Country - Cuba
Cuba Country Information
Cuba is a nation which is no longer an exhibitor of ancient buildings but oozes with modernity competing with the developed nations of the world. Geographically, Cuba being an island itself, has small other islets in its jurisdiction, with Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth) as a bigger cousin among them.
The capital Havana city of Cuba is 171 kilometres from the Key West island, Florida, USA. Cuba is a group of islands situated in the confluence of Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Cuban archipelago is surrounded by the waters of Caribbean sea. Its northern frontier is separated from USA by the Straits of Florida. To the southern border of Cuba in Caribbean Sea lie Jamaica and Cayman islands. Cuba has in its north eastern side the Bahamas and several other small islands.
The Republic of Cuba remains still as one of the last nations of the world surviving under communist rule. The country was under Spanish colonization till 15th century. As a consequence of American victory in 1898 over Spain, the country continued as an US protectorate till 1902. The successive internal fights of power finally resulted in communist rule by Fidel Castro who served as Prime Minister for 17 years from 1959 and continued his political supremacy as its President for an uninterrupted span of 32 years till 2008 when he forced himself to step down due to serious health problems handing over stewardship to his brother Raul Castro.
For the travellers, Cuba seems like a war veteran yet with a friendly façade. Although there had been an official discrimination between the natives and foreign tourists for some time and the contact between Cubans and foreign visitors was prohibited between 1992 and 1997 which was seen as “tourist apartheid”, it has been relaxed in subsequent years considerably, making it almost non-existent currently. The market share of Cuba in Caribbean tourism has grown three-fold in recent times and the infrastructure for tourism has improved substantially well.
The following are some of the major tourist attractions in Cuba:
The national monument in Havana, Necropolis Cristobal Colon, the main cemetery does not appear as haunting place of dead bodies but a centre that lifts up the spiritual sentiments and serves as an educational site to the visitors with its densely located marble statues of historical, cultural and philosophical prominent figures of the nation.
The San Pedro fort stands regally as a UNESCO Cultural World Site before the portal of Santiago harbour, fifteen kilometres from the city. The castle has a lot of historical facts in its kitty dating back to sixteenth century, apart from offering to viewers an astonishing spectacle of seashore from a height of sixty meter highland construction.
The Roof Garden Restaurant “Roy’s Terrace Inn” is a good place to relax and dine the toothsome homemade items from the well-chosen victuals after sundown in candle-lit ambience. Travellers are advised to book in advance seats for themselves to avoid disappointment if they arrive at the nick of the moment.
The gallery in Camaguey by name “Casa de Arte Jover” consists of the artwork painted by a husband and his wife, Joel Jover and Ileana Sanchez, who are revered as the most creative and supremely talented couple of the country. The storehouse is replete with antique paintings and garish works for viewing as well as for purchase by the visitors.
The seven-km sea drive in Havana, Malecon, is a favourite spot abuzz in evenings with recess-seekers, dating couples/lovers, philosophers, poets, music-admirers. The place is different from the rest of beaches around the world with its array of ancient fashioned buildings unique to its homeland.
There is a deliberately nursed horticultural farm called “Finca Coicidencia” purged of the urban hustle-bustle, which is a paradise for ecologists and environmentalists. Located at 16 kms from San Miguel, the place is absolutely rustic and pastoral exuding tranquility. The orchards is quite a departure from the routine metro culture. The mango and guava groves occupy predominantly the area and the life-size statue of Charlie Chaplin among other eye-catching carvings add to the pleasure of visitors.
In addition to the above, there is a plethora of art museums, galleries, restaurants groomed to satisfy the taste of present-day customers, hotels spruced up to cater to the needs of current progeny as well as elders.
Cuba stands out today as a place of more tourist-friendly nation with continuous and sustained implementation of its tourism reforms.