Cuba's World Heritage Sites

Never been to Cuba? From lush landscapes and stunning scenery to historic Old Havana and its beautiful baroque architecture, check out the country’s must-see UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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Walking Along the Malecon

Walking Along the Malecon

Journalist Mariana van Zeller, chef Michael Voltaggio and local guide/fixer Rolando Almirante walk through Old Havana, Cuba, along the Malecon, an oceanfront walkway. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Cuba's Vintage Cars

Cuba's Vintage Cars

One of Cuba's many vintage cars. Mariana, Michael and Rolando ride inside on the way to Santy Restaurant. Related: Why We Love the Cubans 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

A Drink with Ernest Hemingway at Floridita

A Drink with Ernest Hemingway at Floridita

Michael "speaks" with Ernest Hemingway at the Floridita, a bar frequented by the famous American author. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Roasted Pig at Paraiso Farm Restaurant

Roasted Pig at Paraiso Farm Restaurant

A beautiful roasted pig is carved for serving at the Paraiso Farm Restaurant in Vinales. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Lunch is Served!

Lunch is Served!

Mariana and Michael can hardly hold back their excitement over the roasted pig. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Toast to Cuba!

Toast to Cuba!

Mariana and Michael take a moment at the Paraiso Farm to toast their arrival in Cuba. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Pass the Cuban!

Pass the Cuban!

Michael enjoys a Cuban cigar alongside Daniel Luis Alvarez, Mariana and a local tobacco farmer in Vinales.  960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Cuba's Famous Cigars

Cuba's Famous Cigars

Resting cigars at Chef Justo Restaurant in Old Havana. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Horseback to the Tobacco Farm

Horseback to the Tobacco Farm

Mariana, Michael and a local guide ride horseback to a tobacco farm in Vinales.  960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Prepared Dishes at Chef Justo Restaurant

Prepared Dishes at Chef Justo Restaurant

Prepared dishes at Chef Justo Restaurant in Old Havana. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Sushi at Santy Restaurant

Sushi at Santy Restaurant

Mariana and Michael continue their food tour of Cuba at Santy Restaurant, which serves gorgeous and delicious sushi. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Sushi at Santy Restaurant

Sushi at Santy Restaurant

More fresh fish on the table at Santy Restaurant. 960 1280

Ashley Gilbertson  

Produce at a Local State Market

Produce at a Local State Market

Mariana and Michael grab fresh produce from a local state market. Michael will use these ingredients to prepare the final meal for his and Mariana’s guests. 960 1280

  

Chef Voltaggio at Work

Chef Voltaggio at Work

Chef Michael Voltaggio at work, cutting away at a taro root. 960 1280

  

What's for Dinner?

What's for Dinner?

Taro with chips and guacamole, one of the many dishes that Michael has prepared for the final meal. Other dishes include a pork shoulder smoked with cigar leaves, Michael’s take on a Cuban sandwich, fried snapper and paella made out of pasta with a coconut shrimp stock. 960 1280

  

The Final Dinner

The Final Dinner

Mariana and Michael toast with their guests — a chef, a tour guide from Vinales and an ex-Cuban diplomat. 960 1280

  

cuba, why we love cuba, culture, arts, history, cars
Car Culture

Car Culture

We love the brightly-colored houses and vintage American cars that travel along the streets of Old Havana. 960 1280

Danita Delimont / Getty Images  

Cuban Cigars

Cuban Cigars

Despite American trade sanctions against Cuban products, cigars remain one of the country's leading exports. The country exported 77 million cigars in the early 1990s. 960 1280

Mastrafoto / CON / Getty Images  

Salsa Dancing and More

Salsa Dancing and More

We love to salsa, a dance form with Cuban origins that combines European Spanish and African cultures. Cubans love to move. Rumba, zapateo and bolero are  a few other popular dance forms in Cuba. 960 1280

tunart / Getty Images  

Viñales Valley

Viñales Valley

We love the natural tourist attractions in Cuba, including Viñales Valley (pictured above), where tobacco and other crops are cultivated on the bottom of the valley. Viñales is also a major tourist destination for hikers and rock climbers. 960 1280

Walter Bibikow / AWL Images / Getty Images  

Valle de los Ingenios

Valle de los Ingenios

We love Cuba for its rich history, including this old tower once used to watch slaves standing in the Valle de los Ingenios (sugar mills), located in Trinidad, Cuba. 960 1280

Education Images / Getty Images  

Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) is a traditional Cuban meal. Ingredients include rice, beer, stock, sofrito (a mix of vegetables and fresh herbs), chicken and saffron. 960 1280

