Landing into New Havana, Cuba.
The city of Havana is split into several areas. The city is the country’s capital and primary trading port. It spans a large area of over 782 sq kilometers, making it a challeging area to explore without transportation. We’d start exploring the city by travelling through Revolution Square, the Capitolo Nacionale, calling in a El Floridita Bar, and walking the Paseo del Marti (Prado).
This post is one chapter on our trip to the isolated country of Cuba. This trip was planned through Westjet Vacations. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: Havana and Varadero, Cuba via Westjet Airlines
- Westjet Airlines: Abbotsford – Calgary
- Westjet Airlines: Calgary – Varadero
- Ocean Varadero El Patriarca, Varadero, Cuba
- Commercial Shopping in Communist Cuba
- Overland Travel: Varadero to Havana, Cuba
- Landing into New Havana, Cuba
- Climbing on Havana’s Most Famous Fort and Stepping into Old Havana, Cuba
- Tackling the Four Squares of Old Havana, Cuba
- Westjet Airlines: Varadero – Calgary
- Westjet Airlines: Calgary – Abbotsford
Activity: Landing into New Havana, Cuba.
After travelling up from Varadero, we drove down the Malecon, up past the North Korean Embassy and over to Revolution Square. Revolution Square is among the most famous squares in Havana and Cuba. It was the site of where the Pope addressed the nation and also recently the sight of Fidel Castro’s funeral.
Revolution Square contained some rather odd metal sculptures of Che Guerrera and other sayings on the sides of the government buildings that faced the square.
As always in Cuba, there were those on the private car circuit. All the rides were lined up for all too see and like super models, the subjects of hundreds of photographs. These cars appear in terrific condition and it’s hard not to be captivated by what they represent.
Our group left Plaza de la Revolution and headed through Havana Centro and over to the Capitolo Nacionacle. Our travels took us through the locals’ area of Havana with some décor and architecture of years past.
When we got to the Capitolo Nacionale, we got out on foot and started a guided walking tour through Havana Centro. The Capitolo Nacionale was oddly designed much like the US Capitol Building, a surprising feature for a country that has been at odds with the United States for almost sixty years.
The area around Capitalo Nacionale was quite interesting and it looked like an engaging place to stay. We started at Parque Centrale, which contained the first statute to be erected in Cuba in 1905. The area around the Parque is reported to be the home of the new Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel Angleterra when it opens later in 2017.
Stopping at El Floridita:
We walked the short block over to El Floridita. El Floridita is the “cradle of the daiquiri”. It was reportedly created shortly after WWI, but popularized after Ernest Hemmingway visited in the 1930’s. There is a statute representation of him in the bar in the back.
We left El Floridita and walked over to the Paseo de Marti (Prado). The street was one of the first constructed outside of Havana’s walls and was intended to be as beautiful as the streets of Paris or Barcelona. It was a beautiful day for a walk. The building architecture down the street was simply stunning; a combination of old and aged world full of stories from an era past.
We wandered over towards Pavillion Granna. It’s an odd display of items of military importance to Cuba, including some of the missiles used to shoot down American spy planes.
Since there are no new American cars in Cuba, occasionally you can see an oddity such as this Chinese Geeley. These are all imported with over the top fees. Embassy car maybe?
My First Impressions of Walking in New Havana:
There was a lot to see in new Havana; much more than I initially anticipated. The history surrounding the buildings and structures was best appreciated with a guide, and we were led places of interest without having to worry much about planning or searching.