Situated in the northern Caribbean, where the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean meet, Cuba is an island of white-sand beaches, rich farmland, exuberant people and rugged peaks. From 1959 until February 2008, the country was controlled by Fidel Castro and his Communist Party, backed by the Soviet Union (at least until the USSR's collapse in 1991). The capital city of Havana is famous for its lively Caribbean nightlife, for 40-year-old classic American cars and for the faded elegance of its Spanish colonial architecture. From the unusual limestone 'mogotes' of the Vinales Valley in the west to the country's highest peak, Pico Turquino (1975m / 6480ft), at the eastern end of the island, Cuba has a great variety of landscape - ripe for exploration. There is excellent trekking on forest trails, quality backroads biking and plenty of opportunity for family groups to take forest walks, explore historic towns and even swim with dolphins.


Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea with a total land area of 110,860 square kilometers. Cuba is the largest country by land area in the Carribean. More than 4,000 islands and cays are found in the surrounding sea and bays. The terrain is mostly flat to rolling plains, with rugged hills and mountains in the southeast.  The highest point is Pico Turquino at 2005 metres, part of the Sierra Maestra mountain range.  Other mountain ranges include Sierra Cristal also in the southeast, Escambray Mountains in the centre and Sierra del Rosario in the northwest.   White sandy beaches as well as mangroves and marshes can be found in the coastal area.  Cuba is home to over 11 million people and is the most populous island nation in the Caribbean.

Time Zone

The time in Cuba is GMT -4 hours

Vaccinations (country)

You should attend your own doctor and dentist for a check-up. Your doctor will have access to the most up to date information on the required vaccinations for the country you are visiting. In general we recommend vaccinations against the following: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, & Hepatitis ‘A'. Yellow Fever vaccination is no longer mandatory for visitors travelling from non-endemic areas.

A very good online resource is the UK National Health Travellers website at

Additional Sources/Information


Cuba (Lonely Planet) - Conner Gorry
Rough Guide to Cuba - McAuslan & Norman
Cuba Berlitz Pocket Guide - Mockford & Bonnetti
From Columbus to Castro and Beyond - Jaime Suchlicki
Cuba: A New History - Richard Gott
Natural Cuba - Lee


Cuba ITMB - 1:650,000
The country is divided east/west, with a generous overlap. Relief shading and spot heights show the topography. Railways, roads and places of interest are shown along with an extensive index of place names. There is an enlargement of the environs of Havana at 1:200,000 and a street plan of the central part of the city.


Lonely Planet -
Rough Guides -