Eastern Cuba, rich in natural attractions, traditions and a centuries-old history, has enough options for the development of the leisure industry, a key sector in the future expansion of the national economy.
In that wide gamut of unique offers for leisure, including dozens of kilometers of excellent beaches, blue crystal-clear waters and exuberant vegetation, memories find a place in many sites of the region.
In Las Tunas province, in the eastern region of the largest Antillean Island, stands out the city of Puerto Padre, which many call the Blue Village or the City of Mills.
Puerto Padre is the center of the largest municipality in Las Tunas, covering an area of 1,180 square kilometers (695 square miles). The town was included in the maps of the New World under the name of Portus Patris as early as the 16th century.
There are many legends about the city's name, but the most accepted one is linked to the arrival of Admiral Christopher Columbus in Cuba, when a soldier on one of the ships expressed his delight with the landscape and told a priest, "What a port, father!"
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the region's economic activity was scarce. It was not until after 1800 that the pier known as Embarcadero de Maniabón was built. The first sugarcane mill in the region was constructed in 1860.
Many battles linked to Cuba's wars of independence took place in Puerto Padre, especially in the hill (34 meters high) that ascends from the coast to La Loma (Hill) Fort, declared a National Monument.
During the first half of the 20th century, Puerto Padre benefited from an intensive cultural activity, marked by the publication of over 40 newspapers and magazines, including "El Localista", "El Noticiero", "Madrugada" and "Alborada Villazulina".
However, the first newspaper, "El Lagarto", circulated in the village in 1896 and was published by Officers of the Spanish Army, but it was moved to Gibara on May 21.
Other renowned cultural institutions opened their doors in Puerto Padre, including the bookstore "La Premier", the printing house "El Cucalambé", the movie theater, the Municipal Band of Concerts, and the Aldana Theater - later called Rivoli. At the same time, major sculptures such as the Statue of Liberty and the bust dedicated to mothers were unveiled.
As a singular element, Puerto Padre's "malecón" (seawall) boasts one of few springs in Cuba near the coast, thus giving the city a touch of distinction that is highly appreciated by visitors.
Puerto Padre is currently a one-of-a-kind site in eastern Cuba's geography, a true complement in the fast development of tourism in one of Cuba's provinces that is expected to play a major role in the growth of the Caribbean Island's leisure industry.