Scan the daily life of Cubans and learn about /connect with their culture and traditions in the heart & soul of Havana: Centro Havana
At the epicenter of Havana
Centro Habana is synonymous of life, culture, traditions, music and religion. Along with Vedado and Old Havana municipalities, it forms the traditional City Center. Centro Habana is multi-ethnic, highly populated, multicultural and very present in the Cuban history. It is the part of the city that undoubtedly describe us the better. The Zentrum tour provides an up-close experience to the essence of natives’ daily life at the heart and soul of Havana. As a result, curious visitors will gain a brilliant insight into today’s Cuba. Prepare your 5 senses for a genuine and seasoned cycling tour!
For getting an overview of Havana, tips, and essential orientation; take the Havana Bike Classic Tour.
- Sights & key spots
- Relevant communities
- Cuban lifestyle, modern life and identity
- Religion, traditions & folk customs
- Experienced local guide
- Family-friendly tour
Cayo Hueso neighborhood, tradition and identity.We start the Zentrum tour cycling directly to Cayo Hueso, one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city. Even today the origin of the name is not clear. One version of the story relates it to Key West in United States. Plenty of Cuban cigar makers returned from exile in Tampa and Key West and settled down there. A second version, on the other hand, relates the name to an old cemetery that used to be inside its limits (Hueso means Bone). You will hear from the tour guide about excellent musicians who lived once in this neighborhood. Also about Afro-Cuban religion, present in almost every house. All the life of Cayo Hueso revolves around Parque Trillo. Being one of the oldest ones in Havana, this park has witnessed multiple social and historical events. The park is, without a doubt, the community recreation ground. Kids and adults get together every day to just play games or discuss daily life topics.
The Chinese presence and a 360° view in the Central Park.Havana’s Chinatown will be on our route. We will look especially at its main alley, full of restaurants decorated with oriental and national ornaments. In the past, this was largest settlement of Chinese immigrants in Latin America. In contrast to that, very few descendants live there today. Next, we visit the Central Park. This is probably the most well-known park of the city. It is surrounded by several architectural icons of Havana City. For instance, the Capitol of Havana, recently renovated – the old and beautiful Great Theater of Havana, the National Museum of Fine Arts; the brand-new Hotel Manzana Kempinski and the first hotel of Havana, Hotel Inglaterra.
Unraveling the domestic economy, and finally a colorful tour closing.Opportunities to interact with locals will not be lacking. With this in mind, the Zentrum tour stops at places like an “Agro-market”, a puncture repair Shop, and a cooperative of various small businesses. Understanding the Cuban domestic economy is a whole topic! Why two currencies? How hard is to start a business in Cuba? Reusing, repairing and reinventing. The Cuba creativity, true or myth? Before leaving this busy area we will have a juice or a coffee -our invitation-. Last but not least, we stop at the colorful Hamel’s Alley. In barely 200 meters long, Art, Tradition, Religion, Music and Dance are mixed. The short walk, bike in hand, will reveal sculptures, installations, graffiti and evocative murals. We will hear of Afro-Cuban religions deities. The alley and the whole neighborhood of Cayo Hueso are historically linked to folk music and dance. Take this tour to: Visit relevant communities with strong folk culture. Approach to Havaneros’ lifestyle, customs and entertainments. Have meaningful interactions with local people. Learn about how private businesses and associations operate in Cuba.
- Trillo Park and Cayo Hueso neighborhood
- The Capitol and the Central Park
- Business area on Neptuno Street (Private cooperative)
- Paseo del Prado
- Espada Cemetery
- Hamel´s Alley
- Towards the end of our Zentrum tour, the sun is getting strong. It is recommended to bring light clothing, long sleeves, use sunscreen, sun glasses and a hat (instead of a helmet, if you prefer it)
- There will be a few short hills. Try them. Too hard? Don’t worry, you can walk. The guide will wait.
- Large bags can be stored in our bikeshop during the tour.
- Please don’t take pictures while driving. Wait for the stops. Don’t risk your health and holidays.
- This tour is leaded in English or Spanish by our local guides.
- Water will be provided, and you may choose to purchase additional drinks if you like.
- At the Plaza Vieja square, in the historical center, we have 20 minutes for a drink (not included in the price of the tour).
- In Cuba there is no way for private local businesses like us to provide insurance of any kind. Tourists have the obligation to buy a medical insurance for their stay. This insurance will cover sudden illness and accident.