The island is full of contrasts; sugar cane plantations in the region of Trinidad, jungle and mountains in the Sierra Maestra as well as desert and jungle landscapes close to Baracoa in the far east of the island.
Cuba's coastline runs a distance of 4,340 miles with some 290 beaches to its name. The most famous are those found on the Varadero peninsula, a popular seaside resort since the 1920s.
Cuba treasures its nature and protects it. The country has nearly 8,000 plant species and almost 400 species of birds. Some 200 animal and plant species are said to be on the UN's list of species close to extinction.
Music is an essential component of Cuban culture. Havana, at the "crossroads of rhythms and sounds", has managed to keep the marks of its colonial past intact. Painting, cinema and literature have also been preserved. And we can't forget the Cuban cigars and another local specialty - the rum!