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About the La Habana, Cuba Program

The La Habana program is a USAC Specialty Program. Learn more about on-site program elements and the city itself below.

About La Habana

City skyline of La Habana, Cuba.Student posing in front of a classic car in La Habana, Cuba.

  • Distance from Pinar del Río: 164 km
  • Distance from Santiago de Cuba: 862 km

The capital of Cuba, La Habana is a bustling city full of culture, arts, and entertainment. It is also, as a result of Cuba’s Castro-era isolation, surprisingly uncommercial: free of the billboards and the over-advertised feel of much of the rest of the globe. Old Habana is an UNESCO World Heritage site and is one of the best-preserved colonial Spanish complexes in the Americas. Further contributing to the "time-capsule" feel of the city, 1950s-era American and late twentieth-century Soviet-made vehicles mix with more modest transportation on the streets.

The sincerely friendly, expressive, multicultural Cuban society supports a rich and varied Caribbean culture that is a fusion of African, Spanish, and American influences. Cuban music, dance, literature, cuisine, and art all reflect this historical and cultural mixture resulting in a sensory overload of rhythms, vibrant colors, and tropical flavors. Cuba's natural beauty is as unique as its culture, with verdant agricultural valleys and plains and thousands of miles of shoreline and pristine beaches.