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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: The Leisure Industry Sets Eyes on the East

Cuba's leisure industry, whose strongholds are the island's capital and the coastal resort of Varadero, has set eyes on the central-eastern region of the country, which offers unique options of nature, excellent beaches and history.

The central-eastern region, made up of the provinces of Ciego de Avila and Camagüey, benefits from Cuba's fastest-developing tourist zone, Jardines del Rey, as the Spanish colonizers called a string of islets of singular attractiveness for vacationers.

In Ciego de Avila, the northern keys are a major attraction in the leisure industry, with more than 30 kilometers of beautiful beaches, options for diving, and tropical ecosystems in a perfect state of preservation.

The major element in the tourist infrastructure, Cayo Coco, is connected to the mainland by a 17-kilometer causeway. The islet was named after the white ibis, also known as coconut (coco) bird, which is abundant in the area.

However, that bird is not the only species living in that area, which is also inhabited by a large colony of pink flamingos, a true enjoyment for bird watchers.

The highest dunes in the Caribbean (15 meters) can be found in Cayo Guillermo, another famous islet in the region. Visitors can enjoy hunting and fishing in Morón and the Cunagua Hill, in addition to the singularity of the Laguna de la Leche (Milk Lagoon), which name comes from the color of its water.

Morón`s rooster
Bird`s-eye view of Sol Cayo Guillermo Hotel
Bird`s-eye view of Meliá Cayo Coco Hotel

In Camagüey, the beach option is concentrated in Santa Lucía, a 20-kilometer sandy strip, with warm, crystal-clear water, protected by a huge coral reef.

More than 50 species of corals - including black coral, "Elkhorn" and "bride's bouquet" -, 200 species of sponges, 500 species of tropical fish, and the remains of at least 27 sunken ships provide a unique offer for diving.

Cayo Sabinal, the perfect place for excursions and nautical activities, holds several fresh-water lagoons inhabited by a large colony of pink flamingos and, occasionally, several species of migratory birds.

In the southern coast, the region known as Jardines de la Reina is a perfect scenery for scuba diving, along with the adventurous experience of swimming among sharks or living unforgettable days at the floating Hotel Tortuga.

Aboriginal pictographs can be found in the Los Generales, Las Mercedes, Indio and Pichardo caves, adding a historic charm to the provincial capital, which is also known as the "City of Tinajones", because of the large earthenware jars that proliferate everywhere in the city.

In the cultural field, the popular party of San Juan, which originated between 1725 and 1727, gives a touch of distinction to the environment, complementing the region's gastronomic offer, which ranges from "ajiaco" to dried beef, and the attractiveness of being the city where Cuba's first literary work was written.

For all this, the region's tourist options go beyond traditional sites, supported by the natural, cultural and historic wealth of the largest Antillean island, a country that was discovered more than five centuries ago.

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