Paul_Brighton / Getty Images  

Havana Carnival Parade

Havana Carnival Parade

We enjoy watching the folk dance group 'La Jardinera' perform during the Havana Carnival parade. The Cuban carnival has Afro-Caribbean origins and starts at the end of July and runs through mid-August. Other popular Cuban festivals include Anfoa Magic Festival, International Festival of New Latin Cinema and Festival del Caribe. 960 1280

Rachel Lewis / Getty Images  

Fried Sweet Plantains

Fried Sweet Plantains

Looking for a traditional Cuban meal? Try fried sweet plantains with black beans and rice. It's a staple and tasty meal for most Cubans. 960 1280

Lisa F. Young / Getty Images  

Buena Vista Social Club

Buena Vista Social Club

We're inspired by the Buena Vista Social Club, a club that showcased diverse music, musicians, performers and singers. Cuban diva Omara Portuondo (pictured) is a surviving star of the popular 1940s club. 960 1280

Education Images / Getty Images  

Beautiful Beaches

Beautiful Beaches

Cuba has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, including Playa Guardalavaca (pictured above), Playa Paraiso, Playa Sirena, Playa Ancon, Cayo Sabinal, Playa Ensenchachos and Playa Megano. 960 1280

Ingolf Pompe / LOOK-foto / Getty Images  

Baseball

Baseball

Baseball is perhaps the most popular pastime in Cuba, introduced to the country in the 1960s. Everywhere you go, including Old Havana (pictured above) you can find kids of all ages in the streets playing baseball. According to the International Baseball Federation, the Cuban national team is currently the 5th ranked team in the world. 960 1280

Atlantide Phototravel / Getty Images  

Cuban Celebrities

Cuban Celebrities

We love popular Cuban and Cuban-American celebrities, including singer Gloria Estefan (pictured), actor Andy Garcia (pictured), TV personality Daisy Fuentes, rapper Pitbull and comedian Faizon Love. 960 1280

Mathew Imaging / Getty Images  

Rum, Rum and More Rum

Rum, Rum and More Rum

We admire Cubans' love for 'spirits,' including the different types of Cuban rums made by Havana Club, a Cuban rum distillery. 960 1280

Roberto Machado Noa / Getty Images  

Malecón Roadway and Seawall

Malecón Roadway and Seawall

We love how Cuba's famous Malecón roadway and seawall has become a popular social destination for friends and family, including kids who cool off in the heat of summer by taking a dive into the sea. 960 1280

Bob Krist / Getty Images  

Cuban Sandwich

Cuban Sandwich

We love the taste of a Cuban sandwich, made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and sometimes salami -- all stacked between two pieces of Cuban bread. 960 1280

Juanmonino / Getty Images  

Mojitos

Mojitos

A mojito is a traditional Cuban cocktail that consists of white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and spearmint or yerba buena, a type of mint that's popular on the island. 960 1280

Adam Jones / Getty Images  

Why We Love Cuba  16 Photos

Capital, building, Havana, Cuba
National Capitol Building

National Capitol Building

Often referred to as the twin of the US Capitol, Havana's National Capitol Building houses members of the National Assembly and Communist Party. 960 1280

EHStock/iStockphoto.com  

Havana's Chinatown

Havana's Chinatown

Known as Barrio Chino de la Habana, it's one of the oldest Chinatowns in Latin America. 960 1280

Rosita So Image/Moment/Getty Images  

Havana, 1950

Havana, 1950

This picture captures what Havana looked like before the embargo -- note the cars and narrow streets. 960 1280

Hulton Archive/Getty Images  

Havana, Present Day

Havana, Present Day

Present-day Cuba still features vintage cars but an increase in tourism from the US and around the world. 960 1280

  

The Music Never Ends in Cuba

The Music Never Ends in Cuba

Local musicians play on the streets of Old Havana in the capital of Cuba. 960 1280

Aykut Unlupinar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images  

Weathered Havana

Weathered Havana

Old and weathered architecture is a common sight in Havana. 960 1280

Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket/Getty Images  

Joyeria

Joyeria

The remains of a joyeria, or jewelry store, that was ruined during Cuba’s Communist revolution. 960 1280

Christian science Monitor/Getty Images  

Local Produce for Sale in Trinidad, Cuba

Local Produce for Sale in Trinidad, Cuba

Farmers sell their fresh produce either on the streets or in state markets throughout Cuba. The Cuban government pays a percentage to each farmer based on the amount they sell. 960 1280

Izzet Keribar/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Cuba's Coco Taxis

Cuba's Coco Taxis

Named after a coconut because of their body style, Cuba's Coco Taxis are like auto-rickshaws transporting locals and tourists throughout Havana. 960 1280

ArtMarie/iStockphoto.com  

Stretch!

