Havana has thousands of places to go and have a look. In the neighborhood El Vedado, La Rampa (The Slope) stands out in the ending part of the most central street in the city, the 23rd Street, and to anyone who is coming all along the Malecon, this area opens itself to the center of Vedado. This area is one of the most hectic and crowded of the city for the large amount of hotels, stores, shops, and clubs that surround it.
La Rampa, during the colonial stage, belonged to the area called El Vedado, a part of the village that was a very huge forest, where nobody could trespass because of the wilderness. This neighborhood acquires its current name due to the beautiful elevation from the coast to what is at the moment the corner of 23 and L, the most central corner in the capital city.
It is necessary to highlight that the most significant of La Rampa during the colonial stage, was the battery of canyons that protected the coast of eventual attacks which was placed where today the famous National Hotel is located. It was built in 1930, and where excellent personalities of the art, the politics and the science have lodged, such as Errol Flynn, Sara Montiel, Winston Churchill, Almóvar, among others.
Starting from the decade of the 50´s in the 20th century, the highest buildings in Cuba were built in La Rampa, such as the FOCSA building, the Someillán building, the Mountain Lopez; constructions that are indispensable in the Cuban architecture, as well as the fabulous hotels Capri and Havana Libre, which was the Havana Hilton during the Republic.
In La Rampa a great quantity of places of public services concentrates; the traffic is more intense, the tourism becomes evident and people constantly circulate around its streets. For many Cubans, mainly for the young people, it has come being kind of a park and place of encounters. Everything is close, included the biggest and famous ice cream parlor in the world, Coppelia that is of those places that gets you into the habit of coming at least once in a week. La Rampa is a privileged place to which all the roads get you to drive there.
Walking around La Rampa is an incredible experience while you are having your holidays in Cuba, more specifically in Havana City. This area provides one of the most amazing views of the city, no matter if you are walking in the streets or have the chance to climb the FOCSA building, a jewel of the Cuban architecture. Standing on the corner of 23rd and L, you will have one of the most beautiful sights of this area: the street goes down until it meets the Malecon, and there you have the sea at your feet. You will experience the bustle of this zone, which never sleeps due to the amount of places there, which are open most of them until the morning. Do not miss the chance of being in contact with the Cuban reality in one of the most known areas of Cuba.
Jose Mauricio is a travel consultant who specializes in organizing holidays to Cuba. He is natural from Cuba and has a wealth of knowledge that would like to share with you. He is also the director of Quest World Travel Ltd.