Welcome to Havana, Cuba, now officially recognized as one of the New 7 Wonders Cities. An eclectic mix of old and new, this colorful city has a diverse history reflected most especially in architecture, fashion, and activities. At one time, Havana was seen as a political pawn between giants. However, this city so rich in style has now come into its own to become a tourist favorite and enjoys over a million visitors a year, many of them on a cruise to Havana.
Havana is the capital city of Cuba and is a major port and cruise ship port of call. Extending mostly westward and southward from the bay, it offers a narrow inlet which divides into three main harbors: Marimelena, Gunabacoa, and Atares.
Originally founded by the Spanish in the 16th century, due to a strategic location it served as the springboard for the Spanish conquest of the continent. As a result, it became a favored stopping point for treasure-laden Spanish galleons. This led to a need for forts to protect itself from marauding pirates, although, eventually, some of them made their permanent homes in Havana.
More recently, in 1898, the sinking of the U.S. battleship, Maine, in its harbor was the cause of the Spanish-American War. However, by the 1930s, Havana became a favored spot for American gangsters such as Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano. Luxury hotels sprang up, and Havana became an exotic capital with activities as diverse as casinos, Grand Prix racing, musical shows, and numerous landscaped parks. Over the next two decades, Havana was regarded as an up and coming city and hosted a variety of the most distinguished actors, dancers, and sports enthusiasts around the world.
In 1959, an overnight revolution led by Fidel Castro changed all that. With Soviet backing, Cuba was now communist and the new regime promised, but often did not deliver, social services, public housing, and official buildings. Many of the mansions were converted into schools, hospitals, and other community needs. Once you are in Havana you'll quickly see how the city almost stopped in time. Even the automobiles that many currently drive hail from this time period as if time stood still. Actually quite fascinating to see.
But, once the regime began to recognize the positive economics of tourism, the city of Havana was opened up to visitors and hotels began to pop up. The cruise line industry began arriving into Cuba and really boomed at the beginning of 2017. The majority of the major lines will make calls to Cuba where the passengers will find the locals greeting them with open arms and eager to show them around their lovely island on one of the many Havana Shore Excursions and Cuba Excursions.
Entertainment is fashionable once more, drinking is no longer prohibited and the theaters once again host some of the greatest names. Tourists can enjoy incredible architecture on sightseeing excursions. Visits to the beaches are quite popular, as is entertainment, and fabulous selections of cuisine that can be found just about anywhere and is one of the famous Cuba Shore Excursions. Visit 400-year old forts and castles, walk along cobblestone, and very narrow, streets lined with incredible mixtures of architecture. There's never a shortage of things to see and do in this wondrous city.
The climate in Havana, Cuba is considered tropical savanna with temperatures averaging 72 in the winter and 82 in the summer. Ocean breezes and trade winds help to keep the humidity down, but it remains a warm, tropical location. With warm Caribbean waters that have virtually been untouched by visitors, Cuba offers some great and unique snorkeling. Come check out our Havana Coral Beach and Saturn Cave Snorkel Excursion for a memorable day! Or maybe mix up some history with underwater marine life on our Havana Full Day Cenote and Bay of Pigs Snorkel Excursion.
When visiting it's important to know that the official language is Spanish, which is heavily influenced by Spanish Creole, but English is spoken by many as well. All of our Excursions in Havana have English speaking shore excursion guides. The official currency is the Cuban Peso, and any of the many banks can do the exchange for you.
Activities and Cuba Excursions are numerous and include water sports whether it's snorkeling, swimming or diving, sightseeing, and entertainment. There are numerous museums, a multitude of restaurants, gorgeous beaches, and fun dance clubs. Check to see what Havana Excursions will best suit your needs and make the most of your visit to this exotic location. We're sure you will enjoy your time in this incredible cultural melting pot called Havana, Cuba!