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Bridge over the Almendares river
PARQUE ALMENDARES runs along the banks of the Río Almendares below the bridge on Calle 23 (La Rampa).
This wonderful oasis of greenery and negative-air ions in the heart of chaotic Habana is sometimes referred to as
the lungs of the city.
Lonely Planet
Miramar is only a narrow band of streets by the sea with hotels and offices in this much larger area known to Cubans as Playa. There is no beach (playa) per se here — with the lovely exception of Club Havana (see at right).

Playa includes neighbourhoods and municipios in and around the Convention Centre (Palacio de Convenciones in Nautico), Marina Hemingway (bars, boats, hotels, restaurants), Almendares, La Sierra, Atabey, Barlovento, Bélen and Alturas de Bélen (Colegio and Tropicana), Buenavista, Cubanacán, Flores (Club Havana), Kohly, La Copa, Marianao, Nautico, Baracoa, Querejeta, Siboney and more.

You're not exactly downtown. Taxi rides to Old Havana are 12-15cuc each way. Cocotaxis are not any cheaper, private taxis (shared) should be about 5cuc from Vedado to Belen, much more to the Palacio de Convenciones, the Convention Centre, far into Playa, about 80 blocks from the Habana Libre in "downtown" Vedado.

Map of Playa with some of our rental casas
Map of the Miramar (seaside) area of Playa
Daily currency exchange rates
Acuario Nacional web site
Palacio de Convenciones web site

All the Web particuba.net

Corte del Principe
, (Italian); Rio Mar, (International); La Fontana (Brasserie); Bella Habana, (International); La Carboncita, (Italian); Calle 10, (International).

Quote from "The London Foodie" [Mar 2011] : By far the best food we had in Havana was at the "Paladar La Cocina de Lilliam". Located in an elegant house with lush gardens in a suburban district of the city, this supper club was one of the culinary highlights of our trip. Cocina de Lilliam, calle 48 #1311, e/13 y 15, Playa; El Diluvio (Italian), calle 72, e/17 y 19 (Playa); El Laurel, 5ta, past Marina Hemingway, between casas in the back; La Esperanza, calle 16 #105 Tel. 7.202 4361; La Fontana, calle 3a, e 46; La Vicaria 5ta y 180;

Bienmesabe on Calle 152, e/ 3ra y 5ta in reparto Nautica; Rio Mar 3ra., Final Tel. 7.209.4838 Elite Calle 38, e/ 42 y 7ma Tel. 7.209.3260 El Palio 1ra, e/ 24 y 26 Tel. 7.202.9867 Bella Habana 6, e/ 5ta.B y 7ma. Tel. 7.203.8364 [cubapaladar.org]


Casa de la Musica de Miramar, salsa dancing, orchestra, superb place in building from the 40's. Matinées and evenings. Run by EGREM since 1995.
Avenida 35, corner 20 tel. (7) 204-0447

Amelia (also good eats), groups and comics, 3ra, corner 82; Caneyes del Papa, club, salsa at midnight, calle 248, corner 5ta in Barlovento; El Bolero, best bolero in town at 22h and midnight 15, complejo Dos Gardenias, ave. 7ma, angle 26; El Diablo Tun Tun, piano-bar and shows of salsa et al. THE spot in Miramar. Upstairs from Casa de la Musica; Irakere Jazz Club (Casa del Jazz cubano), Calle 0, # 314, entre 3ra y 3ra A; La Cecilia (also restaurant), groups, outdoor stage. Avenida 5ta, e/110 y 112; La Maison, shows nightly, 22h15-00h30. Calle 16 #701, corner 7ma; Teatro Karl Marx, 5,500 seats, the largest concert venue of the country; been there, done that : Los Van Van, Buena Vista Social Club, Pablo Milanes et al. Ave 1ra, corner 8 in Miramar.

Torreon de la Chorrera, is located at the mouth of Almendares River, it was built in 1646 and today houses a restaurant. © unseen cuba, marius jovaisa

Pedro Marrero statium
United States romped to a 2-0 victory over Cuba in its first exhibition game in 69 years at the Pedro Marrero stadium in Miramar/Playa on October 7, 2016. It was the first time the United States played in Cuba since their World Cup qualifying clash in Havana in 2008. Aside from that, the only other meeting between the teams in Cuba came in 1947, when the hosts won 5-2. More pix here

