Cuba - a paradise for tourists, beautiful white sandy beaches with crystal blue waters, coral reefs and shoals for fishing, a variety of exotic flora and fauna - all this you will find in Cuba. The most successful are ecological tours: hiking, fishing, diving. Nature Cuba is amazing in its beauty. Plains and mountains, rivers and waterfalls, lush tropical foliage with bright scatterings gorgeous colors are striking. Attracts tourists and a rich cultural life of the island. There are numerous music festivals, Festival Ballet ...
The Republic of Cuba is located in the Caribbean Sea between North and South America and is the gateway to the Gulf of Mexico. Cuba has always attracted foreign tourists not only for its exotic tropical, but also special flavor of island life. In the Cuban archipelago includes the island of Cuba - the largest in the Antilles ridge, Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth, formerly Isle of Pines) and 4195 smaller islands and islets. With such an extended coastal strip, Cuba has 289 natural beaches, nature bestowed.
The island of Cuba, the island of Youth and other nearby islands and 1,600 islets form the Cuban archipelago, the total area of 110,992 square meters of the archipelago. km, of which almost 105 000 square meters. km are on the island of Cuba. The island - 1,250 km and the width varies from 32 to 210 km. On the shores of the island there is a 290 natural beaches, whose characteristics are perfectly safe for bathers.
Despite numerous political upheavals, which is so rich history of this country, Cuba remains one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Caribbean. Hundreds of thousands of tourists from around the world come to Cuba every year, attracted by its warm climate, beautiful sea, the rich history of the island and the famous Cuban cigars and rum.
Havana is located in the north-west of the island, and was founded in 1515 The town is very picturesque - magnificent mansions period of Spanish rule coexist with buildings in the style of "developing socialism", ultramodern skyscrapers - with shabby houses margins and grandiose hotels in the coastal part of the city - with numerous churches.
The historic core of the city - Old Havana, is located around the harbor and the bay of Havana. Narrow channel into the harbor on both sides protect the ancient fortress Castillo del Morro (1589-1630 gg.), Castillo de la Punta (Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta) and lighthouse (1845 .), and the western shore - forts La Cabaña (San Carlos de la Cabaña) and La Real Fuerza (1555-77 gg., the oldest fortification in America), which now houses the Museum of Ancient Arms . From the Havana Malecon (a favorite walking place of citizens, and the arena of the traditional Carnival in February), stretching almost under the walls of the forts, begins the main street of Havana - Paseo del Prado or simply Prado. Boulevard is one of the most important architectural monuments of Old Havana - paved with marble slabs and planted trees, built mansions in the picturesque old Spanish style, today it is one of the favorite holiday destinations. Prado is a building of the National Capitol, built in the image of Washington, are here placed Cuban Academy of Sciences, the National Library of Science and Technology and the National History Museum. Nearby are the former Presidential Palace (now - the Museum of the Revolution), the Governor's Palace (now - Museum of the City of Havana) and the memorial "Granma" in honor of the legendary yacht on which the Cuban revolutionaries led by Castro landed on the island in 1956
To the west of the bay lies a small chapel El Templet (1828) on the site of the city's founding, as well as beautiful architectural complexes of the Plaza de Armas (Plaza de Armas), with a magnificent building of the Palacio de Los Kapitanes-Henerales, Plasa- de la Catedral (cathedral Square), the Cathedral of St.. Christopher (1748-77 gg.), Plaza Vieja (Old Square) and the street Trocadero with the Palace of Fine Arts - one of the best art museums in the western hemisphere.
In Havana, many museums, among which stand out the Museum of the fight against illiteracy, the National Museum, Colonial and Anthropological museum, the house-museum of Ernest Hemingway in the estate "Vigia", the Historical Museum and Guanabokoa original "Wall Museum" bar "Bodeguita del Medio" , which houses a variety of autographs of famous people of the twentieth century. Be sure to visit the Monastery of Santa Clara (1644), the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (1656), the Town Hall (1792), the largest park in Havana Lenin, the Botanical Garden with a unique Japanese garden, as well as the largest in the Zoo America. Also of interest is one of the most magnificent monuments of the capital - the 18-meter sculpture of "The Havana Christ" next to the fortress of La Cabaña, cabaret "Tropicana", Museum of African Art in the open air - Ammel lane near Cayo Ueso, Garcia Lorca Theatre and Exhibition Center "Ekspokuba" and Theatre. Amadeo Roldan.
