Monday, June 27, 2022

Traditions & Customs in Cuba

North AmericaCubaTraditions & Customs in Cuba

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Cubans are generally friendly and helpful people. Remember that they earn about US$15 a month; if they can help you, they probably will, but they expect you to return the favour. If you are invited to a Cuban’s house for dinner, accept the invitation. You will really be treated like an honoured guest. It’s a great way to get to know the culture. Of course, normal Cubans are not allowed to host this kind of event, but it comes naturally.

One way to help local Cubans is to stay in casas particulares, eat in paladares or private restaurants and shop from street vendors. While free enterprise is generally prohibited, a few years ago the government started selling expensive licences to people who wanted to open rooms in their houses for rent or set up a few tables on their porch and cook in their kitchen. Not only are the licences very expensive, but the fees have to be paid every month, regardless of income, so the less well-off have no money. Not only is it more attractive to stay and eat in a local’s house, but there is a direct benefit in one of the few options.

Traditionally, Cuba is Catholic, but the government has often suppressed expressions of faith. Recently, however, it has become less frowned upon since the visit of Pope John Paul II, and there are more important issues to deal with. Other religions in Cuba are hybrid religions that mix elements of Catholicism with others from traditional African religions. The most widespread is called “Santeria” and its priests can be recognised by the full white robe with beaded necklaces they wear. Women going through the process of becoming priests are not allowed to touch other people (among other things), so if the owner of your casa is aloof and dressed all in white, don’t be too surprised. There are many museums in Cuba (especially in southern cities like Santiago de Cuba) that describe the history and traditions of the Santeria.

How To Travel To Cuba

By air Havana Jose Martí International Airport, outside Havana, is the main gateway and is served by major airlines from points in Canada, Mexico and Europe. A direct flight to Beijing was introduced in 2016. There are also regional flights from other Caribbean islands. Cuba's national airline, Cubana de Aviacion, connects...

How To Travel Around Cuba

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Visa & Passport Requirements for Cuba

A tourist visa (visa de tarjeta del turista) is required for travellers from most nations. This visa, which is little more than a piece of paper on which you write your personal details, costs between 15 and 25 CUC (or €15-25), depending on where it is purchased. It can...

Tourism in Cuba

Tourism in Cuba is an industry that generates more than 2 million arrivals per year and is one of the island's main sources of income. With its favourable climate, beaches, colonial architecture and distinct cultural history, Cuba has long been an attractive destination for tourists. "Cuba maintains 253 protected...

Destinations in Cuba

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Weather & Climate in Cuba

As the entire island lies south of the Tropic of Cancer, the local climate is tropical, tempered by the northeast trade winds that blow all year round. The temperature is also determined by the Caribbean Current, which brings warm water from the equator. Cuba's climate is therefore warmer than...

Accommodation & Hotels in Cuba

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Things To Do in Cuba

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Food & Drinks in Cuba

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Money & Shopping in Cuba

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Language & Phrasebook in Cuba

The official language of Cuba is Spanish, very similar to the Spanish of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, although the version here is very different from that spoken in Spain (although it is quite similar to that spoken in the Canary Islands, as many Cubans are descendants of...

Internet & Communications in Cuba

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Culture Of Cuba

Cuban culture is characterised by a melting pot of different cultures, mainly from Spain and Africa. After the 1959 revolution, the government launched a national literacy campaign, offered free education for all and established rigorous sports, ballet and music programmes. Music Cuban music is very rich and is the best known...

History Of Cuba

Before Christopher Columbus landed in Cuba in 1492, the Taino people had long lived there. In 1511, the first Spanish settlement was founded by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar in Baracoa, and other towns soon followed, including the future capital San Cristobal de Habana (Havana), founded in 1515. Cuba remained a...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Cuba

Stay Safe in Cuba Cuba is generally a very safe country; strict and extensive policing, coupled with neighbourhood watch groups (known as the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution, or C.D.R.) generally keeps the streets free of violent crime. Drug laws can be harsh and their enforcement unpredictable. The same...

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