There is more to Cuba than just Havana cigars and the occasional conflict with the U.S. It is, in fact, one of the most beautiful countries in the Americas if you are planning on a vacation. Let’s not waste time, here are some fun and interesting facts about Cuba you probably did not know.
1. Cubans were not allowed to own a mobile phone until 2008
The first personal mobile phones were already around in the 90s, but Cubans were only able to enjoy them beginning 2008. They also didn’t get access to personal computers until then.
2. Coca Cola is not officially sold in Cuba
Cuba is one of the only two countries that do not officially sell Coca Cola. The other one is North Korea.
Coke is available in some hotel stores, though. You can also get them “under the table” in some places, although more expensive than the local version, Tukola.
3. Cuba has two currencies – Fun And Interesting Facts About Cuba
Cuba implements a dual economy and uses two different currencies for the locals and tourists.
The locals use CUP, while the tourists use CUC. The CUC can be converted into pesos, though, at a 1:1 rate against US Dollars.
4. Cuba didn’t have public Wi-Fi hotspots until 2015
Before 2015, Wi-Fi access was limited to a select few, mostly government officials, doctors, and government-approved journalists.
Not all websites can be accessed using Wi-Fi hotspots and the Internet is not free. You can buy Wi-Fi cards for 2-5 CUC.
5. Public transportation is exclusive to locals
Public transportation in Cuba is very affordable compared to tourist taxis and buses. However, it is not meant for the use of tourists.
If you speak Spanish, you may be able to ride the local buses. Otherwise, you’re better off riding the Taxi Colectivos or Viazul buses.
6. Cuba makes the finest cigars in the world
In general, smoking is not recommended and it is harmful to health. However, we cannot ignore the fact that Cuban cigars are among the finest in the world.
About 90 percent of Cuban cigars are sold to the government, then the government makes a business out of it. The tobacco owners can sell the remaining 10% privately as they wish.
7. Most restaurants are government-owned
The Cuban government owns most of the restaurants in the country, although there are some that are privately-owned. They are called Paladres, but they are rare.
In general, the Paladres provide better food and service quality, so if you’re visiting Cuba, try looking for and dining in one.
8. Media is owned and controlled by the government
Freedom of the press is something you can’t find in Cuba. All forms of broadcast media are owned and controlled by the government.
Before the revolution, there were about 50 newspapers in circulation daily. Now, there are only four national newspapers and 10 regional papers.
9. Cubans get only $20 USD salary per month
The way of life of Cubans are slowly developing, but the average Cuban still gets a measly $20 USD salary per month. Yes, less than a dollar a day.
10. But Cuban households have a ration book
Obviously, one cannot live decently on a 20-dollar salary per month. The amount will never be enough to buy food.
Luckily, all Cuban households have a ration book. The government has specified certain products as necessities and these are subsidized to very low costs.
You should really check out our travel section if you liked this post about fun and interesting facts about Cuba, we got many more fact lists there!