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Tourism is Cuba's number-one source of hard currency, and the government is actively involved in promoting tourism internationally. As a result, there's a network of tourism boards and agencies in major cities around the world; some are better than others. Some offices are run by the Ministry of Tourism, others by one of the major state-run agencies like Cubanacán, Havanatur, or Cubatur. No matter the bureau, the focus is almost entirely on organized tours, but they can give you some basic information. Agencies to contact include Cuba Tourist Board Canada, 1200 Bay St., Suite 305, Toronto M5R 2A5 (tel. 416/362-0700; www.gocuba.ca), or 2075, rue Université, Bureau 460, Montreal H3A 2L1 (tel. 514/875-8004); Cuba Tourist Board Great Britain, 154 Shaftesbury Ave., 1st Floor, London WC2H 8HL (tel. 0207/240-6655; www.travel2cuba.co.uk); and, in the United States, the Cuban Interests Section (tel. 202/797-8518; http://embacu.cubaminrex.cu/sicw).

A host of other information is available online. The Latin America Network Information Center (http://lanic.utexas.edu/la/cb/cuba) is the best one-stop shop for helpful links to a wide range of travel and general information sites.

The Cuban government sponsors a number of websites, including Cuba Travel (www.cubatravel.cu), CubaSi (www.cubasi.cu), Auténtica Cuba (http://autenticacuba.com/uk) and Directorio Turístico de Cuba (www.dtcuba.com), the most useful. All provide a fair amount of travel-related information and links. State-run tourism agency websites -- including Cubanacán (www.cubanacan.cu) and Cubatur (www.cubatur.cu) -- are also good places to check for hotels, transportation, and package deals.

Infotur (www.infotur.cu), based in Cuba, also provides fairly detailed information on the country's provinces. Two interesting and informative sites are Cuba Absolutely (www.cubaabsolutely.com) and Havana Journal (www.havanajournal.com).

There are several interesting Cuba-related blogs, which offer an interesting perspective on life in Cuba, including www.desdecuba.com/generationy, www.alongthemalecon.blogspot.com, www.sinevasionen.wordpress.com, and www.translatingcuba.com.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.