Cuba is a country that can be found in the northern part of the Caribbean Sea. It includes an island of the same name, which is a part of the Greater Antilles, Juventud Island and other smaller islands.
The southern coast of Cuba is washed over by the Caribbean sea, the north-west is bounded by the Gulf of Mexico, and the north-east coast overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.
The water here is beautifully clear, with horizontal visibility exceeding 40 meters, and the coastline is nearly 6,000 kilometers long.
Divers are lured to Cuba by its deep water gulfs and abundant bays. Apart from this, the island is surrounded by a great many reefs and other coral formations humming with marine life.
The island of Cuba itself is the most attractive place for fans of underwater adventures. You can explore various coral species and meet tropical fish living there. And once you dive deeper, you will see Sargocentrones and Blue Marlins.
The island of Cayo Largo offers a unique nature reserve full of marine fauna and an exceptionally beautiful coral reef. And La Isla de la Juventud is known as a diver's mecca- this is where you just want to stay in the water all day long.
Cuba has many dive shops, which offer rental diving equipment and organize night and day dives. The largest diving centers are located in Cienfuegos, Trinidad and in the Bay of Pigs (Spanish: Bahía de Cochinos).
Early spring is pretty windy in Cuba, especially by the ocean. The water warms up to +26˚С, and the air temperature reaches +17... +23˚С. The rainy season starts in late May, and tourists leave the island.
Summer is the low season in Cuba. The country is soaked by tropical downpours so much that even streets get flooded sometimes. Strong winds and storms accompany the rain in the evening. The air and water temperatures warm up to +31... +34˚С and 29°C respectively.
September in Cuba is as rainy as August, with the air temperature between +30... +32˚С. The rain calms down in October, but it is still hot here. The seawater temperature reaches +23 ˚С. The new tourist season starts in late October.
Winter is the peak diving season in Cuba. The air temperature of +24... +26 ˚С is perfect for getting a smooth tan. As a rule, the water is warmer than the air, but reaches +26 ˚С on average.
Varadero is considered to be one of the best Cuban resorts. One of the most popular local attractions is the Ojo del Mégano cave with diameter of 70 meters.
There is a white coral beach in Havana (Spanish: La Habana), and the deep waters hide various sea dwellers- swordfish, turtles and sharks.
You don't need any specific vaccinations to go to Cuba, but health insurance is a mandatory requirement for entering the country. The healthcare quality here is slightly different from that in Europe, but you can always count on emergency medical services. And if you need more treatment, you may see a private doctor- it's not expensive here.
Generally, Cuba is a rather safe place for tourists, but it is not recommended to leave your belongings unattended. It is also better not to take large sums of cash with you.
And do not swim by 'wild' beaches because it is dangerous.
Try not to swim by wild beaches if you want to stay safe, and watch your step to avoid cutting yourself on corals or stepping on a sea urchin. Also, beware of sea snakes (all of them are deadly venomous here) and moray eels, who are not afraid of humans.
Cuban cuisine is a mix of Spanish, Creole, Chinese and African traditions. Make sure to try creole ajiaco soup (thick soup), a national Cuban dish. It is cooked with pig trotters and a pig's head in a large pot, stewed and complemented with vegetables. Picadillo a la habanera (Havana-style ground meat) is also worth a try.
The locals' favourite soft drinks are black coffee, guarapo (sugarcane juice) and lemonade with lime juice. Cuban rum is the most popular alcoholic beverage here. It is served with ice, or added to various cocktails.
It is best to drink only bottled water.