Havana's El Malecon sea wall

Havana's El Malecon sea wall

Stroll at sunset along El Malecon, the old sea wall avenue running the length of Havana’s waterfront, and you’ll soon be seduced by the city. The Malecon is one of the most famed attractions in Cuba, where locals and travellers alike go to engage and people watch, or even swim and fish for dinner. 1950s and 1960s American cars cruise the wide avenue beside the lively pedestrian promenade, where men in straw hats puff on cigars while looking out to sea - it’s hard not to be drawn in by the evocative atmosphere. Though popular during the day, you’ll most enjoy wandering the seven kilometre seaside stretch in the evening; the sea breeze and light over the water is the perfect backdrop for social gatherings and more formal festivities like Carnival in July or August, or the Havana Jazz Festival in February. You can always just sit on the wall and watch ships heading in and out of port too, or the passage of canoodling lovers, but the nature of the locals will soon mean you’ll be talking to someone, anywhere you prop along this stretch sometimes known as ‘the soul of Cuba.’

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