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Brimming with 17th-century colonial architecture, Old Havana — La Habana Vieja — was founded in 1519 and contains the original city center. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was built in the Bay of Havana for Spanish galleons crossing between Spain and the New World and prospered as one of the main shipbuilding centers. Centered around the 16th-century Plaza Vieja, Neoclassical and Baroque architecture have undergone extensive restorations in preparation for Havana’s 500th anniversary.
With over 20 km of golden beaches and crystal clear water, Varadero’s famous beaches are a premier destination in Cuba.
Trinidad is the second-oldest colonial city in Cuba and one of the best-preserved sugar-trade cities in the Caribbean. Its maze of dirt and cobbled streets are lined with brightly colored houses in hues of cornflower and sunflower, cantaloupe and key lime. Find your way to the cobbled Plaza Mayor, the center of the city, to admire this open-air museum of Spanish Colonial architecture, including the gold and seafoam tower of Convento de San Francisco.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cienfuegos was founded by the French, who came to Cuba after the Haitian revolution. Examine the outstanding architecture and step inside the beautiful Tomas Terry Theatre to learn its history. Stroll down the main boulevard of Cienfuegos and stop in at the ration, Cuban pesos, and CUC stores, an opportunity to mingle with Cubans as they go about their daily life.
UNESCO declared Valle de Viñales a World Heritage Site in recognition of its unique landscape, unspoiled natural areas and traditional forms of agriculture still practiced by local farmers. Limestone mogotes draped in vegetation serve as backdrops to otherwise flat farmlands. For birders, target species at this site include Gundlach’s Hawk, White-crowned Pigeon, Snail Kite, Cuban Grassquit, Cuban Tody, Cuban Trogon, Cuban Green Wookpecker, and Yellow-headed Warbler.