• United States!

    United States: Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Go Now!

    United States
    Explore the vast openness and wildlife found roaming in the western United States, including Theodore Roosevelt National Park (pictured) in North Dakota. Begin Your Journey!

  • Trinidad & Tobago!

    Trinidad & Tobago: Beautiful Coastline. Go Now!

    Trinidad & Tobago
    These Caribbean islands mix Indian, African, and European cultures alongside beautiful beaches. Go Now!

  • Cuba!

    Cuba: Sandy beach. Go Now!

    Cuba
    Many people fear the unknowns of Cuba, but the history, culture, food, and impressive beaches lure many visitors every year. Explore Cuba!

  • Panama!

    Panama: Panama City skyline. Go Now!

    Panama
    Panama is best known for the Panama Canal, but the beaches draw tourists, as does Panama City (pictured), a modern capital quite different from most nearby cities. Explore Panama

  • Mexico!

    Mexico: Sunrise over the mountains in Puerto Vallarta. Go Now!

    Mexico
    Although many people just go for the beaches, Mexico offers impressive mountain vistas (pictured in Puerto Vallarta), great food, and historic ruins that compete with the best in the world. Begin Your Journey!

  • Jamaica!

    Jamaica: Pristine beach. Go Now!

    Jamaica
    Jamaican culture is about relaxation, great foods, friendly competition, and so much more. A good place to start is on the beach. Begin Your Journey!

Social Life in Cuba

WARNING: International disputes with Cuba are ongoing, please read this travel warning before going!

Behavior

There are few behavioral restrictions in Cuba, but you must be aware of the political situation in order to avoid legal issues or offending the locals. The government is in disagreement with the United States' government and discussing or comparing these two governments can be very offensive so these conversations are best avoided. If a local brings up the topic you may discuss the issue, but avoid expressing your opinions too strongly and never encourage a local to rise up or speak out against their government as this could put him or her in great danger.

In addition to the political situation, there is little that will truly offend the Cubans and few real behavioral issues to be aware of. Just try to avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, religion, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or getting noticeably drunk in public.

Dress

The traditional dress in Cuba is still alive today to a degree, although western-styled clothing is more popular. This traditional dress is rooted in Spanish styles with a touch of African influence and is loose-fitting to accommodate the hot Caribbean weather.

Perhaps the most traditional item of clothing is called a guayabera, which is a button-down shirt that is typically in white. This simple shirt can also be extended to be a dress in the same style for women. More stereotypically traditional is the bata cubana, which is a bright, colorful, loose-fitting, short-sleeved dress that reaches nearly to the ground. It often has ruffles and a large collar-like circle at the top surrounding the neck.

Today these traditional outfits are only popular at certain festivals and events, but can sometimes be seen elsewhere. Modern western-styled clothing is the norm in Cuba today and this dress can vary drastically in style and cut. In Havana and other cities the dress tends to be a bit more formal (unless people are going out dancing), while along the beaches the dress can be very liberal.

As a visitor to Cuba you can wear just about anything, but it is better to cover up a little if you are not on a beach. Although many people dress very liberally, there are a large number of conservative Catholics on the island who appreciate not seeing so much skin. Just try to dress for the occasion; a swimsuit on the beach is fine, but if eating in a restaurant, even one on the beach, try to dress a bit more modestly, and in churches long pants and shirts covering at least the shoulders are required. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, avoid wearing anything that indicates, represents, or promote any political entity or even a religion as the government officials won't take kindly to this.

This page was last updated: December, 2013