In the new part of Havana - on the waterfront in Vedado, along the Malecon and streets of La Rampa, there are numerous villas, hotels for every taste, and with excellent service and a well-equipped beaches. In the hills above the University of Havana's Vedado are (1728), Revolution Square with Memorial José Martí (1996) and an observation deck height of 138 m., Palace of the Revolution, administrative buildings and the National Library, and on the Gulf coast - one of the largest world of aquariums. Along the bay near Cubanacán runs a whole series of beautiful beaches and yacht clubs, as well as a large amusement park, and the river Almendares - District luxury mansions and luxury hotels in Miramar.
Near Havana, on the coast, the set of modern tourist facilities - the pioneer city of the five camps "Jose Marti" in the Tarara (11 km. Beaches) Soroa tourist center with an experimental station on cultivation of orchids (the second largest in the world), the beach area of Santa -Mariya (30 km. Havana), as well as Jibacoa, Arroyo Bermejo, El Salado, Eskaleras de Haruko, San Antonio de los Banos, Santa Cruz del Norte, and others where it is not only provided all the conditions for a relaxing beach holiday, but you can learn more about the daily life of Cubans.
Be sure to visit Latin America's largest area of karst caves in Pinar del Rio - Matanzas. Matanzas province itself is an independent tourist area, because the abundance of attractions on its territory, it can compete with any region of Cuba (and not only). In addition, it offers excellent access to both the beautiful beaches of Isla de la Juventud, Varadero and the archipelago Sabana, and to the wild, almost untouched by civilization, the southern shores of the Gulf of Batabanó. On the coast between the Bay and Batabanó Broa lies Zapata Peninsula National Park - a paradise for eco-tourism.
Matanzas, the provincial capital, attracts attention for its peace and quiet, as well as its five original bridges across rivers Yumuri and San Juan, thanks to which it is often called the "Venice of Cuba." Here, too, are such interesting objects as the highest bridge in the country - Bakunayagua (110 m.) Theater "Southey", a concert hall, "White", the chapel of Montserrat, Junco Palace Museum, the Castle of San Severino (1734) building the firehouse, Pharmaceutical Museum "Triolet", Government House (1853) and many interesting historical buildings. A few kilometers from Matanzas stretches an entire cave country where studied so far only about 30 rooms, which are more than 40 thousand. Years. Most are available to visit the cave Belyamar and Saturn.
In the west of the island lies the province of Pinar del Rio, which brought worldwide fame unique Viñales (included in the list of UNESCO world heritage) in the Sierra de los Organos, with bizarre rock formations "Mogotes", numerous traces of prehistoric human settlements , plantations of the world's best black tobacco, an extensive system of caves and springs of mineral water, as well, which is not surprising, with numerous tourist complexes. Also of particular interest to tourists are the oldest Spanish resort on the island - San Diego de Los Banos with unique mineral springs in the area, as well as the island of Lewis, Paraiso and Hutiya mountain Loma del Fuerte near Soroa, biosphere reserves Sierra -It Rosario and Guanaakabibes (also included in the list of UNESCO world heritage), excellent dive sites near Maria la Gorda.
Isle of Youth (formerly Pines), the largest in the archipelago of Los Kanarreos lies at the outlet of the Gulf Botabaev the Caribbean. Pines is considered one of the best places in the world for sport fishing and diving, its green banks slashed lots of bays surrounded by beautiful beaches and picturesque hill thickly overgrown with evergreen forests. Particular attention here is paid to the unique beaches Bibihagua black sand and Punta del Este, Indian rock paintings in the same Punta del Este, the infamous prison "Presidio Modelo" (here serving a prison sentence, Fidel Castro), El estate -ADB (has the status of National Monument) and reserve Los Indios - San Felipe and the Marine Park of Punta Frances. Nearby islands of the archipelago Los Kanarreos - Cayo Largo del Sur, Cayo Rosario and Cayo Kantiles Cayo Iguana, as well as along the so-called "Pirate Coast", has long earned a reputation of lovely places for scuba diving and ecotourism.
One of the best resorts in the Western Hemisphere - Varadero ("smolilnya"), located on the peninsula of Icacos, 130 km. east of Havana. Over 20 km, one after the other, stretch gorgeous beaches with white fine sand and amazing turquoise sea water, but here are built dozens of luxury hotels. Varadero beaches are among the three best beaches in the world, and on the security of these places are considered the best in Latin America. Varadero is very picturesque neighborhood, there are many unique places - Ambrosio cave with rock paintings, the national park of Varadero, crocodile nursery and dolphinarium, "the pearl of the Caribbean" - the combined bulk dam between themselves (and Cuba) of the island of Cayo Largo, Cayo Guillermo and Cayo -Koko, as well as many smaller islands south of several named for its excellent conditions "Jardines del Rey" ("King's gardens"). The resort has all the conditions for an active holiday - 23 diving center, a variety of pools, sports facilities and all kinds of boats, yachts, jet skis, paragliding, and more.
