Cuba Culture: Alluring and Luring
Imagine relaxing under a clear Cuban sky, sipping a refreshing Mojito and basking in the island’s lush beauty, when a delicious Rumba beat fills the air. Whatever your passion, from local culture provided by museums and restaurants to exciting adventures, such as dangerous cave diving, you can indulge it in Cuba.
Less active tourists might prefer to while-away the day poking around museums and admiring the awesome architecture. One such must-see is the Palace of Fine Arts located in Old Havana where about 1,200 sculptures, drawings and paintings are exhibited.
Previously, the Asturian Centre of Havana, second of the trinity of national art museums, now houses over 1,300 priceless pieces of universal art. Many of the exquisite pieces were donated by artists representing the culture of Cuba. The building itself is an architect’s dream whose outer structure is covered with marble, brick, stone and concrete. The interior with its granite floors, woodwork of cedar and mahogany is beauty made manifest and said to eclipse the Capitol.
Finally, what is now the Morey national art museum was used by the colonial militia for its barracks. Lovers of art and architecture will wish to allocate more than one day to explore its vast collection of works by little known artists, as well as that of the great masters.
And, what could speak more deliciously to a country’s culture than its local cuisine? For authentic Cuban cookery, La Guarida is popular for its melon gazpacho with shrimp, eggplant caviar and chopped seafood with spices. You’ll be in distinguished company as you follow in the footsteps of actors, such as Gene Hackman, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicolson.
While you’re soaking-up Cuba’s ambiance and traditions, you absolutely must enjoy a traditional cup of Creole coffee each morning and following lunch.
At La Baraca Restaurant, you’ll see and most likely meet many friendly locals. One of La Baraca’s claims to fame is that diners are afforded the opportunity to watch ships as they come into the Havana Harbor. They serve very traditional Cuban cuisine such as: bacalo a la cubana, which is cod fish, cooked the Cuban way; bunuels or fritters and fritas habaneras a.k.a. Havana fries.
Hemingway fans totally must experience La Terraza de Cojimar, where the Nobel Prize winning author of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” frequented. Previously, a little tavern, it is now a world renowned restaurant/bar.
The adventurous might gather courage to explore flooded caves, in a dangerous sport where diving meets spelunking. The pull of its allure seems to outweigh the perilous risks as many hardy souls are lured to the sport.
If you’re part adventurous and part fraidy-cat, you’d probably be better off exploring the Great Santo Tomas Cavern, than cave-diving. The biggest cave in Cuba, it is located in the province of Pinar del Rio.
Now that you’re familiar with the island’s culture and cuisine we’ll tantalize you with one last tidbit. Cuba boasts the lowest crime rate in all of Latin America, so that you can feel comfortable during your stay!
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