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The Old Colonial Havana
hrs Estimate Duration
Havana, founded in 1519 by the Spanish crown, became one of the Caribbean's main centers for ship-building by the 17th century. Today, it is a metropolis with approximately 2.1 million residents that invites guests to discover a complex mosaic of colors and rhythms, an interesting mix of Baroque, neo-classical and Renaissance architecture, and a wonderful assortment of cuisine to delight the senses.
Before departing the pier, you will see the historic Plaza de San Francisco de Asís, created in the 16th century when Spanish galleons stopped by at the harbor on their passage through the Indies to Spain. The plaza underwent a full restoration in the late 1990s and is most significant for its uneven cobblestones and the white marble Fuente de los Leones (Fountain of Lions) carved by the Italian sculptor Giuseppe Gaggini in 1836.
Then you will continue on to Havana’s Old Square. This architecturally eclectic square, where Cuban baroque meets Gaudí-inspired art nouveau was first built in 1559 and was originally named Plaza Nueva (New Square). The square was initially used for military exercises but later served as an open-air marketplace, where you can now also see bars, restaurants and cafes. The square has its own micro-brewery, the Angela Landa primary school, a beautiful fenced-in fountain and, on its west side, some of Havana's finest stained-glass windows. Plaza Vieja has had various uses, the last of which was an underground parking lot, but when the city of Old Havana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982, the square was restored to the historic plaza it is today.
While in Old Square, you will be able to admire the restored colonial buildings from the 17, 18 and 19th centuries and take in the many attractions popular to both Cubans and visitors, like street performances and visual arts.
Afterwards, you will return to the pier.
Need to Know:
Note: This tour involves walking for the full duration of the tour, mostly in asphalt and cobblestone. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests. Guests are advised to bring a camera, wear flat/comfortable shoes and dress in layers. Rain gear and/or an umbrella is recommended. This tour is OFAC compliant.
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Scenic & City Tours
Tours with this activity level involve a considerable amount of physical activity such as substantial walking over cobblestone streets, uneven or steep terrain, climbing stairs, or extended periods of standing. Not recommended for guests with physical limitations. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are recommended.
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