Lying south of the central province of Villa Clara Cuba covered with glory "barbudos" and Che Guevara, the famous resort Elgea with its mineral springs and healing large artificial lake Anabanilya, virgin islands Cobos, Las Brujas, Santa Maria, Frances and Ensenachos and carnivals San Juan de los Remedios, and a memorial of Ernesto Che Guevara.
Holguin is a 1.5-hour flight from Havana. It is the second largest resort region of the country after the Varadero - Havana. It was here, near Cayo Bariey, Columbus first set foot on the island (now a memorial acts and folk village Taino). On suspended bridges connected the islands are cozy "Cabañas" - houses on stilts built in the style of the ancient dwellings of the Indian tribe "Taino". It is here that the most beautiful beach of Cuba - Playa Esmeralda ("Emerald Coast"), the famous beach Gvardalavaka with beautiful coral reef and Playa Pesquero with exceptionally beautiful seabed. This is where there is the highest mountain peak in Cuba and the largest in Cuba Bay of Nipe. Local hotels are surrounded by tropical greenery and sandy beaches (more than 100) meet the highest international standards. There are many tiny islands, caves, rivers, waterfalls and natural mud springs. In the area of Haguey Grande is the tourist center of Guam with the largest lake of Cuba - Laguna del Tesoro, known for its large trout - known object of sport fishing, as well as a large population of crocodiles, turtles and fish manhuari. The nearby crocodile nursery.
The provincial capital, Holguin, is interesting for its Cathedral of San Isidoro, Provincial History Museum in the building "La Perikera" hill Loma de la Cruz (Hill of the Cross), which is a staircase to 458 degrees, the Museum of Natural Sciences "Carlos -de la Torre and Worth ", as well as unique archaeological excavation in Chorro de Maita and Banes (the richest collection of American Indian peoples of the Caribbean). Of particular interest are natural parks Bahia de Naranjo to the aquarium and La Mensur.
In the city of Santiago de Cuba, the capital of the eponymous province, and the former capital of the country, founded back in 1515, is a unique castle, Castillo San Pedro de la Roca del Morro (XVI-XVIII centuries. Listed as a cultural heritage Site), which is the world's only museum of history of piracy. Also interested in two theaters, seven museums (including such well-known as located in an old mansion in the Ethnographic Museum "La Isabelika", Natural History Museum, House-Museum of Velasquez, the Municipal Museum of Bacardi and the Historical Museum in the famous Moncada barracks), and well as the picturesque city's cathedral, conservatory, university, many cinemas, Jose Marti Mausoleum in the cemetery of Santa Sementerio Ifiheniya and others. But most importantly, what Santiago de Cuba is famous all over the country, it is their carnivals and festivals of fire. Usually they are held in the summer, and are particularly colorful and musicality. Also good island of Cayo Granma, on which the basilica Caridad del Cobre (the Blessed Virgin of Mercy of Cobra, 1831) - the patroness of Cuba.
Santiago de Cuba is surrounded by high mountains, which, combined with stunning sea coast, making it very suitable for active tourism. Natural Park Baconao declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve of world importance, and in the national park of Sierra Maestra concentrated the highest mountains in the country. The popular resort of Gran Piedra is located 34 km. from Santiago de Cuba at the height of 1128 m. at the foot of the cliff of the same name, and is famous for the beautiful nature and good climate. Close stretch of the original plantation horticulture farm and the Observatory of the Institute of Meteorology of Cuba, and the surrounding mountains laid a lot of trekking and nature trails.
Also worth visiting is the eastern province of Guantanamo, with its historic "city of palm trees" Baracoa (the oldest European settlement in Cuba) with three forts and beautiful beaches and Kahobabo Maguana and mountain landscapes array Nipe-Sagua-Baracoa, Moa National Park "Alexander von Humboldt . "Or drive along the entire province of Cienfuegos, known fortress Castillo de Jagua (1733-1745 gg.), Mineral springs Ciego Montero and Guahimiko beaches, Playa Ingles and Rancho Luna, as well as numerous historical buildings of the capital - the city of Cienfuegos. Do not miss Camaguey with its unique layout and turbulent history, the second-largest coral barrier reef near Santa Lucia and beautiful islands, among which stands out the island of Cayo Sabinal. Visit a "capital of Cuban sculpture" and the eponymous province - Las Tunas where many native folk traditions and rituals. Also good reserves of El Cabo, Cupello and others.
