Havana Highlights

Havana Highlights.  Havana the brilliant and decrepit capital of Cuba is a diamond in the rough.  A smorgasbord of people and cultures have melded in this Caribbean metropolis.  Over two million people are crammed in this city founded in the 16th century by the Spanish.  Old Havana (La Habana Vieja) is a UNESCO world heritage site.   Havana offers so many options from museums to cafes, yet you will be fulfilled simply by exploring its streets.

The People

While there are a handful of touts roaming the city looking to separate you from your money, you will meet some genuine friendly, people on the streets of Havana.  Buenos dias!

people in cuba cuban people cuban people

The Music

The reputation is spot on.  Expect to hear a lot of music.  Whether it is on a street corner or a restaurant, whether it is a lone guys with a guitar or an ensemble; you will be thoroughly entertained.  Musical talent overflowith in Havana.  Bring some cash, they deserve your tips.  Enjoy.

cuban musicians music in cuba

havana music

 My favorite song from Cuba, from two different artists.

 

The Cars

It is all true.  Be prepared to be overwhelmed with Americana car awesomeness.  Witness these beautifully, rainbow-colored cars.  Slide into the backseat of one of these convertibles and be chauffeured around town in 1950s style.  A US embargo that began in the early 1960s, has prevented any new US automobiles from gracing the streets of Cuba.  Cubans have been forced to jerry rig their cars to keep them running.

american cars in havana cars in cuba cuban american cars

american cars in havana

The Cigars and Rums

Cuba Libre.  Mojitos.  Daiquiris.  Havana is numerous watering holes to enjoy these cocktails.  These drinks’ lineage can be traced right in Havana.  And of course, enjoy that drink with a Cuban cigar.

rum cuba

cigars in cuba

The Plazas

The Spanish love their plazas and open spaces, and Havana has their fair share of spectacular plazas in the old city.  Relax and stroll through these historic landmarks.

Plaza Vieja

old plaza

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de San Francisco

Plaza de San Francisco

Plaza de la Caterdral

cathederal plaza

 

Colon Cemetery

Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón was founded in 1876 and sprawls 140 acres.  It was named after Christopher Columbus and contains over 500 major mausoleums and vaults.  Over 1,000,000 are interred here.  Colon is considered one of the great historical cemeteries in the world.  There is a beautiful, 75 foot monument to a group of fallen firefighters who lost their lives in 1890.  Spend some time admiring this historical landmark.

cuban Colon Cemetery

Monument to fallen firefighters

cemetery havana

Colon Cemetery Colon Cemetery

Coppelia Ice Cream

When in Havana, make sure you visit this Havana landmark.  Gates open at 10 am, and I was impressed as 200 people rolled into the ice cream parlor.  This state run organization founded in 1966 and 35,000 customers visit a day.  And you are part of history when you dine here, Coppelia was the brainchild of Fidel Castro himself.

ice ceam havana

ice cream havana

havana ice cream

Boxing

Cuba has a well-earned reputation in sports excellence.  In fact, Cuba is one of the top 20 countries for winning medals in the summer Olympics, despite have less than 12 million people.  Cuba excels in both boxing and baseball.  I spent some time visiting the Gimnasio de Boxeo Rafael Trejogym.  I watched a group of kids train in the ring.  I made a small donation to the coach when I visited the gym.  If you go, consider bringing some boxing equipment, they are in need.

cuban boxers

havana boxing boxers in havana

Enjoy these Havana highlights!

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8 thoughts on “Havana Highlights

  1. Charlotte

    Gas- these are great! Love reading your posts. If you make your way further south in the Caribbean, I’d love to catch up. Charlotte

    Reply
  2. Frank

    Some fantastic photos, you especially have a gift for taking photos of people (something I suck at, I leave those to Spanky).
    I’ve been to Havana a couple of times but one thing I never visited was the Colon Cemetery which looks very impressive.
    Great post, I felt like I was back 🙂
    Frank (bbqboy)

    Reply
    1. Ric Gazarian Post author

      Thank you so much!! I enjoyed your photos as well, and chose Trinidad after reading your post. Next time you are back, you should definitely check out Colon. A really nice place to stroll around.

      Reply
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