Get to know Cuba even before travelling
Cuba has a wide hotel chain that comprises either fancy hotels, or hostels, and even villas. However, in the last few years, private lodging facilities, which are known as “Casas Particulares”, have become very popular, and nowadays you can find them in each important tourist destination on the island. .
This kind of accommodation, not only offers the traveller the opportunity to know Cuba from inside, but also to interact with Cuban daily life, its customs, as well as its happiness, and dilemmas of the locals. In addition to that, this kind of accommodation, is much more economical for the tourist, and offers the Cuban Family a new source of income. Nowadays most of these “Casas Particulares” offer extra services such as Laundry service, taxi service, dance lessons, and food. .
In order to have a better experience, if you decide to stay at a Casa Particular, make sure it has a special permit to rent out rooms to foreigners. Not having this legal authorization can bring about problems to the owner of the house and the tourist.
Cuba has a transport infrastructure that enables it to keep a good land or air connection among all the cities of the country. In order to enjoy these services you can pay with either of the two currencies. In general, prices in tourism are different from the ones the general population has to pay.. In the country there are several airlines that are in charge of passenger and cargo transportation, among them: “Cubana de Aviación” is one of the oldest and biggest ones, therefore it covers the main destinations in the country with regular trips. . On the other hand, the bus is the most used means of transportation in the country because it has several daily trips and links every tourist destination with the national capital city. However, in Cuba there are several car-rental companies, besides other companies that offer taxi service with economical prices. Private taxis are also a choice that should be considered.
Officially, in Cuba there are two currencies: Peso Cubano (Cuban Peso), also known as CUP, and the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC). Both currencies can only be gotten and used in the national territory. The exchange rate between these two currencies is as follows: 1 CUC to 24 CUP.
Under the present regulation, no other currency has validity of circulation in Cuba, therefore when you get to Cuba; you should change some of your money at the offices that aim at this kind of operation, which are located at airports, hotels, banks, and exchange bureaus known as “Cadeca”. Every currency exchange made is valued in relation to the CUC, and it is fixed by taking into consideration the kind of exchange in the international market. There is a purchase exchange rate and another one for sales. In the case of American Dollars, a ten-percent tax is applied. The purpose of this measure is to protect the economic interests of the country
Just like in every Latin American Country, in Cuba there is a strong presence of Catholicism. Religious syncretism is one of the elements that characterize the country, though. Together with the catholic believes, other African religious manifestations have rooted on the island due to the slave trade during the colonial epoch .
Other expressions of faith spread in the Cuban Society are spiritualism, Protestantism, which was popularized in the first 50 years of the republic, and Judaism, recently started in Cuba, and practiced mainly by people belonging to the Hebrew community. Cuban Masonry, another manifestation of faith and brotherhood, nowadays has more than 20000 members along the country.
The weather in Cuba is predominantly warm most of the year. The temperature usually varies between 25ºC and 26ºC, but it can even reach 31 degrees Celsius. That is why it is advisable to wear light and fresh clothing items, preferably cotton, either in the day or at night. Between November and April, which is our winter time, temperature can drop to 14ºC. Between May and October we have our summer, that is why it is the hottest time of the year.
Besides, the average relative humidity is very high in the country, with an average higher than 70%, especially in the mountainous regions. Concerning the rainy season, it is found more often during May and November. This element is variable, though.