Western destinations

LA HABANA

It is the capital of the Republic of Cuba and also one of the fifteen provinces of the country. Havana is a harbor city on the island´s northern coast. It is the most populated city in Cuba and the Caribbean islands, with over two million people. Originally, it was founded in 1514 as San Cristóbal de La Habana on the south coast.. Today it is the hub of the political, economic and socio-cultural life in the nation. In 1982, its Historic Area was declared Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Havana´s beauty is worth seeing due to its many varied civilian, military and religious structures dating from successive time periods and showing diverse architectural styles (colonial, neoclassic, rationalist …). It was erected around a beautiful and protective harbor rimmed by spectacular fortresses and wonderful buildings which, combined with its nice tropical weather, delights the thousands of tourists who visit it every year.

Interesting tourist spots:

Palace of the Spanish Governors, Plaza de Armas, El Templete (little temple), Havana Cathedral, Plaza Vieja, St. Francis of Assisi Square, Real Fuerza Castle, El Morro Castle and San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress, The Capitol, El Prado Boulevard, Fine Arts Museum, Museum of the Revolution, Havana Seaside Boulevard (Malecón), the National Hotel, Havana University, Revolution Square and Fifth Avenue.

 

LAS TERRAZAS

Las Terrazas Tourism Complex is a small Paradise at the heart of the Sierra del Rosario (a Biosphere Reserve) just 60 km west of Havana (around one-hour drive) where nearly 900 people live. The spot is by a beautiful lagoon surrounded by mountains with a seething forest and protected animal life. Going there is living a countryside sustainable development experience combining cultural and nature tourism and water sports attractions (rowing, bicycles, fishing…) You can make a one-day visit but, if thrilled by its quiet beauty, there are lodging facilities where you can extend your stay for two or more days.

Interesting spots:

Moka Hotel, Water Sports Center, “Hacienda Unión” recreation farm, Ruins of the Buenavista Coffee Farm, artisans´ workshop, “Polo Montañez” house and museum, “Baños de San Juan” spa, as well as hiking and trekking. Soroa Tourist Villa (17 km from Las Terrazas): visit to its famed orchid garden (with over 20 000 orchids) and the falls.

 

VIÑALES

The township of Viñales was founded in 1879 in a valley bearing the same name that is part of the Sierra de los Órganos in Pinar del Río Province (Cuba´s westernmost.) It was declared as a National Monument in 1979. Twenty years later (in 1999), it was made a National Park and declared Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO as a Cultural Landscape.

Famous due to is caves and peculiar mountains known as “hillocks,” the beautiful Viñales Valley has a traditional country town with a main street, rings of columns on both sides of it and picturesque red slab-roofed houses that give it a unique and nice look. Its people are hospitable and affectionate and they till the land (mainly for tobacco growing) and welcome the growing numbers of tourists attracted by the beautiful landscape and other attractions there.

Interesting spots:

Los Jazmines Lookout, the Cueva del Indio and the Santo Tomás Great Cavern, the Prehistory Mural, the Rancho San Vicente Hotel, etc.

 

 

CAYO LEVISA

On the northern coast of Pinar del Río Province (Cuba´s westernmost) and as part of Los Colorados Archipelago, there is this paradisiacal key whose northern and northeastern shores are a beautiful beach stretching for several miles where nature is unique as a result of sand quality and the seabed landscape variety around it.

The key is a great place for water sports, particularly diving, with over 20 excellent areas for practicing it. The site is also a great place for having a good rest thanks to its privacy and relative isolation, as transportation from and to it is only by sea.

Interesting spots:

The beach, Cayo Levisa Hotel and the Diving Center.

 

VARADERO

Varadero is a small tourist town of nearly 7 000 located in the Hicacos Peninsula on Cuba´s northern shore. Founded in 1887, it is 130 km (a less-than-2-hour drive) east of Havana and is part of the neighboring Matanzas province.

The peninsula has a length of 30 kilometers, 22 of which are rimmed by beaches. Its main economic activity is tourism development and most people working there are tourism staff. The present Hicacos peninsula landscape exhibits a rich diversity. As one of the main tourism areas in the country, it is enchanting because of its fine white sands and its all-year-round light-blue, warm and translucid ocean waters through which, depending on the spot, bathers can walk tens of meters away from the shore and still step on the bottom. It is no doubt the most popular tourist destination. It´s so beautiful that thousands of tourists visit this legendary Cuban tourist area every year.

Interesting spots:

The beach and hotels, the marina, the golf court, the city´s museum, the Dupont Manor, the Beatles House, the Pirate´s Cavern (a nice nightclub) and the “Muslims´ Cave” (of great archaeological value), where aboriginal drawings and remains can be appreciated.