What to know before traveling to Cuba:
Before you start what we anticipate will be a wonderful travel experience for you and your party, let’s take a quick review of some key notes you should know about this amazing country. Whether traveling along, accompanied of your family or as part of an organized group, the experience of a trip to Cuba is one of a kind. The beautiful island of Cuba is the biggest island of the West Indies. Located just at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico, the island is bathed by both, the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, having the Strait of Florida northbound, the Yucatan Peninsula westbound, the Jamaica Island southbound and The Hispaniola Island to the East. Cuba is officially considered an archipelago, the main island surface is about 110000 Km2 and it’s formed by more than 4190 keys, isles and islands. The main Island is divided into 15 provinces and 168 municipalities.
The official language in Cuba is Spanish but you will find out that many people are openly enthusiastic to communicate in English, French, Russian, Italian or other languages.
The climate of the island is subtropical, with an annual overall temperature of 26 C. The country has two different stations, the rainy season with endurance from May to October and the dry seasons which runs from November to April.
Cuba’s population is 11.1 million of inhabitants according to the newest census conducted in 2012. The survey showed that the Island population was decreasing in more than 10000 inhabitants. There is a gender ratio of 0.99males per female in the country and the population density is 100.7 inhabitants per square kilometer. Cuba’s population is mostly white with 64.1%, mean while other minorities including mulattoes and mestizos represents the 26.6% and blacks people the 9.3%. The life expectancy for the country is about 78.0 years.
The Cuban people are very proud of their culture and conscious of the extension of their cultural roots, which could be defined as a rainbow of European, African and Asian Culture. For the Cuban people cultural expressions like religion, music, dance, literature and fine arts are main part of their soul. When you visit the country, pretty soon you will realize their love for music and dance, and their charming hospitality that make the pleasure of visitors.
Upon arrival to Cuba, a visitor should be in possession of a lawful valid passport on his name as well as a corresponding Cuban visa emitted by any of the Cuban Embassies or Consulates abroad, or a Tourist Card sold by Tour Operators and Travel Agencies. Any traveler holding a passport from any of the countries with Visa Exemption Agreements with the Republic of Cuba, is free to travel without visa. The Cuban tourist Card is valid for 30 days and might be extended directly at the Immigration offices in Cuba.
History of Cuba:
Cuba was discovered by Christopher Columbus in October 27th. 1492. The island was brutally colonized under a system of abuse that literally terminated the indigenous population, consequently the Spaniards decided to substituted the native population for slaves brought from Africa. Spain exerted its control on the Island for more than 4 centuries and the mix of European and African cultures forged the Cuban nationality. The Cuban people decided to fight for their freedom in 1868, and almost 30 years later, in 1898, the American government entered in the war that finished with the ouster of the Spain dominium on the Island. On May 20th. 1902 the Republic of Cuba was officially born with the election of the first Cuban president Don Tomas Estrada Palma. The following years the island enjoyed periods of political turbulences and periods of democracy up to 1952 when General Fulgencio Batista decided to overthrow the constitutional government. The country entered in a political turmoil that concluded with the victory of the armed revolution lead by Fidel Castro in January 1st. 1959. Once the Revolutionary Government was in control of the country, the island entered in a confrontational period with the American government and allied to the former Soviet Union for many years. Disappeared the communist ally, the island kept its controversial relationship with its neighbor up to the present days in which both governments finally entered in a process of negotiation to improve their diplomatic and economic relations.
The Cuban economy is nowadays immersed in a process of reorganization due to the fact that the soviet role model instituted in the Island wasn’t working properly. The country seems to be actively looking for foreign investors and is also implementing new internal strategies to stimulate the local entrepreneurs. The Cuban economy in our days is based on several different activities: the export of professional services, the biotechnology, the telecommunication and tourism; although others sectors like money remittance, pharmacy, nickel mining, cigars, coffee and rums are also significant contributions to the national economy.