Half-day Introduction to the City of Revolutions
· Be driven around Havana in an open-top car
· Imagine past rallies at the Plaza de la Revolucion
· Meet a Cuban founding father at the Memorial José Marti
· See how American sailors are remembered at the Monumento al Maine
· Walk around the characterful Museo de la Revolucion
· Go inside the home of José Marti
· Gaze on the stupendous scale of the Capitolio
While the Revolution of the 1950’s occupies a special place in the world’s perception of Cuba, the tale of the fight for independence from Spain is also worth telling. Go with your guide on a panoramic tour – in an open-top car – to learn about both struggles.
Monuments and Rallies
Seeing the Plaza de la Revolucion brings Cuba’s unique political history to life. The setting for rallies, the heritage of the Communist Party is forcibly shown in the huge images of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos gazing down from their respective government buildings. Your guide will also take you around the Memorial José Marti. Standing high above the city, and with an iconic white marble statue of Cuba’s national hero, the memorial actually predates Castro’s entry into Havana in 1959. Hear the curious tale of its construction before stepping back in the car for a drive around the Palacio de la Revolucion.
Memorials on the Malecón
Driving up the coast on the Malecón, your guide will be able to tell you the story of the decisive American intervention in the 3rd Cuban War of Independence at the Monumento al Maine. Erected to honor the memory of the American sailors who died when their ship exploded in Havana harbour, it has undergone many unplanned (by its designer) changes since its inauguration in 1925. Continuing the journey along the seafront, your guide will point out the Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta, where 8 medical students were executed by the Spanish in 1871.
Birthplaces and Palaces
Going into the heart of the Old City, you will visit the Museo de la Revolucion. A must-see for those who want to see how Communism is presented in one of the world’s few remaining Communist states, this former presidential palace has much to keep the curious occupied. Be sure to see the exhibits outside the Museum as well, especially the Granma – used by Fidel Castro to carry his supporters across from Mexico – which is now kept in its own pavilion. Then go with your guide to the Museo Casa Natal de José Marti, passing the Coche Mambi (a former presidential railway car) along the way. This small museum tells the story of the greatest of Cuba’s independence heroes in his birthplace; a thrilling tale that includes a youthful imprisonment, stirring prose and death in battle. From there your guide will take you to see the Capitolio; the grand neoclassical former site of Cuba’s Congress which could again be used for its lawmakers in the future.