Mini Guide to Cuba

Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean at 109,884 square kilometers, and the second-most populous. It consists of the island of Cuba, Isla de la Juventud, and many small archipelagos.

The country is one of the few standing Marxist–Leninist socialist states, and was the center of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, which nearly started a nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Cuba has one of the highest literacy rates in the world (99.8 percent) and it’s a big exporter of tobacco, coffee, and sugar.


Most visitors will likely arrive in Jose Martí International Airport in Havana though new flights to other Cuban cities are slowly becoming available. The best way to travel around the country is by bus as they offer a comfortable trip with air-conditioning, TV, and toilets.

Visitors can also rent cars, but apart from not being so cheap, scams are commonplace, which doesn’t make it the best choice. The cheapest option for budget-conscious travelers is hitchhiking, which is facilitated by a government system called “El Amarillo” (the yellow guy).

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The official language of the country is Cuban Spanish, which is somewhat similar to the Spanish used in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The second most spoken language is the Haitian Creole, mainly spoken by Haitian immigrants and their descendants.

Practitioners of Santeria (Afro-American religion) also speak Lucumí, a dialect of Yorubá (West African language). Travelers won’t have a problem speaking English as most Cubans enjoy talking to tourists, but it’s a good idea to learn the basics of Spanish.

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Main Cities and Towns


Havana is the capital city of Cuba with a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, making it the most populous city in the country. It was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century, and even before the Communist Revolution, it was a top destination.

The best way to explore the city is by foot, especially Old Havana, which was declared a World Heritage Site and boats beautiful colonial buildings. Visitors can also go to Plaza de la Revolución to see the iconic Che Guevara image or the Havana Club Rum Factory for a guided tour.

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The World in Chili

Chili is one of those comforting fall dishes that just hits the spot on a cool, crisp day. A good bowl of chili is warm, spiced just right, and features enough protein to keep you full for ages. We can all agree on the merits of a bowl of chili, but for a lot of people, that’s where most agreements stop. There are so many different kinds of chili that are popular around the world — most centered in the United States, which has definitely become the world’s capital of chili.

The Best Comforting Drinks for Fall from Around the World

As the weather starts getting colder, we start looking for comforting drinks that will help keep us warm.  Some of the most popular options in America are also the easiest to find — there are more than 13,000 Starbucks locations in the United States alone, and they have a huge percentage of the market cornered already — people love their pumpkin spice lattes! However, there are a lot of downsides to visiting a café every day, especially if your go-to order is a sweetened latte or Frappuccino. It’s easy to make delicious warm drinks at home, which allows you to flavor them to your taste, saving both money and calories

Don’t Fall for These 10 Scary Traveler Scams

Hopping aboard a transcontinental flight on route to a new, ready-to-explore destination is a rush. Traveling teaches us about the world, sure. But, more than that, it teaches us about ourselves. You also probably already know that, unlike your comfort zone, traveling presents a lot of inherent risks. It’s a sad reality, but it’s a reality that rings true. You, as a tourist, are a two-bit criminal’s dream target. After all, you have absolutely no idea where you are, no idea where to go for help, and no clue what the scammers have in store.