Regions of Cuba - Travel Guide
Aside from its famous Old City, Havana also has a fascinating modern section that began to grow quickly at the start of 20th century. Here you will discover houses of a unique eclecticism and tall buildings, products of Havana's contemporary vitality.
Of all the suburban neighbourhoods that make up this other Havana, the Vedado is the one preferred by everybody, Cubans and foreigners alike. Along their streets you will find the greatest number of theaters, art galleries, movies, cultural institutions, specialized restaurants, cafes, bars, cabarets and entertainment hotspots.
Its main artery is 23rd Street, best known as La Rampa, where you have to pay attention as you walk down the streets, because there is art under your feet, traditional works of art on tiles of multicolored granite that renowned Cuban artists such as Wifredo Lam, René Portocarrero and Amelia Peláez, among others, decided to offer the general public as a means of beautifying 500 meters of sidewalk. Havana is the focal point of Cuban culture, rich in visual artists, musicians, poets, dancers, actors and writers and the home office of the world famous Ballet Nacional, the Casa de las Americas and the Fundación del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano; thus, important international events take place every year in this city, happenings such as movie, ballet and theatre festivals and the renowned Biennial of Visual Arts.
But there is another Havana, a nocturnal Havana, for all those wishing to discover the good vibrations of music that moves even the most rigid hips and reluctant spirits to be enjoyed, in discos and night clubs such as the Tropicana, the mythical cabaret under the stars, most coveted for its breathtaking shows and its rumba-dancing beauties who defy the sky when they emerge dancing from the trees. And what can one say about Havana's famous rum, savoured straight or on the rocks or mixed in fabulous cocktails, renowned as the best in the world. Sampling Cuban rum makes Havana nights more memorable still.
We recommend both the cultural and night-life facets of Havana and also the Plaza de la Revolución "José Marti", featuring monuments and sculptures of Cuba’s National Hero, an enormous open space, the scene of parades, demonstrations, and political and public ceremonies. Also you must not forget the Botanical Garden; the Parque Lenin, on the outskirts of the city; the already celebrated fair grounds of EXPOCUBA and PABEXPO; the International Conference Center, that each year receives hundreds and hundreds of participants from all over the world for the many international events they come to celebrate; the Pan-American Tourist Complex; the fishing town of Cojimar; Jibacoa Beach; the Capilolio National; or simply walk through Havana, which always mean discovering something new, different and attractive.
Of course, the city is hot almost all year long, and sometimes it is necessary to cool off; we then suggest the beaches of Santa María del Mar; only 20 minutes east of Havana and featuring 18 kilometers of white sands and tempting waters, called by many the Blue Circuit, where the sun, the sea and excellent facilities provide a perfect context for water sports and recreational activities that will satisfy a wide variety of pleasure seekers. Cubans know they have received many gifts from nature and they prefer to share them with you, so that when you get home you will remember their country's marvellous, sensual beaches and other splendid attributes.
Havana offers the most exciting adventures anyone can experience in the Caribbean: both colonial charm and modern comfort, along with the beauty of the sea, welcome travellers with gentle hospitality. Havana is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Caribbean, a cultural center and host for international events.
even more than the sea, the most impressive thing about Havana is
its people; as hospitable and smiling as anybody in the world, they look
forward to giving you information, showing you how to dance to the rhythm
of Cuban music, talking about pictures or poetry, or inviting you to have
a "strong" coffee, of the sort that takes away sleep, because… who wants
to sleep in Havana?
Updated August 20, 2000
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