Cuba Local Customs

  • Terrace of El Palatino.
    Terrace of El Palatino.
    by pfsmalo
  • View of the Arc de Triomphe de Cienfuegos.
    View of the Arc de Triomphe de...
    by pfsmalo
  • German Harleys
    German Harleys
    by pfsmalo

Cuba Local Customs

  • Give Aways

    Holguín Local Customs

    Get to know the locals. They are the best people but remember they are poor. Bring lots of clothes and toys for the children. One little girl her toy was an empty toothpaste box. We litterally gave away all my clothes and shoes except what we were wearing home. Be generous and accept and invitation for lunch or dinner. Nice place.

  • Trinidad People

    Trinidad Local Customs

    In most of the Cuban Cities it is an experience to visit the local temples of music and that made my second trip to Cuba so different Like this building - not that far from the Plaza Mayor This island in the Caribbeans is a must for music lovers - visit the temples of music - the so called "Casa de la Trova" and enjoy the music of bands like Son...

  • Religion

    Santiago de Cuba Local Customs

    Christmas in Cuba this year passed with little more observance than the tiny plastic Xmas tree for me. Some of my Cuban friends did attend church as usual but there was none of the comercialization that we have been accustomed to here in North America and Europe. However, there is always a shrine to El Cobre, the patron saint of Cuba, in the...

  • Holguin City

    Holguín Local Customs

    There is a lot spainish in Cuba, also the buildings. If you like the spainish buildings there are alot of pictures you can make just of the buildings. So bring enough. This building has a balcony and from this balcony Fidel spook his first speech over the people in Holguin.

  • Practical

    Santiago de Cuba Local Customs

    During your visit of Moncada garrison you'll see that part of it is school as well (Mr.Casto decision)... it's strange that we passed and kids had exam...with open door and none told us to be quite or anything...i know cubans have pride considering their education but still...

  • Cuban Music

    Santiago de Cuba Local Customs

    The famous "Casa de la Trova" in Calle Heredia - exchange of emotions between a teacher and his student (a Cuban music player living in the Netherlands ) - we had a great time. But no misunderstanding - this is Ingrid and the famous leader of the band (72 years old-the leader i mean) and the portrait at the wall showing the location of the Casa at...

  • piggling and roast pork

    the roast pork is a staple to be cherished with Cuban families and the lucky ones who gets to do leave with an indeniable feeling this is a very friendly loving people no matter what the personal needsroast pork is done in open pits or sometime man made concrete pits all with wood or carbon, and the pig is roasted with a mojo or mixture of garlic,...

  • In Cuba, there's a law that says

    In Cuba, there's a law that says; Every state-owned car which can transport goods and people, should help out people when a ride is needed.So verywhere you' ll find people hitch hiking: Teachers, policemen, land workers, school kids.If you have a rental car and you can spare a place...give them a ride.Obviously it's also a great way to connect and...

  • The elders

    The pension age in Cuba is 60. Cubans with 'heavy' jobs like working in the mines for instance can quit at 55. Women quit at 55 as well.Most of them earn some money on the side to add to their pension, like the two guys in the picture.

  • Ration books

    There is a rationing system for staple food. Everybody gets the same amount, and the cost is subsidized by the government. Wages are very low, and the subsidized food is needed. Our guide showed us her ration book, listing the number of people in the family and what she was entitled to buy. She gets the food in a peso store, and the clerk stamps...

  • Money, Money, Money

    Cuba has two currencies--One for Cubans and one for foreigners. Visitors have to change their currency to convertible pesos (CUC) and there is a 13% fee for changing it. (I don't know if the 13% fee applies to other currencies or just U.S. dollars.) There is supposed to be a small fee to change the CUC back into dollars, but I don't know the...

  • Cuban beers

    When most people think of Cuban alcohol it is likely that rum is the first thing that comes to mind.Or maybe one of Cuba's famous cocktails: the Mojito, the Daiquiri or the Cuba Libre.I'm pleased to report that Cuba also brews a range of good beers!The two most common beers that I encountered during my stay were Bucanero Fuerte and Cristal.Bucanero...


    Trova is folk-ballads played with guitars. The genre usually involves some sort of protest songs. Nueva trova evolved in the late 1960s by Pablo Milanes (in Spanish), Silvio Rodriguez (in Spanish) and Noel Nicola. Their social criticisms and views of life are expressed beautifully in this sort of musical poetry.

  • Santeria

    Santeria is the cult religion of Cuba; a unique blend of the beliefs of the slaves brought to the island from Africa and the Christianity their masters tried to force them to adopt. In order to protect their culture, while appearing to conform, the slaves depicted their African deities (from the Yoruba culture of south-western Nigeria) as...

