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Havana's Malecón: The Maritime Frontier of the Cuban Capital

The Cuban capital, a major tourist destination in the archipelago, treasures enough attractions to meet visitors' demands, in addition to warmly welcoming those who walk along its maritime frontier.

That is precisely the case of the Malecón (Seafront), where waves break along the wall on the street, one of the main arteries of the City of Havana and a point of reference for everyone who bets on the Caribbean Island as a destination for leisure and recreation.

The Malecón runs for about five kilometers, from the entrance of the Bay of Havana - in the east - to the west, with a capricious design parallel to the irregular coastline, which is bathed by the warm water surrounding the island.

In addition to its beauty and centuries-old history, Havana's Malecón is a major element in the design of city streets, since its six lanes (three in each direction) allow for a fluid circulation of vehicles.

Contrary to winter seasons in Cuba, when the sea jumps over the wall, a true avalanche of people invades the Malecón in Carnival times, expressing their happiness and enjoyment, so typical of people who love their culture.

For many, the place is considered the true pulse of the city, a true reflection of the people's life, love, games, sadness and meetings, all these in a strip that is just a few kilometers long.

Buildings on Havana`s Malecón (seafront)
City view from the Malecón
Monument to Calixto García, across from Havana`s Malecón

During the early years of the 20th century, the Malecón was an area of public baths, where city dwellers enjoyed the warm seawater, keeping the strict reserve between men and women dictated by the customs of the time.

Its peculiar design also served the purposes of the most diverse events, including car races - one of which concluded with several deaths -, the shooting of films, parades and concerts.

Along the Malecón, people can enjoy the sight of buildings and statues that have become landmarks in the island's traditions. That is the case of the Riviera Hotel and the monumental Nacional Hotel, or a place dedicated to the memory of Calixto García, a prominent figure during Cuba's war for independence in the 19th century.

Visitors can also enjoy a bronze statue of Antonio Maceo, located in a park named after this brave patriot, who seems to dictate, from his predominant position, the strategy to follow to counter the effects of the waves that hit the Malecón wall in winter.

For both visitors and Havana residents, the Malecón wall is also a favorite place to escape from the night heat that characterizes summers in Cuba, where thousands of people go to enjoy the sea breeze or just spend a pleasant time outdoors.

Many families go to the Malecón to look at the blue waters and the many ships crossing over the horizon or entering the Port of Havana, with no other purpose than letting time pass in the company of the charms of the famous street.

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