The Cuban archipelago, a tourist destination par excellence in the Caribbean, offers a wide range of options for thousands of foreign tourists who visit the island nation every year to enjoy the country's recreational attractions.
Cuba's unique nature, characterized by high endemism, is complemented by hundreds of kilometers of excellent beaches – of white sand and crystal-clear water – and programs for cultural, historic and health tourism.
The Caribbean island's tourism industry, which initially provided traditional options, has expanded to offer such alternatives as ecotourism and health tourism.
Many facilities specialize in promoting health tourism, particularly at hotels where medical treatments are provided and at resorts where mineral-medicinal water is used to treat several ailments.
According to international agencies, Cuba is among the world's most developed countries in the use of thermal waters with medicinal ends.
Cuba's medicinal resorts are highly demanded by vacationers from the Americas and Europe, who are interested in combining tourist activities and medical treatments.
In western Pinar del Río province, the fame of San Diego de los Baños dates back to 1632. Experts there treat several diseases with acupuncture, medicinal mud, apitherapy and natural medications, among other methods of traditional medicine.
In that context, leisure is combined with miraculous water from local springs to create a one-of-a-kind tourist offer that allows visitors to cure their diseases and enjoy nature at the same time.
In Havana and the City of Havana, mineral-medicinal water contains bicarbonate, calcium and sodium in Santa María del Rosario, and sulfur and silicon in Madruga, where vacationers enjoy an excellent tourist infrastructure, beaches and maritime weather.
In central Cuba is Elguea, whose water, which has high contents of minerals, sodium and bromide, and little sulfur, is at 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) and runs at 25 liters per second.
Its Thermal Center has an area of 1,300 square meters and offers three pools of medicinal water, sauna, gymnasium, individual baths, beauty parlor, massage parlor, resting area and doctor's offices, among other services.
The center also provides such treatments as electrotherapy, kinetic therapy, aerobics, moxibustion, podiatry, psycho-relaxation, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, massage, traditional medicine and facial treatments.
In San José del Lago, in central Sancti Spiritus province, medicinal water is diuretic, and is rapidly absorbed and eliminated by the human body.
According to experts, water in San José del Lago contains bicarbonate and calcium, and is excellent to treat gastrointestinal, metabolic, renal, dermatologic ailments. Its sedative properties make it excellent to treat stressed people.