Fishing on Malecon Havana

Fish Caught on Havana Malecon

You may say “unlikely catch”, yet everyday you’ll see a Malecon fisherman taking home a daily meal. Not really a sport in Cuba, fishing from the Havana Malecon is extremely popular and is carried out in one of two ways.

Classic Fly and Line Fishing

havana malecon cuba fishing

Cuban Fishermen of all ages can be seen perched either on the lower Havana Malecon rocks or higher up along the seawall itself. No license is required to fish on the Havana Malecon so, if you’ve brought your rod, give it a shot.

Net, Harpoon & Spearfishing

Havana Malecon Fishermen

If you haven’t seen them yet you will. Every morning men and youngsters, wandering through Old Havana carting strange contraptions that look like Styrofoam blocks on wheels, featuring numerous tethered leashes and hooks. Others appear along the Havana Malecon wall with heavily inflated voluminous truck tire inner tubes, once again adorned with nets, spigots and odd lines. More surprising than the contraptions are the fish you’ll see them leave with at the end of the day!

Pesca Malecon Habana

malecon havana

Malecon Havana Hurricane Season

Hurricane malecon habanero

Malecon Havana is the main seawall and floodgate of Havana. As a result, direct hit hurricanes, those centered on Havana and prevailing from south to north, often create major seawater incursion onto El Malecon and the adjacent streets. Buildings located 40 meters from the seawall are lashed by 20 meter high waves in what can only be described as breathtaking.


During these extremely rare Cuban Hurricane days the Malecon Havana becomes a gigantic river with water rising to over 2 meters in places and completely covering sidewalks, pavements and parks.

Hurricane Malecon Havana

Kids Play on Malecon Habana

Havana Malecon Kids diving

El Malecon is the center of attraction for Cuban kids too. Devoid of attraction parks and entertainment centers, Cuban kids get their fun the old fashioned way, jumping from the Havana Malecon seawall and seeing who can implement the best (or worst) back flip, summersault or group dive.

Malecon Havana Diving

Onlookers often cringe as these kids seem to defy logic, jumping headfirst into the sea, just inches from the jagged rocks. Yet, we needn’t worry, these kids are the Pros of Havana Malecon diving, perfecting their art as youths, spent playing along the Havana Malecon day after day.

Diving into sea Malecon Havana

malecon havana

History of Havana’s Malecon Seawall Boulevard

Malecon Havana Construction Photo

Construction of the Havana Malecon began in 1901. At the start of the 20th century the buildings along Havana’s then ramshackle coastal road were constantly affected by northern weather systems and northern “barrios” of the city would often flood during the winter months. The photo below was taken in 1902, just after completion of the first section of the Havana Malecon seawall.

Malecon Habana 1902

Oddly enough it was the American US Navy Civil Engineers, in conjunction with the US military who constructed the initial 2 stretches of the Havana Malecon seawall. The first stretch was built between 1901 and 1902 and covered the distance between the Paseo del Prado corner to Calle Crespo. The second section and rather more complicated on an engineering standpoint was started 1902 and completed in 1921. This stretch completed the Malecon up to the Monument to the Victims of the USS Maine.

Construction Malecon Havana

Ongoing construction would prove to be erratic; during these decades there would be, for the most part, a 27 year hiatus, in which the Malecon was left basically untouched. This situation severely affected direct coastal transit into, what were then, the booming upper-class neighborhoods of Playa and Miramar. So in 1948, with financial help from numerous private entrepreneurs, the Malecon road construction recommenced until its conclusion in 1952 at the mouth of the Almendares River. The Almendares River is locally considered as the imaginary city limit between the modern sections of Havana such as Miramar and the older sections of the city such as Nuevo Vedado and Vedado. The image below taken in 1959 shows the completed tunnel under the Almendares River which effectively completed the construction of the Havana Malecon as we know it today.

Malecon Havana Tunnel Almendares

Havana Malecon Casa Particular

Malecon Havana Casa Particular

So you’ve decided to visit Havana Malecon yet you’d prefer an authentic Cuban experience. A Casa Particular in Havana Malecon or homestay along Havana’s Malecon or on the streets leading from Havana Malecon will ensure you experience both the wonders of Havana Malecon’s vibrant life while being immersed in one-on-one contact with your Cuban hosts in the UNESCO acclaimed city of Havana.

Casa Particular Malecon Havana

Learn about Havana’s rich history, together with true Cuban hospitality. The owners of your casa particular along Havana’s Malecon speak fluent English and have a profound knowledge of the area and its many sights. Any questions you wish to ask will be answered instantly by the Cuban family you are staying with. Some of our casa particulares also offer meals and drinks, meaning you’ll get to try some authentic Cuban food also. Watch the world go by from your Casa particular looking our onto Malecon Havana.

Here is a list of just a few Casa Particulares on or near the Havana Malecon which can be reserved online through us.

Havana Malecon Cuba Casa Particular SearchSee all 46 Casa Particulares on or near Havana Malecon

Malecon Havana Bad Weather Day

Malecon Havana Storm Day

Malecon Havana is not always the Sunny calm place we all love. During Cuba’s winter months weather systems can play havoc with sea currents on Cuba’s northern coast, causing swells and sea incursion along the length of the Malecon. These days are known locally as “Un Norte or Frente Frio”. Of course, a full blown tropical storm or hurricane along the Havana Malecon can send waves careering wildly, up to 30 feet into the air, crossing the Malecon onto adjacent buildings. Thankfully this is a rare occurrence, happening every 10 or so years.

