Jardín Botánico Nacional

Outer Havana

Havana's curiously under-visited 600-hectare botanical garden suffers from an out-of-town location and poor transport links (get a taxi). It opened in 1984 after 16 years of development and is hailed for its collection of 250 species of palm tree, ethno-botanical crop displays and tranquil Japanese Garden (1989). Multilingual guided tours are conducted on a mini-train (not as tacky as it sounds) or in your own vehicle, should you have one (the guide will come with you).

Between November and February the garden is an excellent spot for observing migratory birds. It is also known for its vegetarian Restaurante el Bambú, which serves a meat-free buffet daily. There's a separate ranchón (rustic, open-sided restaurant) serving à la carte meat dishes for carnivores.