Havana is the capital city of Cuba, covering some 740 square
kilometres. Although Havana is the smallest city of the country, it has
the largest population; in excess of 2 million inhabitants.
several attempts to establish the city in an area located to the south
coast where Havana of today is located, by 1519, settlement had taken
place around the harbour, known today as Old Havana.
a very important port for Spain due to its strategic position in the
Gulf of Mexico. All ships sailing back to Spain, after having collected
the gold and silver from the neighbouring colonies, had to stop in the
Bay of Havana to stock up on necessary provisions of water,salted meat,
etc.for the long journey ahead. This helped the city to flourish and to
develop its economy and culture. There are masterpieces of architecture
dating as far as the 16th century that can be admired today. All around
the colonial area are examples of the stunning architecture from Cuba's
colonial past. Even those that appear run down, are examples of beauty
and well worth a visit.
We invite you to visit our treasures in
Old Havana, acknowledged in 1982 by UNESCO, and declared a "World
Heritage" site. The cars from the 1950's, the atmosphere of the
streets, the bars that Hemingway went to, the music, the dancing … will
take you back in time to enjoy a unique experience, "The Havana
There are a thousand things we could mention about
Havana but we did not bring you this far to tell you about it -it is
our intention to let you live it. Enjoy Havana, we will be offering
different tours and excursions that you can enjoy during your stay -
for more information contact your local representative.
Cuba's capital city, and the centre for social, political and economic
life. The city was founded in 1519 by the Spaniards under the name of
Villa de San Cristóbal de la Habana. For centuries, it was Spain’s
vantage point as a port city advantageously located at the entrance of
the Gulf of Mexico and playing a prominent role in trade and
communications between the Old and the New World. This earned the city
the name of “Key to the Gulf”.
The city was subjected to many
attacks from pirates attracted by the wealth stored in ships moored at
the harbor, waiting to sail off for the metropolis. To keep them at
bay, the Spanish authorities build a high wall that surrounded the city
- a system unparalleled in America. Much is still preserved for
visitors to see, including places such as the Alameda de Paula, by the
harbor, the Plaza de Armas (Parade Ground), the Cathedral square, the
Real Fuerza, Morro and Cabaña castles, the Capitanes Generales and
Segundo Cabo palaces, as well as remains of the wall and cobblestones
streets; all evidence of its magnificent past.
In late 1982, the
historical part of the city, the 19th century’s urban expansion, the
harbor channel with its two sides and the defense forts were declared a
World Heritage by UNESCO. This international recognition was given to
the city for safeguarding its historical and cultural assets.
stroll through Havana's stone-paved streets is a must. We also
recommend a visit to its fortresses, buildings, monuments, museums,
churches, mansions, stately houses and squares. Havana's colonial
roofs, stain glasses, grilles, balustrades and balconies reflect an
amazing mixture of architectural styles from different centuries.
Real Fuerza castle –the oldest colonial fortress in America– is a
museum specializing in artistic pottery made by Cuba’s most famous
The so-called Torre del Homenaje, a bell tower and
a former watchtower, features the sculpture of La Giraldilla, widely
known as the symbol of the city.
The Captain Generals’ house, now the City Museum, displays collections that give a broad historical
overview of the city from its foundation to the present times.
the heights over the bay, there is the Morro-Cabaña Historical Military
Park, made up by the castle known as the Tres Santos Reyes Magos del
Morro and the San Carlos de la Cabaña fortress, with a museum
exhibiting the country’s most important collection of weapons.
night soldiers wearing colonial-style uniforms re-enact the past
tradition of firing a cannon in a lively captivating ceremony. In the
past this shot signaled the closing of the ramparts protecting the city
from pirates attacks.
For foreign visitors, the offer is completed
with the authentic flavor of Cuban dishes at La Bodeguita del Medio, an
inevitable photograph by the beautiful baroque cathedral –a National
Monument– or the breeze and sunshine as you walk all along the city
Malecón, unceasingly washed over by the sea.
The old part of the
city also reflects Cuba’s links with the rest of the world. Its many
museums exhibit the history and culture of the peoples of Africa,
Mexico, Ecuador, Venezuela and Arabia. The latter houses the only
Muslim mosque in the city open for both national and foreign believers.
has managed to retain the charm of bygone days, whilst embracing the
inevitable changes of modern day life. Its grand houses, tall buildings
and modern architecture sit in harmony with the past.
all the neighborhoods or districts that make up this part of Havana, El
Vedado is unanimously preferred by visitors and locals. It is here you
will find the theaters, art galleries, movie houses, exhibition halls,
cultural institutions, specialty restaurants, bars and other recreation
Its backbone is a street known as La Rampa, whose
distinctive features are Cuban artists’ paintings on granite tiles that
have been inlaid in 500 meters of sidewalk.
The former Villa de
San Cristóbal de la Habana is the focal point of Cuban culture, full of
musicians, poets, dancers, actors, actresses and playwrights. It is
also the headquarters of Cuba’s National Ballet, the Casa de las
Américas and the Fundación del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano, as well as a
host to important international festivals.
The history of the city
and the country at large is closely related to the José Martí Memorial,
dedicated to the National Hero of Cuba. A square bearing his name
provides huge space for parades, political gatherings, and mass
celebrations. Renowned personalities from all over the world receive
homage in the City of Havana in museums like Ernest Hemingway’s House
and the Napoleonic Museum. The latter is one of the most noteworthy on
earth displaying a collection of Napoleon’s belongings.
of facilities are devoted to science, fauna and flora, including the
“Carlos J. Finlay” Historical Museum of Sciences, unique in America,
the “Felipe Poey” Natural History Museum –first of its kind founded in
the country–, the National Botanical Garden covering some 600 hectares
and the National Aquarium exhibiting a wide range of fish species from
tropical and subtropical zones.
The heat of the city forces
holidaymakers to move to the Playas del Este –Santa María del Mar and
Guanabo–, with 18 kilometers of white sand and crystalline water. Known
as the Blue Circuit, it is here the sun, the sea, water sports and
excellent facilities for recreation are available for all.
those who enjoy yachting, Marina Puertosol Tarará provides dockage 24
hours a day as well as restaurant services, tours and accommodation. It
also organizes international tournaments such as “The Old Man And the
Sea”, devoted to blue marlin fishing and “La Hispanidad”. The Caribbean
scuba diving center offers multiple choices that range from nighttime
dives to diving all the way down to caves and coral reefs. Miramar, in
the opposite direction, emerges as the heart of the dynamic development
of tourism infrastructure, with a major construction programme that
includes business and rest facilities, buildings and shopping malls.
in this area, the Conference Center hosts important international
meetings organized by Cuba. It is part of an environment complemented
with Pabexpo trade fair grounds and the exclusive services provided by
the Club Havana.
Marina Hemingway provides a great variety of facilities and activities for visitors and their vessels.
International “Blue Marlin” and “Ernest Hemingway” tournaments are also a big draw.
Aguja scuba diving center offers opportunities for scuba divers to
explore wrecked ships, at night, and take pictures under the sea. In
Marina Marlin, tours, sport fishing, jet ski and catamaran rides are
waiting for you. “Hemingway” international nautical club organizes
sailboat races called “Havana Cup”, “Castillo del Morro” and “Feliz
Havana’s most impressive allure however, are its
hospitable and smiling people, always ready to provide information,
discuss or chat about different matters and even share a sip of coffee