Cuba Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Havana tourist information, Cuba food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Havana. Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Full country name: Republic of Cuba
Area: 110,860 sq km
Population: 11,478 milion (July 2010 est.)
Capital City: Havana
Language: Spanish
Religion: nominally 85% Roman Catholic prior to CASTRO assuming power; Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews, and Santeria are also represented
Government: Totalitarian communist state
Time Zone: GMT/UTC - 5
Dialling Code: 53
Electricity: 110-230V, 60 Hz
Weights & measures: Metric with US and Spanish variations

Money & Costs:
Currency: Cuban Peso (CUP)
Average yearly salary: USD14,700

Budget: US$3-7
Mid-range: US$7-15
High: US$20+
Budget: US$10-60
Mid-range: US$60-160
High: US$200+

Geography: Cuba is an island located in the Caribbean. It is the largest island of the West Indies group. The country lies west of the North Atlantic Ocean, south of the Straits of Florida, east of the Gulf of Mexico and north of the Windward Passage and Yucatan Channel. The island is mountainous in the south, and flat or rolling elsewhere. The coastal area has numerous white sand beaches, mangroves and marshes. Cuba has also got numerous smaller islands, cays and islets.

Climate: Cuba has a tropical/subtropical climate with hot weather throughout the year. The climate is moderated by trade winds. May – October is the rainier season, whereas November – April is the drier season. Hurricanes are possible in autumn (June – November). The average temperature in January is about 23 C (74 F) with January and April being the coolest months. The highest temperature is about 27 C (81 F) in July.

Recommended clothing: Lightweight cotton clothes are recommended throughout the year, as well as light waterproof clothes and shoes. Cuban men do not wear shorts away from the beach. Visitors doing so are not frowned upon, but they may receive the odd sideways glance. Women should cover their legs and shoulders if visiting churches. Cuban women tend to dress up for evenings out.

Social conventions: Cubans address each other as Compañero, however, you should use Señor or Señora, since you do not know the people.

Health: Some emergency treatment services are provided free of charge, but you should still obtain a health insurance while at home. The standards of health facilities and doctors are of high quality, but some drugs may be on short supply. Dengue fever may occur, particularly in urban areas such as Havana and Santiago. Rabies is present, therefore vaccinations should be considered. Since not all of the tap water is treated, you should buy bottled water instead.

Food & Drink: Cuban cuisine is a mix of Spanish, African and Caribbean cuisines. Since Cuba is an island, seafood is plentiful, and because it has a tropical climate, various fruits and root vegetables are also widely used. The most popular side dish is rice and black beans. The main dish is usually some sort of meat with a light vegetable sauce. The most popular sauce is called Mojo or Mojito; it is made of oil, garlic, onion, orange or lime juice and oregano spices. Stews and soups are also common, such as corn stew, corn soup (guiso), caldosa, etc. Sweet drinks are made of the cane juice and the molasses. From alcoholic drinks, the best are considered to be rum and beer, but in a bar you will most probably be offered daiquiri, a drink made of white and dry rum, lemon juice, sugar and pricked ice.

Public Holidays:
1 Jan New Year's Day
2 Jan Victory of Armed Forces
May 1 Labour Day
May 20 Independence Day
Jul 25 - Jul 27 Days of Rebelliousness
Oct 10 Anniversary of the beginning of the War of Independence in 1868
Des 25 Christmas Day

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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