  • Che Guevara

    Wherever you go in Cuba you will see images of Che Guevara. Statues and monuments in the towns, billboards at the side of the road in the countryside, t-shirts and baseball caps for sale to tourists – you cannot escape from him! I first encountered Cuba’s national hero as a student in the seventies, when no bed-sit was complete without a poster of...

  • Cigar factories

    Make sure you visit a cigar factory while in Cuba. There's one in Havana (behind the Capitol near Parque Central) and lots of tours in the Vinales region. In these larger enterprises photography is banned or severely limited, but we also found a little one-man operation in Trinidad where for a small tip we could take as many pictures as we...

  • Old cars

    One of the iconic sights of Havana is definitely the large number of classic American cars on its streets. Because it's been difficult for many Cubans to purchase new cars since Castro took over in the late 50s, many inhabitants have instead devoted their efforts to maintaining the car they owned prior to the revolution. If you love old cars, or...

  • India and Cuba

    You should remind your Indian National Friend that India was one of the first countries to recognize the change in government when Fidel took over.. Fidel has a very soft spot for India and he proudly shows the picture of Indira Gandhi with him and by the way the same photo hangs in the Indian embassy in havana.Having said all that, Cuba does not...

  • cuban proposal

    HI im in the same boat, and was wondering about transporting the ring. Hand luggage seems the way to go but are they likely to open the bag in front of our soon to be misses and say" whats this"Can you bring diamonds into cuba

  • Santaria

    The Afro-Cuban religion.Too long to explain in this tip, but very interestingWhen going to Cuba you can learn more about this when you have the time to visit Callejon de Hamel in Centro Habana at Sunday afternoon at 12:00 noon untill around 5:00 pm. For their weekly rumba sessionsMore about Callejon de Hamel, check out the website below

  • The Cuban Cook CUC

    This currency, CUC (cook) for short was created especially to drag into the government coffers as much of the remittances from abroad, and have a control over it. The Cubans living abroad, in USA and Europe, send an estimated one billion dollars per year to the island. Cuba has had separate stores for foreigners and locals, long before it opened...


    Hemingway would have his usual MOJITO pronounced Moh-hee-toh at his favourite haunt, La Bodeguita Del Medio, located in old Havana. I did try one at our resort and I must admit that it's an acquired taste and I didn't much care for it. But there were many that did, so I thought it would be fun to post the original authentic recipe which I got from...

  • You're paying.

    in havana at least, when you have a cuban to dinner or drinks, you're paying. if there are multiple habaneros out with you, this can get a bit expensive, so keep that in mind. and don't get discouraged, if you trust the people you're with, they mean nothing by it, only that you most certainly have FAR more money than them. i found it odd that many...

  • Customs

    Be aware when trying to leave the country you have to pay a charge of 25 Cuban Convertible Pesos so make sure u have the change. (I was very tempted to just stay there!) Also unless returning to Cuba, taking Peso's out of the country is pointless as cannot be exchanged anywhere.

  • (non) Anti-western propaganda

    It's really nothing but this poster was only thing I could find visible as anti-western propaganda. In fact, no one cares who you are as long as you have CUC / EUR / USD .... and that's good for country.

  • Shop where locals purchase

    If you enter (and you can couse none will stop you) in one of the shops where locals purchase basic groceries (sugar, oil, tooth paste, flour....) you'll be suprised ?! shocked?! sad ?! anything but cool !Those merchandise Cubans can buy in local currency (Peso) and seems like state participate in those discounted values. You can not buy (as Cuban)...

  • Money

    Don't bring US dollars to change into the local tourist currency Peso Convertible 'CUC', which by the way is the only valid and useful currency for tourists. You will pay 10 to 12% more as there is a boycot against the US. Also creditcards linked to US banks won't be accepted. Cuba is a cash country. Bring as much cash money as possible. Although...

  • Hitchhikers

    Public transportation is almost non-existing outside of Havana. People need to hitchhike to go somewhere.There is an official hitchhike system in Cuba. You will notice that number plates have different colours. Cars with blue number plates (state cars, trucks) are obliged to stop for hitchhikers when they have free seats or a free loading platform....

  • hitchhike

    Many Cubans hitchhike as a means of getting around and locally the activity is known as hacer botella (literally 'to make a bottle' with the hand). Government vehicles are legally required to pick up hitchhikers if they have the room and town exits and major crossroads often have yellow-clad amarillo officials armed with clipboards to organize the...

