The Havana Zoo is the oldest zoological park in Cuba, it is an attraction for the Havana population of all ages and means for adults, the place of childhood memories and pleasant moments, it is one of the places of a must visit if you are passing through the capital city. The facility was inaugurated on October 24, 1939, popularly known as the Zoo of 26, for having its main entrance on the central Avenida 26 de La Habana in the residential area of El Nuevo Vedado.
In 1944 it was almost completely destroyed by a cyclone that caused great damage. Later and as part of the construction of Avenida 26, it was repaired and reopened on October 12, 1947. The new facility included large lakes, exhibits of cats and bears, in addition to the beautiful monument "La Familia", popularly known as '' Los Venados '' (1947) by Cuban artist Rita Longa, which over time has become one of the best-known prints of Havana and El Nuevo Vedado. Inside the zoo there are other sculptures such as "The Girls" (and the Rabbit) (1948) by the renowned sculptor, painter, potter and teacher Sergio López Mesa, and "The Boy and the Pelican" (1948) by The Jilma Madera sculpture, this remarkable Cuban sculpture is the author of the José Martí bust located at the entrance to the museum of the memorial dedicated to the National Hero of Cuba in the Plaza de la Revolución and also sculpted the Christ of Havana, which is one of the ten highest christs in the world.
It is a traditional type installation in which a large part of the exhibited animals remain locked up, but its premise is the long-term conservation of endangered species, through the maintenance of viable populations for a long time in captivity. as a free-living genetic reservoir. The Havana Zoo has a collection of 99 species in cages, plus the companions (ringworms, pigeons, reptiles, coast dogs, squirrels ...), which enter and leave, and some even nest.
The colony of chimpanzees was established in the 50s of the last century, with specimens from the United States, named: Chita, Toto, Maggy, Blakie, Isabel and Jimmy. The first chimpanzee born in captivity in the world was born in Cuba, …
Reproduction in captivity has results in the Zoo of 26 new offspring of more than a dozen species have been achieved, among these coyote, dwarf buffalo and peacock, the condor of the Andes, the largest bird in the world and a symbol of South American countries, and the jaguar, which lives in America and is in high danger of extinction.
The surface of the park reaches 23 hectares. The park's animal exhibition area is divided into four large spaces, so that the visitor can organize their tour, prioritizing what interests them most: felines, primates, birds and reptiles.
It has two artificial lakes, one larger than about fifteen thousand square meters and the other less than five thousand, with a reproduction of the island of Cuba inside. The central area is the popular "Island of the Hippos", a beautiful environment designed for the coexistence of these animals, with calm and shallow waters, and small islets where we can observe different species of primates and endemic birds of Cuba.
Although the main attraction of the Zoo of 26 is the animal exhibition, visitors can also enjoy cultural shows, an amusement park, photographs with animals, rental of premises for parties and guided tours of the museum classroom, among other attractive options, mainly for children.
Undoubtedly, the Zoo of 26 is one of the favorite places for Cuban families and foreign families who visit Cuba and want to enjoy hours of recreation, entertainment and getting closer to the flora and fauna in this little Noe's ark in Havana
Travelling along the north coast of Cuba from Havana to Varadero we will know El Malecón and two of The Cuban engineering wonders: the tunnel of Havana bay and the Bacunayagua Bridge, we will dive in the cold and crystalline waters of Saturn cave and as a final climax we will enjoy and swim into the warm waters of Varadero beach.
Cuba is known for its heritage cities and its beautiful beaches, however, therea re a lot of natural jewels very little explored. We invite you to take a two-day car tour through four provinces, Artemisa, Havana, Mayabeque and Matanzas to visit two of the biosphere reserves of western Cuba. We will visit Sierra del Rosario and Ciénaga de Zapata.