Discover Cuba in North America

Cuba with its capital Havana is located in North America (Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean). It covers some 110,861 square kilometres (slightly smaller than Pennsylvania) with 11,423,000 citizens. Spanish is the language commonly used by the people in Cuba. Interesting info United States is the only bordering country.

Cuba is the largest Caribbean island, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. Walk along the Malécon during the early evening and take in some of Havana's culture. A popular saying goes that the best Cuban food can be found in the United States. Within Cuba, the best food will generally be found in your casa particular or in paladares (locally owned restaurants in private homes). Cuban national cocktails include the Cuba Libre (rum and cola) and the Mojito (rum, lime, sugar, mint leaves, club soda and ice). Cuba is generally a very safe country; strict and prominent policing, combined with neighborhood-watch-style programs keep the streets safe from violent crime. Cuba is considered very healthy except for the water; even many Cubans boil their water. That said, some travelers drink untreated water without ill effect. The best solution is bottled water and lots of it, especially for visitors who are not used to the 30+°C/85+°F temperatures. Cubans are generally friendly and helpful people. If you're staying at a hotel or casa particular, it's likely there will be a television, and watching Cuban television is a good place to observe Cuba's unique mix of vibrant culture, sports and controversial politics.

Pictures from the Cuban capital

Have a look at our dedicated photo collection to get a view of what Havana is like. We have selected more pictures from Havana on our dedicated gallery page.

Awesome photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners.

Landscape, climate, hints for travelling

The landscape features mostly flat to rolling plains, with rugged hills and mountains in the southeast. The average density of population is about 103 per km². The climate in Cuba can be described as tropical with moderated by trade winds, dry season (November to April), rainy season (May to October). Potential threats by nature are the east coast being subject to hurricanes from August to November (in general, the country averages about one hurricane every other year) or droughts are common.

To reach someone in Cuba dial +53 prior to a number. There are 1,168,000 installed telephones. And there are 443,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks operate on frequencies of 900 Mhz. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".cu". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery charger), keep in mind the local 110/220V - 60Hz.


Description of the flag of Cuba

Five equal horizontal bands of blue (top, center, and bottom) alternating with white; a red equilateral triangle based on the hoist side bears a white, five-pointed star in the center; the blue bands refer to the three old divisions of the island: central, occidental, and oriental; the white bands describe the purity of the independence ideal; the triangle symbolizes liberty, equality, and fraternity, while the red color stands for the blood shed in the independence struggle; the white star, called La Estrella Solitaria (the Lone Star) lights the way to freedom and was taken from the flag of Texas
note: design similar to the Puerto Rican flag, with the colors of the bands and triangle reversed.


National administrative regions of Cuba


Historical background information

The native Amerindian population of Cuba began to decline after the European discovery of the island by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1492 and following its development as a Spanish colony during the next several centuries. Large numbers of African slaves were imported to work the coffee and sugar plantations, and Havana became the launching point for the annual treasure fleets bound for Spain from Mexico and Peru. Spanish rule eventually provoked an independence movement and occasional rebellions that were harshly suppressed. US intervention during the Spanish-American War in 1898 assisted the Cubans in overthrowing Spanish rule. The Treaty of Paris established Cuban independence from the US in 1902 after which the island experienced a string of governments mostly dominated by the military and corrupt politicians. Fidel CASTRO led a rebel army to victory in 1959; his iron rule held the subsequent regime together for nearly five decades. He stepped down as president in February 2008 in favor of his younger brother Raul CASTRO. Cuba's Communist revolution, with Soviet support, was exported throughout Latin America and Africa during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The country faced a severe economic downturn in 1990 following the withdrawal of former Soviet subsidies worth $4 billion to $6 billion annually. Cuba at times portrays the US embargo, in place since 1961, as the source if its difficulties. Illicit migration to the US - using homemade rafts, alien smugglers, air flights, or via the US''s southwest border - is a continuing problem. The US Coast Guard interdicted 1,275 Cuban nationals attempting to cross the Straits of Florida in 2012.

Demographic Information

Cuba has 733 citizens over the age of 100 years. Women make up for 593 of this count (which is 81%). 644,881 kids are between the age of of 0-5 years (and make up for 6% of the total population). 11 babies are born per thousand citizens.

