Beautiful places in Cuba

Beautiful places in Cuba

Havana’s Capitol is actually very similar to the world’s most famous Capitol in Washington, DC. The Havana one was built in 1929, but the Cuban Parliament sat here for exactly 30 years – and only. After that, the beautiful and imposing building was turned into an outdoor convention center.

Havana Cathedral

The Cathedral of St. Christopher in Old Havana, on Cienaga Square, is a magnificent colonial-style baroque building made of hewn stone slabs. Like the rest of the square around it, the cathedral has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

La Cabaña

The fortress complex of San Carlos de La Cabaña was built in the 18th century in Havana’s harbor for a very clear purpose. Charles III, the Spanish monarch, began building the fort on the site of the old El Morro fortification. After the construction of the fort, the English administration was already in control.

Old Havana

The historic center of the city, Old Havana was included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1984, in its entirety, together with its buildings, squares and historical monuments. The total list of attractions includes nearly 1,000 sites.

La Bodeguita del Medio

La Bodeguita del Medio translates as “the store in the center”, once it was really a grocery store until the owner converted it into a bar and gave it his name. In the late 50’s it was already quite famous among Havana’s creative intelligentsia.

– Beach vacations in the best hotels in Cuba.

– Combined tours: we combine visits to Cuba with such destinations as Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama.

El Floridita Bar.

The name of the Cuban bar El Floridita in Havana is forever associated with the legend of American literature Ernest Hemingway. Once he came here, drank a daiquiri cocktail and was so impressed that he started coming every morning.

Great Sierra Maestra National Park

The Sierra Maestra National Park is located on the mountain range of the same name, which stretches 240 kilometers along the southern coast of the Caribbean Sea. The mountains of Sierra Maestra are really impressive and on their slopes there are 3 more national parks of Cuba.

Havana’s Grand Theatre

Grand Theatre of Havana was inaugurated in the spring of 1838. Meanwhile, the building the theater occupies now was built only in 1915 by a Belgian from Transylvania, Paul Belau. This beautiful example of the colonial baroque, of which the Cuban capital is so rich.

Prado Boulevard

The Prado Boulevard is Havana’s Arbat and Nevsky, the city’s main avenue, conventionally separating Havana’s “oldest” from just “oldest.” The Prado overlooks the Palacio Matrimonios (formerly the Casino) and the beautiful Hotel Sevilla, Havana’s Capitol and the Grand Theatre.

Villa Dupont

Villa Dupont (Casa Dupont) in Varadero was the resort’s first urban mansion. In fact, it was where the resort began. In 1930, the richest American of French descent I. Dupont bought up the land of virtually the entire peninsula to his advantage.

Hotels on the beach Varadero!

All of Latin America!

El Nicho Falls

El Nicho Falls is an exceptional natural attraction in terms of diversity. Once a military range closed to civilians, it is now one of the most visited places on Liberty Island.

Viñales Valley

Viñales Valley is an area in the west of Cuba in the province of Pinar del Río, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999 for its outstanding karst landscape, traditional agriculture, folk architecture and handicrafts. The valley is located in the Sierra de los Organos mountains and covers an area of 132 square meters.

Ernest Hemingway House Museum

The Hemingway House Museum in Havana is a small two-story casa, nestled in a large garden, surrounded by trees. The house is located in the San Francisco de Paula neighborhood, a fair distance from the city center, and has its own name: Finca la Vigia, “House with a View.

San Severino Castle

At 6 km from the center of Matanzas the ocean waves crash against the walls of the largest Spanish fortress in Latin America – San Severino. The powerful defensive structure began to be built at the same time as the city to protect it from pirate raids.

Guama Indian Village

Guama Indian Village, or Boca Guama, is a tourist attraction located halfway between the town of Haguay Grande and Cochinos Bay. Despite its name (after a Taino chief), you won’t find real indigenous people here – there are only faux ones, in the form of numerous statues.

Colón Cemetery

Not everyone is ready to visit the cemetery on vacation, but the cemetery of Christopher Columbus (Cemetery Colon) in Havana, is worth a visit. Located in Vedado, it covers almost 60 hectares and is famous for being the burial place of famous politicians.

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La Fuerza

One of Havana’s three fortresses of interest to tourists, and the oldest of them is La Fuertza. It is located just a few steps away from the Plaza de Armas and the center of the capital. Founded in 1558, it is considered one of the two oldest fortifications in the city harbor.

