It’s no secret that Cuba is a travel destination, but here are some basics you should consider before arriving there:
- Cuba has a rich and ancient history that can be traced back to the first inhabitants. The island has been inhabited for thousands of years, with the first settlers believed to be the Taíno Indians and before the arrival of the Spanish, the Mayans. The Taínos were driven from their native lands by the neighboring Arawak and Carib people, and the survivors were then absorbed into a new tribe, the Ciboney.
- Cuba has a natural beauty that is unmatched by others. The Caribbean Sea boasts a string of stunning islands that have been protected by the Cuban government since 1959. The islands’ small size makes them perfect for diving, snorkeling, or just relaxing all day in the sun and they are home to a bunch of natural wonders.
- Cuba has a diverse culture that is unique to no other country in the world. The main reason people travel to Cuba is because of the country’s unique blend of Cuban and Latin American culture, which makes it one of the most interesting destinations in the world. Cuba is different when compared to other Latin American countries, for its economic and political system is a curious mixture of socialism and capitalism.
- Cuba has a great musical history that has contributed and influenced a great deal of what you hear today. There is a rich history of music in Cuba, for example, from classical music to salsa music. Cuban music has also influenced the modern music scene. The most popular Cuban musician of all time was the pianist and composer Ernesto Lecuona, who was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- Cuba has its own interesting dialect, which is different from the Spanish that is spoken in Spain. Cubans have a unique language they call “Cuban Spanish” (also known as Castellano Cubano), which is different from the Spanish spoken in Spain. In fact, many people who are fluent in both Spanish and Cuban Spanish do not speak the same way.
- Cuba is an island nation that is far from home but still very much a part of the world at large. Cuba is far from the United States but still “home.” Though not officially part of the US, it’s still been a part of the US for over 60 years. It’s the only country that’s been a part of three different American Presidents’ administrations over that time. And it’s the only country that’s ever been occupied by the US and returned to independence.
- Cuba is known for its strict anti-American policies. The US has had a strained relationship with Cuba since it was established in 1903. Through this time, the US has tried to maintain a strict embargo on Cuba to prevent the country from becoming a full member of the Communist Bloc. This has proved to be a difficult task to achieve, and the US has continued to label Cuba as a “terrorist state.” As such, they are prevented from trading with Cuba.
- Not all foreigners are allowed in Cuba. If you’re going to stay for more than 72 hours, you need to apply for a special visa. However, with recent changes in the political landscape of the island, you can no longer apply for a visa online and must fill out an application at the Cuban embassy in your country. It is now mandatory to have a ticket or itinerary to the country (not the airline ticket, but the itinerary to the country, which will be created by the Cuban government) to be able to get a visa.
- Cuba is one of the last great destinations for tourists who want to escape their daily routines and spend a few months doing what they love. It is a country that is rich in history and culture, but it is also extremely modern. Its architecture is one of the most beautiful in the world, its people are welcoming and friendly, and the country’s beaches are famous the world over.
- Most Cubans also speak some English, and some of them even speak French, Italian, or other languages. You may be surprised to learn that much of the population is still bilingual, especially if you visit Cuba during tourist season.
Cuba is an amazing place that you should visit. You might be a history buff, a foodie, a beach lover, or more. However, you don’t want to waste your time and money in a place you don’t know much about, right? That is why make sure to know some essential things about the country before you visit.