The little island about 90 miles south of Florida is a beautiful, culturally rich country that many in the United States know very little about.
While most of the world can visit Cuba anytime, the neighbor to the north has strict and fluctuating travel restrictions preventing most Americans from visiting the island paradise. For them, this virtual tour will have to do.
The capital of Cuba, Havana, is the largest city on the island. It was founded around 1519 and has been occupied since then. The architecture reflects the history of the city, providing five hundred years of history through the buildings of the city. Havana is the biggest and most dynamic city on the island, any visitor will certainly want to spend a lot of time here.
The Capitol Building was built in 1929, long before the current communist regime came to power, when it was long used for other purposes. The architecture and design are intricate, and have been maintained by the current government, even though it is not an official governing building.
Old Havana is one of the city’s gems. It is the oldest part of the city, located on the water. It has beautiful promenades, historical architecture, fortresses, cathedrals and culture any visitor should not miss.
Paseo del Prado
Castello del Principe
This old fortress was built in the days of pirating and international disputes, but was used as a prison right up until the Cuban Revolution, and housed early pro-communist revolutionaries. It has since become a national monument to honor the revolutionaries who inspired the current government.
In the heart of Old Havana lies a Cuban treasure: Havana Cathedral. The Baroque structure is one of the oldest cathedrals in the western hemisphere.
Old Partagas Cigar Factory
Cuban cigars have a reputation for being the best in the world, and the Old Partagas Cigar Factory has been making them for over 160 years. Visitors can tour the working factory and site, but plan ahead because it is one of the most popular tourist sites in Havana.
El Malecon is a promenade and boardwalk that provides both a buffer for buildings against the ocean and a wonderful place for friends and lovers to take an evening walk after dinner and before heading out to enjoy Havana’s vibrant nightlife.
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
Unless you’re in the US military, you can’t visit Guantanamo Bay, but the site is one of the most famous, and controversial, locations on the island. The US government has long leased the land from the Cuban government, but since the communist revolution, the government has balked at the foreign military’s presence and refuses the payment as a token protest.
The military base is the site of the contentious Camp Delta, where the US government holds detainees captured during the “War on Terror”. Originally intended to be temporary, these prisoners are essentially permanent residents of Guantanamo Bay.
If you’re an American, you better hurry and visit Cuba soon because the administration is reversing recent policies that opened relations between the two countries. If you live anywhere else, what are you waiting for?