Cuban Age Distribution

Blue bars represent male citizens. Red bars represent female citizens. A pair or bars represents a single age group spanning five years each. Data has been released 2011.

Gender Distribution (Full Population)

Total share of male (blue) and female (red) citizens of the total population of Cuba

Growth of Population (per thousands)

Babies born per thousand citizens (blue) and deaths (red) over the past ten years.

Geography And Economy Facts

Geographic Fact Data
Summary Continent: North America
Neighbours: United States
Capital: Havana
Size 110,860 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 42,803 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
Population 11,423,000

Economy Facts

Technology and Economy Data
Currency Name: Peso, Currency Code: CUP
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .cu
Telephone Country Prefix +53
Mobile Phone Connections 443,000
Landline Phone Connections 1,168,000
Military Spendings 3.8% (of GDP, Gross Domestic Product)

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).

Geography

Type of Data Value World Rank
Area 110,860 (sq km) 106

People and Society

Type of Data Value World Rank
Population 11,061,886 77
Population growth rate -0.13 (%) 208
Birth rate 9.92 (births/1,000 population) 196
Death rate 7.58 (deaths/1,000 population) 113
Net migration rate -3.61 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 185
Maternal mortality rate 73.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 85
Infant mortality rate 4.76 (deaths/1,000 live births) 183
Life expectancy at birth 78.05 (years) 59
Total fertility rate 1.46 (children born/woman) 196
Health expenditures 10.60 (% of GDP) 24
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.10 (%) 123
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 7,100 111
HIV/AIDS - deaths 100 127
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 21.50 (%) 85
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 3.40 (%) 105
Education expenditures 12.90 (% of GDP) 2
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 3.1 (%) 139

Economy

Type of Data Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 121,000,000,000 68
GDP - real growth rate 3.10 (%) 104
GDP - per capita (PPP) 10,200 117
Labor force 5,050,000 75
Unemployment rate 3.80 (%) 29
Investment (gross fixed) 10.00 (% of GDP) 148
Taxes and other revenues 65.0 (% of GDP) 5
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -3.70 (% of GDP) 125
Public debt 35.10 (% of GDP) 102
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 5.50 (%) 153
Stock of narrow money 11,430,000,000 75
Stock of broad money 36,290,000,000 74
Industrial production growth rate 0.80 (%) 135
Current account balance 1,000,000,000 42
Exports 5,600,000,000 109
Imports 13,680,000,000 90
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 4,693,000,000 95
Debt - external 22,160,000,000 78
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 4,138,000,000 65

Energy

Type of Data Value World Rank
Electricity - production 17,800,000,000 (kWh) 77
Electricity - consumption 16,380,000,000 (kWh) 74
Electricity - installed generating capacity 5914000 (kW) 69
Electricity - from fossil fuels 99.3 (% of total installed capacity) 56
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 0.6 (% of total installed capacity) 144
Electricity - from other renewable sources 0.1 (% of total installed capacity) 95
Crude oil - production 53,000 (bbl/day) 58
Crude oil - exports 83,000 (bbl/day) 41
Crude oil - imports 165,000 (bbl/day) 40
Crude oil - proved reserves 181500000 (bbl) 64
Refined petroleum products - production 104,200 (bbl/day) 74
Refined petroleum products - consumption 150,200 (bbl/day) 67
Refined petroleum products - imports 73,000 (bbl/day) 56
Natural gas - production 1,030,000,000 (cu m) 64
Natural gas - consumption 1,030,000,000 (cu m) 90
Natural gas - proved reserves 70,790,000,000 (cu m) 61
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 34,460,000 (Mt) 75

Communications

Type of Data Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 1,193,000 70
Telephones - mobile cellular 1,315,000 149
Internet hosts 3,244 154
Internet users 1,606,000 79

Transportation

Type of Data Value World Rank
Airports 136 42
Railways 8,193 (km) 25
Roadways 60,858 (km) 72
Waterways 240 (km) 95
Merchant marine 3 135

Military

Type of Data Value World Rank
Military expenditures 3.20 (% of GDP) 37

Based on the content from wikitravel.org. The original article can be found here based on the work of these users. Geography information is based on the data provided by geonames.org, CIA world facts book Edition 2010, 2013 and 2014, Unesco, DBpedia, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases as well as other sources.