Cuba

"Pearl of the Antilles"

Cuba is a beautiful narrow island located in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the longest island in the Caribbean sea. Cuba consists of gorgeous rolling hills and white sandy beaches. This is an island brimming with vibrant art, soul-stirring music, and is soaked in charm. The island is a very popular tourist destination.

Climate:

The average climate is 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Historical sites:

Old Havana:

-founded in 1519

-once the largest port in the region

-a mix of Baroque and neoclassical monuments and narrow streets lined by private homes

-Highlights include the baroque Catedral de San Cristóbal (one of the oldest cathedrals in the Americas)


Parque Historico Morro y Cabana, Havana:

-Built by the Spanish beginning in 1589 to protect against pirates

-Visitors can also explore the ramparts, barracks, and a still-working lighthouse


Comandancia de la Plata, Gran Parque Nacional Sierra Maestra:

-Perched atop a mountain ridge usually shrouded by mist
-A rebel headquater

-Getting there involves a four-hour climb through the woods, but it’s probably worth it

-The main attraction is probably Casa de Fidel; which includes no less than seven secret escape routes

Monetary system:

The official currency is the Cuban Peso

Food:

Traditional Cuban cooking is primarily peasant cuisine that has little concern with measurements, order and timing. Most of the food is sauteed or slow-cooked over a low flame. Very little is deep-fried and there are no heavy or creamy sauces. Most Cuban cooking relies on a few basic spices, such as garlic, cumin, oregano, and bay laurel leaves.

Holidays:

Carnival:

The most famous of all Cuba festivals is the carnival at Santiago de Cuba, held annually from July 18 to 27. One of the most raucous of Cuban events the weeklong festival celebrates Cuban traditions dating back hundreds of years.

Trinidad Way of the Cross:

Another celebration of Cuban traditions takes place in the historic colonial town of Trinidad. The way of the cross procession winds through the cobbled streets, past centuries’ old churches and buildings. The Catholic celebration received new blessing from the Cuban authorities after Pope John Paul II visited Cuba and spoke critically of the U.S. embargo.