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The Paseo del Prado in Cienfuegos is the longest pedestrian promenade in the country. It stretches about 2km across the city to the malecón, the waterfront promenade. Developed by French settlers in the 19th century, Cienfuegos is much younger than the Spanish colonial cities of the country and its abundant Neoclassical architecture gives it a distinctive feel. Many of the city’s beautiful buildings can be seen along the Paseo del Prado.

 

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5 Things to See in Cuba, Beyond Havana & Trinidad

Cienfuegos

Cienfuegos

1. Cienfuegos
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cienfuegos is a showcase of Neoclassical architecture. The city feels laid back and even prosperous. Jose Marti Park in the center of town is a shady spot to take in the elegant surrounding buildings. Then stroll the country’s longest promenade, Paseo del Prado. On the waterfront are more stunning buildings and views of the beautiful bay. Continue reading

5 things to see in Old Havana

As the name suggests, Old Havana or Habana Vieja is the oldest part of the city, founded by the Spanish in 1519 around the Bay of Havana. As an important link in the flow of treasure from the New World to the Old, the city was very rich and the streets and plazas were lined with grand Neoclassical and Baroque buildings. Many of those buildings still stand today, some beautifully restored, some crumbling. Spend at least a few hours here just wandering the narrow streets and people-watching in the many squares. Continue reading

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Angeles del Futuro is a community service project and labor of love created by Odelmis Hernández to teach young people the circus arts, such as dancing, acting, acrobatics and trapeze.

In the 1990s, Odelmis was a student at the National Circus School but was unable to finish his studies after the economic crisis brought on by the collapse of the Soviet Union, a major economic, military and political benefactor of this mystery country.

In 2006, Odelmis revived his dream with the Angeles del Futuro project and today trains more than 85 students ranging in age from 9 to 17 years.

 

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Foto Friday Favs

Happy Friday! Behold some of our favorite images from past Foto Fridays ~

Havana, Cuba, photo by Jason Hedrick

Havana, Cuba, photo by Jason Hedrick

Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia, Turkey

Sur, Oman

Sur, Oman

Havana, Cuba, photo courtesy of Jason Hedrick

Havana, Cuba, photo courtesy of Jason Hedrick

Mt. Nebo, Jordan

Mt. Nebo, Jordan

Fez, Morocco

Fez, Morocco

camelboy in the desert of northern Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

camelboy in the desert of northern Oman, photo by Sallie Volotzky

Trinidad de Cuba, photo by Steve Sherwood

Trinidad de Cuba, photo by Steve Sherwood

Bodrum, Turkey, photo by Sue Alstedt

Bodrum, Turkey, photo by Sue Alstedt

Fez, Morocco

Fez, Morocco

NAME THAT COUNTRY

 

Most Ya’lla tours to our mystery country include dinners and lunches at paladars, like Guitarra Mia. A paladar is a privately owned restaurant, usually family operated and located in a converted home. When we first started selling tours to this country in 2002, food was definitely not a selling point, mainly because of the scarcity of ingredients. Since 1993, the largely state-run economy has allowed the operation of small, private businesses. Relying on black market suppliers, paladars began to pop up gradually in major cities. With further economic reforms in 2010, the industry of small, private restaurants really took off. Today, hundreds of paladars operate across the country, mainly supported by tourists. While it’s not quite a culinary destination, yet, there’s enough variety and innovation here to satisfy the most refined palate.

 

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