Che Guevara Mausoleum

The small town of Santa Clara was at the center of big events: the most important battle of the Cuban Revolution took place here in December 1958. The rebels under the command of Ernesto Che Guevara took the town and defeated President Batista’s troops for good.

Lesser Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Havana

The port area of Old Havana was the first place in Cuba to receive the Spanish conquistadors and home to the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, one of the island’s oldest churches. The monastery of the same name was founded on this site in 1608, in addition to the cloister there was a higher educational institution.

José Martí Memorial

José Martí was the singer of freedom and apostle of independence, as well as the progenitor of modernism in Cuban literature. One powerful monument (more precisely, a mausoleum with a guard of honor in the cemetery) to this prominent figure had already been erected in Santiago de Cuba in 1951.

Cuba’s cultural attractions are not as rich and numerous as in other countries. There is no trace of the indigenous population, which was virtually exterminated by Spanish colonizers in the 16th century. And after the conquerors of the sea, who lived in the era of the Great Geographical Discoveries, and created a vast empire, united under the flag of Spain, has survived quite a bit. But rare particles of the Golden Age of one of the most powerful European powers, which furrowed the waters, when viewed on a visit are much more valuable than the historical sites of Rome, in an abundance scattered in the streets of the city. The true treasure of the island state is nature. The natural beauty of tropical Cuba has a much stronger effect on tourists than the same fortresses. There really is something to see. From the unique landscape of the Viñales Valley, protected by UNESCO, to national parks, with rare representatives of the underwater and surface world.

Cuba’s best natural attractions

Zapata Swamp Nature Reserve is part of a huge area, a giant biosphere reserve, the largest not only in Cuba, but in the entire West Indies. It is considered to be the best preserved marsh among similar ones located in the other Antilles. A huge number of rare plants, about 175 species of birds, more than 30 species of reptiles and many other things attracts nature lovers from around the world. Some of the representatives of Zapata Marsh are endemics and can live only in this habitat. Another national reserve worthy of a visit is the Topes de Collantes Park in the Sierra del Escambray Mountains. It is located 20 km from Trinidad and is home to the tocororo bird, the symbol of Cuba. The main attraction is one of the largest waterfalls in Cuba, Salto del Caburni. There is a health center on the territory of the park. No less attractive for tourists is the Alexander Humboldt National Park not far from Baracoa, Cuba’s oldest city. This place is protected by UNESCO and is home to many endemics. The park’s territories incorporate all of the region’s most important landscapes. The Sierra Maestra Mountains are another natural attraction in Cuba. It is the highest massif in the state with the highest peak in the country, Pico Turquino. People come here to visit the national park.

The Sierra Maestra is better known not for the reserve, but for its involvement in history. In 1956, Cuban revolutionaries, including Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, hid in these mountains and prepared for guerrilla warfare here.

Top cultural attractions

Cuba is known beyond its borders not only for the legendary comrade Che, the song Guantanamera, the unofficial national anthem, but also for the capital Havana. The old part of the city is protected by UNESCO and is of most interest to tourists. The first thing worth seeing is the famous Cathedral or the Cathedral of St. Christopher on the Plaza de la Ciénaga (Swamp Square). It is a remarkable architectural masterpiece built in the Colonial Baroque style. Inside you can find copies of works by Rubens and Murillo. At one time Columbus’ ashes were buried in the cathedral.

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In addition to Havana, Trinidad, founded in the 16th century, is an open-air museum city. Most of the local attractions date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Another city founded around the same time is Camagüey. There are many monuments of architecture from the colonial period. Among them stands out the largest square in Cuba, San Juan de Dios. This place is beloved by churches built between the 16th and 18th centuries. The second largest settlement of the Liberty Island, Santiago de Cuba, is known primarily for the defensive fortress of San Pedro de la Roca, a structure built in the 17th century. The town of Santa Clara is famous for its mausoleum in which the ashes of Che Guevara are laid. A monument in honor of the great revolutionary figure is one of the top five attractions in Cuba.

Among the Cuban museums are the Museum of Colonial Art in the palace of Cuba’s first conquistador Diego Velazquez de Cuellar in Santiago de Cuba and the National Museum of Art in Havana. The Museum of Literacy and the Ernesto Hemingway House Museum will be of interest to lovers of unusual displays.

Sightseeing in Cuba

Cuba is the jewel of the Greater Antilles, which is washed by the Caribbean Sea. It is a vacation paradise, where snow-white sandy beaches neighbor the turquoise sea surface. This panorama is shaded by tall palm trees and from everywhere you can hear the incendiary rhythms of salsa.

