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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Nature and Leisure in Central Cuba

Central Cuba boasts a wide range of natural and tourist attractions, including sun, beaches, excursions, culture and history.

In that region, it is in Villa Clara province that the tourist development strategy has spread to the northern keys, where dozens of kilometers of excellent beaches and a pristine natural environment are the main attractions.

A causeway links the largest island in the Cuban archipelago with the keys Santa María, Las Brujas, Ensenachos, Cobos, Majá, Fragoso, Francés, Las Picúas and Español de Adentro, among others.

Nature itself has created excellent conditions for leisure, including a coral reef that mitigates the negative effect of strong winds and prevents big waves from reaching the beach, thus creating a unique scenario to welcome thousands of foreign tourists every year.

Animal diversity is complemented by the region's exuberant flora, made up of 248 species, including 91 medicinal plants, 72 timber trees, 41 honey-producing species and 40 ornamental plants, in addition to vestiges of pre-Columbian cultures in caverns near the beach and breathtakingly beautiful underwater sceneries.

In addition to its tourist potential, the region is a safe haven for a wide range of animals, including the so-called rat hutia and endemic species like lizards, mollusks and birds.

Scuba diving.
Sol Cayo Santa María Hotel. Swimming pool
Beach.

The region's unique natural environment is a one-of-a-kind complement to tourist programs in Villa Clara.

South of the city of Santa Clara, the provincial capital, is the Cubanacán Protected Area, a true natural paradise and a safe haven for amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds, including ten endemic species.

The region also holds the Escambray Mountain Range, characterized by steep slopes, winding roads and thick forests. The Escambray is also the refuge of the last flocks of parrots that live in the province.

As part of the official strategy to manage natural resources rationally, communities in seven Villa Clara municipalities participate actively in the protection of coastal areas, especially in the Sabana-Camagüey project.

Villa Clara also holds the Hanabanilla Lake, the only intermountain lake in the country. Three rivers (Negro, Hanabanilla and Guanayara) flow into the lake, which is an ideal place for nature lovers.

The Hanabanilla Lake covers an area of 14.9 square kilometers and is 30-40 meters deep. It is 364 meters above sea level and has a potential storage capacity of 300 million cubic meters of water.

There is also the small Cascada del Amor (Love Waterfall), which falls into a pond where tourists can take a refreshing swim to mitigate Cuba's summer heat.

The surroundings of the lake are inhabited by tocororos (Cuban trogons), parrots, woodpeckers and ducks, among other endemic species, creating a pleasant environment that invites vacationers to rest and meditate in direct contact with nature.

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