- Ciego de Avila
- Isle of Youth
- Las Tunas
- Pinar del Río
- Sancti Spiritus
- Santiago de Cuba
- Villa Clara
- Other Offshore Islands
Havana is the island’s capital with a surface area of 740 km2 and a total population of around 2 million. It is in fact Cuba’s smallest city with the largest population.
This city is undoubtedly a fascinating destination, completely unique with no other place like it in the world. This is a place of deep contrasts. Managing to be an alluring blend of seediness and style, Havana has attracted visitors from all over the world.
Havana was founded in 1519 when a settlement was established permanently around the harbor which had a naturally perfect shape.
The city of Havana became a very important port for Spain, especially due to its ideal geographical position in the Gulf of Mexico. Havana provided a very strategic stop over destination for the Spanish ships heavily laden with gold, silver and other precious cargo from the Americas, bound for Spain. In Cuba was where all-important provisions of salted meats, water and other fresh goods were loaded in order to make the journey home to Spain successful. In order to protect this invaluable port from possible Dutch, French and English attacks, a large wall was built around the city with fortress protecting the harbor.
Old Havana, the historical center of the city, is filled with wonderful squares, museums and quaint streets. There are incredible pieces of architecture some of which date back as far as the 16th century. This collection of cultural treasures have been protected since 1982 when UNESCO declared Old Havana a World Heritage site.
With its ripe old age, Havana or La Habana as it is known locally is a place filled with charm and charisma, an intriguing city which has been the muse and source of inspiration of many writers, artists and poets.