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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Contrast and Diversity in Cuba's Transport

The Republic of Cuba, a Caribbean nation with a five-century-old history, features peculiar characteristics that turn the Island into a unique attraction for thousands of travelers who visit the country every year.

Beaches, pristine areas barely touched by man's hand, a culture with African, aboriginal and European roots, a rich history of struggles and Cubans' affable nature are a perfect combination to create a tempting offer in the Caribbean.

Add to all this Cuba's social and economic panorama, with industries, schools, recreational centers and, especially, a true sample of contrast and diversity in transport.

Cuba, one of the first nations in the continent to witness the appearance of those smoking monsters that were the first automobiles over 100 years ago, is a developing country where the new lives in perfect harmony with the old.

Upon their arrival, travelers are surprised by the sight of thousands of vehicles that are over 60 years old and are in perfect conditions, although their parts have not been manufactured for a long time.

Cubans' good sense of humor is also reflected in transportation, a field where solutions to public transport gave way to the famous "camellos" (camels), so called because they resemble those two-hump animals from the desert.

Bicycles, which are widely used in Asian countries and in some nations from the Old Continent, came to stay on the largest Antillean Island, where people use them to travel short distances (whenever weather conditions allow them to do so).

A version of the bicycle was incorporated into the service infrastructure of the leisure industry in the form of "bicitaxis", whose kind drivers transport those who prefer low speeds to better enjoy the Island's attractions, in both the capital and interior cities.

The development of tourism also brought, along with cars produced by world-renowned automakers, a peculiar round yellow vehicle known as Cocomovil (Coconutmobile).

Created a few years ago by an association of Cuban and foreign companies, the said vehicle's presence in Cuban streets has gradually increased thanks to the demand it generates, especially in summertime, when temperatures are so high that a refreshing Cocomovil trip becomes an excellent choice against heat.

Of course, first-class automobiles from renowned manufacturers, such as Mercedes Benz, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Daewoo and Volkswagen, among others, add a touch of modernity to Cuban transport.

However, they have failed to replace the most diverse means of transport running throughout the Island, each of them with a peculiar touch that favors and highlights its attractiveness in the eyes of both nationals and foreigners.

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