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Everything you Should Know before Visiting Cuba

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Cuba is a beautiful island, where kind people live. People who love music and dancing. The Cuban is educated, helpful, expressive and imaginative workers. They also are cheerful, unprejudiced, intelligent, friend of jokes and parties. They like to smile and communicate. They also know how to live their inner lives. When you visit Cuba have in mind that any occasion starts a party and the dance begins.

The Cuban is a mixture of Africans and Spaniards. Cuban women are beautiful by nature. Currently the Cuban population is getting older. The reason is that young people prefer to emigrate to other countries seeking better jobs. The largest community of Cubans abroad is United States, Spain and Mexico.

Cuba is one of the Caribbean countries with the most heritage assets recognized by Unesco

More than 20 expressions, manifestations and knowledge constitute the Cultural Heritage of the Nation. Some as peculiar as the Tobacco Readings and the Knowledge of the rum masters. Music and dance have been declared Cultural Patrimony of the Cuban Nation: repentismo, for its indisputable cultural value and for the historical role played by the poets since the wars of Independence until today. 

The rumba as one of the most genuine dance and community music expressions of Cuban national culture, which has become part of a popular conscience, a way of life, a social behavior, a way of dressing, of talking, of communicating. El danzón, a dignified expression of traditional Cuban music and an outstanding element of the nation’s intangible cultural heritage.

World Dance Council

The Traditional Festivities

The traditional festivities par excellence are the carnivals, the charangas, the parrandas, the peasant parties and the patron saints.

The most popular are

  • Bandos de Majagua, in the province of Ciego de Ávila
  • Carnivals of Havana and those of Santiago de Cuba
  • Las Charangas de Bejucal, in the province of Mayabeque
  • The Romerías de Mayo, in the city of Holguín
  • The Parrandas de Remedios in Villa Clara

The typical garments are

  • The guayabera, considered in Cuba as a piece of both gala. Also known as the “Mexican wedding shirt”.
  • The Cuban gown, a traditional female garment dating back to the 19th century.
  • The yarey hat, an essential accessory for the Cuban. 

Among the most significant dishes of Cuban food, are the Ajiaco, Casabe, Buñuelos, Tamales, Tostones, Roasted Pork and Congrí.

As for typical Cuban drinks, there are Café, Champola, Guarapo, Oriental Pru, Cuba Libre, Daiquirí, Mojito and Piña Colada. Its distinctive features are associated with the conditions of the tropical climate and the production of sugar cane generally, resulting in a mixture of frozen and sweet drinks.

Caves of Bellamar (Matanzas). Credits Varadero Tour Taxi

Places To Visit In Cuba

Viñales Valley (Pinar del Rio) It is one of the most known and attractive areas of Cuba, presents a scenario Exceptional, and harmonious action of man in the cultivation of minor fruits, fodder and Essentially the cultivation of tobacco, whose traditional methods of cultivation and production, achieve the Universal recognition of habano.

Caves of Bellamar (Matanzas) For the beauty of its gallery and caves, the important finds Paleontological, in addition to a wide range of crystalline processes were declared National Monument. The Caves of Bellamar are located on the north coast of Cuba, about five kilometers from the center of the city of Matanzas. Adapted for tourism since almost its discovery, the visitor inside can appreciate the effect of time on its beautiful stalactites, stalagmites and other formations. The galleries and passages of these caves began to form about 30 million years ago.

Villa Guamá (Matanzas) Located in the National Park Ciénaga de Zapata, Attractive and rare in its Architecture, being a faithful reproduction of the houses built by the aborigines. In a special environment for direct contact with nature surrounded by water and beautiful plants.

Cubanacan

Trinidad (Sancti Spíritus) the third town founded by the Spanish crown in Cuba, is one of the cities better preserved not only from Cuba, but also from America.

Topes of Collantes (Sancti Spiritus) National Park where you can enjoy the Cuban nature in pure state very close to Trinidad.

City of Cienfuegos (Cienfuegos) City of notable heritage buildings, exhibits a Preserved historic center declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, in which outstanding buildings of diverse styles that follow each other harmoniously, and a layout which confirms it as the Pearl of the South.

Varadero (Matanzas) The closest point to the United States, it has 30 km of extension of which 22 km are beaches. It is the main tourist destination of Cuba. With the largest hotel network in the country and a very large extra-hotel offer Varadero beach acquires a very relevant value as a tourist destination not only in Cuba but also in the Caribbean.

Varadero (Matanzas). Credits Muéstrame Cuba

Cayo Largo del Sur (isla de la juventud) It is one of the Cuban tourist destinations par excellence, isolated and quiet. Cayo of coral origin in the form of bar with modern and comfortable hotels. It is located in the Caribbean Sea.

Los Canarreos Archipelago It is one of the Cuban tourist destinations par excellence, isolated and quiet, well preserved; has the exact image of a Caribbean site with coconut trees, beaches of fine white sand and turquoise waters where they still come to spawn turtles. It has beautiful coral reefs where fish and crustaceans live.

