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Why Fly to Havana?
Havana, Cuba is considered to be one of the most culturally rich cities in all of Latin America. It is also one of the Caribbean's most popular destinations for international tourists. Modern-day Havana is divided into several large regions. One of the most architecturally beautiful and historically significant is Old Havana. A visit to Old Havana is like taking a walk into the past. Here, tourists can visit the scenic Castillo del Morro, a large 16th-century fortress that guards the entrance to Havana Bay. A popular place to take in the seaside scenery is the Malecon, a 5-mile promenade that follow the seawall along Havana's coast. Old Havana features an abundance of colonial architecture, giving the district a distinctly European feel. For example, the Cathedral of Saint Christopher of Havana, an 18th-century church, is representative of the baroque style and is the most eye-catching site on the Plaza de la Catedral. A short distance from Old Havana is the Vedado district. This newer region of the city has quickly become a center for contemporary dining and nightlife. The Vedado neighborhood is also one of the best areas to find luxury hotels. Between the Vedado and Old Havana is Central Havana, the city's main retail district. Here, tourists can patron the many shops, restaurants and bars that inhabit the region. Central Havana is also home to Havana's densely populated Chinatown neighborhood. You can compare flight deals to Havana using Travelzoo's SuperSearch.
Which Airlines Fly to Havana?
Jose Marti International Airport (HAV) serves the Havana area. Those flying in from Canada can try Air Canada, Cubana de Aviacion and Sunwing Airlines. Flights are also offered from nearby Caribbean and Central American cities. You can find flights from Montego Bay, Kingston and Nassau on Aerogaviota. Meanwhile, TACA and Cubana de Aviacion provide flights from San Jose, Costa Rica. Other airlines that serve Havana include Air France, Mexicana, LAN Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia and Air Europa.
Havana Flight Tips
Because of a trade embargo between the U.S. and Cuba, U.S. citizens are not allowed to travel to the island nation, except in certain circumstances. Because of this, there are no direct flights from the U.S. to Cuba. However, many international airlines serve Havana from select international cities.
Quick Travel Guide to Havana
Most tourists will want to begin their trip to Havana by exploring the many sites and attractions of Old Havana. Once the colonial heart of the city, Old Havana still retains much of its past through its restored buildings. Visitors can patron the National Capitol, the former seat of Cuban government. This large institution, which somewhat resembles the U.S. Capitol in design, is currently home to the Cuban Academy of Sciences. Old Havana's main square, the Plaza de Armas, is surrounded by beautiful baroque-style buildings. It's a popular place to people watch and observe the city's colonial architecture.
Another popular plaza downtown is the Plaza de la Revolucion. This giant square features a statue and monument dedicated to national hero Jose Marti. There is also an iconic image of revolutionary Che Guevera adorning the Ministry of the Interior building. Housed within what once was the lavish Presidential Palace, the Museum of the Revolution is a must-see for any Havana tourist. The museum's historical exhibits concentrate on the period after the nation's revolutionary war.
Twelve miles east of the city are the Playas del Este, or Eastern Beaches. This cluster of beaches is a great place to soak up the sun and enjoy a swim in the warm, tropical waters. You can find shuttle service to the beaches at some Havana hotels. They are also accessible by taxi.
Head west of Old Havana to Central Havana for some local shopping. Here, you will find some of Cuba's finest shopping malls. If you like salsa dancing, stop in at the popular Casa de la Musica. This nightclub features different top-rated salsa bands every night.
Finally, venture outside of Central Havana to the modern Vedado district. Here, among posh hotels and restaurants, visitors will find John Lennon Park, an urban green space dedicated to the famous Beatles member. The University of Havana is also located in the Vedado area. Tourists looking for the most exclusive boutiques in the city can travel just west of the Vedado to the Miramar neighborhood. This elite district is home to the city's wealthiest citizens and high-end shops.
Santiago de Cuba