The name Cuba is derived from the Indian word “Cubagua”, which means “gold mine”. The archipelago was also given the name “Juana” or “Fernandina” from the Spanish conquerors.
The Republic of Cuba consists of the main island and numerous smaller islands and reefs. Its total area is 110,860 square kilometers, making it the largest of the Caribbean islands. In addition to the main island, Cuba also includes Isla de la Juventud (formerly Isla de Pinos (“Pine Island”, 3,061 square km). The largest island in the Greater Antilles extends over a length of 1,200 km and has an average width of 110 km separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea. The 150 km wide “Florida Strait” separates Cuba from the North American mainland, the 200 km wide “Yucatan Strait”from mainland Central America. Neighboring islands are the Bahamas in the northeast, Haiti in the east and Jamaica in the south Guantanamo Bay (112 square kilometers) has been leased by the USA as a naval base since 1903.
Compared to our Central European time, Cuba is 6 hours behind.
The landscape mostly consists of plains or hills and only four low mountain ranges: the Sierra Guaniguanico in the northwest, the Sierra del Escambray in the middle of Cuba, the Sierre Maestra in the southeast with its highest point, the 1,974 m high Pico de Turquino, and the neighboring Baracoa Mountains. The most bizarre rock forms can be found in the Sierra de los Organos (“Organ Pipes Mountains”) in the northwest of the island.
The mostly flat coast is lined with many islets and coral reefs and divided by several wide gulfs. The coral reefs off the north and south coast are among the largest on earth and are populated by a great diversity of species. Visit weddinginfashion for Cuba Travel Guide.
The only larger river in Cuba is the Rio Cauto, which flows into the Gulf.
The capital is Havana (Ciudad de La Habana).
Cuba was first occupied by the Aruak Indians. The first European to set foot on the island was Christopher Columbus. With him came the Spanish conquerors who almost wiped out this Indian tribe through European diseases and forced labor. In 1548 the Europeans introduced the cultivation of sugar cane. Hundreds of thousands of negroes were dragged to the island in the 18th and 19th centuries to make up for the labor shortage. In 1762 Cuba was conquered by the British. In 1763 the English exchanged the island of Cuba for the Florida peninsula. In 1868 the declaration of independence took place. In 1898 the Spaniards had to cede Cuba to the USA. In 1902 the American troops withdrew from Cuba, but repeated military interventions by the USA followed. In 1959 Fidel Castro took power in Cuba, ending the rule of El Batista, who fled abroad. Fidel Castro’s efforts to move closer to the Soviet Union politically culminated in the 1962 “Cuba Crisis”. The relationship between Cuba and the USA is still very tense today.
Flora and fauna
The fauna of Cuba is mainly characterized by birds and reptiles, while the mammal species are only represented by deer and wild boars. The shimmering hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world, is also found in Cuba .
Of the formerly extensive forests that covered the island, only about 10% have been preserved. Small remnants of tropical rainforests can still be found in areas with heavy rainfall. The coastal areas are bordered by mangrove and swamp forests. A special feature are the pine forests and pine savannas, from which the island “Isla de Pinos” owes its name. The cork palm that only grows in Cuba is unique. A total of around 8,000 plant species can be found, 700 of which are orchids alone.
The agriculture is still the largest employer in Cuba. Mainly sugar and tobacco, rice and beans are grown. The mining of nickel ore is also important. The biggest source of income in the country, however, is tourism, which is increasing every year. There is a trade embargo between the USA and Cuba. The destruction of the power supply network by the last hurricanes and the general energy bottlenecks also have a major impact on the economy.
The Republic of Cuba is a member of the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organization (WHO), the OAS (Organization of American States), the UN Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO), and in numerous regional institutions.
Cuba has 11.2 million people, the majority of whom are white. Only 10-15% are mestizos or mulattos (mixed race between whites and Indians or blacks). The original Indian population was practically wiped out.
In Cuba there are supporters of the Roman Catholic. Church and the Protestant Church. However, the majority of the population is officially without confession.
The national language is Spanish.
Food and drink
The Cuban breakfast consists of toast dipped in a mixture of strong coffee and milk.
Lunch and dinner, on the other hand, usually consist of rice, black beans and other vegetables, meat, root vegetables and salad. Especially the black beans, tomato sauce and sofrito give Cuban food its unmistakable taste. Sofrito is a mixture of onions, paprika, oregano, garlic and pepper and is used in many Cuban dishes.
The Cubans’ favorite drink is not rum, as is probably assumed, but beer.
When entering Cuba, a passport that is still valid for at least 6 months is required. In addition, a tourist card must be filled out, which is valid for stays of up to 30 days. Children need their own passport.
Current information on vaccinations can be obtained from your family doctor or on the website of the Center for Travel Medicine (CRM).
Due to the numerous severe hurricanes in recent years, Cuba still suffers from a lack of electricity. It must be assumed that the electricity can also be switched off during the season to save energy.
Security / drugs
Any contact with drugs is forbidden and, as drug smuggling, can be punished with imprisonment from 3 to 40 years.
Current travel advice can also be found at https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/
Embassy of the Republic of Cuba
Postal address: Stavangerstraße 20
Telephone 030-44 71 73 19
Fax 030-9 16 45 53
E-Mail [email protected]
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
Calle 13, No. 652, Esquina á B, Vedado, La Habana.
Telephone (0053 7) 833 24 60, 833 25 39, 833 25 69
Fax (0053 7) 833 15 86
Embajada de la República Federal de Alemania,
La Habana, Cuba.
Department Visa Section
F: (0053 7) 833 31 88
Email [email protected]
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
In Germany https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/
In Austria https://www.bmaa.gv.at/
In Switzerland https://www.eda.admin.ch/
Frequently asked questions about Cuba
What are the entry requirements for Cuba?
German citizens with a passport that is valid for at least 6 months at the time of entry can only enter Cuba for tourist purposes with a stay of 30 days with a visa in the form of a so-called “tourist card”. Tourist cards must be purchased before entry and are available from the Cuban embassy in Germany, travel agencies or tour operators and some airlines at the airport. Tourist cards are generally not issued at the border; In addition, before departure from Germany, the airlines always check whether a tourist card is available and may refuse to take them with you. Since May 1, 2010, every traveler to Cuba has been obliged to provide evidence of health insurance coverage that is valid for Cuba for the intended length of stay. The insurance policy, insurance policy or insurance card of the respective travel health insurance company should suffice for the obligation to provide evidence. In cases of insurance contracts that have already existed for a long time (older policies), it is advisable to take along an additional current confirmation from the insurance company. Travelers should ask insurance companies to issue accompanying policies in Spanish. In case of doubt, it is recommended to contact the Embassy of Cuba before departure. Travelers should ask insurance companies to issue accompanying policies in Spanish. In case of doubt, it is recommended to contact the Embassy of Cuba before departure. Travelers should ask insurance companies to issue accompanying policies in Spanish. In case of doubt, it is recommended to contact the Embassy of Cuba before departure.
What vaccinations do you need to travel to Cuba?
There are no compulsory vaccinations. We recommend vaccination against tetanus, diphtheria and hepatitis A, and hepatitis B, rabies and typhoid fever if you stay longer than four weeks. We definitely recommend taking out health insurance abroad with repatriation.