Travel to Havana, Cuba’s capital city and home to a 500-year history laden with pirates, political intrigue, and Caribbean charm. Born out of the wealth from the galleons of Spanish conquistadors who would stop to rest in its harbor, La Habana remains the country’s main port and a bustling cultural melting pot.
Havana Vieja – or Old Havana – captures the colonial history of Cuba through its spectacular architecture. The Plaza de la Catedral is dominated by the beautiful baroque-style Cathedral of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception. This 18th-century masterpiece was built with blocks of coral harvested from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico and features marine fossils embedded in its façade. With Ker & Downey, luxury travel to Havana includes a walk around Old Havana with a local architect who offers a peek at the history of Cuban architecture since the Colonial Era. Havana’s architectural styles are plenty, with Neoclassical, Colonial, Baroque, Art Deco, Eclectic, and Modern buildings all lining its streets.
Travel along Malecón, the four-mile seaside drag with bright buildings painted pastel colors to one side, and the crashing waves of the ocean to the other, slamming against the sea wall and daring to splash the sidewalk. The Malecón runs the gamut of Havana’s neighborhoods, through districts modern and old, some in a perilous state of decay after exposure to the elements of the sea. The rumble of a 1950s muscle car can always be heard in Havana, and this is a road best enjoyed by foot, like the locals who come here to mingle and enjoy a stroll.
Culture and creativity are constantly pulsing throughout Havana. The Almacenes San Jose is the city’s largest arts and crafts fair, ever an impressive display of Cuban art in countless booths manned by the artists themselves. Local bars and cafes pump out Cuba’s own unique style of jazz, and the weekend rumba dance parties and performances bring a vibrancy to the city streets. For a well-rounded glimpse into the world of everyday Cuba, luxury travel to Havana is a must.