Some Information about Havana
was founded on 1515 by Diego Velásquez, although not in its present location.
The Havana of today was re-founded in 1519 in the present location of Old
Havana. The importance of Havana increased as the number of ships that called
at its port while in transit from South or Central America to Spain. In 1553
the capital of Cuba was shifted from Santiago de Cuba to Havana due to the
increase of its economic importance as the comercial center of the caribean.
Havana has a population of more than two million inhabitants, and is the political,
cultural and economic heart of Cuba. It contains more than one fifth of the
cuban population and is one of the great historical cities of the New World.
City is divided in several municipalities, but we will focus on the ones that
are of most interest to tourists.
Vieja (Old Havana):
This municipality is defined by the limits of the early
colonial settlement that lay between fortificated walls. This is the area
of the city of most interest to tourists, with many musseums, historical places,
pieces of the previous fortificated walls, and all sorts of castles, fortress,
and colonial palaces.
Habana, & Cerro:
As the old city start to grow outside the walls, new
neighborhoods were founded. The first two were Cerro and Centro Habana (in
this order). They are not very important from a tourist view, except that
are close to old Havana.
de la Revolucion, & El Vedado:
This is the part of Havana I prefer. There are excellent
neighborhoods in this municipality. Vedado is the best area although surrounding
areas are very good as well. Prices are slighty lower than in Playa and Miramar
while conditions are almost similar.
Miramar, & Santa Fé:
Playa and Miramar are the newest parts of Havana. The
fifth avenue (Miramar) is one of the most luxurious neighborhoods of Havana
(room prices are the highest). Here the more wealthy people of Cuba fixed
their residences until 1959. Today there are a lot of expensive hotels and
embassys. Rooms for rent in this area are the most expensive in Havana but
in general conditions are similar to the ones in Plaza and Vedado. Santa Fé
is a small town of fisherman close to Marina Heminway, a pleasure harbor used
for yatchs and fishing competitions, etc.
Santa Maria Beach & Guanabo Beach:
These are the best beaches of Havana. Santa Maria and Guanabo forms a line of sand beach that extend by various kilometers. These beaches
are very popular among the locals. Located at just 15 kilometers at the east of the City, usually are called Playas del Este (East Beaches).