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Thousands of Cubans and foreign visitors go through it every day. It is an excellent starting point to get oriented and to explore Havana. Here are the neighborhoods of Old Havana and Centro Habana. A meeting point, always alive.

Located on the edge of the historical center of Havana, Central Park is a central open-air square. This space adorned by abundant vegetation, stone benches and various fountains has always been a place of recreation. Some take pictures while others enjoy the break and a good conversation.

Bordered by Paseo del Prado Avenue, Central Park has around it some of the most emblematic buildings in the city. To the north, the Central Park Hotel and the Plaza Hotel. To the East, the old Asturian Center, currently the Museum of International Beauty Arts of Cuba. To the west, the Boulevard of San Rafael, between the Great Theater of Havana “Alicia Alonso” and Inglaterra Hotel. From any point of the park it is possible to see the Capitol of Havana.

Something that distinguishes Central Park is the statue at its center. It was the first statue of José Martí that was erected in Cuba. The monument was inaugurated in 1905, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the death of the National Hero of Cuba. It is as important as the one in the monument of the Revolution Square. The twenty-eight royal palms that adorn the park pay homage to January 28, 1853, the date of his birth. The park has witnessed the celebration of important political and cultural events.

Travelers can choose from here one of the means of transportation available to tour the city. It is the starting point for horse-drawn cars, “HabanaBusTour” and classic cars. If you prefer to travel to Cuba, you can take some of the “almendrones“, old surviving American cars that have been converted into taxis.

Older neighbors, and some not so adults, enjoy their habit of sitting down to comment on their experiences. And it also is a custom, in the “hot corner” of the park, baseball fans hold their heated “analysis” of the results and possibilities of their teams. This space is a forum for lovers of baseball and other national and international sports disciplines.

For visit: Prado, Zulueta, Neptuno & San José streets, Habana Vieja (“23.13736, -82.35873”). Free access daily.

by: Leunam Rodríguez