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Vector showing map of Cuba Interesting facts about Cuba

23 Interesting Facts about Cuba

by WhyNotCuba

The most important interesting fact is that Cuba is a melting pot of different cultures and influences with a fascinating history.

Although there are hundreds if not thousands of interesting facts about Cuba, here are a few you might want to know before you travel to the island nation.

1.  The official name of Cuba is the Republic of Cuba or Republíca de Cuba in Spanish.

Despite being a communist country, Cuba still considers itself a Republic.

2. Cuba has one of the highest literacy rates in the world with almost all of the population (99.8%) being literate.

Thanks to a big push against illiteracy by the government in the 20th century.

3. Cuba is the largest Caribbean island both in terms of size and population. It is also the 17th largest island in the world.

4. Vintage American cars from the 40s and 50s are still driving on Cuban roads.

Image of pink, red and blue vintage American cars lined up on the streets of Cuba
Many classic American cars are used as taxis in Cuba

5.

5.Cubans call vintage cars “almendrones” (big almond) and their drivers “boteros” (boatmen).

6. Cuba is the only country in the world that has a double currency system .

7. Cuba’s coastline stretches more than 5,700 km.

8. Christopher Columbus discovered Cuba in 1492, and claimed it for Spain.

9. Slavery in Cuba was abolished in 1886. One of the last countries to do so.

10. Cuba’s main exports are sugar, tobacco and nickel.

11. Cuba has nine UNESCO World Heritage sites; two of them natural and the other seven cultural. Old Havana is one of the cultural world heritage sites.

An image of Old Havana showing the Havana Catedral on a cloudy day.
Havana Catedral is one of the many famous landmarks you can find in Old Havana

12. Ernest Hemingway lived in Cuba for twenty years and wrote two of his most famous novels there; The Old Man and the Sea and For Whom the Bell Tolls.

13. During the prohibition era, many American bartenders moved to Cuba to continue their profession. Amongst them was Eddie Woelke, to whom many credit the famous Cuban cocktail; El Presidente.

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14. Cuba is home to the largest flamingo colonies in the western hemisphere.

An image showing a flamingo colony interesting facts about Cuba
Flamingo colony in Cuba

15. Many of the world’s most famous cocktails originate from Cuba.

16. There is a law preventing Cuba’s vintage cars from being exported from the island. Only Cubans and foreign residents (temporary or permanent) are allowed to purchase cars in Cuba.

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17.  Cuban people earn approximately $29.60 a month on average.

18. Cuban life expectancy is 79.72. In the United States its 78.69.

19.Fidel Castro smoked Cohiba cigars. The CIA even allegedly tried to assassinate Castro once by sending him a box of poisoned cigars.

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20. The Cuban hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world, measuring just 5 cm from beak to tail. Locals call them zunzún.

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21. The worlds smallest frog also lives in Cuba. It is only 10 mm (0.39 in) long.

22. Cuba is one of the safest countries in Latin America, with almost no violent crime and one of the most popular destinations for solo female travellers in the world.

23. It is practically impossible to eat beef in Cuba. The government has a strange history with cows.

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