Stretch!

Local students do their morning exercises. Cuba takes the health and wellness of its children very seriously. 960 1280

STR/AFP/Getty Images  

A Vibrant Havana

A Vibrant Havana

The vibrancy and beauty of Havana, Cuba, is unmistakable. Rent a vintage American car to immerse yourself in the complete experience. A driver is required. 960 1280

  

Che Guevara

Che Guevara

The Ministry of the Interior building in Havana flies the Cuban flag. An image of the late Che Guevara, a prominent revolutionary figure and minister of industry is on the facade. 960 1280

Greg Roden/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images  

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

The main tourist square in Havana, Plaza de Armas, has served as the location for ceremonies and military events since the end of the 16th century. 960 1280

Danita Delimont/Gallo Images/Getty Images  

Pictures of Cuba  13 Photos

Photos

21 Photos
The Kennedy Clan

The Kennedy Clan

The Kennedy Family in Hyannis Port, MA, 1948. L-R: John F. Kennedy, Jean Kennedy, Rose Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., Patricia Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy (kneeling). JFK was the second of 9 children. 960 1280

Photograph in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.  

JFK National Historic Site

JFK National Historic Site

See JFK’s birthplace in Brookline, MA. The Kennedy family moved into this 7-room, 2-and-a-half-story home in 1915; 2 years later John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born in an upstairs bedroom. The home is closed during the winter, and reopens for summer. 960 1280

Sebastia Giralt, flickr  

PT 109

PT 109

Lieutenant junior grade John F. Kennedy aboard the PT-109 in the South Pacific, 1943. For heroic actions waged after his ship was rammed by a Japanese destroyer, Kennedy received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. Hollywood later brought this story to the silver screen, in 1963’s biopic PT 109. 960 1280

  

JFK Island

JFK Island

This small island, in the Pacific Ocean, is the area where the 26-year-old JFK aided his injured crew after his boat, the PT-109, was rammed by a Japanese destroyer. Colloquially known as Plum Pudding Island, the tiny tropical island was later named JFK Island in honor of JFK’s heroism that day in 1943. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Bay of Pigs Invasion

Bay of Pigs Invasion

In April 1961, President Kennedy authorized the Bay of Pigs invasion, an attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro's Cuban government. In this photo, a Cuban tank is positioned near the area where 1,500 anti-Castro rebels came ashore. 960 1280

Reuters  

Kennedy Compound

Kennedy Compound

President Kennedy with his wife, Jacqueline, and their children, John Jr. and Caroline, in Hyannis Port, MA, August 1962. The Kennedy Compound comprises 6 acres of waterfront property, and was once the home of JFK’s father. The grounds also served as a base for JFK’s 1960 presidential campaign. 960 1280

Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.  

Cuban Missile Crisis ... and 13 Very Tense Days

Cuban Missile Crisis ... and 13 Very Tense Days

President Kennedy wrote "Missile Sites" on this map of Cuba and marked them with "X"s when he was first briefed by the CIA on the Cuban Missile Crisis on Oct. 16, 1962. JFK's brother, Bobby, later wrote a memoir about this flashpoint moment, when the US was pushed to the brink of nuclear war, in Thirteen Days. 960 1280

Reuters/Brian Snyder BS/YH  

'Ich bin ein Berliner'

'Ich bin ein Berliner'

On June 26, 1963, Kennedy visited West Berlin and gave a historic speech to a massive audience of 450,000 people promising American support to West Germany, in the wake of the Soviet Union erecting the Berlin Wall 22 months before. The speech is known for its famous phrase "Ich bin ein Berliner!" (“I am a Berliner!”) 960 1280

Photograph by Robert Knudsen, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.  

Passing the Torch

Passing the Torch

President Kennedy and daughter Caroline aboard the "Honey Fitz" off the coast of Hyannis Port, MA, Aug. 31, 1963. Caroline later named her firstborn son, John ‘Jack’ Schlossberg, in honor of her father. 960 1280

Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.  