Liberty Island still breathes the revolution and its leaders, Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, are still alive in people’s memory. All the sights on the island can be divided into three parts. The first are a reminder of the colonial period, the second is a reminder of Cuba’s revolutionary past and the third – the national parks and natural beauty.

The capital of Cuba – Havana, lives its own life. Houses of all colors of the rainbow, colonial palazzos, baroque villas and jazz in the streets of the eternally young city. The streets are lined with retro cars painted in bright colors. In local restaurants, tourists sample fresh seafood and pay homage to Cuban rum. And over it all, the sounds of Guantanamera resonate. And most importantly, Russians do not need a visa to visit the Liberty Island.

What to see in Cuba

People come to the picturesque Cuba for the feeling of holiday, which reigns on the Liberty Island. For the opportunity to be in the past century, which has not yet reached the technological progress. To feel alive again.

Varadero

This is one of the largest resorts in Cuba. Varadero beaches are considered some of the best in the world. Snow-white sand, clean and clear water, gentle entrance to the sea make this part of Cuba a great place for a leisurely vacation. If the tourist wants a vivid experience, you can always go to Havana, which is only 140 km from Varadero. The strip of white sandy beaches surrounded by dozens of hotels, ready to offer its guests quality service. The area around the resort is famous for its national parks. There are caves here that are more than a few thousand years old. There is also the Cayo Piedras Marine Park, which is visited by divers to see all the beauty of the Caribbean Sea.

Trinidad

The city of Trinidad was founded by the conquistador Diego Velazquez in 1514. Four centuries later, in 1988, Trinidad became a UNESCO-protected site. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the city was the center of the slave trade and the production of sugar cane. This made Trinidad one of the richest cities on the island. Landowners and slave traders used the money they earned to build beautiful mansions for themselves. Much of this architectural splendor has survived and survives to this day. Tourists come here to take a trip back in time to Cuba’s colonial past. The narrow cobblestone streets, ancient churches and monasteries, cozy squares and the splendor of the rich houses take the traveler back centuries.

The Malecon (Avenida de Maceo) in Havana

The Malecon (Avenida de Maceo) in Havana.

This is the famous promenade in the center of the capital of Cuba, which in 2001 celebrated its centennial. The length of the promenade is 8 km. It is framed by 20th century Art Deco buildings. This is a favorite place for evening promenade among the locals. Here lovers make appointments, children play, fishermen catch their supper. At sunset, the coastal houses turn golden in color and serve as the best backdrop for photographs of tourists.

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San Pedro de la Roca (Castillo del Morro)

Castillo del Morro is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the best examples of Spanish military colonial architecture that has survived to this day. The fortress was built at the entrance of the sea bay to protect the city of Santiago de Cuba. The site was chosen on the top of a cliff, making the citadel more impregnable. The fortification project was devised in 1587, but its implementation was delayed for several decades. The fortress protected Cuba’s second-largest city from pirate attack. Nowadays there is a museum here, where you can not only learn the history of the Caribbean Sea filibusters, but also admire the beautiful panorama of the sea bay.

Che Guevara Mausoleum

Che Guevara Mausoleum

The city of Santa Clara was the scene for the last battle of the Cuban Revolution. It was here that Ernesto Che Guevara was able to triumph and overthrow the Batista government. And it was here that he found his final resting place. The memorial complex in Santa Clara consists of a museum and a mausoleum. The main decoration of the complex is a bronze sculpture of the commander. Che’s last letter to Fidel Castro is engraved on the pedestal of the statue. The monument is surrounded by steles on which Che Guevara’s statements are inscribed. The museum keeps personal belongings of the revolutionary: binoculars, a pistol, books and poems written by him. It is also possible to see newsreel footage and a photo gallery.

National Museum of Fine Arts (Havana)

The National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana has an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures and graphic works. The collection is housed in two buildings and includes works from antiquity to the present day. Part of the collection belongs to international art and the other to Cuban art. The National Museum of Fine Arts is housed in a Spanish Renaissance palace. Several floors hold collections from Ancient Greece and Rome, artifacts from Ancient Egypt, works of European painters and masterpieces from the U.S. and Latin America. The largest part of the museum’s collection is Spanish art. It is worth coming to the museum to see the works of Rembrandt, P. Rubens, D. Velázquez, A. van Dyck, and E. Delacroix.

