Havana was founded in 1519 by the Spanish and became the capital of Cuba in 1607. Since it has grown into a sprawling metropolis of 2 million inhabitants, its old centre retains an interesting mix of Baroque and neoclassical monuments, and a homogeneous ensemble of private houses with arcades, balconies, wrought-iron gates and internal courtyards which gives the city a relentless charm.
SAN PEDRO DE LA ROCA CASTLE
The castle and its intricate complex of forts, magazines, bastions and batteries is the most complete, best-preserved example of Spanish-American military architecture, based on Italian and Renaissance design principles. It is on a rocky promontory with 20-meter high cliffs in order to protect the important port of Santiago.
VALLEY DE LOS INGENIOS
Founded in the early 16th century this colonial city has not lost one bit of its architectural charm immortalized in its historic heart. By the end of the 18th century, the sugar trade was firmly anchored in the Valle de Los Ingenios and brought wealth and prosperity to Trinidad.
DESEMBARCO DEL GRANMA NATIONAL PARK
This national park includes the most unique coastal landscape of the island, with impressive coastal cliffs and the largest and best preserved system of sea terraces (both above and below sea level) bordering the western Atlantic. The park also contains the coral reef of Cabo Cruz, seagrass beds and mangrove forests.
The Viñales valley is encircled by mountains and its landscape is interspersed with dramatic rocky outcrops. Traditional techniques are still in use here for all agricultural production, particularly the production of tobacco.
HISTORIC CENTRE OF CAMAGÜEY
Its large and minor squares, serpentine streets, alleys and irregular urban blocks are highly exceptional for Latin American colonial towns. As such the historical city centre of Camagüey reflects the influence of numerous styles through the ages: neoclassical, eclectic, Art Deco, Neo-colonial as well as some Art Nouveau and rationalism.
URBAN HISTORIC CENTRE OF CIENFUEGOS
The colonial town of Cienfuegos located on the Caribbean coast soon became a trading place for sugar cane, mango, tobacco and coffee. The town first developed in the neoclassical style. It later became more eclectic but retained a harmonious overall townscape.