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When it comes to tourist attractions, in the capital city of Cuba, the historical section of old Havana is a must for those interested visitors arriving to the island. Declared by UNESCO World Heritage in 1982, this part of the city allows an approach to the history of a time that becomes present through architecture.
Buildings like El Templete (little temple) built in 1827 recall every November 16th the first cabildo (chapter) of San Cristóbal de La Habana.
Other places of interest coincide in this area: the Plaza de Armas (arms square), the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales (captain general's palace), the Castillo de la Real Fuerza (royal force castle), 1577- which tower serves as pedestal for La Giraldilla, symbol of the city- and the Palacio del Segundo Cabo (deputy governor palace).
Other plazas located in the same area are highly attractive due to their mere presence: the Plaza de la Catedral (cathedral square), surrounded by opulent mansions; the recently restored Plaza Vieja (old plaza), where the house of the Counts of San Juan de Jaruco stands out; and the Plaza de San Francisco de Asís (plaza of St. Francis of Assisi), named after the adjacent church and convent.
From the studio-galleries, the work of singular Cuban and Latin-American artists welcomes the visitor, who remains amazed at the colorfulness of an art reflecting the complex tropical nature and the skillfulness of modern and post-modern art cultivators. Taking a look at the commercial or business world can be very useful and functional: the Palacio de las Convenciones, or convention palace, and the exposition hall Pabexpo represent this facet of Cuban capital city.
Havana's seawall avenue, known as "malecón", constitutes a key piece in attaining a fluent circulation in the city. Along it, one can enjoy the joyfulness of the people during the carnival season or contemplate the fury of the sea during the winter, when it jumps over the seawall with unsuspected strength.
At the beginnings of the 20th century the people in Havana used to enjoy the attractive public services along the seawall, but the tradition did not survive due to the fact that the speed of the cars and hygienic measures impeded their use. Nevertheless, the malecón continues to be a point of gathering for teenagers and young people.
Along its 5 km of extension, the city shows to the visitor with its buildings, statues, monuments, as well as hotels like Riviera, Hotel Nacional, and Cohiba. It is a preferred place for the Havana inhabitants that, trying to get away from the hot weather, sit along the seawall to enjoy the breeze blowing from the sea. Havana's malecón will always be a joyful and charming place waiting for the tourists to come.
The Hemingway marina constitutes an appropriate place for snorkeling, diving, deep-sea fishing or taking part in a seafari to the coral reef.
A coast strip of more than 15 km of fine white sands and blue, transparent waters extends from Bacuranao to Guanabo, the nautical circuit known as East Havana Beaches in which Santa María del Mar stands out being one of the most visited owing to its natural wonders.
There are also a great deal of restaurants, where good taste and typical food work side by side to satisfy the clients. Well-known places like La Bodeguita del Medio, Floridita, El Aljibe, La Cecilia, and others captivate the visitors and make sure they will return.
Last, though surely not least, we have left some space for the entertainment the tourist can encounter in the worldwide famous Tropicana cabaret, the Habana Café, the Jazz Café, and a wide network of night clubs that allow you to savor the taste of Cuban music.
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