The Malecon is one of the most famous boulevards in the world. It is 7km long and forms the seaside of Havana. Although it has its share of hustlers, the Malecon is where many people go at the end of the day to relax.

Havana – Fact Check

Malecon Boulevard is Havana's outdoor sitting room

Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Havana – Fact Check

Malecon Boulevard is Havana's outdoor sitting room

Havana's Malecon boulevard along the seafront is a place to escape the city streets and enjoy fresh air.

Jochem Wijnands
Jochem Wijnands Founder / photographer

The national pastime of Cuba must be hanging around. Everybody, from the hustlers and the jineteros (hookers) to the children and the ordinary folks, can be found outside doing very little or nothing at all. Talking, laughing, sitting, watching, sleeping, reading, listening to music, smoking or playing dominoes or chess, that kind of sums it up. Transport is expensive and slow, so in effect most people are limited to their own neighborhoods.

The seaside Malecon boulevard is the city’s outdoor sitting room, and also a great place to see some of the estimated 60,000 pre-1960 American cars still roaming Cuba. Known locally as cacharros, about 150,000 existed at the time of the 1959 revolution, shortly after which the U.S. trade embargo took effect.

Although we might become nostalgic about these vintage American cars, and the Russian side-car motorbikes, Cubans don’t get misty-eyed about them. They would rather have the latest models.

Take me to Malecon!

A 1950s American car makes its way down one of Havana's highways at night. Often called 'yank tanks', there are some 60,000 of them in the 170,000 cars on the island.

A 1950s American car makes its way down one of Havana's highways at night. Often called 'yank tanks', there are some 60,000 of them in the 170,000 cars on the island. Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

NIKON D2X

Aperture
ƒ/28/10
Exposure
2/30
ISO
640
Focal
32/1 mm

A 1950s American car makes its way down one of Havana's highways at night. Often called 'yank tanks', there are some 60,000 of them in the 170,000 cars on the island.

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