Subtropical, relaxed warm sea currents, bordering its shores. Maximum temperature of - 35 ° C - the case in August, while in January it may fall to 19 C. The water temperature ranges from 24 C in winter to 28 C in summer. The average temperature of - 25 ° C, relative humidity - 81%.
Far from Moscow winter time - 8 hours in the summer - 9 hours.
Spanish. In resort areas is widely used English, German, Italian.
Currency - Cuban pesos, equal to 100 centavos. Tourists should pay only USD amounts, therefore desirable to have more small bills. Upon delivery you can give the so-called convertible pesos. This kind of pesos equal to the dollar: 1: 1. This is a new Cuban banknote, which has nothing to do with "wooden" Cuban pesos. Not to be trapped - for convertible pesos should be written "convertible" (convertible). As a rule, they are given in small denominations of 1, 5, 10 pesos. The course of the old Cuban peso to the dollar is approximately 1:25. Cuban convertible metal loose change goes on a par with American cents. Often give change and both. In Cuba, accept major international cards VISA, MASTER, DINNER's CLUB. Credit cards issued by any bank the United States, are not accepted.
For Russians and citizens of Belarus, Yugoslavia, travel to Cuba for tourism purposes for a period of less than 30 days, if you have a tourist visa is not required voucher. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure. When departing to pay an airport tax of $ 20.
Major religion: Catholicism, distributed various African religions.
Holidays January 1-2 - Liberation Day (victory of the Cuban Revolution in 1959).
May 1 - International Workers' Day, Labor Day.
July 26 - Day of National Rebellion (the attack on the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba, July 25 and 27 also are public holidays).
October 10 - Anniversary of the beginning of the war for independence from Spanish rule, the Day of the Cuban Culture.
December 25 - Christmas Day.
Festivals famous Carnival in February, almost canceled in 1990 due to the difficult economic situation, today revived in Havana, Varadero San Juan de los Remedios, and Santiago de Cuba (July 24-26). Every 2 years in Havana International Guitar Festival is held (May). One of the most interesting events of the capital - "Karosas" ("Carnival chariots") when the 3 summer evenings in a row on a fantastic ride around Havana mobile stage platform, held processions "komparsas" (foot ensembles) and "munekones" (huge doll), numerous carnivals and musical performances. Also every Saturday in the summer in the capital are "Feria" - colorful fairs crafts. Caribbean Culture Festival held in June-July. The most famous festival of the country - International Festival of Latin American Cinema (December). Every two years (February) conducted the Havana International Jazz Festival. At the end of February in the capital hosts an international festival of Cuban cigars, as well as an International Theater Festival of Havana (once every 2 years, September) and Havana Contemporary Music Festival (Festival of Sound, October).
Culture Days held in Kamagneyane in the first two weeks of February, and in Baracoa Culture Week is held in April. Electroacoustic Music Festival of interest Varadero (April) and the folk festival "Romero de Mayo" (The May Fair) in Holguin (first week of May). In October, in Holguin passes Holiday Spanish-American culture. In late June, Trinidad takes "Fiestas Sanhuaneras" (Feast of Saint John), and in late November - "Semana de la Cultura-Trinitaria" (Culture Week Trinitarians).
Photographing military equipment, military and industrial enterprises is strictly prohibited. Refrain from almsgiving or alms to the poor and the children in the street. Cubans are strictly forbidden to beg, and plainclothes police patrol most of the tourist sites, so this may lead beggars begging in prison.
Traditional cuisine Cuba
Cuban cuisine is very distinctive and takes a lot of pleasant moments gourmets. Cuban culinary traditions are a mélange of Spanish, African and Creole cuisines and are based on the extensive use of pork, poultry meat, a variety of seafood, black beans and all kinds of spices.
One of the best national dishes - "Creole ahiako" - a satisfying spicy dish with pork and lots of vegetables. Interesting stew or fried with a variety of spices and bananas pork, a dish of shredded pork "tasaho" stewed chicken with rice "Arroz con polo", fried and baked bananas "Platanos" minced beef with rice "Piccadilly", a dish of rice and black bean "Moros and Cristianos", the world-famous Cuban boiled lobsters with lemon, turtle meat "tartuga" and krokodilyatina, assorted bananas and other ingredients - "fufu", as well as exotic turtle eggs.
Fruits are served almost any meal. Of the many species of native fruit is prepared and a huge number of independent dishes, among which interesting original fruit salads and cocktails, grilled pineapple and banana sauce, a variety of salads, fresh fruit chopped coconut, fresh fruit juices and others.
