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Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabana

  • Havana, Cuba

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 31 March, 2024

Built by the Spanish in 1763, this 700m-long defence is the largest fort in the New World; the colossal stone castle dominates the eastern flank of Havana harbour, south of El Morro castle. A visit is worth it for the views alone – a lovely panoramic vista of Old Havana.

The smart, cannon-peppered grounds are also home to a fascinating Che Guevara Museum and a weaponry museum. Allow an extra hour or two to visit them.

At 9pm each night a cannon guard of honour ceremony (cañonazo) is held at the fort, with a cast dressed in 18th-century uniform.


Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The two larger fortresses of Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro and the Fortress de San Carlos de la Cabaña are on the other side of the Bay of Havana, facing Old Havana. They can be accessed by taxi via a tunnel (visit both at once, about 10 minutes walk between them). You can just turn up and walk around at leisure.

When to do it

The fortress is open all year round, seven days a week.

Destination guides


Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


  • Cuba

Colorful colonial buildings, Havana, Cuba

Destination guide

Sensual and sultry communist Caribbean capital, home to captivating, crumbling architecture, and enlivened by dance, music, avant-garde art and cocktails. Impossible to describe, there’s nowhere else quite like it.