Each and every visit to the Caribbean is like no other. There is always something new to learn, places to go or things to do. Sculpted by nature, the islands are ever-changing and evolving. With so many islands to choose from it is never easy to decide on where to stop.
We want to introduce you to our beautifully unique islands. Make sure you stay a while, take your time! In the Caribbean there’s no rush, let’s just ‘go with the flow’.
The more you learn, the more you will want to know, so relax and discover
The Cuban flag consists of five horizontal stripes where two are white and three are blue. In the left part of the flag, a red triangle and a white five-pointed star are located. The flag was designed in 1849 by Narciso Lopez, but was not adopted until 1902. Lopez was fighting for independence from Spain and he wanted Cuba to join the United States, this is why he included one white star on the flag. He wanted the star to represent one of the stars on the American flag. This vision, however, never materialized and Cuba became a communist country. The three blue stripes denote the three Cuban departments. White represents purity of ideals of people fighting for independence, and red recalls the blood shed during these fights. Each of the peaks of the triangle points to one of the ideals of the Cuban revolution – liberty, equality, and fraternity.
Information adapted from flagpedia.net
The Cuban Coat of Arms consists of a shield, a wreath, and a Phrygian cap. The Phrygian cap represents liberty.
The shield is divided into three sections. The key between two rocks symbolizes Cuba’s position between both American continents. The blue and white stripes represent the flag. The lower right division of the shield contains a Cuban landscape scene.
The wreath is made of an oak branch and a laurel branch. The oak branch symbolizes the strength of Cuba and the laurel branch represents the honour of Cuba.
Information courtesy of worldatlas.com
Al combate corred bayameses
que la patria os comtempla orgullosa
no temais una muerte gloriosa
que morir por la patria es vivir
En cadenas vivir es morir
en afrenta y oprobio sumidos
del clarin escuchad el sonido
a las armas valientes corred.
Hasten to battle, men of Bayamo,
For the homeland looks proudly to you.
Do not fear a glorious death,
Because to die for the country is to live.
To live in chains
Is to live in dishonour and ignominy.
Hear the clarion call,
Hasten, brave ones, to battle!
Most of the Península de Zapata is protected and part of Ciénaga de Zapata, a nature reserve (also known as Gran Parque Natural Montemar). Its vast swamps and forests create the perfect habitat for diverse wildlife species, including many rare and endemic ones. Since 2001, Ciénaga de Zapata has been a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Ciénaga de Zapata translates in English to Zapata Swamp.
Beach lovers don’t give just up yet. Península de Zapata has over 30 km of beaches!
Information courtesy of breathewithus.com
Valle de Viñales is a real Cuban gem. Best-known for its plantations that grow the world famous Cuban tobacco, this valley in the Sierra de los Organos has a lush karst landscape surrounded by mountains that blew us away the second we arrived there.
The mogotes (limestone outcrops), basically hills that pop off the ground of the valley, can reach up to 300 m and are one of the features that make the landscape of Valle de Viñales unique. The other is its rural environment. The valley is dotted with farms and its fertile red soil is suitable for all kinds of agriculture, where traditional methods and techniques are used and part of the authenticity of Viñales.
Information courtesy of breathewithus.com
Habana Vieja, or ‘Old Havana’ in English is the city-centre of Havana. Old Havana and its fortifications were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. Home to many historic forts and museums which have been beautifully restored. With beautiful cobbled squares, lively plazas and streets lined with vintage cars, Old Havana has an interesting mix of Baroque and neoclassical monuments. There is so much to see, do and learn about the city’s long and colourful history.
Jardines del Rey, known as the King’s Garden, developed on the coral reef system that lines Cuba’s shore and is an 450km long archipelago. It contains hundreds of islands some of the most popular being Caya Guillermo, Cayo Coco and Cay Romano. Some of the major cays are also linked to the mainland however only Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo have tourist facilities. Both have beautiful white sand beaches that drift out into crystal clear and warm waters. Magnificent birds inhabit the nature reserve and flamingos can be sighted along the inshore lagoons.