca, rice, black beans, chicken, fried plantains, lobsters, prawns and fish.
There are 2 types of restaurants in Cuba, some public that are managed from the state and the "Palates" which are private. The seconds of much more quality than the first.
There are several mobile applications that have their website, widely used in Cuba so you can be aware of restaurants, paladares, recreational activities, of which the most recognized are Get to know Cuba and To the table.
Cuba received 4 million visitors in 2017, an increase of six percent with respect to its forecast and a growth of 13 percent in relation to the figure reached in the previous calendar, according to the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR).
According to a press release, the regions that contributed most to this closure were North America and Europe, and highlighted countries from other continents that also experienced significant increases in the issuance of travelers to the island.
The note adds that this result constitutes a commitment to continue raising the quality of the services and the efficiency levels of the sector. According to the forecasts of MINTUR, for this 2018 the arrivals to the largest of the Antilles can reach 4 million 500 thousand tourists.
To diversify this offer, MINTUR prioritizes diving and sailing, nature and adventure tourism, congresses, events and circuits.
According to the official site. Cubadebate
Preparing the trip
And finally we tell you the last details before you finish putting your suitcase together. The first thing to do is buy a flight to Cuba and have a valid passport. It is important to take a credit card for payments within Cuban territory, as it is very useful and makes it easier for you not to have to carry so much money in cash that is always riskier of loss or theft. Although not all places can be used, if in all the provincial capitals there are banks or ATMs to make subtractions. Also in the hotels you can make this type of transactions.
In Cuba there is a "double" economy, so to speak, it can be paid in CUC (Cuban convertible pesos), which is the currency used by all tourists or the CUP, the national currency with which Cubans collect our salaries. For a tourist trip it is enough to take only CUC. A CUC equals 25 CUP.
News of the elimination of the CUC
As of January 1, 2021, the CUC (convertible peso) currency is eliminated, giving way only as the national currency to the CUP (Cuban peso). The validity of the CUC is maintained during the first 6 months until the complete elimination in the country. This news was reported on Thursday, December 10, 2020) by the President of the Nation Miguel Díaz-Canel.
"It is considered that the conditions have been created that allow announcing the start of the task as of January 1, 2021 with a single exchange rate of 24 Cuban pesos for one dollar"
Previously, words expressed by the mandatory. The long-awaited announcement that ends months of speculation about the “day zero”On which the CUC would disappear and on the new CUP exchange rate.
See exchange rate: https://www.bc.gob.cu/
More news on this topic: https://www.dw.com/es/cuba-unificará-monedas-a-partir-del-1-de-enero-de-2021/a-55901068
As of today: October 10, 2020, this information is becoming obsolete, because the country is turning to radical changes in the national currency, so we recommend reading sources from the country's official press: Granma, Cubadebate
Credit cards and traveler's checks are accepted from almost everywhere in the world. They are accepted without problems also those issued by Spanish, European or Canadian banks: International Visa, Eurocard, CABAL and BFI among others.
Our recommendation is that you bring a credit card for emergencies, but you must have loose money, because it is really very annoying to go to ATMs to withdraw money, because some have network problems. However, many private establishments accept payment in
CUC, CUP, USD, EURO
- High: July, August and from November 15 to April 30.
- Low: May, June, September and October until November 14.
Well, we have made a brief summary of how beautiful, casual, exotic and impressive a small island can be, just prepare the trip, visit our website, research us through our social networks so you can get to know us and get to know the beautiful from the Caribbean.
Part of the information we have presented to you is compilation of other websites:
and of course our experience, because we are cubans who want to show the world how beautiful the island is, but remember that the most beautiful part of the island is in the depths of the sea.