Zapata Biosphere Reserve

Crocodile in Zapata Biosphere Reserve

It is a remote and sparsely populated area of Cuba. Most of the territory of the Zapata Peninsula is covered by swamps. It is home to rare plant species and endemic representatives of invertebrates and reptiles. Zapata Marsh is used by migratory birds as a base on their migration routes. Ornithologists have long been fond of this place for observing birds. The native inhabitant of these places is the crocodile. The reserve offers tours where you can see its native inhabitants in their natural habitat.

Interesting places in Cuba

To vacation on Liberty Island was as fascinating as possible, it is worth making a route in advance. This will save time and see only interesting objects.

Capitol

In 2029, the Capitol building will be a hundred years old. It was built during the post-war years, when sugar cane brought in a lot of revenue to the Cuban economy. The architect was inspired by the Pantheon of Paris from the Latin Quarter in creating the design. The Capitol was built as the seat of the Cuban Parliament. It now houses a number of ministries and the administrative apparatus. For Havana’s 500th anniversary, the building was completely renovated and opened its doors to visitors. The entrance to the Capitol is framed by six Doric columns. The doors are decorated with bas-reliefs telling the history of Cuba. Under the 62-meter dome is a replica of a diamond. This is the point from which all distances on the island are measured (the original diamond is kept in the Central Bank vault). Behind the central doors of the Capitol opens the statue of the Republic. It is 18 meters high and completely covered in gold leaf.

Colón Cemetery

Havana’s main cemetery is known for its monumental sculptures and marble tombstones. A walk through the 57 hectares of the cemetery can be a real challenge or bring many surprising discoveries. At the entrance to the Colón, a map is for sale, marking the burial places of prominent politicians, writers, athletes, revolutionaries, and other interesting personalities. The most visited grave in the cemetery belongs to Amelia Goyri de la Hoz. In Cuba, she is called the “Miraculous Amelia.” Women come here to ask for help with infertility and decorate the grave with fresh flowers. The largest monument in the Colón Cemetery was built for firefighters who died in the line of duty during a major fire.

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Havana Cathedral (St. Christopher’s Cathedral)

Havana Cathedral

The Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentiero described the Cathedral of Havana as “music in stone.” This Baroque masterpiece is by Italian architect Francesco Borromini. Construction, which lasted several decades, was completed in 1787. Ten years after construction was finished, the remains of Christopher Columbus were buried in the cathedral. They are now at rest in the Seville Cathedral in Spain. The walls of the cathedral are decorated with copies of works by Peter Paul Rubens and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The facade of the cathedral is framed by two towers of different thickness. The smaller one can be climbed up for a token fee.

E. Hemingway House Museum

The Hemingway House Museum

Ernest Hemingway and his wife bought a villa 15 km away from Havana, which became their family home. Here the writer lived for 20 years and wrote his immortal works: “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, “The Old Man and the Sea”. In 1960, Hemingway left Cuba and returned to the United States. After his death, the house was given to the “Cuban people. It is now a museum where nothing has changed since the writer’s departure, the entire interior has been preserved in its original form. Inside, the house houses the writer’s gun collection and his hunting trophies. Shelves of books, manuscripts, photographs, and a vast collection of vinyl records occupy most of the study, where literary masterpieces were created. A tower was built next to the house on behalf of the writer’s wife, offering magical panoramas of the surrounding countryside. The tower contains a typewriter, a telescope, and a comfortable lounge chair. Remnants of a tennis court and a cockfighting area remain near the house.

San Carlos de la Cabaña and El Morro

The historic military park in Cuba includes the fortress of El Morro and the fort of La Cabaña. Both forts guarded the entrance to Havana Bay. Fort El Morro was built in the late 16th century to protect the Spanish possessions from the encroachment of pirates. It also had another important function: in bad weather the tower of the fortress served as a lighthouse. The lighthouse itself dates from the 19th century and the lamp by which the ships were shining has survived since the founding of the fortress. In the 18th century the Spanish built another fortress near El Morro and named it San Carlos de la Cabaña. It was intended to strengthen the city’s defenses and prevent an attack by the British, who a few years earlier had managed to capture El Morro. During the Batista regime, the fort was used as a prison. And after the revolution, the fort became the headquarters of Che Guevara. Nowadays there is a museum that tells the history of the fort. Every evening there is an interesting theatrical performance in the naval citadel, which ends with cannon firing.

