Havana, Cuba's capital, will turn 500 years in 2019 full of attractions for national and foreign tourism.
The city, a tourist destination par excellence, has a wide portfolio of cultural and historic values that are characterized by their diversity, serving as unique complements for leisure.
One the first seven villages founded by the Spanish conquistadors as San Cristobal de La Habana, it is a key piece of numerous tourist programs, especially the historic heart of the city.
More than 5 percent of travelers to Cuba arrive through the capital and they go later to Pinar del Rio or Varadero, so Havana defines the image of tourism in Cuba.
Particular interest generates Old Havana, which was designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as Humanity's Cultural Heritage in 1982. The historic heart covers an area of 4.5 square kilometers rich in exponents of Spanish colonial architecture, customs and traditions that are five centuries old.
The primary nucleus of the Cuban capital holds a collection of castles, fortresses and buildings of high patrimonial value, which were built around a system of squares, combined with monasteries and temples.
These open spaces marked the framework of the so-called intramural city, with special highlight for Arms and Cathedral squares, as well as the so-called Old, Christ and Saint Francis of Assisi squares.
In addition, among the attractions that stands out is the Minor Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, a construction that dates back to 1738 and constitutes a set of extraordinary cultural and historic values.
The most significant element of the church is, undoubtedly, its 42-meter-tall tower, the second in height in colonial times, being surpassed only by the Iznaga Tower in Trinidad.
There are also many museums, churches, cultural centers and buildings closely linked to the colonial period, with some 33,000 buildings built mostly in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Cuba's historic heritage, accumulated over centuries, is well kept in a wide network of museums that extends throughout the country to preserve the legacy of past eras.
The museum network, with an important weight in the capital, includes about 290 facilities of the most varied designs and content, of which 14 are art museums, seven on science and technology, five on ethnography and anthropology and 68 on history .
Another nine museums are considered specialized, 164 general and four archeological museums, all which have a common goal: to transfer the teachings of yesteryear to the new reality of the country.
For those who venture through the tangle of streets and alleys in Old Havana, there is a network of small buildings where time seems to have stopped and offer all the amenities required by modern tourism.