Parque Almendares

Park in Playa & Marianao

Running along the banks of the Río Almendares, below the bridge on Calle 23, is this welcome oasis of greenery and fresh air in the heart of the chaotic city. Parque Almendares might not be the Bois de Boulogne (witness the stray dogs and half-wrecked toilets), but it is a work in progress and far healthier than it was a decade ago. Benches now line the river promenade and plants grow profusely, though the river water is far from crystal clear.

The park has a stash of so-so facilities, including an antiquated miniature golf course, the Anfiteatro Parque Almendares (a small outdoor performance space), a playground and a dinosaur park containing stone reproductions of the monstrous reptiles.