Cuba is an incredibly popular Caribbean vacation destination and shows a very different face than the surrounding Caribbean islands. You will be charmed by the people’s “joie de vivre” which resonates in the many nightclubs and cabarets. Cuba is the mother of the Salsa, the Mambo, the Rumba and the Cha-Cha-Cha. Rich in culture, scientific discoveries, literature and education, Cuba is the largest island of the Caribbean. A package vacation deal to Cuba is delightful indeed! And for vacationers from Canada, fantastic last minute vacation deals are always available.
National symbols of Cuba:
National flower: The White Mariposa or Butterfly Jasmine
National tree: The Royal palm tree
National bird: The Tocororo
Surface Area of the Island of Cuba: 110 922 square km
General information for your vacations to Cuba
Required documents for your vacations to Cuba
• The tourist card is provided by the vacation wholesaler and given by the Travel Agents. It should be carefully conserved during the whole trip, since it will have to be given to the authorities of Cuba, at the end of your vacation.
• Valid passport for the entire duration of the vacation.
• A child of less than 18 years of age, travelling with only one parent must have an authenticated letter from the other parent authorizing the entry and the vacation.
The Climate in Cuba
Cuba has a Sub-Tropical climate. There are three seasons in Cuba.
• The colder season of Cuba extends from December to April. Average temperatures are between 21°C to 25°C – offering cooler temperatures for those who like Caribbean vacations without the intense heat.
• The rainy season in Cuba is from May to August with an average temperature of 30°C. The downpours although abundant are of short duration. From May to mid-June, they are more frequent. This season is great for deals and cheap last minute all-inclusive vacations.
• The typhoons and hurricane season in Cuba is between the months of November and September.
Average hours of sunshine in Cuba compared to Toronto and Montreal, Canada
Cuba: November - 6 hours, December - 6 hours, January - 6 hours, February - 7 hours, March - 8 hours, April - 7 hours
Toronto and Montreal: November – 2 hours, December - 2 hours, January - 3 hours, February – 4 hours, March – 5 hours, April – 5 hours
This information will help you to better choose your package deals to Cuba and other Caribbean destinations.
Your Health in Cuba
It is recommended, before going on vacation to Cuba or any other Southern vacation destination, to consult a traveler’s clinic. Keep in mind, however, that many tropical diseases such as malaria, typhoid, diphtheria, tetanus, polio and hepatitis A have been virtually eradicated in Cuba. During your trip, avoid bathing in any soft water banks, which can cause Schistosomiasis (bilharzias).
Clothing to bring and customs in Cuba
In general, cotton and linen clothing, loose-fitted and comfortable, are most appreciated in Cuba. As for all Caribbean destinations, a waistcoat or a long sleeved shirt is recommended for cool evenings and rubber sandals for the hot beaches. Eveningwear may be appropriate, given that certain hotels require a formal dress code (pants will be obligatory for men to wear in hotel restaurants of intermediate to luxurious categories). If you plan walking during your vacation, good shoes and a jacket for the mountain is a must. And pack an umbrella for the rainy season in Cuba!
Gastronomy in Cuba
Fish, seafood, pork, chicken. The food in Cuba, served in restaurants and hotels, is often the main criticism of tourists. For a country situated in the Caribbean and in the South, the dishes are sometimes a little bland. Nevertheless, Cuban cuisine, when prepared well, can be succulent. In Cuba, pork is the preferred meat of the islanders. Cooked in different ways (in the oven, roasted and fried), it is often brushed with mojo (an oil-based sauce), lemon and garlic. Don’t hesitate if you get the chance to savour it during your trip. Rice, plantain and manioc often accompany this meat. The arroz morro or congri is rice cooked with black or red broad beans, onions and spices, a real culinary experience. Oddly, in Cuba, fish is seldom eaten. Seafood, however, is served in numerous restaurants in Cuba.
Beverages in Cuba
Only in Cuba can you drink a real "Cuba libre" or a "Mojito".
In many cities of Cuba, you will be referred to family restaurants called “paladares”, where you will enjoy a great meal. Restaurant owners will take good care of you and will serve you a flavourful low-priced cuisine, as compared to restaurants of the State.
Purchases in Cuba
Here is your chance to collect inexpensive souvenirs. The local arts and crafts include lovely wooden sculptures or ceramic vases. Cigars (Montecristo or Cohiba brand) are a true bargain in Cuba. Don’t be fooled by fake Montecristo cigars sold on the streets – in original boxes and even closed with official seals!
Rum in Cuba is of very good quality and is inexpensive. The best is undoubtedly the Habana Club Anejo 7 años.
Public holidays In Cuba
• January 1st : Liberation Day
• January 6th : Day of the Uprising
• January, February : Varadero Carnival
• May 6th : Labour Day
• July 26th : Commemoration of the Assault of the Moncada Garisson
• October 8th : Anniversary of the death of Che Guevara
• October 10th : Anniversary of the beginning of the War of Independence in 1868.
- Travel Guide Ulysse, Canada 2nd edition
- Seasonal magazines of wholesalers of Quebec en voyages.
Internet Voyages, Canada - your best choice in Canadian online travel agencies