Cuba is always a great place to visit, and that’s even truer this year, as 2014 promises many interesting developments in the country’s economy, culture, tourism and society as a whole. And Cubaplus is delighted to bring you updates, recommendations and insight into many of these events. For pleasure boaters, new regulations now allow recreational vessels to remain in the country for up to five years, a period that can be extended, and paperwork for docking in Cuba’s marinas has been improved and simplified, with a new website for routine procedures, according to an official announcement.
And now, visitors to Cuba have a new option for cruising around the island: Cuba Cruise, a unique opportunity to experience the history, landscapes, and culture of Cuba in a comfortable and seamless travel environment. In partnership with Viajes Cubanacan, this trip around the island aboard the Louis Cristal cruis ship is a dream come true.
One of the events that both Cubans and visitors look forward to every year is the International Book Fair, which is set for Feb. 13-23 in Havana and until March 9 in the country’s other provinces. It is one of the country’s most important cultural happenings, featuring literature from 50 countries, author’s presentations, readings, music, and more for the whole family, all at the historic Morro-Cabaña fortress complex. Another annual fiesta holds sumptuous surprises for cigar-lovers: the Habanos Festival, where connoisseurs of the world’s best—the habano—can enjoy presentations of new cigars, tastings, visits to tobacco plantations, a sommelier contest and other fine pleasures.
And for those interested in learning about Cuba’s achievements in education and education developments internationally, the 9th International Congress on Higher Education, “Universidad 2014,” takes place on Feb. 10. This year’s theme is “For a Socially Responsible University.” Along with education, health care is one of Cuba’s proudest achievements. In this issue we bring you information about Servimed, which has been providing healthcare services to visitors with the highest ethical, scientific, and humanitarian standards for 20 years.
Cubans take anniversaries very seriously and this year the city of Trinidad, a World Heritage site, is celebrating its 500th birthday. It’s a place where the ancient and the modern, the sea and the mountains come together; where every corner is brimming with history, and where the hospitality of the people is unforgettable. Its Ancón Beach is one of the best on Cuba’s southern coast, and other attractions include the beautiful cays of Cayo Blanco and Cayo Iguana, a major coral reef, and 27 diving spots.
Another city is also celebrating half a millennium of existence: Camagüey. This city’s historic district is the largest in the country and is a World Heritage site. Along with its interesting history, architecture and culture, it has beautiful natural surroundings.
When you visit Cuba, it’s almost impossible to leave without enjoying its music, traditional and modern, romantic and danceable. In this issue, we bring you an interview with Giraldo Piloto, leader of the band Klimax. One of Piloto’s projects is the Fiesta del Tambor, or Havana Drum Festival, which takes place in March, and features top percussionists from around the world. This year’s event features an International Percussion Contest and an International Casino Dance Contest, both open to anyone interested in participating. And we have much more for you in this issue: fashion, fine dining, new developments in tourism, and sports. And one especially intriguing feature for Valentine’s Day: the loves of Cuba’s national hero, José Martí, the great patriot and poet.