A separate article is the pride of the country - the famous Cuban rum and "aguardente". They are present on almost every desktop and are widely exported to other countries. The most popular varieties of rum "Havana Club", "Aneyho", "Pinar del Guayabita", as well as cocktails based on it - "mojito" (rum with ice and mint) and "daiquiri." There brew decent beer and "Crystal", as well as a variety of liqueurs, and even a kind of moonshine from sugar cane and other beverages. Coffee Cuban-- very strong and sweet, drink it in large quantities and at any time of the day.
Political system Cuba
Socialist Republic. The head of state - the chairman of the State Council. The highest organ of state power and the legislature - unicameral National Assembly of People's Power. Between sessions of the number of deputies of the Assembly of the Council of State is chosen, representing the Assembly. The highest executive and administrative body, which is the government of the republic - the Council of Ministers. Chairman of the State Council, as well as the head of state and government - Fidel Castro Ruz. Administratively, the country is divided into 14 provinces and one special municipality - the Isle of Youth.
Is about 11 million. Persons, of which 65% - white, 12% - negros, 22% - mulatto.
Prohibited the importation of products of plant and animal origin. Allowed to bring pets with the proper health documents.
Tourists do not have to fill out a customs declaration. Forbidden to bring into Cuba drugs and pornographic material, firearms, except for sport hunting rifles belonging to the tourists who come to the country for this purpose and have the appropriate permit issued on arrival in Cuba. Not allowed export of items that are a national treasure, precious metals, sea shells, antiques and certain species of plants and animals.
Personal belongings of the traveler are free from customs duties when imported in reasonable limits.
Medical aid Cuba
To travel to Cuba do not need health insurance. However, medical services there are quite expensive (but note that the Cuban dentists and especially 'stomatologini' are considered the most skilled dentists in the Western Hemisphere). In case of illness or accident, you risk being left penniless. We recommend to buy insurance. Costs vary depending on the duration of your stay in Cuba. In Moscow agency insurance is included in the total price of the tourist package and costs $ 10. Can insure against accidental trouble: for example, in the event that if you break the museum value. If you have an accident or you get sick, call your insurance company - employees are required to explain to you for a refund, you can expect and how you behave in this situation.
High probability of hepatitis, malaria and sunburn. It is recommended to drink bottled water and use sunscreen. Lifesaving drugs is better to take with you.
Cuba are found dangerous reptiles - caimans and boa, a lot of trouble can deliver sea urchins, some species of tropical fish and jellyfish, as well as sand flea, mosquitoes and malaria mosquito.
Bicycle. Around the city, many moved on bicycles. You can rent a bike at the Hotel Capri and Riviera ($ 1 per hour) or from a local resident for $ 1 a day. Leave a bicycle on the street can not. Better to do it on velostoyanke 1-2 pesos. With all the problems with the bike (flat tire, puncture, not adjusted the seat, etc.), please contact the small workshops Pocheria.
Car hire. An alien who is in Cuba, do without a car is very difficult. In Cuba, there are several companies that provide cars for rent. In general, car rental quite expensive ($ 60). With gasoline no problems, although the filling are much rarer than we used to. Outside Havana can easily find gasoline at $ 0.5. Per liter, but we should be careful not to have filled donkey urine. In addition, prior to taking a car you need to carefully inspect it for any defects that need to be marked in the contract. If the itinerary includes visits to the road with poor coverage (trips along the coast, leaving the beach), you should take only a jeep.
Rooms at the cars in Cuba have different colors, talking about accessories, a / b: yellow - a private, black - diplomatic, brown - rent-a-car. There are red, blue ... Police in Havana a lot, but a car with black and brown (tourist) numbers, it does not touch. Unless explicitly break the rules in the presence of a police officer, he has to turn away or lower the eyes - "did not see anything, so do not whistle." In addition, vehicles with such numbers enjoy certain benefits, such as passage through closed for repair of tunnels, connecting parts of Havana, parking in the wrong places, and others.
Potable water Cuba
It is recommended to drink bottled water.
Line Voltage 110/120 V, 60 Hz. An adapter is needed for flat rosettes.
In Cuba, imposed strict restrictions on smoking in public places, with the February 7, 2005 prohibited smoking in most institutions and enterprises of the public areas are cleaned vending cigarettes, prohibits the sale of tobacco near schools.
Cuba agreed to pay a tip of 5-15% of the cost of services. Porter, maid at the hotel provide 1 USD.
Helpful information Cuba
National Police: 82-0116
Fire brigade: 81-1115
Cardiovascular disease: 24-2811 to 24-2814