For history buffs there's the living breathing essence of
UNESCO-sponsored Havana Vieja; for beach bums there's the
sun-splashed tranquillity of Playas del Este, and for everyone,
there are some of the most charming inhabitants you could hope to
meet. A stroll along the Malecón promenade is a loely way to spend
an afternoon, but time it carefully; aside from dodging entwined
couples, you may need to avoid a dousing from the waves crashing
over the sea wall.
All of the above are reason enough to visit, but what really
sets Cuba apart is the fact that this is one of the last places on
earth to see the Marxist/communist model in practice. The crumbling
facades and empty shelves in government run food stores pay
testament to the struggles the locals have to endure, yet endearing
respect (despite a growing anti-Castro sentiment) for the
revolution and its aftermath remains the norm, and plays a major
part in the sense of solidarity one feels across the island.