Cuba: everything you need to know before visiting the country of Havana

In the Caribbean is Cuba, a communist state with a strong charisma. It is characterized by its history, its heavenly beaches, its colorful buildings, its tobacco fields intended for the manufacture of cigars, but above all by its cars from the 1950s. In recent years, this country has opened up to tourists for the most great pleasure from them. If you too want to stay here, here is what you need to know. 

Summary

  • Daily life
  • The specificities of the country
  • Things not to miss

Daily life

To prepare for a trip abroad, it is important to know certain parameters.

The official language in Cuba is Spanish.

The currency of exchange is the Cuban peso.

The GMT time is -5:00.

The capital of the country is Havana.

The specificities of the country

Cuba has a well-defined identity, so many specialties emerge.

cigars
Credits: Pxhere

The most famous specialty of the country is obviously the Cuban cigar called “habano” or “havana”. Many tourists buy them as a souvenir or to mark their stay. You can also visit the plantations and factories that make these famous cigars. For this, go to  Piñar del Rio in particular to discover an exceptional quality of tobacco.

When we think of Cuba, we immediately think of the colorful buildings and the cars from the 50s parked in front. To find your happiness and admire all this, you just have to walk through the streets of the capital.

Rum and coffee are also two must- haves on the island. Rum lovers also qualify that of Cuba as one of the best on the market. The coffee is also of excellent quality, but is rarer. Indeed, it is grown only on the western part of the island. In terms of gifts, these two specialties are likely to make people happy.

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On the gastronomic point:

  • Rice  and black beans :  over there, we call this dish “congrí” or “moros y cristianos”.
  • Cochinito : this is grilled or fried pork in the form of a mechoui. It is called “pùa”.
  • La ropa vieja :   this dish is emblematic of Cuba. It contains beef shredded into long strands.
  • Lobster and crab : these two seafood are widely cooked throughout the country.
  • Plantain banana  : called “plátano”, it is considered a vegetable. It is served fried in the form of crisps.

Things not to miss

Cuba
Credits: Pxhere

Walk around Havana

It is the essential city of Cuba! This one has everything to seduce and is very representative of the country. You can discover many colonial buildings and the famous colored cars, all in a warm atmosphere.

Relax on a heavenly beach

We do not count the number of heavenly beaches there are in the country! Some are well known such as Las Coloradas, Playa Larga, El Paso or Cayo Largo. Nothing is more pleasant than lying in this white sand and enjoying the heat.

The Vinales Valley

In the west of the city you will find the Viñales Valley which is a must for people who appreciate the beautiful natural landscapes, fauna and flora. You can go for long hikes or even horseback riding.

Getting to the most Caribbean of Cuban cities: Santiago

Located to the east of the peninsula, Santiago is the former capital of Cuba. This city is very lively, with an important heritage. You won’t be bored there.

Visit Trinidad

Due to its incredible architecture, Trinidad is a must-see city in Cuba. It is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Go to Isla Juventud

The Isle of Youth is the second largest Cuban island. There, you can discover two cities, Nueva Gerona and La Fé, which seem to have remained in the 70s. But above all, you can bask on its magnificent paradisiacal beaches.

learn salsa

How can we talk about Cuba without talking about salsa? During your stay, you will certainly have several opportunities to dance this dance so famous on the island. Whether it’s a lesson with a professional or locals who invite you to learn salsa, do not miss an opportunity, because you will surely regret!

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Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

I am Mohamed SAKHRI, the creator and editor-in-chief of this blog, 'Discover the World – The Blog for Curious Travelers.' Join me as we embark on a journey around the world, uncovering beautiful places, diverse cultures, and captivating stories. Additionally, we will delve into mysterious and, at times, even bizarre destinations.

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