Malecon Habana Mal Tiempo

For many Habaneros this is the most fun time to visit. Young kids will play chicken with the waves, running up to the seawall then running away across the road hoping to evade the thunderous waves as they crash into the seawall. Traffic is usually halted along the Havana Malecon during these rare days.

Havana Malecon Waves

malecon havana

Avenida del Puerto La Habana

Havana Morro Castle Malecon

Often thought to start in Old Havana, the Havana Malecon experiences a little known name change straight after the turn towards Prado into the Avenida del Puerto. The continuation of the Malecon which borders the entrance to Havana bay until the cruise terminal and beyond to the Armadores Santander Hotel is technically not the Malecon but, who cares when it’s this picturesque and so close? The first sights of major interest along Avenida del Puerto are the Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta and the Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro, both of which were built during colonial times. The Spanish decided to fortify the shoreline to protect against invading pirates, hence these structures were erected. In Old Havana, you can stop at the Antonio Maceo park to see the statue that pays tribute to this interesting Lt. General of the Cuban Army of Independence. Though El Malecon is justifiably popular during the day, it is also at its best at night, when the sea breezes and overall atmosphere attract scores of folks looking to enjoy a social evening out.

Avenida del Puerto Habana Malecon

Parades, concerts, and even competitive car races are just some of the things that are known to take place on the Havana Malecon and Avenida del Puerto and, when nothing much seems to be going on here, visitors can always just watch the ships heading in and out of port. More recently cruise liners are moored at the cruise terminal which is right across from the Lonja de Comercio and Plaza de San Francisco de Asis.

Malecon Havana People Watching

Havana Malecon People Watch

Taking a leisurely stroll is easily the best way to enjoy El Malecon de Cuba, however should you be tired after a full day sightseeing or if you are suffering from mobility issues, you can view Havana’s emblematic boulevard from a taxi, or better yet, a horse and buggy. As you can probably imagine, people-watching is a wonderful pastime along the El Malecon Havana, and you can habitually glimpse locals taking a cooling swim, or perhaps even fishing for tonight’s dinner. Such is the variety of people along the Malecon.

Malecon Havana Walking

Habaneros and Habaneras also are drawn magnetically to the Malecon and on occasions, the whole avenue can seem like a catwalk, displaying the latest fashion trends and Havana’s most beautiful residents. Depending on when you go, walking along El Malecon Havana can include evading the booming waves that sometimes wash over the seawall. Cuban youngsters love to play a game of cat and mouse with the crashing waves, which are at their strongest in the Cuban winter months. Should a wave hit you, it could take you to the ground, which depending on your mood and overall temperament, could almost be fun. Among the top festivals in Cuba, and any Latin American country for that matter, is Carnival. During Carnival in Havana, hordes of Cubans flock to El Malecon to enjoy the festivities. For the Havana Carnival, small kiosks are erected along each side of the road, stretching as far as the eye can see into the distance. From these visitors can get anything from a Cuba Libre to a Carnival hat. Of course, Cuban fast-food also prevails with Tamales and Pizzas on offer.

Havana Carnival Photo Malecon

People watching during the Havana Carnival can produce some eye-popping moments for the uninitiated. Scantily clad women and men wearing the “carnival minimum” are often seen dancing to hypnotic salsa tunes on carnival floats. Jaw dropping for some while entertaining to others, fun is had by all on Havana’s Malecon.

Malecon Havana Restaurant El Bistrot

El Bistrot La Habana Malecon

El Bistrot is unashamedly a French Restaurant in Havana, offering nouvelle cuisine including the tiny but numerous portions the French are famous for. The impressive menu offers regular daily specials proposed by the French trained chef. Unlike many Paladares in Havana, the El Bistrot on Malecon has been serving customers for over 11 years. It was one of the first Paladares to open in Havana and remains popular with a regular crowd who have fallen in love with its French cuisine.

Bistrot Restaurant Malecon Havana

Obviously the main reason to visit is the view onto the Malecon Habanero. The main seating at El Bistrot is located on the second floor which thankfully is the perfect location from which to view this bustling corner of Malecon Havana.

Address: Calle K #12 entre 7ma y Malecón Havana Vedado

Reservations: + (537) 329914

Open: 12pm to 12.30am – 7 days

Castropol Malecon Havana Restaurant | Sociedad Asturiana

Havana Malecon Castropol

You can’t get closer to the Malecon in Havana than the now famous Castropol Restaurant. Located directly on the Malecon, views from your table are literally of the sea. Yes Havana’s Castropol Restaurant offers one of the most complete dining experiences in Havana. The charcoal Grilled meats are to die for and the cooking show offered by the in-house chefs is truly entertaining. For a quick bite to eat why not try the authentic Italian pizzas made with fine olive oil and baked in a natural wood fired brick oven or, as they say in Italy, Forno di Legna.

Castropol Restaurant Havana Malecon

Step straight off the Malecon into the cozy courtyard offering a panoramic view of the kitchen and chefs at work. Packed with Cuban charm the Castropol garners easily the most panoramic view of the Malecon Habanero. Not looking to sit down and eat? No problem! The whole Castropol complex offers freshly baked bread, snacks and pastries. Castropol the perfect stopover on your discovery tour of Havana’s Malecon.

Castropol Pizza forno a legna

Address: Malecon Habana No. 107, e/ Crespo y Genios, Centro Habana, La Habana, Cuba.

Reservations: + (537) 861 4864

Open: 12 to 12 – 7 days