  • Russian cards

    well, how I know this story.. my country (Poland ) in early 80s had the same system. We also struggled for toilet paper and food. Cuban still have Rusian cards system which give them only a certain amount of food per month

  • Tipping

    Some guidelines for tipping:Porter at the airport/hotel: 1 CUCWaiter in a restaurant: 1 CUC or 5-10usicians in a restaurant/bar: 1 CUCMusic CD of bands in a restaurant/bar: 10 CUCRoom maid: 1 CUC (for 3 days)The woman in front of the toilettes: coins (10-25 cents)Cleaning the rental car: 0.5 - 1 CUCSecurity at parking lot: 0.5 - 1 CUCMany families...

  • Taking pictures

    Cubans like to be photographed but sometimes may ask for money afterwards, therefore it is always recommended to ask permission before you take pictures.

  • Climate

    The dry season is from November to April, the rainy season is from May to October (often only a short shower in the afternoon, most days are sunny and without rain). Hurricanes may occur from June to November. A local told me that they are more frequent lately than 10 years ago.Average temperature is 25 degrees C. Max. temperature in summer is...

  • Quince-15 years old

    In Cuba, you'll see more than once a young girl totally dressed up, mostly in White, and whole crew there taking photos or video. First I thought it was a wedding, but I couldn't find the bridegroom, and the bride seems a little too young, until I was told the girls were celebrating their 15 year birthday, which is one of the most important...

  • Domino

    The game of Domino is the national game of Cuba. For many, the game is a daily social event. You frequently see people playing in the streets.

  • Santaria for tourists

    Stationed in the plaza near the corner of the church obviously for tourist interests. She smokes her cigar and requests tips for photos. I never got a chance to ask if her presence was government sponsored, just private enterprize, or something in between. Still she was beautiful and friendly and there was no trap about it, so her picture goes...

  • Cigars and Rum

    The tobacco, that object made of dry leaves, the "brega", is one of the national prides, even among who prefer to stay to the margin of its seductive smoke. And it cannot be otherwise, because we see it born of the hands of the farmers, and to become pleasure after a long and meticulous process that bears selection and classification of the leaves,...

  • Homosexuality in Cuba

    I'm cuban and lived in Havana for 28 years. I'm hetero and I had and still have very good homosexual friends, both sex. Homosexuality is not so well overlooked in general but forget about any attacks, either phisical or just in words. Maybe U'll have some second sight, maybe U'll notice some one overloloking U, mostly cubans over 40 years.Younger...

  • Local cuisine-Tostones (flattened fried...

    Tostones (Flattened fried banana)Tostones is, without doubt, Cuban's favorite side dish and U'll see it everywhere on any restaurant or home if they have some green banana.Time: 15 MinsDifficulty: EasyServe: 4 peopleIngredients:2 unripe banana1/2 cup of oil4 teaspoons of cold water1/2 teaspoons of mashed garlicSaltPreparation:Peel the bananas and...

  • Local cuisine...Congris or Moros y...

    A typical plate in cuba could be, Arroz Congris with any meat, "tostones", "masas de puerco" or "yuca con mojo"."Arroz congris" or "Moros y Cristianos" is very simple to make:1 lb dry black beans 7 C water 1 medium green pepper, coarsely chopped 1-1/2 C chopped onion 1 Tbsp vegetable oil 2 bay leaves 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 tsp salt 1 Tbsp...

  • Cuban Beer

    In our time in Cuba, we only encountered two different brands of beer - Cristal and Bucanero.Generally speaking, it appears as though the locals stick to the latter of the two, and it's easy to see why. Cristal is a very light, flavourless, watered down beer; almost more like a soft drink than an alcoholic beverage.Bucanero is stronger, but doesn't...

  • Appearance

    I a 20 year old latin female with a couple tattoos. Many times they thought i was maybe a criminal. Also I look very cuban and while travelling with my blonde friends amny thought i was maybe a jinertra. So be careful about where and when you are showing your tattoos not in religious areas or goverment officials. As well if you feel liek you are...

  • Prices of food and other things...

    Havana and Varadero have the highest prices. Once U get out to the country field, the prices drops. Also is good to know that U can buy many things to eat, fruits, meat, vegetables and others in the "agromercados" all around Havana and there the prices are several times less than in shops or hotels.The usual prices in shops or small cafeteria:-...

  • Santeria in Cuba

    There is still no official religion in Cuba.But the believes of Cubans is dominated by Santeria - a religion of people of African descent. Although it incorporates a number of Christian themes and motifs - the heart and soul is African. (Picture taken by Ingrid - my travelfriend in Cuba)

  • Playing games, playing Domino

    Yes i think i have a love affair, an affair with the Cuban people being generous, pleasant and listening, dancing at Salsa Rythm.Being open and so different from other people in the Caribbean or even South American countries in general. Give me a ticket to Cubato enjoy my holidays in full


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Cuba Local Customs

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