cuba

Cuba is an archipelago of islands located in the northern Caribbean Sea at the confluence with the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. It lies between latitudes 19° and 24°N, and longitudes 74° and 85°W. The United States lies 150 kilometers (90 miles) across the Straits of Florida to the north and northwest (to the closest tip of Key West, Florida), and the Bahamas to the north. Mexico lies 217 kilometers (135 miles) across the Yucatán Channel to the west (to the closest tip of Cabo Catoche in the State of Quintana Roo).

Haiti is to the east, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands to the south. Cuba is the principal island, surrounded by four smaller groups of islands: the Colorados Archipelago on the northwestern coast, the Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago on the north-central Atlantic coast, the Jardines de la Reina on the south-central coast and the Canarreos Archipelago on the southwestern coast.

The main island named Cuba is 1,250 km (780 mi) long, constituting most of the nation’s land area (104,556 km2 (40,369 sq mi)) and is the largest island in the Caribbean and 17th-largest island in the world by land area. The main island consists mostly of flat to rolling plains apart from the Sierra Maestra mountains in the southeast, whose highest point is Pico Turquino (1,974 m (6,476 ft)).

The second-largest island is Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth) in the Canarreos archipelago, with an area of 2,200 km2 (849 sq mi). Cuba has an official area (land area) of 109,884 km2 (42,426 sq mi). Its area is 110,860 km2 (42,803 sq mi) including coastal and territorial waters.

For a small country, Cuba has a very large soul. It’s all owing to a culture which is rich, vibrant and immensely varied. At the island’s heart are the Cubans, brought here by the trade winds from all corners of the earth to forge a new people. Amerindian Taino, Spanish, African, French, Asian and English ways of life took root in Cuba, but in the mixing of the cultures became something new and utterly distinct. The search for the essence of Cuba is perhaps what drives the vital cultural tradition here.

The island’s location at the crossroads of the Caribbean attracted waves of immigrants, whose influence lives on in the country’s visual arts, architecture, literature, dance and music, not to mention the passion for sports and the ritual of Cuban coffee. Cuban art graces the finest galleries both here and abroad; Cuban writers have shaped the development of Latin-Caribbean literature; historic architecture is celebrated with UNESCO support; Cuban music and dance is renowned the world over. Here is a country where a baseball game, classical concert or the ballet are considered a right of the people, and the price of admission is accessible to all.

Across the country, there are 256 museums focusing on history, the Revolution, music, natural science, colonial and ornamental art, weapons, cars, religion, tobacco, rum and sugar; more than 100 art galleries; around 70 theaters; 120 publishing houses; 354 public libraries; 315 community centres; 46 schools of art and an international film school.

FIND OUT MORE: Please visit www.autenticacuba.com