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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: Urban Tourism and Recreation

The Cuban archipelago, a tourist destination par excellence in the Caribbean, comprises a wide spectrum of recreational options that range from the traditional sun and beach offers to the attractions of its main urban sites.

It is precisely in this direction that Havana, the country’s capital city, stands out as a destination for thousands of foreign visitors who arrive in the island every year.

The leisure initiatives in the city go from alternatives in big hotels, operated by first line chains, to small facilities located in Havana’s historic heart.

This area, also known as Old Havana and declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO, comprises a significant number of museums, churches, cultural institutions and buildings from colonial time, with about 33,000 constructions dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries.

The small-format hotels, based on the experience of Spanish-style inns, provide a perfect complement to the leisure industry in the country by giving an unassuming intimate touch to these facilities, which are rapidly being preferred by visitors.

The emergence of these small hotels, next to hotel giants with hundreds of rooms, aims at rescuing an ancient tradition when these places were in charge of meeting the lodging needs in the big cities.

Entrance, Los Frailes Hotel
Façade, El Comendador Hotel
Foyer, Tejadillo Hotel

Gastronomy complements these lodging facilities, from the more modest places designed in the modern style of fast-food restaurants, to places with dozens of years of history.

The list of the most renowned restaurants include the famous Bodeguita del Medio, which has strengthened its role in the last few years, as the standard bearer of excellence in Cuban traditional cuisine, within the new tourist era in the country.

The B del M, as it is also called, is just a few steps from La Catedral Square, (Empedrado Street, 207); and it is visited by a large number of tourists who can enjoy, among its most renowned offers, the Mojito, a drink made of light Cuban rum, macerated mint leaves, lemon juice and sugar.

In addition, visitors can chose the beach alternative which is concentrated in the so-called Circuito Azul (Blue Circuit), with more than 15 kilometers of coastline where the beach known as Santa María del Mar, stands out.

There are other beaches preferred by vacationers like Bacuranao, El Mégano, Boca Ciega and Guanabo, which actually complement urban tourism.

Jibacoa beach, also in the vicinity, attracts attention due to its particular design of quiet waters surrounded by hills, up to 100 meters in height, which extend along the coast, thus providing a pleasant sensation of privacy.

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