Nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Cuba

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Playa Larga at Cuba

The Caribbean is a perfect vacation getaway. There many countries and islands situated at this impeccable place. All of them are equally beautiful and stunning.

Each offers a unique attraction and a different cultural heritage. It is a romantic place to go for a honeymoon or an adventurous place for friends.

Either way you wish to spend time at the Caribbean, it would definitely be worth it. Tourists would surely leave the country smiling filled with fun and wonderful memories of their adventure.

One place in the Caribbean that would certainly take you on an epic adventure is the country of CUBA.

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CUBA

The Republic of Cuba or simply Cuba is an island country situated in the Caribbean. The whole country comprises at least 4000 islands.

The biggest island, Isla de la Juventud is also the largest in the Caribbean area. Aerial view of the country shows that the main island is similar to a crocodile or an alligator; thus, the terms “El Cocodrilo” or “El Caima” are alternative names for the country.

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Map of Cuba

The capital and largest city in the country is Havana or “La Habana” in Spanish.

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Habana (1)

In 2010 the population reached more than 11 million people. It is a multiethnic community composed of Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans.

Spanish is the official language in Cuba with majority of the population speaking the said language. Haitian Creole, Lucumi, Yoruba, Galician, and Corsican are other languages and dialects used in the country.

The predominant religion in the country would be Christianity and Catholicism. Other religious groups include Jews, Muslims, and Baha’i Faith.

Cuba is rich in history and culture. As a matter of fact there are nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. The nine sites are:

• Alejandro de Humboldt National Park

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Alejandro de Humboldt National Park (2)

Alejandro de Humboldt National Park is one of the nine World Heritage Sites in the country. The site was included in the list in 2001 due to “its size, altitude range, complex lithology, landform diversity, and wealth of endemic flora and fauna.”

• Desembarco del Granma National Park

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Desembraco del Granma National Park (3)

Another national park included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site is Desembraco del Granma National Park. It was included in the list due to its matine terraces and pristine sea cliffs.

• Vinales Valley

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Vinales Valley (4)

Aside from being a World Heritage Site, Vinales Valley is a famous tourist attraction because of the scenic view, caves, cliffs, and agriculture. Tourists love to hike and rock climb at this area.

• Urban Historic Centre of Cienfuegos

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Cienfuegos Maurische Villa (5)

In 1819 the city of Cienfuegos was established. The city includes the Cathedral of Cienfuegos, Arch of Triumph, Botanical Garden of Cienfuegos, Reina Cemetery, Fortress of Nuestra Senora de los Angeles de Jagua, Tomas Acea Cemetery, a park dedicated to Jose Marti, Theatre Tomas Terry, and University of Cienfuegos. In 2005 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Cienfuegos Jose Marti (6)

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Cienfuegos Pargue Jose Marti (7)

• Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios

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Valley de los Ingenios

The next World Heritage Site is a series of three valleys (San Luis, Santa Rosa, and Meyer) spanning 12 kilometers. The name of the site originated from the sugar cane mills in the said valleys.

It was included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1988. Currently the sugar mills and some nearby infrastructures are left in ruins.

Structures such as the barracones and “Iznaga Tower” are still intact and maintained. The bell tower was built in the Spanish era and used to signify work and prayer time.

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Iznaga Tower

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Barracones

• San Pedro de la Roca Castle, Santiago de Cuba

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Castillo del Morro (8)

San Pedro de la Roca Castle in Santiago de Cuba is also known as Castillo del Morro or Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca. It was built in 1637 as a fortress and defense.

Throughout years of destructions due to raids, attacks and natural calamities, the fortress was rebuilt and reconstructed. In 1997, the place was included in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

• Old Havana and its Fortification System

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Havana by night (9)

The Old Havana is located at downtown of the city. It is highly populated and one of the densest city in the country.

The city was established in 1519 by the bay. Because of its strategic location, the city became one of the main stopping point and shipbuilding centers in the area. Architecture of the city was inspired by baroque and neoclassical style.

Some of the places that should be seen include: Malecon, Castillo del Morro, La Cabana, San Salvador de la Punta Fortress, Castillo de la Real Fuerza, Catedral de San Cristobal, National Capitol, Galician Center, Plaza de Armas, Gran Teatro de la Havana, Museum of the Revolution, and San Francisco de la Habana Basilica.

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Cathedral of Havana

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Centro Habana

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Castillo de la Real Fuerza

• Historic Centre of Camaguey

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The town of Camaguey was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.They say the city was designed with many winding alleys as a defense against pirate invaders.

Aside from the winding alleys, a notable feature of the town is the clay pots used to collect rain water.

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Camaguey (10)

• Archeological Landscape of the First Coffee Plantations in the South-East of Cuba

The coffee plantations in south east of Cuba are one of the nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. Their architectural, archaeological materials, infrastructure for irrigation, and water management are impressive and world renowned.

See more:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuba
http://www.infoplease.com/country/cuba.html
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1008
http://www.factslides.com/s-Cuba
http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/countries/cuba.html
http://wikitravel.org/en/Cuba
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/cuba

Ecstatic Globetrotter

Images:

1. Hajor. Habana. September 2003. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 25, 2015.
2. Zoohouse. Alejandro de Humboldt National Park. N.d. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 25, 2015.
3. VIChapayey. Desembraco del Granma National Park. August 2008. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 25, 2015.
4. Severin Stalder. Vinales Valley. November 2013. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 25, 2015.
5. Polarlys. Cienfuegos Maurische Villa. December 2003. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 25, 2015.
6. Polarlys. Cienfuegos Jose Marti. December 2003. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 25, 2015.
7. DirkvdM. Cienfuegos Pargue Jose Marti. September 2006. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 25, 2015.
8. Glogg, Peter. Castillo del Morro. N.d. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 25, 2015.
9. Vitalia. Vieja de Noche. July 2009. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 25, 2015.
10. Danleo. Camaguey. January 2006. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 25, 2015.

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