ABOUT CUBA

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Geographic situation In the center of the Caribbean at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico, the Cuban archipelago limits the North with the Straits of Florida, the East with the Paso de los Vientos, the South with the Caribbean Sea and the West with the Strait of Yucatan.

The territories closest to the Cuban archipelago are: Florida (US 180 km), Haiti (77 km), Jamaica (140 km), Yucatan Peninsula (210 km).

Surface 42,000 square miles and 460 miles of extension.

Weather Subtropical moderate. The Cuban territory borders on the Tropic of Cancer, and due to its long and narrow configuration, oriented from East to West, it receives the refreshing action of the trade winds and the marine breezes.

Temperature The average temperature is 24.6 degrees Celsius. The summer average is 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) and the winter average is 22 degrees Celsius (71.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Seasons Dry: from November to April. / Rain: from May to October.

Flora and fauna There are no animals or plants dangerous to man. They inhabit around 900 types of fish, almost 300 of birds; approximately 4,000 mollusks and almost 7,000 species of insects. More than 8,000 species populate its plant world; of them, half endemic. Its marine flora and fauna are considered among the most beautiful and best preserved on the planet.

State and Government The highest governing body of the Republic of Cuba is the National Assembly of People’s Power (Parliament), represented by the Council of State and with provincial, municipal and circumscription instances. The Council of Ministers is the executive body of the Council of State.

Language The official language is Spanish.

National flower The White Butterfly Species of endemic jasmine, used by Cuban women in the independence wars to pass messages to the battlefields.

National bird The Tocororo (Priotelus temnurus). Native bird of the quetzal family, reproduces in its plumage the colors of the Cuban flag: red, blue and white.

National Tree The Royal Palm. She is not a native of Cuba, but she is present throughout the country’s landscape and symbolizes the Cuban’s unyielding nature.

Flag Three blue lists (departments in which the Island was divided in the colonial era), two white lists (the purity of the people’s independence intentions), the red equilateral triangle (freedom, equality and fraternity), the white star (symbol of absolute freedom).

Shield It has the configuration of an ogival shield, in whose upper field appears a golden key that symbolizes the key position of Cuba between the two Americas, hence the name “The Key of the Gulf”. The rising sun symbolizes the emergence of a new nation. The three blue stripes separated by two white symbolize the national flag. The Royal Palm that appears in the third space or barracks, represents the national tree inserted in the Cuban countryside.

Population More than 11 million inhabitants.

Capital Havana, with almost 3 million inhabitants.

Political-administrative division 15 provinces (from West to East): Pinar del Río, Mayabeque, Artemisa, Havana, Matanzas, Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Sancti Spíritus, Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey, Las Tunas, Holguín, Granma, Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo, and the Special Municipality of Isla de la Juventud.

Education Teaching is free and compulsory until the ninth grade. Since 1961, illiteracy has been eradicated.

Culture Country prodigal in artistic manifestations and creators. Long is the list of writers, thinkers, dancers, musicians, painters, poets and singers. Cuban craftsmanship is interesting, with outstanding works in leather, vegetable fibers, wood, stone, metal and sea products. Cuba has innumerable theaters, museums, art galleries and cinemas. It hosts important international events such as the Casa de Las Americas Prize, the International Book Fair, the Ballet Festival, the plastic art biennials, popular music festivals and the Festival of New Latin American Cinema.

Health Health care is free. Cuba has one of the most complete primary care programs in the world and the lowest infant mortality rate in Latin America and even lower than in many developed countries.

Sport The practice of sport is free and massive. Cuba has a prominent place in world sport occupying a place among the top 10 countries for its results in the summer Olympics. And it holds world supremacy in several sports such as boxing, baseball (National Sports), women’s volleyball, wrestling and in various modalities of athletics.

Religion Lay country with freedom of worship. Catholic and Afro-Cuban religions predominate, although other tendencies also exist.

The official currencies are the Cuban Peso, which is equivalent to 100 cents and the Cuban Convertible Peso CUC, which is equivalent to 25 Cuban Pesos according to the established rate in the country.

Payment Methods Only Convertible Pesos are accepted. (CUC)

All payments in establishments that operate in freely convertible currency in Cuba are made exclusively in Convertible Pesos (CUC). The acceptance of Euros in the tourist poles is maintained: Varadero, Jardines del Rey, North of Holguín, Santa Lucía Beach in Camagüey, Covarrubias Beach in Las Tunas and Cayo Largo del Sur. The exchange of any exchange convertible currency can be made in banks and exchange houses CADECA. Credit Cards MasterCard, Visa and CABAL are accepted, as long as they have not been issued by North American banks. Traveler’s checks are not accepted.

More info at: www.cubatravel.cu | www.bc.gov.cu

Regulations and useful information

  • All visitors must have a valid passport in their name and the corresponding visa or tourist card, except in the cases of countries that have an agreement with Cuba with a free visa.
  • There is circulation of the European currency (EURO) in the destinations of Varadero, Jardines del Rey, North of Holguin, Cayo Largo del Sur, Covarrubias beach and Santa Lucia beach in Cuba.
  • All hotels have a current of 110 V. and flat spigot receptacles. In some installations it is possible to use the current of 220 V.
  • Cuba is governed by GMT Time. From March to October, summer time is adopted, going ahead 1 hour.
  • The departure tax at Cuban international airports is 25.00 CUC.
  • There is a diversified offer of taxi services, rental of cars, buses and motorcycles.
  • If you are going to leave Cuba with more than 23 Habanos, you must present the official purchase invoice and the original packaging with the new holographic stamp. Failure to comply with these requirements will be confiscated by the Customs of Cuba.
  • The people who live in the United States do not enter their passports in their passports.
  • Customs laws prohibit the entry of pornographic material, narcotics, narcotics, live animals and firearms, although the latter can be authorized, when it comes to weapons for sport hunting, by the entity in charge of this type of tourism.
  • The export of works of art, antiques, and other legally protected cultural assets is allowed, with the proper documentation of the competent institutions and accredited with the purchase invoice.
  • The maximum export value of other items is one thousand dollars. The crafts does not require documentation for export.

Tobacco The export of up to 23 loose cigars is authorized, without any other procedure or document to be presented.

More info at: www.aduana.co.cu