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HABANA VIEJA
CUBA VACATION

HABANA VIEJA

CIENFUEGOS

TRINIDAD

OUTSIDE HAVANA

VINTAGE CARS

Habana Vieja - The Old City
Evocative Habana Vieja (4.5 square km; pop. 105,000) is colloquially defined by the limits of the early colonial settlement that lay within fortified walls. Today the legal boundry of Habana Vieja includes the Paseo de Marti and everything east of it. The vast majority of sites of interest are concentrated here. Don't underestimate how much there is to see in Habana Vieja. At least three days are required, and one week isn't too much.


Plaza de la Catedral.
You'll find yourself returning again and again to this exquisite cobbled square
dominated by the imposing and decadently baroque 18th-century "Columbus Cathedral".
Be sure to visit at night also, when the setting is enhanced by the soft glow of wan
lanterns and the plaza is moody and dreamy. To share a glass of wine and listen to
the music with a beautiful Cuban woman will make it an evening to remember.

Capital Building in Havana Cuba.
A combination of communist intrigue, Caribbean sultriness, Latin-American rhythm, and Spanish architectural magnificence, Havana, or more properly, La Habana, is mysterious, decrepit yet ravishingly beautiful. Because of Cuba's economic plight, it is a capital city like no other. Whole districts appear to be on the point of tumbling down and, despite a population of over 2 million, it can be unnervingly quiet and there is little of the commercial bustle that normally pervades a big city.
The "Camello" or camels.
City buses, many coverted from articulated trucks, are called "camellos", or camels, are normally overcrowded so tourists usually travel by taxi. If you do use the public transit keep your wallet in a front pocket because pick pockets use the crowed buses to their advantage.
Lots of Police.
In downtown Havana there are lots of police, one at every corner at night. It's one of the safest cities you can visit, other than petty crime you will not be in danger anywhere in the country.
The Cubans must produce identification on demand and have neighbourhood watch groups to keep track of undesireables in their area.
School girls on their way home.
Following the revolutions some 250,000 young volunteers were sent into the countryside in order to teach the 1 million illiterate Cubans to read and write.
Schools and universities have sprouted up across the country and now the cubans have the highest literacy (95.7%) in the caribbean and central America.
All education is free and today 21 medical schools turn out 4000 doctors every year
Plaza de Armas.
Beautifully restored plaza at the heart of Old Havana, with a castle, museums, and lots of vitality.
Ernesto "Che" Guevara.
Che Guevara joined Castro's group in Mexicoin 1955 as the only foreigner.
It was here he picked up his nickname "Che", for his Argentinian habit of saying "che" which translates roughly as "hey pal".
Guevara commanded a rebel column into central Cuba in late 1958: it's success proved decisive in Batista's downfall.
Cohibas & Montecristo Cigars.
Taking its name from the Taino Indian word for tobacco, the world's top brand is Cohiba.
The best rollers using the best leaves, uniquely fermented three times make its cigars.
Invented after the revolution, Cohibas were first put into production just for foreign dignitaries, after Castro took a liking to certain homemade cigars smoked by one of his bodyguards.
Many say Montecristo is the number two brand, known for a tangy flavor; the 9 inch Montecristo A is one of the world's most expensive cigars.
Colonial Mansions.
Artists Market.
Street Jesters.
Night Game in Havana.
Playas del Estes.
Playa Guanabo, just east is much livelier, especially on weekends when lots of Habaneros come to party.
Cuban beach beauty.