Parque Histórico Morro y Cabaña, Havana

The main attractions at this historic park across the harbor from Old Havana are two serious fortresses: Morro Castle (popularly known as "El Morro") and La Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña (aka "La Cabaña"). Built by the Spanish beginning in 1589 to protect against pirates, the picturesque El Morro now houses a series of mini-museums. Visitors can also explore the ramparts, barracks, and a still-working lighthouse, and enjoy stunning views of Havana and beyond.

Located across a deep ravine, La Cabaña, built in the 18th century, functions almost as a miniature city. (Che Guevara used it as his command post in 1959, a fact commemorated in one of the most popular exhibition halls.) It even has its own cigar shop. Every night, an honor guard in 18th-century military dress fires one of the fort's canons, creating a deafening blast before a crowd that can swell up to a thousand people.