Havana: Places to Explore

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Habana del Este

Havana's eastern reaches have several interesting sights. The Regla neighborhood has strong Afro-Cuban traditions, and nearby Guanabacoa is known for its excellent museum dedicated to Santería, an Afro-Cuban religion. You can visit both municipalities as an extension of your tour of the fortresses or on a separate side trip. Transportation to and around them can be a combination of ferries or launches, taxis, trains, and walks.

Hemingway fans must make the trip to the small fishing village of Cojímar —home to Gregorio Fuentes, Hemingway's friend and boatman—and Finca Vigía, Hemingway's home in San Francisco de Paula. Drive along the Carretera Central 13 km (8 mi) southeast of Havana to San Francisco de Paula, spend a few hours looking through Hemingway's house, preserved exactly as it was the day he left it, never to return. Afterward, drive up to Cojímar on the Circunvalación (Ring Road) for lunch at one of Papa's favorite haunts, La Terraza, overlooking the mouth of the river Cojímar.

You could spend your life in the Parque Lenin, a sprawling, Soviet-style amusement park 20 km (12 mi) southeast of Havana. To drive out to it, have a look, and drive back is only a two-hour proposition. If your time is limited, this is one eastern excursion you can skip.

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