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Cuba Quick facts
Language courses in Cuba - general information about Cuba

Cuba Quick Facts
Official Name:                           Republic of Cuba
Population:                               11 million
Capital City:                              Havana, pop. 2.2 million
People:                                    65 % Spanish, 12 % African descent, 23 % Mulatto
Official Language:                     Spanish
Religion:                                  85 % Catholic, 15 % Protestant
Currency:                                 Cuban Peso
Time Zone:                              Cuba is 5 hours behind GMT
International dialling code:         (+53)
 
Visas
To enter Cuba every tourist needs a passport (that is still valid for 6 months after arrival) and a tourist visa that normally can be purchased together with the flight. This tourist visa is usually valid for 30 days. At the immigration office one extension of 30 days can be made.  
Please verify requirements prior to departure.
 
Best time to go
Cuba´s climate is subtropical and due to its long tapered shape the island receives refreshing winds and a pleasant climate all year round. The dry season runs from November to April and the wet season from May to October. Average temperatures range from 26º to 28º C and the average rainfall 1320 mm. Cuba´s climate is generally marvellous with an average of 300 days of sun each year.
 
Money
Euros can be changed into the so called ´Peso convertible´ (CUC), which is the national currency of Cuba from last November 2004 onwards. 
Banks and exchange houses are open from 08.30 to 12.00 and from 13.30 to 15.00 during weekdays. Hotels will generally change money at any time. Please note: credit cards and traveller´s cheques issued in the US are not accepted anywhere in Cuba. Visa and MasterCard are no problem, but there is generally a small commission of 2-3 %.
 
Festival Calendar and Holidays

01 Jan:                         Liberation Day - Cuba’s liberation from the Batista dictatorship
01-14 Feb:                    Havana International Jazz Festival (every second year)
8 March                        International Women´s day
1 May                           Primero de Mayo (Labor day)
25-27 Jul:                     Celebration of National Rebellion
Mid July-Early Aug:        Carnival marking the end of the sugar harvest
Late Aug-Early Sep:       Havana’s international Theatre Festival
10 Oct:                         Official Day of Cuban Culture
Late Oct:                      Havana´s International Ballet Festival
25 December:               Christmas day

 
What to eat?
ajicaco:                        a typical meat, served with garlic and vegetable stew
fritura de maiz:             corn fritters, a fantastic snack
natilla:                          vanilla pudding, delicious!
flan:                             a small caramel Spanish pudding
tachinos:                      fried green plantain chips
platano frito:                 fried ripe banana, a must try, the best!
 
What to drink?
guarapo:                      a refreshing juice made from whole stalks of sugar cane
pru:                             interesting!
Cuba libre:                   cuban rum mixed with  some coca cola
mojito:                         made with rum, lemon juice, sugar, mint, soda
beers:                          try Hautey or Mayabe
water:                          you should always drink boiled water or mineral water
 
Tourist Office
Ministerio de Turismo, Havana: +53 (0)7 334 323 or
www.cubatravel.cu

 
Travel tip:
The best souvenir presents from Cuba are cigars, rum, coffee and the gorgeous artwork. Please note: when you leave Cuba, you may carry with you up to 23 cigars without having an official purchase receipt. If you carry more than 23 cigars you need to show the purchase receipt.
Richard Sloots & Susanne Janssen 2007-10-10
""After having received 3 weeks of Spanish classes in Santiago de Cuba we travelled on to Trinidad and Havana. Cuba is a beautiful country with a long history, friendly people and off cour..."   read more
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