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Cuba Travel Guide, Havana Tours, Havana Hotels

 
• Barcelo Habana Ciudad
• Habana Libre Tryp
• Meliá Cohiba
 
   
   
 
• Isle of Youth (by plane)
• Cayo Levisa
• Cayo Santa Maria (by road)
• Cayo Coco/Cayo Guillermo (by plane)
• Bay of Pigs, Zapata Swamp and Caletas (by road)
• Cayo (Key) Largo del Sur (by plane)
• Jeep Safari trip to the Yumuri Valley and Canimar River
• Magnifiscent Viñales Valley
• Beaches of Havana
• Unforgetable Varadero
• Cuba Dances
• Jewish trace
• Catholic and Protestant religion
• Afro-Cuban Religion
• Vedado neighborhood: Mansions, Monuments and Parks
• Hemingway´s presence in Cuba
• Cigar, Rum and Coffee
• Pinar del Rio and its splendors: Soroa and Las Terrazas
• Rural Outing
• Sustainable agriculture and local communities
• Flora and Fauna
• Modern Havana inside City Tour
• Havana, tobacco and rhum tour
• Cannon Shot Ceremony Tour
• Cannon Shot Ceremony Tour Including Dinner
• Colonial Havana City Tour
• Hemingway Route Tour (including lunch)
• Hemingway Route Tour
 
   
 
• Jewish Presence in Cuba
• Yoruba Religion and the Cuban Culture
• Flora and Botanical Gardens in Cuba
• Architecture in Cuba
• First Villas of Cuba
• All of Cuba
• Havana and Isle of Youth (by Air)
• Habana and Varadero: The Two Jewels
• All Havana
• Western Cuba
• Beauties of Western Cuba
• Cuba: Land and Sea
• Western and Central Cuba
• Dancing in Cuba
• Hemingway and Havana
 
 
   
 

San Cristóbal de la Habana was the original name of the Cuban capital when it was founded on November 16th, 1519. It was one of the first seven villas founded by the Spaniards in Cuba in the XVI century. Later named Havana, it is the capital of the Republic of Cuba and the economic, political and administrative centre of the island.

It is located in the north-western coast bordering with the Florida straights to the north and to the south the province of Havana is found.

The city of Havana has an exceptional beauty and one of the tourist destinations per excellence on the island.  It is divided into 15 municipalities (counties) with a territorial extension of some 727 square kilometres and one of the most densely populated regions in the whole country.

It was established in 1514 in the island´s southern coast what is today the town of Batabano. In 1519 San Cristobal de la Habana was transferred to its current place. Due to its characteristics of port city and its location at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico, rapidly it became an important commercial and communication centre  between the old and new world. That  extraordinary development made the Spanish authorities decide to change the  capital from  Santiago de Cuba in the east of Cuba to Havana in 1553.

In the 18th century Havana was the third largest city in the so called new world.  Constantly attacked by pirates, the metropolis was forced to construct the largest defensive system in America. As part of it, Havana was surrounded by a wall that protected the city. The Spanish constructed a majestic city with sophisticated architecture, narrow streets, elegant plazas, colossal palaces and beautiful avenues, exquisites interior patios, stain glass windows. 

Many eclectic buildings were lifted, full of gold and silver which constituted true art work, among them is the Belen Convent, the Santa Clara Convent, Santa Teresa of Jesus Church, and the Santo Angel Custodio Church.

Other examples of majestic creativity and of great value are the Capitanes Generales Palace, which was the headquarters of the colonial governments, the Cathedral Plaza with neo-classic interiors and its marvellous baroque architecture.

The heart of the old section begins with the Plaza de Armas, whose location is linked with the tradition of the first town hall while the first mass was held on November 16th, 1519, when the villa was founded under a thick ceiba tree whose religious ceremony is still practiced to date.

The city’s historic centre has some 140 buildings dating back to the 16th and 17th century and another 200 to the 18th century and over 460 from the 19th making up a mixture of attractions for all demanding tastes. The centennial city conserves distinctive features like the famous Prado Avenue and the well known Alameda de Paula, which was constructed during the second half of the 18th century, both famous at the time.

Old Havana still has the beauty of the earlier days with a modern touch. During the mid 19th centuries, the expansion of the city began, the walls to the city were opened and new neighbourhoods were created to the west. At this time, the Paseo del Prado, El Templete and the Grand Theater of Havana and Central Park were built. All these marvellous places are witnesses to the elegance of the colonial city known as Old Havana one of the most eclectic architectural mixture of the new world where a variety of styles coexist truly exponent of the colonial architecture in America making Old Havana a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO in 1982.

In the early 20th century, the capital grew then to the rhythm of new times and styles. 

The colonial style gave way to a modern city with lots of commerce, banks, clubs, hotels, hospitals, casinos and beautiful neighbourhoods among them: Vedado, Miramar, Nuevo Vedado, Kohly, Casino Deportivo which were characterized by its beautiful residential mansions. Important buildings of the time stand out and have lasted despite the years.  

Of the capital city’s municipalities in addition to Old Havana, Central Havana also stands out as one of the most populated and where the economic activity overflows. Some of the most representative elements are found like: Paseo del Prado, the Capitol building and the Malecon Seaside Drive among others. It borders with Old Havana and China Town located in Zanja Street, and has turned into one of the most interesting places in part due to its singularity and Chinese restaurants that offers the best of its cuisine at economic prices.

