Welcome to the first part of our Cuba series, today’s feature: Havana. The Country’s capital is full of culture, adventure and unrivaled architecture. One of Cuba’s most notable elements is it’s guise of being perpetually stuck in the 1950s. This adds to Havana’s unique travel experience. The captial city is known for it’s historical structures, cobbled streets, cathedrals and ancient mansions. And although these sights add to the beauty that is Havana, many are crumbling. Havana has a romantic elegance that sweeps visitors into the dream world of the famously exotic city, but its reality comes from a long legacy of communist regimes. The Cuban people team with life, but have lived hard, often times depressing lives. Visitors find the juxtaposition of Old Havana with all of its culture and old world beauty mesmerizing compared to the bustling metropolis of New Havana which has been aided by tourism resulting in hotels, restaurants and night clubs.
Havana has much to offer the tourist of today. Make sure to check out two world famous museums, The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes which showcases local artists from throughout Cuba. Or check out the Museo de la Revolucion which, you can probably guess, illustrates the Cuban Revolution. Because of the years succeeding the Embargo with the United States, Havana has survived because of tourism from Canada and Europe. Travelers site Old Havana as a highlight of their trips as well as the tasty mojitos.
Don’t miss John Lennon park or the Ernest Hemingway Museum. Castro loved the Beatles so much that he named a park after band member John Lennon where he erected a statue of the singer. His love of Lennon came from the belief that he was a true revolutionary. Hemingway on the other hand had his own personal love affair with the Island. He spent many years there and the museum bearing his name was the home he lived in for many years there.
Aside from touring, Cuba offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Unfortunately as of now, United States citizens will not be able to experience them. Touring Cuba means just that, touring. But eventually I believe travel regulations will become much more lax and once that takes place, the beaches cannot be missed. One area that anyone can enjoy while in this culture rich locale is the food. One of the most famous dishes is Criollo cuisine which includes chicken, pork, rice, black beans, fried plantains as well as yams. Look for small family owned restaurants for the most authentic, affordable meals.
Overall if you follow my blog posts you know how interested I am in travel to Cuba. This is my 3rd blog post on the country and I think we all know that this would be a fabulous place to travel no matter what you were doing. I am going to keep exploring the different cities and opportunities for travel to this exotic land, so check back every Wednesday for the rest of my series.