Havana, the tourist destination par excellence in Cuba, has a large portfolio of historic and cultural options characterized by their diversity, which complement the leisure destinations in the country.
The city, included among the first villages founded by the Spanish and named San Cristobal de La Habana, plays a key role in the tourist programs of the country, specially its historic heart.
This urban area, also known as Old Havana, was given the status of World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982 and includes 4.5 square kilometers enriched by colonial architecture, customs and traditions that date back to almost five centuries.
The primary core of Havana preserves an actual collection of castles, fortresses and buildings of high historic and cultural value, which were constructed around a system of squares mixed with monasteries and temples.
The open spaces that demarcated the area within the city walls are the Arms, Cathedral, Old, Christ and Saint Francis of Assisi squares.
Havana’s historic heart also includes the first ecological center in Old Havana, an aquarium with an area of 120 square meters and about 70 species of freshwater fish, aquatic plants, mollusks and crustaceous.
The species are distributed in seven fish tanks that represent the aquatic world from different areas like Cuba, Africa, Latin America and South America, among others.
Likewise, the attractions of the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, a building which was finished in 1738, stand out as a complex of extraordinary cultural and historic value.
The most outstanding element in the church is, undoubtedly, the 42-meter high tower, the second highest in colonial times, just after the Iznaga tower in Trinidad.
The church also has two cloisters with perimeter galleries connected by a peculiar staircase, while the façade shows two Tuscan columns in three levels crowned with baroque motifs.
In addition, the area includes museums, churches, cultural institutions and buildings from colonial times, with about 33,000 constructions mostly built in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Those who seek adventures can enjoy a web of streets and alleys in Old Havana where an infrastructure of small lodging facilities which seem to have stopped in time, offer all the comforts of modern tourism.