Plaza de la Revolución

José Martí Memorial

This is one of the largest squares in the world. Many interesting and significant events in Cuban life took place here. Fidel Castro loved to address the nation on the Plaza de la Revolution. Up to a million people would come to such speeches. The last time such a number gathered was when Pope John Paul II came to Cuba on an official visit. He held a mass on the square, which was attended by hundreds of thousands of worshippers. In the center of the square stands a memorial to Cuba’s national hero, José Martí. It is a tower of gray marble in the shape of a five-pointed star. At the foot of the tower is an off-white sculpture of Jose Marti. And just below is the entrance to the museum, which operates in the tower. Tourists come here to climb the 109-meter memorial and see Havana from above.

What to visit in Cuba

Of all the attractions on Liberty Island, the beaches are worth mentioning separately. Here are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world: white sand, warm gentle sea, green palm trees. The reefs around the island are a mecca for divers who tend to come here.

Cayo Coco

It is an island in the central part of Cuba, which is connected to the “mainland” by an artificial 27 km long road. Cayo Coco offers deserted beaches, all-inclusive luxury hotels, and an opportunity to be alone with nature. Part of the island is covered by swamps, which attracts migratory birds. Pink flamingos forage in Cayo Coco’s shallow waters. Photographers and wildlife enthusiasts come here to capture these graceful birds. But the main attraction of the island is, of course, the beaches. Some of them are up to 5 km long and offer seclusion.

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La Real Fuerza.

This is one of Havana’s naval forts, which protected the city from pirate attacks. The citadel was built in the mid-16th century, making it one of the oldest not only in the country but also in Latin America. Over the years the fortress has undergone constant remodeling. The Spanish tried to make it an impregnable stronghold. In addition to strong walls, corner towers capable of firing at a great angle were built, a moat was dug, and suspension bridges were erected. When the need for protection from pirates passed, the fortress began to fall into disrepair. Part of the fortress walls were destroyed because they interfered with the laying of roads in the city. Today the fortress is located in the Maritime Museum. You should go here to learn the history of shipbuilding and go down into the real hold of the ship. Also see the navigation systems used by sailors during the colonization period and up to the 19th century.

Havana Grand Theatre

Havana’s Grand Theatre

No tour of Old Havana is complete without a visit to the Grand Theatre. Every day hundreds of sightseers pass through the wide doors of the baroque palace to admire the marble floors with stairs, rich decor and sculptures. The theater’s auditorium seats 1,500 spectators and has good acoustics. For the centenary of the theater it underwent restoration works. Currently there is an art gallery, a concert hall and even a conference hall in addition to the auditorium and theatrical stage. The Bolshoi Theatre of Havana has been visited by touring companies: American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Ballet, and the Ballet from Buenos Aires. And, of course, Anna Pavlova and Maya Plisetskaya were here at one time.

Museum of the Revolution

The building where the Museum of the Revolution is located now was built as a presidential palace. For almost forty years it was the residence of all the Cuban rulers. After the overthrow of the Batista regime, a museum was opened in the palace. Since then it is an indispensable landmark in Havana. The wide marble staircase takes visitors to the second floor, where the government offices and reception halls were located. On the walls of the palace you can see the bullet holes left by the failed assassination attempt on the dictator Batista. He also left behind a study with massive wooden furniture and a gold telephone. The museum exhibit is mostly devoted to revolutionary events and the personalities of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. There are rifles, revolvers, binoculars, letters, photographs, household items, and books of the revolutionaries. Even the Granma boat, on which the rebels sailed to the island, is part of the exhibit.

Baconao National Park

Baconao National Park

At the foot of the Sierra Maestra Mountains is a national park. The nearest large town, Santiago de Cuba, is only 20 km away. The park covers an area of several tens of hectares. To see all the important sites, it will take several days. Here you can do hiking and go on a walking route to the highest peak of the island, Pico Turquino. For children, the prehistoric world is a constant delight. There are several dozen life-size dinosaur sculptures here. Among them, huge Tyrannosaurus, powerful Ceratops, herbivorous sauropods and unusual Stegosaurus stand out. Next to dinosaurs are the distant ancestors of man. There is a museum of retro cars in the park, as well as an aquarium with an underwater tunnel. For visitors to the national park, who dare to stay here for a few days, there are hotels.

Cabaret Tropicana

Cabaret Tropicana traces its history back to December 30, 1939. Visitors could sit inside the casino villa or in the shady gardens surrounding the cabaret. Every day several dozen dancers, singers, and acrobats put on an evening show. Viewing the show was accompanied by dinner, where guests were served national Cuban food. Most of the visitors to the cabaret were Americans. The profits from casino gambling made the cabaret owners millionaires. Currently, the show has not lost its relevance and gathers up to 1700 visitors per evening. The show includes drinks (rum, champagne, cola) and small snacks (peanuts).

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