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Le Malecón: a salty promenade


Hammered by waves, this long esplanade has a rich architectural heritage and is an emblematic landmark of Havana.

The Malecón is the best place to take the pulse of the capital. Tourists and Habaneros converge on this seaside esplanade built in the early 1980s to allow the middle classes to enjoy the benefits of sea air along a wide boulevard.

The following decades saw the prodigious expansion of the esplanade, which became the favourite cruising strip for the city's fleet of vintage Chevrolets, Cadillacs, and Buicks. The eight-kilometre stretch possesses a number of Art Nouveau and Neoclassical architectural gems. Elegant retro street lights were recently installed as part of the city's efforts to restore the Malecón to its former splendour.

n the spring and during storms, the sight of giant waves crashing against the seawall is spectacular. Even on calmer days, walkers can get hit with a refreshing splash.

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