The Best Thing About Cuba

Cuba boasts one of the world’s most breathtaking coastlines, boasting picturesque beaches tucked between mangrove swamps and coral reefs, fringed with rugged cliffs.

Cuba offers many exciting activities. You can view classic American cars, watch salsa dancing performances, dine on delicious dishes and much more.

1. The people

Cubans are an outgoing people who value relationships with family, friends, neighbors and strangers alike. Visitors who come from countries where technology has replaced interpersonal contact will likely appreciate Cuba’s vibrant social scene: you’ll see neighbors talking on streets and promenades while children kick soccer balls and older men playing chess – this vibrant social dynamic forms part of Cuban culture that so many travelers appreciate so much.

Cuba is home to an overwhelming majority of Roman Catholics; however, some also practice Santeria–an African religion brought by slaves from the 16th-19th centuries and practiced on Cuba. Additionally, many Cubans adhere to various other religions.

The Revolution of 1959 marked a turning point in Cuban politics and culture that continues to shape national identity today. Although the revolutionary government prioritized class equality over gender equality, they implemented laws and policies which increased women’s educational and employment opportunities as well as civil/human rights.

Revolution has also created an environment of cultural liberties that Cubans greatly value. Though restrictions have been eased for artists, musicians, and dancers, international investment remains restricted due to a blockade against international investment that brings modern technologies that improve economy and living standards as well as basic consumer goods shortages; therefore Cubans have developed creative solutions such as using recycled plastics for products or improvising other solutions; they even developed two COVID-19 vaccines with world-renowned science behind their creation!

2. The food

Cuba’s colonialism and sugarcane plantations legacy is evident in its cuisine, reflecting influences from different cultures that occupied this island before European arrival. While the Spanish have left their mark through architecture, language, and food; African influence can also be found through dishes like congrio (Bean Train). This dish combines black beans with rice in honor of an historic battle between Moors and Christians centuries earlier.

Cuba is renowned for its eco-friendly practices and boasts six rich UNESCO biosphere reserves, where you’ll find local produce like avocados, cheese and ham in abundance. Drink-wise, convertible peso shops stock canned refrescos (soft drinks) like Coke and Pepsi along with Cuba’s own versions of lemonade (Cachito), cola (Tropicola is less sweet than its competitors) and orangeade (Day Glo Najita). Other refreshing drinks like Granizado are made up with sugar milk rum grenadine; while Guarapo (pressed sugar cane juice) offers its own refreshing properties.

Dining out can be an unusual experience in Cuba as it tends to be reserved for those with more money. For authentic local food, the best place is paladars – private restaurants located usually in someone’s front garden, porch, or window and offering snacks and lunch impromptus such as corn fritters, pan con pasta (bread with garlic mayonnaise filling), cheap pizza and cheap lunch specials. They only accept moneda nactional so be prepared.

Rationing still exists in Cuba, so when purchasing food you should use your libreta or family card. This records your age, height and gender which determines what foods you can have – though circumstances such as illness can allow additional items on an emergency basis. As part of its efforts to counter the recent economic crisis the government requested assistance from UN Food Program. Powdered milk for children under seven is now being distributed throughout Cuban households.

3. The music

Music and dance can be heard all year long throughout Cuba, whether in cafes, restaurants or on the street. One of Cuba’s main genres of music, known as son (combining lively rhythms with classical guitar) can be heard all year round. Son is inspired by African slaves settled on large sugar plantations farms as well as Spanish or Canary Islander farmers growing tobacco on small farms – its melodies influenced by this interplay; creating an eclectic mixture of pulsating syncopated rhythms and melodies which has made son one of Latin America’s influential styles of music.

Son can be subdivided into two subgenres, guajira and rumba. While guajira is more earthy in style, rumba has become the more mainstream musical genre within son. Rumba’s roots date back to Saint Domingue slave revolts that caused French refugees to flee for Cuba (Malcomson 2011), where its development quickly spread as a way to express individualism while also unifying people who may otherwise have been separated by social class differences and protest against authority (plantation owners/elites/etc).

Cuba’s most prevalent forms of dancing include salsa, mambo and cha-cha-cha. Dance is an integral part of Cuban culture and everyone from grandparents to grandchildren participates passionately and flamboyantly. Ballet, jazz and hip-hop music all contributed their own distinct styles, traditions and instruments that shaped its character over the years – dance is such a universal form of communication!

4. The culture

Cuba is famed for its rich blend of native, Spanish and African cultures – its people sing, dance, read poetry and speak their own dialect – all the while keeping up with modern life and economy.

Food, language, art and music all bear witness to Cuba’s long and rich history. Bands seem to be everywhere year round in Havana with son being its main musical form combining lively rhythms with classical guitar.

Danzon became popular in Cuba during the early 1900s due to its combination with African folk music and subsequent influence over other popular dance forms like mambo and salsa, both incorporating elements of swing dancing and hustle – it eventually developed into one of Latin America’s most beloved forms of dancing today with dancers all across Cuba stomping to its melodies, shuffling feet to its drum beat and then syncopating its fourth beat while dancing the salsa style.

Cuba’s diverse landscapes are home to an abundance of wildlife and plants that are unique only to this tropical nation. Mountain forests, jungles and grasslands teem with species that cannot be found elsewhere such as giant anacondas and even one of nature’s tiniest birds: bee hummingbirds.

Island of Cuba boasts one of the most effective educational systems in Latin America with a literacy rate above 97%; however, visitors from the U.S may find its educational system unfamiliar, since healthcare and guaranteed employment are considered basic rights here. Lydia Cabrera’s groundbreaking fieldwork on Santeria religion remains widely studied even today in America.

5. The beaches

Cuba’s sandy, turquoise coastline is an irresistibly inviting destination for beach enthusiasts and environmentalists. Boasting 3,570 miles of shoreline that includes intimate inlets and bays, coral reefs, mangrove swamps and rugged cliffs; six UNESCO biosphere reserves comprised of tropical dry, humid and deciduous forests also make the environment alluring.

Cuba’s beaches boast some of the world’s most stunning flora and fauna, including some exotic creatures like bee hummingbirds (known locally as zunzuncitos) found exclusively here; their adult body measures only five centimetres long! Furthermore, Cuba is also an incredible paradise for birders who can observe many species thriving within its dense forests.

Playa Los Pinos on Cayo Sabinal island offers one such spot. Although most beaches in this part of Mexico are within driving distance from hotels, you may still find remote beaches like Playa Los Pinos which has been preserved thanks to its remoteness and difficulty of reaching it – the journey alone offers breathtaking scenery complete with deer, wild boar, butterflies and horses!

Trip to Cuba wouldn’t be complete without taking a classic car ride through Havana Vieja in Havana Vieja – it might be cliche, but the experience is definitely worth the cost when you think of all of the pictures you will take, not to mention feeling free while driving around in bright pink convertible cars! In fact, you could combine a visit to Varadero Beach with staying overnight at one of the casas along its coast for an amazing combination of culture, history, and sunbathing!

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