Don Wildman's Cuba

Our hosts just don't talk about travel - they live the brand! Check out Mysteries at the Museum host Don Wildman's favorite sites from Cuba .

Photo By: Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

©Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

Photo By: Don Wildman

Cementerio de Cristobal Colon

Parked at the entrance gate of Cementerio de Cristobal Colon (aka Colon Cemetery, named for Christopher Columbus) in Havana, Cuba. It’s utterly vast: With 140 acres and 800,000 graves, it’s one of the premier places in the world for eternal rest — if you can find the space.

Grave Sites at Colon Cemetery

There are a million interments at Colon Cemetery. It’s so crowded that the deceased spend only 3 years in the tomb until remains are transferred to storage to make way for the new burials. Demand is high.

El Capitolio

The beautiful and stately National Capitol Building in Havana, completed in 1929, is currently under scaffolding. The design was inspired by Paris’ Pantheon but looks awfully familiar to any American. Apartment houses next door? Ready, aim ... gentrify.

Fidel at the Bat

Not even Cubans believe it, but it has long been a rumor that Fidel Castro was a great baseball prospect before he became a revolutionary. To this day, his vaunted prowess on the diamond is celebrated, as in this mural inside Havana’s stadium (but it’s probably completely propaganda). The Cuban team, however, is awesome.

Home Club Dugout

Estadio Latinoamericano. Cubans are so warm and generous, they make you feel as though you play for the home team — but I’m not sure Fidel would agree to that.

Museo de la Revolucion

The glorious ceiling mural of the Museo de la Revolucion (Museum of the Revolution), which was formerly Havana’s Presidential Palace. This is where Fulgencio Batista bolted from Fidel Castro’s invading guerilla army in 1959. He left down a hidden staircase not found on building blueprints.

Flying High

If that looks like a very big flag, it is — hanging in the courtyard of the Museo de la Revolucion (Museum of the Revolution). A reminder that 1 governance was replaced by another — and it’s going to stay that way.

Old Havana Church

One of many centuries-old churches in Old Havana, this one is near the harbor. See that empty plaza filled mainly with pigeons? Imagine what it will be like when the American cruise ships begin to dock, and you see the supreme challenge ahead for Cuba.

Havana Cathedral

Completed in 1777, the Havana Cathedral was constructed largely of coral rock, thus giving it a specifically Caribbean feel. The pope will be paying a visit very soon.

The Gran Teatro de la Habana

The Gran Teatro de la Habana (Great Theater of Havana) is home to the world-renowned Cuban National Ballet, as well as other performing groups. Opened in 1915 and currently under renovation, the building serves as a perfect backdrop for a postcard shot of classic American automobiles.

The Cradle of the Daiquiri

La Floridita advertises itself as “La Cuna del Daiquiri” (the Cradle of the Daiquiri). Ernest Hemingway hung out here and enjoyed more than a few of the distillations.

Havana Club

Havana Club is the most famous of the legendary rums produced in Cuba. The brand was nationalized by the Cuban government but has since been sold to an international concern.

Havana Club Bar

Havana Club is the most famous of the legendary rums produced in Cuba. The brand was nationalized by the Cuban government but has since been sold to an international concern.

Sloppy Joe’s

Another legendary drinking hole made new again. Sloppy Joe’s was a hangout through the Roaring ’20s. This was the mojito at noon that put me in a very good mood.

Don’t Forget the Garnish

I had the finest drinks of my life in Cuba. They really know their cocktails.

The Harbor of Old Havana

A panorama of Havana old and new is available a short ferry ride across the harbor. Very soon, you’ll need this hillside perspective to take in the full transformation of this rediscovered city. Watch the cranes take over the skies.

Havana Street

Habana Vieja (Old Havana) is like any great “old city” of Spain, only it’s 90 miles off the coast of Florida. You’ll get lost and love it.

Hershey Train

During WWI, Milton Hershey needed a new source of sugar for his chocolate, so he came to Cuba. But to transport his product, he had to build a new train line. It still operates and is still called the Hershey Train.

Presidential Palace

A must-see at the Presidential Palace (now the Museo de la Revolucion) is the domed ceiling, one of many remains of the previous grandiose leadership.

Camilo Cienfuegos

Images of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos (pictured) adorn government buildings at the edge of the enormous Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana, where revolutionary government rallies have been held through the years.

Paseo del Prado

In 1772, the magnificent boulevard Paseo del Prado, reminiscent of Madrid, was laid out from the Capitol to Morro Castle. Walk along it today and see what Havana has been this last century — and speculate where it will be in 10 years.