Cuba, an archipelago full of natural, historic and cultural attractions, has options of urban tourism which complement a large portfolio of offers distributed across the country.
Dozens of excellent beaches, characterized by warm waters and the transparency of the sea bottom which favors diving activities, can be found throughout the country.
In addition, there are important urban sites holding the colonial history of the country in buildings, roads and public spaces.
In this scenery, the country’s capital city, Havana, contributes ancient traditions, examples of architectural jewels, culture and a Caribbean climate which is complemented by facilities related to the tourist activity.
Havana’s historic heart comprises several museums, churches, cultural institutions and buildings dating back to colonial time, with about 33,000 constructions which were mostly built in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Those seeking adventures through the webs of streets and alleys in Old Havana can find small hotels where, behind a façade that seems to have stopped in time, visitors can enjoy all the comforts of modern tourism.
In this sense, Havana, previously known as San Cristobal de La Habana, currently represents a living museum of the most diverse construction styles that portray the city’s different development stages.
The fortress system which defended the city, led by the emblematic Castillo de Los Tres Reyes del Morro, comprised nine large constructions to make up –as experts say- the most outstanding complex of its kind in Spanish America.
In addition, the Cuban western city of Matanzas, the capital of the province of the same name, was known as the Athens of Cuba and even as the Venice of the Americas, due to the number of rivers, bridges and canals, as well as for the dynamic commercial and cultural development that characterized the city at that time.
In the country’s central area, the city of Cienfuegos stands out for its two dozen libraries, 11 museums, over 30 movie theaters and five theaters; all complemented by cultural institutions, art galleries and monuments which reflect the Cuban traditions for the enjoyment of domestic and foreign visitors.
Likewise, Cienfuegos also has the only Triumphal Arch existing in Cuba, which was built in 1902, and the Tomás Terry Theater, one of the three most important theaters in the country during the 19th century and where prestigious personalities of the arts, such as Enrico Caruso, performed.
The eastern area of the country also has urban tourist options such as the city of Baracoa, originally named Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Baracoa (Our Lady of the Assumption of Baracoa) and founded between 1511 and 1512 by Governor Diego Velázquez; Baracoa was regarded as the first capital city and diocese of the island.
This urban scenery also includes the City of Camagüey, capital of the province by the same name, which was founded under the name of Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe.
Camagüey is also known as “La Ciudad de los Tinajones” (The City of Large Earthenware Jars) since this type of earthenware containers were widely used for storing rainwater for various uses; nowadays they are mainly a decoration