Club Havana* is located in reparto Flores (map) 25 blocks past the Palacio de Convenciones and it's open to anyone who can afford its 1200cuc per year membership fee. Visitors and other travellers can pay 30cuc for the day (well worth it) to hobnob with the elite, the diplomats and their hangers-on and enjoy its bars, restaurants, swimming pools (mouseover) and this lovely beach, closest to the Capital. Save on cab fare : take the Metrobus, route P10 (map here) from the Capitolio. Otherwise, one has to go 25 km to Guanabo (playas del Este) for a beach. *called the Biltmore during Batista's reign : the President/dictator was not allowed entry because of the colour of his skin... © robin thom, flickr

Second most visited spot on the island after El Cobre near Santiago, there have been over the years more than 25 million young and old visitors who have toured the large attractions of the Acuario Nacional where Cubans and other life travellers can learn about the island's numerous marine mammals and invertebrates.

Besides the classic half-hour dolphin show, one can admire many tankfuls of colourful sea fauna, a cave with rich water life, the replica of an eco path and a surprising mangrove.

One can also find on its premises the
Restaurante Subacuatico (hard to locate) for affordable fish and seafood. Minimum food cover is 8 cuc.

Founded in 1960, completely renovated in January 2002, it is not only a bonafide research and environmental education center but also
one of the most popular attractions in Cuba's history.

Tuesday to Sunday, 10h-18h. Admission fee : adult tourists 5 cuc, students and children, 3 cuc. Tel. (7) 202-5872
Avenida 1ra. Nº 6002, corner of 6, in the Miramar area of Playa.

Photos © Howard Norfolk, aquarticles.com
Colegio de Bélen •|• Graffiti © sogestour
In the Bélen area of Playa, the
Cabaret Tropicana in 1954. It's still one of the most fabulous dinner showplaces on the planet, albeit not as in its heyday. Other photos from the Guardian here. •|• Graffitis pop-pol in Bélen © sogestour

Colegio de Bélen •|• Graffiti © sogestour
Near the Pedro Marrero stadium, one of the city's top spots for dancing, prancing and cruising to fabulous sounds is Salon Rosado "There is something extra special about outdoor venues, and this salsa palace in Playa is an all-time favorite." Located on the corner of 41 (straight-line continuation of calle 23 from Vedado) and 46, Nicanor del Campo, says lahabana dot com © 2015 cubaabsolutely.com •|• In nearby Flores, there used to be luxurious bathing spots with ornate buildings and rich patrons.

Fundación Naturaleza y El Hombre
5B Ave # 6611, e / calle 66 y calle 70
Mon-Fri 9am-16h Admission: 3cuc
Tel. (7) 209-2885 or 204-0438
Public Transport : Metrobus P1, P4 or P10

In this museum dedicated to "Man in Nature," is kept the works of Antonio Nuñez Jimenez (1923-1998), Cuban explorer (Andes, China, Antarctic, North Pole, Galapagos, Easter Island), who was a naturalist long before the liberation of Cuba. At 17, he founded the Sociedad Espeleológica Cuba. He earned two doctorates in La Habana, in Philosophy and Letters in 1951.

Three years later, the dictator Batista demanded that all copies of his first book "Geografia de Cuba" be destroyed because it described too well the misery of Cubans under his corrupted power.

Nuñez Jimenez fought alongside the Che. At the begining of the Revoulcion, Fidel appointed him first director of the institute which undertook the first (capital) action of the Revolucion : the agrarian reform. He succeeded Guevara as President of the National Bank of Cuba and was the founding president of the Nueva Academia de Ciencias, then Deputy Minister of Culture and President of the National Commission of Monuments.

Recognized around the world, he was a member of the US National Speleological Society and the National Geographic Society in 1987 and managed an extraordinary journey of 17,422 kilometers down the Amazon bassin by canoe from the river's source all the way to the Bahamas.

His numerous explorations of the many caves that dot the underground of the island, this extra ordinary human being was seen at the end of his life as "the fourth discoverer of Cuba", with the same importance as Cristóbal Colón, Alejandro de Humboldt and Fernando Ortiz.

Artifacts from his collection of personal items, his literary works (190 books and hundreds of articles and conferences) and photos, one of the largest collections in the country are all at the Fundacion offices.

"a totally surprising museum and one of the most enriching in the city"
Lonely Planet Cuba

Antonio Nuñez Jimenez (1923-1998)
Antonio Nuñez Jimenez (1923-1998)

Web site here.