Vedado is part of the modern side of the city which reached its splendour in the 1940´s and 1950´s and it has a regular urban outline with lots of green areas and extraordinary mansions. Here you can find the tallest buildings in the city and where the majority of the well known hotels are found as well as restaurants, bars, night clubs, large stores, main theatres, museum, art galleries, monuments, parks and other cultural centres. Some of the famous streets are also located in Vedado like, La Rampa which includes 23rd street between G and Malecon

Moving to the west from Vedado, passing the tunnel under Almendares river, you reach the  beautiful  Miramar residential area. Recently new buildings for business offices as well as hotels has been built in the area. It has bars, restaurants, health clubs, museums, shopping centres, motels and luxury hotels like Meliá  Havana, Occidental Miramar, Oasis Panorama and Comodoro. It has also Marina Hemingway, the main marina in Cuba, the Scale Model of Havana, the National Aquarium and Club Havana in addition to various other beach clubs.  The major International Convention Centre for congresses, events and incentives is located in Playa municipality as well as the Cira Garcia International Clinic.

Taking the Via Blanca road east to the Havana tunnel, you will find the municipality of East Havana, accompanied with a maritime zone of beautiful scenery. At the extreme bordering the Bay you can find Regla and Casablanca famous for the highest statue in the city which is the Christ of Havana and the Cuban Meteorological Institute.

Towards the capital’s northwest you can find the legendary town of Guanabacoa. Only 15 minutes from the city you can find the town of Cojimar and if you continue east you will bump into the Eastern beaches that extends from Bacuranao beach, only 12 kilometers from the Havana tunnel, to Guanabo beach which is at 27 kilometers from the Cuban capital making up a coastline of sandy beaches of some 20 kilometers long with the presence of thousands of Havana residents and tourists each day mainly in the summer months.

Bacuranao, Tarará, Mégano, Santa Maria del Mar, Boca Ciega and Guanabo are excellent white sandy beaches, with blue transparent waters and coral reefs close to the coast offering a vacationer good snorkelling and diving options. 

In the municipality of Boyeros, you can visit the National Botanical Gardens with an extension of 600 hectares of vegetation with a large representation of Cuban flora and some from the tropical regions in the planet. It has exhibition pabellions, a Japanese Garden, special collections and professional guide service. The National Zoo has an extension of 350 hectares and over 100 species distributed in its environment and offers visitors specialized guides. Close to that is ExpoCuba located across the Botanical Gardens, it is the largest fair exhibition hall on the island with exhibitions throughout the year. 

Not far from the city, located in the east, you will find the small picturesque colonial style town with a very popular church: Santa Maria del Rosario. The church is one of the oldest in Cuba.  Also an interesting t town is San Francisco de Paula, located southeast of Havana, where you can find the La Vigia farm, which belonged to US writer Ernest Hemingway who spent more than 2 decades leaving there.

Because of its importance to the Cuban faith it is worth to know the San Lazaro Church in el Rincon, located in Santiago de las Vegas, where thousands of Cubans visit all year around, but especially on December 17th day of St. Lazarus, to fulfil their religious commitments in gratitude for answered prays.

The Havana nights are very colourful and exquisite. Music and dance to the Cuban rhythms are capable of enchanting and attracting all that love the sounds. There are many musical genres that you can enjoy while in Havana: Danzon, Son, Salsa, Cha Cha Cha, Mambo, Latin Jazz, Bolero, Feelin, Afro Cuban music, Spanish and Flamenco, fusion music, meringue, cumbia and much more. Countless number of places will serve as scene for enjoyment of live cuban music which will be an unforgettable experience.

Cabarets are another unique offer among them the world famous Tropicana Cabaret Show , Parisien Cabaret Show in the Hotel Nacional, the Copa Room in the Riviera Hotel, and Salon Rojo. The city also has many bars where you can enjoy Old and New Trova music.

Excellent theatre plays can be enjoyed in the city. There is an annual International Theater Festival and in the cinema field the well known Latin American New Film Festival which are held on a yearly basis with the participation of renowned world figures.

There is also exquisite Classical Ballet play almost every weekend mostly presented at GRAN TEATRO DE LA HABANA by the world famous Cuban National Ballet troupe lead by legendary prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso.

The Spanish Ballet and Spanish musical groups like Litz Alfonso ballet are worth to see it as well as the Contemporary Ballet Ensemble.

Havana is different, is unique, is vibrant. It is worth to know it, to enjoy it, is no doubt, a one life experience.

 
EDUCATIONAL TRIP FLAVOURS OF CUBA
Best of the best of Cuba in just 7 days. Educational Tour of 6 Nights & 7 Days, including accommodation, entrances, bus transportation and excellent Tour Guide in English. Visitors will get the chance to know Best of Cuba, the 3 cities declared by UNESCO as Cultural Heritage of Humankind. Local taxes included, meet and greeting at the airport; assistance 24 hours. Departure guarantee every Monday of the year. No minimum number of persons require to start this tour.
From $790.00
(No minimum Pax is required)
The price is valid until December 17 2017, except Easter (10 to 16 April 2017). By this time quote request.
EDUCATIONAL TRIP COLOURS OF CUBA
Educational trip Colours of Cuba, Gettting deep into the roots of this wonderful caribbean island. Program of 8 nights and 9 days.
From $1265.00
- Minimum pax required: 2.
- Price per pax in double room.
- Single supplement: 125.00 USD.
The price is valid until December 17 2017, except Easter (10 to 16 April 2017). By this time quote request.
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