Baseball is the national sport and the greatest national passion. Cuba's amateur players are considered some of the best in the world, and the premier players are aggressively scouted and courted by the Major Leagues. The regular season runs November through March, and playoffs and the final championship usually carry the season on into May. Industriales, the main Havana team, plays at the Estadio Latinoamericano, Calle Zequeira 312, Cerro (tel. 7/870-6526). It's usually easy to buy tickets at the box office for less than 5 Cuban pesos, or ask at your hotel and perhaps they can get tickets for you in advance -- although for these, you'll probably end up paying CUC$1 to CUC$2.
Despite the fact that so much of Havana's transportation is conducted on bicycles, there are no rental agencies or outlets for tourists wishing to get around town by bike. Your best bet for bicycling in Cuba is to bring your own set of wheels and head outside Havana.
While the only regulation 18-hole course in the country is located in Varadero, the Club de Golf Habana, Carretera Vento Km 8, Capdevila, Rancho Boyeros (tel. 7/649-8918, ext. 111), has a decent little 9-hole course for true golf junkies. A round of 9 holes will run you CUC$20. Each hole actually has two sets of tees, so you can really play 18 holes, and fake the impression that it's a regulation course. A round of 18 holes costs CUC$30. Club rental is an extra CUC$10 and a caddy will cost you CUC$5. Open daily 9:30am-6:30pm.
There are no chains of modern gyms in Havana. Visitors looking for a regular workout on modern gym equipment or an aerobics class should stick to the larger hotels with well-equipped facilities. If you're not staying at one of these hotels, you can use the facilities at the Meliá Habana or Meliá Cohiba for CUC$10.
Club Habana, Avenida 5, between Calles 188 and 192, Reparto Flores, Playa (tel. 7/204-5700 or 7/204-3300; www.cpalco.com), has a decent gym and will let guests use the facilities for CUC$20 to CUC$30 per day.
The Malecón is a fabulous place to jog. Early mornings and early evenings, when the heat has somewhat abated, are best. You'll have to watch your step in certain sections where the sidewalk is torn up or deteriorated, but overall this is the choice route for jogging. Farther afield, joggers could try Parque Lenin, Calle 100 and Carretera de la Presa (tel. 7/644-3026), which is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9am to 5:30pm. This massive park is a major recreational area for locals and has several trails and internal roadways good for jogging.
While the diving is nowhere near as good as you'll find in more dedicated dive destinations in Cuba, it's certainly possible to do some underwater exploring out of Havana. Your best bet is to head over to Club Acuario, Avenida 5 and Calle 248, Santa Fe, Playa (tel. 7/204-1150), La Aguja; Marlin Diving Centre, Marina Hemingway, corner Avenida 5 and 248, Playa (tel. 7/204-6848; www.nauticamarlin.com); Centro Internacional de Buceo, Club Habana, Avenida 5 between Calles 188 and 192, Playa (tel. 7/204-5700 ext. 406; www.cpalco.com); or Marina Tarará, Vía Blanca Km 18, Playa Tarará, Habana del Este (tel. 7/797-1500), located 18km (11 miles) east of the city. It costs between CUC$50 and CUC$85 for two tank dives, including equipment and lunch. You might also consider a day trip to Varadero or Playa Girón for generally better conditions, and not much more cost.
It's easy to follow in Hemingway's wake and try your luck at landing a big one. As with diving, your best bet is to head over to Club Acuario, Avenida 5 and Calle 248, Santa Fe, Playa (tel. 7/204-1150), or Marina Tarará, Vía Blanca Km 18, Playa Tarará, Habana del Este (tel. 7/797-1500). Depending on the size of the boat and number of fishermen, a half-day of sportfishing costs between CUC$150 and CUC$500, while a full day will run you between CUC$400 and CUC$1,400, including gear and lunch.
If your hotel does not have a swimming pool, most of the larger hotels allow nonguests use of their pool facilities for a price. Rates generally range between CUC$5 and CUC$18 per person. The nicer options include the Meliá Habana and Club Habana in Playa; the Hotel Nacional and Meliá Cohiba in Vedado; and the NH Parque Central, Hotel Saratoga, and Hotel Sevilla in La Habana Vieja.
Although it's possible to use the small beach at the Club Habana, the nearby Playas del Este is your best bet for some beach time. Most tour agencies and hotel tour desks offer a day trip to Playa Santa María del Mar for CUC$25 to CUC$40, including round-trip transportation, lunch, and often free run of the facilities at one of the all-inclusive hotels out there. However, you can also get there on your own steam using the HabanaBusTour.
Note: Do not be tempted to join the locals you see swimming off the coral outcroppings just below the Malecón. The coral is jagged and sharp, and the seas can get suddenly rough. Moreover, in recent years there have been complaints that the water is very polluted.
Unless you're staying at one of the few Havana hotels with a court, your options are limited. Your best bet is to try to book a court at the Occidental Miramar, Avenida 5, between Calles 78 and 80, Miramar, Playa (tel. 7/204-8158), which has six courts; or head to the Club Habana, Avenida 5, between Calles 188 and 192, Reparto Flores, Playa (tel. 7/204-3300); or Club de Golf Habana, Carretera Vento Km 8, Capdevila, Rancho Boyeros (tel. 7/649-8820), each of which has a few courts open to the general public. All charge around CUC$10 per hour.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.