Decent Essays
Enhance Your Cuba Vacations With UNESCO World Heritage Sites UNESCO World Heritage sites are places of significant cultural or natural heritage as described by the World Heritage Convention established in 1972. In 1981, Cuba recognized the convention and since then, 9 sites on the Island have been included on the list of UNESCO Heritage Sites. While mostly known as a sun destination and for world-class all inclusive resorts, Cuba's history and culture are just as impressive as the pristine beaches and turquoise waters. While in Cuba, a side trip to one of these nine UNESCO sites provides further insight and knowledge into the history and culture of the island.

Old Havana was founded in 1519 by Spanish colonialists to become one of the primary
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The sugar cane industry lead to great prosperity throughout the colonial period and the incredible architecture is still prevalent to this day. History and culture buffs will find Trinidad as interesting as it is charming. Trinidad was placed on the Heritage list in 1988 due to its historical and cultural significance as well as being one of the best preserved colonial cities in the world.

San Pedro de la Roca Castle was completed in 1700 to defend the city of Santiago de Cuba against invaders. This fortification, built in the style of renaissance architecture, is one of the best preserved examples of Spanish-American castles. In 1997, UNESCO added the fortress to the list for its historical significance and role in defending the city. The castle itself is a definite must see for anyone staying in the Santiago de Cuba area.

Granma National Park is named after the yacht Fidel Castro, and Che Guevara sailed from Mexico along with Fidel's brother Raul and 79 of their supporters to incite the Revolution. This was listed as a UNESCO Site in 1999 not for the historical significance, but for its pristine sea cliffs and marine terraces. The area boasts superb diving and is worth a stop for both Eco-tourists and history
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Eco-tourists flock to the region to take in the incredible scenery and thriving flora and fauna specific to this region of Cuba. The increase in tourism to the area has resulted in the discovery of new hiking and climbing routes each with their own set of unique challenges. The Vinales Valley was designated a UNESCO site in 1999 for its natural beauty and traditions.

Plantations near Santiago de Cuba were an essential part of Cuba's economy in the 19th and early 20th centuries due to the cultivation of coffee. The remnants of the plantations in the region showcase the techniques used as well as highlight the economic and social significance of the plantation system in not only Cuba but throughout the rest of the
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