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Destination Guides
Study in Cuba

Once a valuable Spanish colony, Cuba is now one of the most popular cultural and tourist destinations in Latin America. After gaining independence in 1902, Cuba was a little piece of heaven for tourists up until the Cold War. During that period, many Cubans migrated to the US, since the two countries are separated only by 145 kilometers of water. Today, visitors to Cuba are captivated by the vibrancy and variety of both the cultural and natural attractions, from magnificent architecture to exuberant live music, and rugged mountains to paradisiacal white sand beaches.

The capital, Havana, was once the third largest city in the Americas and was named the “Key to the New World” in recognition of its importance within the European colonies. Once an important trading port, often attacked by pirates, Havana has many old forts, which give the city a certain medieval charm. The most famous is “El Morro Fortress”, which is a beautiful six-story building guarding the entrance to Havana Bay. Today, the capital is mostly famous for promoting the arts, hosting numerous international arts and music festivals each year, including the Havana International Jazz Festival, International Havana Ballet Festival, Havana International Film Festival and more.

Fast Facts

  • Cuba is the 17th largest island in the world
  • Capital and largest city is Havana
  • Main language is Spanish
  • Currency is the Cuban peso (one peso = 100 centavos)
  • Under US economic embargo since 1961
  • The largest Caribbean island, by both area and population
  • Cuba has one of the best healthcare systems in the world
  • Known for Cuban rum and cigars
  • Located about 90 miles to the south of the US
  • Home to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • In total, encompasses more than 4,000 islands and cays (small islands formed on the surface of coral reefs)
  • Nearly 22% of Cuban territory is categorized as protected natural areas.
  • Wildlife includes crocodiles, flamingos, hummingbirds, parrots and the world's smallest frog species.
  • Most popular sports include baseball, boxing and football (soccer).
  • Access to the internet is heavily controlled and monitored by the government.
  • No animals or plants that are poisonous or lethal to humans are native to Cuba.
  • Home to the smallest bird in the world: the bee hummingbird.