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There are few places in the world where travellers can experience modern culture while still taking in the true flavour of a city’s history. With sparkling water, ancient architecture and cars straight up from the 1950s, Havana, Cuba is a pretty rare — not to mention Instagram-worthy — gem.

The Cuban capital is a must-see for those heading to Varadero’s sandy beaches thanks to the bustling cobblestone streets and gorgeous buildings in Old Havana, which feature a variety of architectural influences. Yet it also offers a taste of modern Cuban life, with bars, restaurants, shops and nightlife sure to entertain even the pickiest of tourists. Essentially, travelling to Havana is like walking around in a glorious time capsule that’s overflowing with magic and wonder.

Havana, Cuba

You can’t blame Ernest Hemingway for making the place his second home. Or for popularizing two drinks in Havana: the daiquiri and the mint-laden mojito. Have the latter on one of the city’s rooftop bars for a glorious view of the impressive layout below.

From there, you’ll see that the city, which is more than half a millennium old, indeed seems frozen in time. Aside from the fully-functioning 1950s American cars — that have their original engines still intact — Havana has worked hard to preserve itself and its history over the years. Guests staying at the Hotel Ambos Mundos can peek in on room 511, where Hemingway began writing For Whom the Bell Tolls (his typewriter still sits there on display). Or, they can head over to the gorgeous cathedral at the Plaza de la Catedral to take in a little Cuban Baroque influence. With the addition of other museums and a fort from the 18th century, there are a myriad of activities to busy up your day.

If you live for sunshine, fancy cocktails and rich history, Havana is definitely the place for you.

Don’t have a vacation planned anytime soon? Head over to Discovery.ca/sunwing where you can win an all-inclusive vacation for two to the Grand Memories Varadero in Varadero, Cuba — a resort located just a car ride away from all of the fabulous things Havana has to offer.

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