Cayo Guillermo (Ciego de Avila) Key with high degree of conservation of the interesting flora and fauna that the Dwells and beautiful beaches, has just 13 km² of surface, has three beaches with calm water with a total length of 4 km, among which is particularly striking the attention Playa Pilar. In this key the highest dunes of the insular Caribbean with 15 meters of height.

The Beaches of the East Are located very close to the city of Havana and after the tunnel of the bay there are a series of beaches seven in total very frequented by the habaneros.

Although each of them has a different name, Cubans and tourists visit the beaches where they rent sunbeds, umbrellas, Coca-Cola and Havana Club, horses are also rented, you can eat sandwiches or sit at a table to taste a roasted fish; There is everything you need to feel comfortable with a sea,  opposite, at 25º C or more. It is the favorite beach of the Italians; on weekends, the locals go cycling. From the beach of Santa María, you follow the shore of the sea towards Boca Ciega, familiar beaches where the Cubans go often to eat outdoors, to reach the town of Guanabo.

Book to Cuba

What To see In Havana

The National Capitol It is one of the most emblematic buildings of the city, hosted great part of the political life of Cuba marks the km 0 of the country.

The Cathedral of Havana It is a building of baroque style, inside the Cathedral are several tombs of bishops and illustrious personages of the city and of Cuba, in her were deposited the ashes of Christopher Columbus, the discoverer of Cuba and the new world, until the end of Spanish domination on the island.

The Templete Small Greco-Roman temple erected in 1828, in this place on November 16 of 1519 the Spanish colonizers created the town San Cristóbal de la Havana.

La Bodeguita del Medio It’s a typical Havana restaurant and one of the great places tour of the city, where many visitors have gone, from writers to politicians ,all of them leave their mark on the premises through some souvenir, photos, objects or graffiti in their walls.

National Museum of Fine Arts It is the institution charged with treasuring, restoring, preserve, promote and investigate the works that are part of Cuba’s plastic heritage. Has the most important collection of Cuban art, which stretches from the sixteenth century to our days.

Castle of the Morro Old Spanish fortress that was created for the defense of the city of the Pirate attacks and corsairs.

 

 

Malecón Habanero Cuba’s most famous maritime avenue; with its six lanes is finished by a wide sidewalk, crowned by a wall that serves as a seat for thousands of people that contemplate the sea.

José Martí Memorial The José Martí Memorial of Revolution square is the largest monument dedicated to the national hero of Cuba, José Martí.

Museum of the Revolution Formerly the presidential palace, today it is considered within the most important Cuban museums, for the amount and value of its heritage, by the extent of its exhibition and by its cultural, historical and political work.

Necropolis of Cristóbal Colon Great funerary urban set, owns more than 130 years of existence, declared National Monument.

Plaza de armas It is the generatriz point of the city of Havana (1519).

Palace of the Captains General Museum considered the most important work architectural development of the entire Baroque development in Cuba.

Convent of San Francisco de Asís It was the distinctive element of the presence of the Franciscan Order in the American continent, who had as responsibility the Evangelization of the people of America is a World Heritage Site.

Alameda de Paula It was the first promenade of the Cuban capital old square: It was the second place in Havana.

El Callejon de Hamel Mural on the public thoroughfare dedicated to Afro-Cuban culture.

Hotel Nacional de Cuba Hotel emblem of the Cuban hotel industry a part of its museum.

Tropicana Cabaret with more than seven decades, known as Paradise under the stars, one of the most famous of the Caribbean.

Wilderness Trave

Night Life

There are varied places in Havana to enjoy in the night between them Miramar music house / Havana café / El Gato Tuerto / La Zorra y el Cuervo
Cabaret Parisien / Tropicana / Jazz café /El turquino

There are private night spots, which I visit when I go to Havana Cuba and are extremely good places to meet Cubans.

1. King Bar ( Vedado )
2. La casa de la Música de Galiano ( Centro de Habana)
3. Bar Mío y Tuyo ( Miramar) 
4. Bar Restaurant Media Luna (Vedado )
5. La fábrica de Arte ( Vedado )

 

CNN.com

Travel Tips to Save you Money and Effort

Change only what is necessary. It is better to go changing the money according to your needs, not change or buy on the street with strangers. It is better to take with you your own water. Buy a good amount of bottles for your lodging or gallons of water in the supermarket and always carry your own container wherever you go.

You will save many times in establishments adulterate the price of the products. When you go out to eat outside it’s good to always check the bill and not order dishes that are not on the menu. Choosing a well communicated area is an indispensable pillar to visit Cuba.

In addition to allowing you to enjoy the cities as much as possible, you can save a lot of money on transportation. The areas near the urban center are always a good choice . Also, a private home is a good option as long as it is reliable. 

The beaches and fields that circling the Island are true jewels that you can enjoy without spending much. Take everything you need, from medicines, sunscreen, deodorant, perfume, toothpaste, toothbrush, repellent, cream, beach towel, compresses. Clothing must be comfortable and appropriate for every occasion. In Cuba everything is more expensive and sometimes with money you can not find.

 

Read Also  Why Alcatraz Is Nothing Short of an Unforgettable Experience

 

Feature Image Wendy Perrin

Giannis Sore

Giannis Sore

Giannis is an IT enginner from Athens.
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