About Cuba

the most beautiful land that human eyes have ever seen

Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and has a population of about 11 million. It is surrounded by over 4,500 keys and islets, most of which are untouched. The country is in a state of flux because after years of economic dependence on the old Soviet bloc (and on the USA before that, and on Spain before that…), it is in the extremely difficult process of adjusting to life as a modern independent trading nation. It is still the subject of an American trading embargo. However, it is an exciting time to visit and one aspect of Cuban life which is not changing is the people’s natural friendliness and exuberance as expressed in their pulsating music.

Little has changed for hundreds of years

Cuba was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus who famously described the island as “the most beautiful land that human eyes have ever seen”; it is not difficult to see why. The scenery varies from snow-white sandy beaches, protected by virgin coral reefs, to tropical mountains smothered with palm trees, coffee plantations and tropical fruit. The lush valleys have clear unpolluted rivers meandering across a carpet of sugar, tobacco and citrus fruit. Little has changed for hundreds of years. Most of the country population still travels by horse or bicycle and many farmers still use oxen to plough the fields. It is a fabulous sight.

The wildlife in Cuba is largely untouched. Many areas are completely uninhabited and have been declared national parks. The birdlife is spectacular, ranging from the ‘Zum Zum’ – the smallest hummingbird in the world (which is fluorescent blue or green and is found in the western province of Pinar del Rio) to Flamingos.

The snorkelling and scuba diving in Cuba and its surrounding islands is some of the least spoilt in the world, mainly due to the lack of tourism. Most of the reefs are almost inaccessible due to the lack of facilities at most coastal towns. However, many of the mainstream tourist areas have reefs that will astonish most visitors.

Music is a way of life

Many areas exist in a ‘time warp’ where old American cars are predominant in the towns, and oxen and horses are still used extensively in agriculture. The beaches in Cuba are amongst the best in the Caribbean, and despite the rapid growth of tourism many are almost deserted. The countryside is both beautiful and unusual, with the huge ‘mogotes’ (Abrupt limestone mountains) in the Vinales valley, and many areas declared national parks to preserve the wonderful flora and fauna.

The Spanish Colonial architecture is spectacular, and pretty well preserved, Havana, Trinidad and Santiago are all world heritage sites. One of the most memorable aspects of Cuba is the friendliness and ‘joie de vivre’ of the people.

Music is a way of life in Cuba and the rhythms of Salsa, Bossa Nova and Rumba can be heard throughout the island. As a result nightlife in Cuba is great fun, and lasts till very late!!!

Health Protection
Required  None
Recommended  Hepatitis A, Polio, Typhoid, Tetanus, Malaria.
Most Cuban hotels have an in-house doctor.

Visa requirements
Valid passport and a Cuban tourist card (visa) are required to travel to Cuba. (We will obtain the Cuban tourist card on your behalf). We are not authorised to issue Cuban tourist cards to Cuban Nationals.