JFK’s Final Moments

JFK’s Final Moments

President John F. Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy and Texas governor John Connally ride through Dallas moments before Kennedy was assassinated, Nov. 22, 1963. Kennedy was shot twice, Connally in the chest, wrist and thigh. A 10-month investigation led by the Warren Commission concluded, in September 1964, that a lone gunman was the culprit; but 50 years later, many doubts remain in the American public’s mind. 960 1280

Reuters  

Dealey Plaza -- and the Grassy Knoll

Dealey Plaza -- and the Grassy Knoll

Dealey Plaza, a 15-acre public park in Dallas where the JFK assassination occurred. The northwest side of the plaza is home to the infamous "Grassy Knoll," from which, the House Select Committee on Assassinations determined there was a “high probability” that a second assassin also fired at JFK but missed. Dealey Plaza was named a National Historic Landmark in 1993. 960 1280

iStockphoto  

Sixth Floor Museum

Sixth Floor Museum

Explore the details of JFK’s assassination, as well as his legacy, at the Sixth Floor Museum. Located on the sixth floor of the Dallas County Administration Building, the museum houses a collection of 40,000 items related to JFK’s assassination. The museum also has a webcam that features a live view from the sniper spot. 960 1280

NK Eide, flickr  

JFK Eternal Flame

JFK Eternal Flame

An eternal flame marks JFK's grave at Arlington National Cemetery. Just 11 days prior to his assassination, JFK had visited the cemetery for Veterans Day services, and remarked, “I could spend eternity here.” JFK’s family honored his wish; his wife, Jackie, and 2 infant children, would later join him at this burial site. JFK’s brothers, Senators Robert Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy are buried a few yards away. 960 1280

iStockphoto  

Kennedy Center

Kennedy Center

“I look forward to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft,” said JFK less than a month before his death. Today, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in 1971, stands as a living memorial to America’s 35th president. The center is the nation's busiest performing arts facility and annually hosts approximately 2,000 performances for audiences totaling nearly 2 million. 960 1280

iStockphoto  

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, located on Columbia Point in Boston, is the official repository for original papers and correspondence of the Kennedy Administration. At the dedication ceremony in 1979, JFK Jr. read from the Stephen Spender poem, “I Think Continually of Those Who Were Truly Great.” 960 1280

Reuters/Adam Hunger   

Montreal’s President Kennedy Avenue

Montreal’s President Kennedy Avenue

That greatness translated into widespread international appeal. Following JFK’s assassination, the world joined the United States in mourning. This included Canada, where the predominantly Roman Catholic Montreal named the street west of Saint-Urbain Street as Avenue du President-Kennedy, in honor of America’s first Catholic president. 960 1280

Kenn Chaplin, flickr  

John-F.-Kennedy-Platz

John-F.-Kennedy-Platz

Eight days after Kennedy’s assassination, a square in front of city hall in West Berlin was renamed John F. Kennedy Platz. It was here that JFK had delivered his rousing speech to Berliners, proclaiming “Ich bin ein Berliner.” The renaming of the square is noted in this large plaque, at the entrance to the old-time city hall. 960 1280

Henry Lee, flickr   

Yad Kennedy in Jerusalem

Yad Kennedy in Jerusalem

And on a lone hill, on the southwest edge of Jerusalem, the Yad Kennedy memorial was dedicated in JFK’s honor on July 4, 1966. The flat-topped memorial offers up a powerful image: 53 concrete “ribs,” separated by high, narrow windows, depict the huge stump of a tree cut down in its prime. 960 1280

JerandSar Gimbel, flickr  

John F. Kennedy Memorial in England

John F. Kennedy Memorial in England

“This acre of English ground was given to the United States of America by the people of Britain in memory of John F. Kennedy.” Those words, etched across this limestone memorial, were dedicated by Queen Elizabeth II in May 1965, in Runnymede alongside the River Thames. JFK’s widow, Jackie, attended the dedication. 960 1280

Wyrdlight, Wikimedia Commons  

John F. Kennedy Memorial Park

John F. Kennedy Memorial Park

“This is not the land of my birth, but it is the land for which I hold the greatest affection.” JFK was speaking about Ireland, which he visited in June 1963 -- he would later call his 4 days there the best 4 of his life. Visit Kennedy’s ancestral homeland, in New Ross, Co Wexford, and you’ll find the 623-acre John F. Kennedy Memorial Park. 960 1280

Sean Rowe, flickr   

Kennedy Memorial in Dallas

Kennedy Memorial in Dallas

When news hit of JFK’s assassination, Dallas became the undeserved target of a shocked nation’s grief. Cars bearing Dallas license plates were turned over and Dallas became known as the “City of Hate” for years to come. In 1970, wounds began to heal when this memorial to Kennedy was erected in downtown Dallas. Now, on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, local artists have put together the Dallas LOVE Project, a collection of 30,000 works of art throughout the city that show Dallas as “a city where love thrives.” 960 1280

ciocci, flickr   

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