- Area: 111,000 km²
- Population: 11.5 million inhabitants
- Mixed race: 47% white 40% mixed race or “Mulatos”, 12.5% black 0.5 % Indians
- Religion: Catholic for the great majority and Santeria (from the Afro-Cuban religion)
- Regime: socialist republic
- Density: 102 inhabitants per km²
- Capital: Havana (3 million inhabitants)
- Other cities: Vinales, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Camaguey, Santiago
- Highest point : Pico Turquino 1972 m.
Geography in Cuba
Cuba is a “crocodile-shaped” island that stretches 1,250km from west to east and 200km from north to south on the widest part and 30km on the narrowest part.
Of the 110,860 km² of the main island, one must add the Isle of Youth (located in the west) and the multiple cayos (located all around the island and grouped in archipelagos).
Cuba is the largest island of the Caribbean, it is divided into 15 provinces, which are grouped as follows:
- Province of Pinar del Rio: the city of Viñales, the Pensinsula de Guanahacabibes, and the Archipelago of los Colorados.
- Province of Havana
- Province of Artemisa and Mayabeque: Playa de Jibacoa, the city of Soroa and Las Terrazas.
- Province of Matanzas: the cities of Varadero and Playa Larga (Bay of Pigs) and the Peninsula of Zapata.
- Isla de la Juventud: with the Archipelago de los Canarreos and Cayo Largo del Sur.
- Province of Cienfuegos : Guajimico a very unknown diving spot.
- Province of Villa Clara : Santa Clara, the Archipelago of Jardines del Rey (Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Ensenachos, Cayo Las Brujas).
- Province of Sancti Spiritus: Trinidad with the Beach of Ancon and the site of Topes de Collantes.
- Province of Ciego de Avila: the Archipelago of Jardines del Rey (in the North with Cayo Coco, Cayo Guilermo) and the Archipelago of Jardines de la Reina (in the South).
- Province of Camagüey: with Playa de Santa Lucia.Province of Las Tunas: Puerto Padre and Playa la Herradura.Province of Holguin: Gibara, Playa Pesquero, Guardalavaca, Cayo Saetia.
- Province of Granma: Bayamo, Manzanillo, the Sierra Maestra with the Pico Bayamesa, the beaches of Marea del Portillo.
- Province of Santiago de Cuba: Sierra Maestra with Pico Turquino and Cuba, Cordillera de la Gran Piedra.
- Province of Guantanamo: Guantanamo Bay, the city of Baracoa, Playa Maguana and Alexandro de Humboldt Park.
The longest river is the Cauto, which extends over 343 km, 110 km of which are navigable.
It originates in the Sierra Maestra mountains and flows into the Caribbean Sea.
Cuba is not crossed by a mountain range, its landscape is rather flat but you will find sierras or “picos” which do not exceed 2 000m of altitude.
Here are some of them:
- The Pico Turquino reaching 1,972m and the Pico Cuba reaching 1,872m; both located in the Province of Santiago de Cuba.
- Pico Bayamesa at 1,730m located in the Province of Granma.
- The Sierra del Escambray culminating at 1,140m located in the Province of Villa Clara.
- The Sierra Maestra which stretches over 250km located between the Province of Granma and Guantanamo.
National Parks in Cuba
Nature lovers will be able to find in Cuba several options of parks and reserves, here are some examples:
- Alexandro de Humboldt National Park (UNESCO): primary forest, mangroves, plants, flowers and animals (frogs, snakes, birds, among others).
- Topes de Collantes Natural Park: primary forest, plants, waterfalls.
- Peninsula de Guanahacabibes Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO): turtle nesting site, bird watching (tocororo, flamingos, cartacubas, herons, parakeets, …).
- Baconao Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO): coffee cultivation.
- Ciénaga de Zapata Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO): preservation of the crocodile (endemic animal)
The climate in Cuba
The weather in Cuba is tropical, hot and humid
The best season to visit Cuba is from the end of November to April (dry season).
During this season the average temperature is about 27°C and the sea about 25°C.
In the rainy season (late April to early November) the temperatures are warmer (about 30°C) and the humidity is very high.
The sea temperature can reach 29°C.
The rains are at the end of the day in July/August, from September the hurricane season begins, some winds can reach 340km/h.
The best season to travel to Cuba
The best season to travel to Cuba is from November to May because it is the dry season.
Temperatures (in degrees centigrade, max in the shade)