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Christian Beham also known here as krusty from Austria living at the moment in Graz und in 2 Koffern.
Cuba    Cuba Mit dem Rucksack durch Kuba 2009 with 9260 Visits Days - Starting on 2009-01-07
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    Elementary Information about Mit dem Rucksack durch Kuba 2009
Gattering Information about Cuba -- General

The Cuban archipelago is in the eastern Caribbean, at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico, 140 km from the Bahamas, 146 km from Jamaica, 180 km from Florida.

* Land area: 110,922 square km
* Dimensions: Cuba, the largest island, is 1200 km long and between 210 and 35 km wide.
* Population: Over 11 million
* Capital: Havana, with over 2.1 million inhabitants. The country has 14 provinces, 169 municipalities and a special municipality: The Isle of Youth (Isla de Juventud)
* Language: Spanish
* Average annual relative humidity: 78 percent
* Average annual temperature: 25.5 C
* Time zone: Eastern Standard Time, with Daylight Saving Time from March to October.

-- Some Geographic Features

Most of Cuba is covered with plains, but there are four important mountain groups: the Guaniguanico Range, in the center of the country; and, in the east, the Sagua-Baracoa and Sierra Maestra Mountains (17 of these peaks are more than 1300 meters above the sea level; Turquino Peak is the highest, at 1974 m above the sea level).

-- Visa / Touristcard

Cuban rules say: you have to book an accommodation for the first night. If you booked a flight, no accommodation and ready to fill in your visa, this visa will ask you in which hotel you are staying ... fill in any address of a hotel or casa particular and look real innocent going through customs. The experience tells, it is also ok to fill in an address of a licensed casa particular. However, if customs has a strict day they can demand to book a hotel, if you didn't, they will make a reservation for you.
You can order your visa through the Cuban Embassy or Consulate in your country and some travel agencies and flight companies

-- Luggage and Bags

A well locked suitcase, or a lock on your backpack is best. You can also decide to plastify your backpack or soft weekender at the airport of your departure.
Remind when you are traveling with more people and rented a car, bring soft backs!

-- Clothing / Shoes / Weather Gear

Your tropical outfit of course! ... and don't forget your flip-flops!
In Dec / Jan it can be chilly at nighttime. So bring something warm too in these months.

-- Miscellaneous

Anti muscito stuff, some areas are overloaded with these bichos.
Leave you're jewelries at home, you don't need them on this Island.
Bring clothes with you which you might not like anymore, and give it to Cubans at the end of your vacation, clothes are expensive for a Cuban.
Cubans need not only ballpoints, soaps, clothes, toothpaste, toys ... but everything which for us is normal. Medical stuff is needed as well, even glasses. Please take some stuff to donate with you.

-- Customs

Havana airport is more relaxed than Varadero or Holguin, but remind this ...
All your stuff is getting scanned!!! Every suitcase is passing the x-ray!!!
After you picked up your suitcase and you see the flight tape signed with red pencil ... big chance you will get checked.
Check out the Cuba-custom website to see what is and what's NOT possible to bring in.
Money can do some help sometimes ... But if "they" decide it is not allowed ... it just isn't allowed ... sorry! Besides this not ALL adouana people are charmed for getting bribed
Remind that when bringing in new stuff, you might have to pay tax.

-- Weather

* The whole year through about 28 / 29 C degrees. The East of Cuba is always a few degrees warmer than the West
* Most rain fall in May till October, during these months short but heavy rainy showers can fall, mostly at the end of the day.
Areas like Baracoa and Moa in the east of Cuba do have to most rainy days, because the mountain which come from the Atlantic Ocean
The dry season is from Novenber till April.
* Most sunny hours in July and August, Cuba has short days in winter, at 18.00 it is getting dark. In summer the sun is very powerfull.
* Dec / April Colder then usual, specialy at night
* June / September Hot humid, every end of the day a rainy shower
* June / end of November Huricane season (possible)
* High and low (tourist) season December / January, Easter, July / September

-- Money

First of all: Don't exchange money in the street ... NEVER EVER!

Foreigners and money exchange
After November 8 2004 Cuba only except convertible pesos (CUC). This means you have to bring Euros, CAD, Pound Sterling (whatever hard currency) with you to exchange it into CUC (convertible pesos).
Besides this of course you can bring your credit card with you to get money from the bank in Cuba.
As for USD, after November 2004 you have to pay an extra charge of 10%, so better leave those USD at home.

For the local people The Cubans
Pesos Cubanos
This currency is more or less only used by Cuban citizens.
Of course you, as a foreigner also can exchange your CUC (convertible pesos) into the "normal" national currency CUP. This CUP you can use for bying at local markets.
    Gattering Information about CubaGattering Information about Cuba
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