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Travel -- Cuba

The following sources are recommended by an expert whose research specialty is travel in Cuba.


Six Superlative Sources

· Cuba Junky. A wealth of down-to-earth travel information, hotel listings, introductions to cities and provinces, and essays about Cuban history. The persistent pop-up is the only drawback.

· Cuba Mapa. Detailed highway maps of the entire country, plus a few city maps.

· Cuba Pictures. A 23-page collection of 207 travel photos by the original author of Lonely Planet Cuba. There are photos from each of Cuba's 15 provinces, plus subject pages about architecture, billboards, cars, castles, churches, monuments, people, and street scenes.

· CubaWeb. A leading Cuban web portal and directory. You can book a hotel room or rental car and find information about a wide range of travel-related topics. CubaWeb links exclusively to websites based in Cuba.

· Directorio Turistico de Cuba. Cuba's official tourism directory, in Spanish or English, with complete listings for embassies, hotels, attractions, shopping, marinas, restaurants, nightlife, transportation, and the like.

· Havana Journal. An active online forum with a variety of news articles and user-generated posts relating to all aspects of Cuban society.

Other Excellent Sources

· Baker, Christopher P. Moon Handbooks Cuba. Avalon Travel Publishing, 2004. This is easily the most thorough guide to Cuba presently on the market, and the maps are easy to use since they're directly labeled without confusing keys. The main drawback here is the author's constant sniping at Cuba's current political system.

· Bicycling Cuba. Vermont residents Wally and Barbara Smith are the authors of one of the best cycling guides to Cuba, and their site takes you on a virtual bicycle tour of the island.

· An online travel agency able to reserve cars and rooms throughout Cuba at the Horizontes, Gran Caribe, Habaguanex, Sol Melia, Cubanacan, Accor, Hotetur, Islazul, and Cubatur hotel chains.

· Casa Particular. This site provides links to hundreds of bed-and-breakfast and private-room websites around Cuba, allowing you to make direct contact with the owners.

· Cuba against Terrorism. The story of five Cubans currently imprisoned in the United States for their efforts to expose anti-Cuban terrorism.

· Cuba All Inclusive Resort. Information about properties managed by the Sol, Melia, Paradisus, and Tryp hotel chains.

· Cuba Education Tours. A Canadian non-profit organization offering study and theme tours to Cuba.

· Cuba Hotel Reservation. Information, rates, and online reservations facility for more than 130 Cuba hotels.

· Cuba Maniaks Forum. A non-political travel forum dedicated to Cuba and all things Cuban.

· Cuba Particular. Yet more bed-and-breakfast and private-room listings, accessible via a clickable map. Photos, descriptions, and prices are provided for each location.

· Cuba Routes. An online collection of city and resort maps with the location of hotels clearly indicated.

· Cuba Socialista. This overtly political site based in New York City strongly supports the Cuban revolution. Some historical and cultural content is also provided.

· Cuba Solidarity. Site of the National Network on Cuba, an American organization which opposes the U.S. travel ban and favors normalized relations with Cuba.

· Cuba Travel eXPlorer. A major travel portal with destination information, hotel reviews, forums, articles, maps, links, and photos.

· The homepage of Cuba's internet service provider offers abundant information (in Spanish) about the country, including an online telephone directory and cooking recipes.

· CubaMania. This is the most active Cuba bulletin board on the internet, offering a wide variety of forums.

· Cuban American Alliance. A network of Cuban Americans working to promote understanding in United States-Cuba relations.

· Cuban Music 101. Cuba is a musical superpower, and the various styles and genres are clearly defined here.

· ESL Cuba Volunteer. A site aimed at North American teachers interested in teaching English as a second language in Cuba as paying volunteers.

· Exciting Cuba. A tour-company site with good photos and information on the most popular tourist attractions around Cuba.

· Gorry, Conner. Lonely Planet Cuba. Lonely Planet Publications, 2004. Compact and complete, this guide will see most independent travelers through. The biggest drawback is the tiny typeface on the maps and the unwieldy map keys (some with almost 200 items). It's suggested that you make enlarged photocopies of the maps you know you'll use before leaving home.

· Granma Internacional. This is Cuba's national newspaper, available online in English, French, Portuguese, German, Italian, and Spanish editions.

· Habanasol. A popular travel site with accessible information about accommodations, restaurants, transportation, tours, scuba diving, Spanish courses, money, and more.

· Habanos S.A. A site exclusively dedicated to such famous brands of Havana cigars as Cohiba, Montecristo, Partagas, H. Upmann, Romeo y Julieta, and Punch.

· Havana Architecture. This site walks you through a variety of Cuban architectural styles.

· Havana Club. Cuba without rum is almost unimaginable, and the famous Bacardi brand is now called Havana Club in its country of origin. A company guide will show you their museum, offer you a drink at the bar, and invite you to a neighborhood street party.

· Havana Film Festival. The International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in December is always a great time to visit Cuba.

· Havana Surf. Descriptions and photos of the most popular Cuban surf breaks, plus listings of casas particulares where surfers generally stay.

· History of Cuba. A timeline of 500 years of Cuban history, with keynote articles about important topics. The site's historical photo galleries are excellent.

· Miller, Tom. Trading with the Enemy: A Yankee Travels through Castro's Cuba. BasicBooks, 1992. Although more than a decade old, Miller's book still manages to convey the mood of Cuba. It's the best travel book about the country published in many years.

· National Lawyers Guild. U.S. citizens threatened with dire penalties by their own government for the "crime" of having visited Cuba can come here for advice.

· The Nature of Cuba. Here you can download the Smithsonian Magazine's outstanding 2003 article about Cuba's natural environment. The photography is unique.

· Paseos por La Habana. For those who read Spanish, this site offers lots of attractively presented information about Cuba's capital.

· Prensa Latina. Read Cuban and international news direct from the Cuban news agency, Prensa Latina.

· Progreso Weekly. A Miami-based news site with remarkably balanced coverage of Cuba.

· Santiago de Cuba. An online guide to Cuba's second city, with lodging, food, nightlife, sightseeing, history, and photos.

· Ten Alternative Travel Reasons to Visit Cuba. This mix of photos and facts may convince you that the time to go is now.

· Thomas, Hugh. Cuba: The Pursuit of Freedom. MacMillan, 2001. One can only understand contemporary Cuba by delving into its history, and Thomas covers the formative period from 1762 to 1962 in fascinating detail.

· VIAZUL. Prices and schedules for the regular luxury bus service to cities all around Cuba.

· WoWCuba. The site of MacQueen's Island Tours, a leading Canadian cycle-tour operator to Cuba. This company also very efficiently organizes independent travel to Cuba for Americans.

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"The Infography about Travel in Cuba"
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