|Area||721 km2 (278.4 sq mi)|
Havana lies on the northern coast of Cuba, south of the Florida Keys, where the Gulf of Mexico joins the Caribbean Sea (map at right). The city extends mostly westward and southward from the bay, which is entered through a narrow inlet and which divides into three main harbours: Marimelena, Guanabacoa, and Atarés. The sluggish Almendares River traverses the city from south to north, entering the Straits of Florida a few miles west of the bay. The low hills on which the city lies rise gently from the deep blue waters of the straits. A noteworthy elevation is the 200-foot-high (60-metre) limestone ridge that slopes up from the east and culminates in the heights of La Cabaña and El Morro, the sites of colonial fortifications overlooking the eastern bay. Another notable rise is the hill to the west that is occupied by the University of Havana and the Prince's Castle. Outside the city, higher hills rise on the west and east.
Founded on November 16, 1519, Cuba's capital remains a city of meetings. Music, dance,culture, art, fun and entertainment come together in a versatile and amazing personality. Its historic center, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the oldest colonial and best preserved of America. Havana is brimming with bars, tango houses and cultural centers . The main strip of Calle Obispo is the place to begin an old town bar hop, where a seductive musical soundtrack and spontaneous street side grooving provides some of the city's best free entertainment.
The Vedado public park
In central Havana is a traditional meeting place for the city's lovers. It’s pretty shaded walkways are also frequented by street musicians, artists and poets who often end up here at the end of a long night on the town, or in search of inspiration.
There is no other place which shows more of the Havana's soul, or attracts more locals and tourists than the long stretch Malecon. This sea boulevard crawls 7 km along the historical areas of the city, from the colonial center (Habana Vieja) through the (Russian) apartments of Vedado, if it is a resume of Havana's history. There are a lot of very charming buildings along the busy street, but it's the total thing what makes it interesting, in specific when the Bay of Habana is lightened by the sunset.
Playas del Este
with Its beaches invite the pleasure of enjoying a summer residence of the sun and sea in the largest city in the Caribbean. The chain of beaches called the Eastern Beaches (Spanish: Playas del Este) extend for 15 miles (24 km) along the north coast of Havana City province. The beaches are (named from West to East): Tarará; El Mégano; Bacuranao (has a bay shape, thick sand and a small Spanish fortress on its western side); Santa María del Mar; Boca Ciega; Guanabo; La Veneciana and Brisas del Mar.
The National Zoo
Is situated on the outskirts of Havana and many of the animals housed here roam freely in areas which resemble their natural habitats. For safety reasons visitors are transported through these particular areas on a small train, which allows close up views of the daily life of the animal kingdom at large. Traditional enclosures in the rest of the zoo mean you can wander at will through the hundreds of species on show here.
And these are just a few of the many, many attractions to do while in Havana.
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