Cuba's tourism industry, which is among the fastest growing tourist sectors in the Caribbean region, has spread to eastern Cuba to seek new options to meet the demand from thousands of foreign vacationers who visit the country every year.
In addition to traditional sun and beach destinations such as Varadero – Cuba's major coastal resort – the Caribbean Island also offers cultural, historic and natural options in the eastern part of the country.
In that regard, the provinces of Camagüey, Ciego de Avila, Holguín, Santiago de Cuba, Granma and Las Tunas offers excellent sites to spend your vacations.
As an example, Jardines del Rey (King's Gardens), a chain of islets that the Spanish conquistadors named after the Spanish king, stands out in the central-eastern part of the country.
In Camagüey, vacationers can visit Santa Lucía beach, whose crystal-clear water bathes a 20-kilometer sand strip protected by a huge coral reef.
Santa Lucía is also an excellent place for scuba diving and snorkeling, as it offers 35 dive sites where divers can visit sunken ships from the Spanish colonial period or from World War II.
Excursions and nautical activities can also be enjoyed on Cayo Sabinal, which also has several freshwater lagoons inhabited by large populations of pink flamingos and migratory birds.
In addition, the city of Camagüey offers great cultural and historic values resulting from its 493-year-old history.
In Santiago de Cuba, tourists can visit the Baconao Park, which is a perfect formula for those looking for a well-preserved natural environment.
In addition to the world-famous stone zoo in the Valley of Prehistory, tourists can visit the Museum of Transportation, the Aquarium and the Promenade of Sculptures.
A little bit farther, in the town of El Cobre, is the Sanctuary of the Lady of Charity, Cuba's patron saint. Thousands of people who come to keep their promises to the virgin visit the place every year.
Near the city of Santiago de Cuba is Gran Piedra – a big rock registered in the Guinness book of record because it weighs nearly 70,000 tons and is some 1,220 meters above sea level.
Along its 265-kilometer coast, Las Tunas offers 35 pristine beaches of crystal-clear water and white sand, which are protected by coral reefs.
Holguín boasts 14 major cities, including Banes – which is considered Cuba's archeological capital – and Gibara – which is well preserved and boasts a beautiful Spanish colonial architecture.
Eight beach zones, several keys, natural parks and extrahotel establishments are available for tourists, as well as excellent beaches such as Guardalavaca, Estero Ciego, Esmeralda and Don Lino, just to mention some.