Think of Varadero, Cuba, and it’s likely a vision of turquoise waters, tropical sunshine and sipping mojitos under a beach palapa that immediately springs to mind. But for those who prefer their vacation with tee time, the popular resort town is also home to the only 18-hole golf course in the whole country: Varadero Golf Club.
Located in the middle of the Hicacos Peninsula, the island’s largest green sits on what was once the private estate of French-American millionaire Irénée du Pont de Nemours, who purchased the property in 1927 as a post-retirement winter getaway. The current par 72 golf course dates back to 1999 and has a Canadian connection: It was designed by Canmore, Alberta-based architect Les Furber — a legend in the business — who has created more than 65 original golf courses around the world.
Making a shortlist of Havana’s architectural gems is no easy task: The city recently celebrated its 500th birthday, and there are more than 900 sites of historical significance just in its old quarter (Habana Vieja, a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Whether you’re fascinated by Baroque, Neoclassical, Art Deco or Modernist styling, it’s all here – the eclectic aesthetic reflecting Spanish, French, American and other influences. Consider the following sites just a few starting points.