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Destinations Caribbean Cuba Havana


The enigmatic city of Havana is the entry point for most visitors to Cuba, who fly in hoping for their imaginations to be captured by this revolutionary nation. Despite the sad neglect that the city has faced in the last 50 years, the colonial buildings stand proud and beautiful while old American cars chug away on the surrounding streets. All Explore holidays to Cuba begin with a city tour of Havana, a local guide helping us to discover the nooks and crannies of the city on foot.

One of the first things that hits you as you wander around Havana is the lack of advertising - nothing but political declarations are allowed, so posters and slogans proclaiming revolutionary sentiments are prevalent, particularly around the politically important Plaza de la Revolucion, or 'Revolutionary Square', where the city's major events and celebrations are held. Contrast this to the cobbled area of the Habana Vieja (Old Havana), with it's Baroque cathedral and beautiful Neoclassical buildings, and you'll get a sense of the city's diversity.

For anyone even mildly interested in history, the Museum of the Revolution is a must-visit. It gives a great overview (albeit one-sided) of the events leading up to the Revolution, with pictures of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in the mountain hideout of the Sierra Maestra range. Alternatively, you can see how Communism has been put into practice by visiting one of the city's cigar factories, or head down to the malecon to watch the locals diving off the side of the waterfront into the warm sea.

Aside from history, Havana's nightlife and music scene is one of the main draws of a holiday to Cuba. The streets seem to literally pulsate with the thrum of salsa, and if you visit one of the local music halls, the friendly locals can get even the most nervous dancer up on the floor. Dancing salsa in Havana is about as ubiquitous as drinking mojitos and smoking cigars!

Whether exploring with your family, by bike, or on foot, Havana has something to satisfy every kind of traveller.

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