In Cuban Territory: Exploring Havana
A leading commercial centre of Cuba, Havana happens to be an exotic tourist destination. Founded by the Spanish in the 16th century, Havana was a crucial location for the Spanish conquest of the continent. With a rich and fascinating history, Havana is well known for the sightseeing options it offers. In fact, Old Havana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. Today, the city can be further categorised into Old Havana, Vedado, and the newer suburban districts.
Legends suggest that there are two theories regarding how the name Havana was coined. One theory suggests that the name is based upon the name of a local Taíno chief Habaguanex. Another theory suggests that Habana is derived from the Middle Dutch word havene, referring to a harbour.
Cuba has two currencies, the Cuban Peso (CUP) and the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC).
How To Reach Havana
As far as accessing the city of Havana is concerned, visitors can take a flight to the Jose Marti International Airport, which is well connected. Otherwise, there is also the option of taking inter-city coach services from like Matanzas, Pinar del Rio, Sancti Spiritus, Santa Clara, Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad, Varaderoamong others. Once in Havana, the best way to see and experience the city is on foot.
The climate of Havana is essentially tropical climate as it is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. Havana climate is characterised by warm, humid weather all year long. It is in the mountains that cold temperatures usually occur. The summer temperatures range around 82F while the spring and fall temperatures are around 78F.
Places To Visit In Havana
- Old Havana (Habana Vieja): A very special attraction in Havana, Habana Vieja tops the itineraries of all tourists to Cuba. This section of the city was founded in 1519 and served as a crucial naval port of colonial Spain. Today, this part of the city is home to museums, hotels, restaurants lined on the original cobble-stoned streets.
- The Plaza de la Revolucion: A famous attraction in Havana, this gigantic square has served as the perfect setting for numerous political rallies. Important figures like Fidel Castro, have addressed more than a million Cubans on important occasions, such as 1 May and 26 July each year from here. The plaza is open from 9.30am to 5pm from Monday to Saturday.
- Cigar Factories: A visit to Cuba would not be complete without investigating the island’s most famous export, cigars. There are three main factories in Havana which offer tours for visitors to witness first-hand, how cigars are still rolled by hand. La Corona, Romeo y Julieta and Partagas are the three factories which can be visited.
- El Malecon : This is the perfect place to start your Havana adventure. Essentially a two-hour walk, this esplanade, roadway and seawall, running between Old Havana and Vedado was constructed in the year 1901 and continues to be a popular social haunt today.
If you’re looking for a vacation spot which will acquaint you with Cuban culture, there is no other place better than Havana for the same. So go ahead and explore the exotic Havana!