Visiting Cuba is a like visiting an area where time moves at a slower pace. This largest of the Caribbean islands, Cuba has an interesting history. The politics of times past can still be seen in the ancient posters that still line the streets of Havana and within the aptly named Museum of the Revolution. There is a lot going on in Cuba. From beaches and tourist spots to commerce and an exuberant way of celebrating life, Cuba has a lot to offer the interested traveller.
Enjoy the incredible scenic Malecon in Havana, which is a boardwalk that rests between crashing waves and the colonial buildings in the city. Enjoy a stroll on the pristine beaches of the country’s western end. Tour Old Havana, which has been restored to its original splendor, and enjoy tropical fruits in the company of friendly residents. Go to the Vedado district and enjoy some of the best jazz music in the Caribbean. Dance with the residents to a lively salsa song - it is customary to ask visitors if they would like to dance. See the Cuban National Ballet performed at the Gran Teatro de la Habana. Eat dishes that will make you crave them long after you return home like ceviche, which is raw fish marinated in lime, and ropa vieja, which is stewed shredded beef. Drink an authentic mojito in the drink’s birthplace. Explore the sights, sounds, and tastes of this dynamic island.
See Cuba and learn about the heritage of the people, the history of the land, and its thriving present.
Size: 110,860 square miles
Population: 11.2 million
Government: Single-party Marxist–Leninist Republic
Currency: Convertible peso (CUC$) and Cuban peso (CUP$)
Main City: Havana
Main Airport: José Martí International Airport
Telephone Country Code: +53
Local Beer: Cristal and Bucanero
National Dish: Roast Pig (cooked over an open fire and marinated in salt, garlic and sour orange juice) with Rice and Red Beans (cooked with coconut milk in a lower heat and service with red pepper slices).
Entry Visa: Tourists visiting Cuba are required to have a Tourist Card valid for one trip of up to 30 days. This should be obtained before departure from your home country. Full valid passport and a photocopy of its main page, return ticket and accommodation are also required for entry. The Tourist Card can be obtained from your tour operator or direct from the Cuban Consulate. Important note: It is not illegal for US residents to travel to Cuba, but they are prohibited from spending money there. This sanction constitutes the travel ban. To learn more visit www.treas.gov.
When To Go: The rainy season in Cuba is from May to October. The weather stays a mild 75° to 80° but is subject to cold fronts during the dry season. Cuba is also susceptible to hurricanes due to its position in the Caribbean basin. Peak times for travellers are Christmas, Easter, July and August. The ideal time to visit is January to May, when it’s warm but uncrowded and there’s little to no threat of hurricanes. Festivals happen all year round with the most popular being Havana’s Jazz Festival in February and Carnaval of Santiago de Cuba in July.
Marriage Requirements: Prior to the wedding, all notary certificates and legalised documents should be sent to the Cuban Consulate. The ceremony will be conducted by a Registrar.
Documents Required: All documents must be originals legalised by the Foreign Office and then validated by the Cuban Consulate in your home country. That said, in addition to the completed application for marriage, both the bride and groom will need their:
• birth certificates along with driver’s licences or other forms of identification
• certificates of no impediment or single status report
Also if applicable:
• divorce papers i.e. decree absolute and/or death certificate of spouse
• proof of parental consent if under 18, stamped and signed by a solicitor
• proof of name change by Deed Poll, stamped and signed by a solicitor
Residency Requirement: Three working days.
Fees: To be advised locally.
Witnesses: Four people are required to witnesses the ceremony.