Having earned the nickname of «
fourth discoverer of Cuba », Antonio Nuñez Jimenez published in his lifetime no less than 190 books and essays and hundreds of articles and conferences. His works, artefacts and art collection is all kept at the Fundacion, avenue 5B, entre 66 et 70 in Miramar/Playa. [Shown above standing, with Raul Castro and Che Guevara.]

After running expeditions to the
North Pole in 1972 and the Antarctic in 1982, Nuñez Jiménez crossed no less than 20 countries and paddled and ported 17,000 kilometers by canoe, between March 1987 and June 1988 during his « Expedicion en canoa del Amazonas al Caribe ».

« Best documentary about La Habana », dixit Marcos el webmaestro.
::: Make sure that in your first email or phone call you specify that you want to book a room in that particular casa and that you will reconfirm your booking on arrival in Cuba. Unless you only want a room in any house which may be of the same quality, not the specific casa you booked through photos on these websites ::: So as to not abandon expecting owners with empty rooms, reconfirm (or call ahead to cancel) your booking by phone as soon as you can after arriving in Cuba ::: Please write or phone a casa owner to cancel a booking. As late as it may seem, it allows them a chance to rebook. ::: Children under the age of 16 may share a bedroom with adults for free. Specify the child's age when booking. ::: Since October 2010, maximum bedroom capacity is not limited to two adults ::: Also, large casas are not limited to renting only two bedrooms per night. ::: At the end of the casa name, the V signals the casa was suggested by travelers or owners but not verified by the website staff. If you try it and like it, write us about it. ::: Unless otherwise mentioned, the average room rates and service prices are : 20-25cuc per bedroom per night [up to 40+ for 4 in a room]; breakfasts 3-5cuc, dinners 7-10cuc. ::: Note : monthly taxes have increased 15-50% for owners; this may be reflected on the aforementioned rates. ::: Any casa particular anywhere in Cuba must have a hot water shower, otherwise it cannot have a permit to rent ::: Please share your Complaints, comments & suggestions webmaster [@]cubacasas.net

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• From Canada and the USA : 011 53 (add phone # preceded by La Habana's area code, 7) • From Europe, Great Britain, Scandinavia and Mexico : 00 53 (add phone # preceded by the La Habana's area code, 7) HOW TO DIAL A CUBAN PHONE NUMBER HERE ••• CELL PHONE NUMBERS on our town lists and casa pages are preceded by 05 for calls originating Havana; from anywhere else in Cuba, dial 01 + the 8 digits of the cell.

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Two aircon bedrooms, ensuite baths
Calle 110A no 523 entre 5taB y 5TaF in Playa, near hospital CIREN part of area Querejeta close to Nautico, some 9 blocks from the Palacio de Convenciones. Tel. (7) 209-1137


Upstairs ac br, ensuite; one gr apart w/kitchenette
Calle 5ta F (Quinta F) # 9611, entre 96 y 98, three blocks from the sea in Querejeta one block from Quinta (5th avenue). Tel. (7) 205-6515 cell 52 71 65 41

One ac br, ensuite + 2 br apart & kitchen upstairs
Calle 4 #103, e/ 1ra y 3ra avenidas, near Vedado and three blocks from Teatro Karl Marx. Tel. (7) 202-3097 cell 52 90 50 98

Two bedroom apart & kitchen, patio
Calle 49 #3628  e/ 36 y 42, face à l'hôtel Kohly-Bosque in Kohly de Municipio Playa Cel. 52 73 38 77

Two 2-br apts on two floors, kitchen, ensuites
Calle 74 no 2317, entre 23 y 25, in Buenavista, close to Acuario nacional. Tel. (7) 207-3646

One-bedroom apt + one ac bedroom, ensuite
Calle 68 #4111  e/ 41 y 43, two blocks from the famous Tropicana Cabaret in Alturas de Bélen of Municipio Playa area. Tel. (7) 203-6735 cell 52 95 29 48

The 2016 editions of these guidebooks : Footprint (FH), Lonely Planet (LP), Michelin (MC) and Moon (MH)
FH : Villa Reina, Nieves y Marlen ::: LP : Guevara Alba ::: MC : Candy Mederos y Alejandro ::: MH : Fernando y Egeria Gonzalez, Elena Sanchez, Reynaldo y Yasmina, Casa de Maria, Maria Torralbas, Ana y Ismael, Isabel Betancourt (in Santa Fe)

244 km / 151 miles

10 km / 6 mi.

25 km / 15 mi.

102 km / 63 mi.

65 km / 40 mi.

335 km / 208 mi.

140 km / 87 mi.

Photos & content © sogestour

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Updated 10.10.2016

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