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History, Traditions and Virgin Nature in Eastern Cuba

History, cultural traditions, virgin nature and beaches are the distinctive features of the provinces of Las Tunas, Holguín, Granma, Santiago de Cuba and Guantánamo, in the eastern region of the largest Antillean island.

Topping the list is Las Tunas, with its 35 excellent virgin beaches covering more than 260 kilometers of irregular coasts, where many species of Cuban birds can be watched in places such as the Malagueta Bay. Moreover, this province holds the largest reserve of American crocodiles in the Caribbean.

Founded in 1759, the village that gave that territory its name is also known at present as the capital of sculptures in Cuba, since it exhibits 70 environmental and monumental works in an area of 600 square kilometers.

It was in Holguín, and more exactly in Bariay, where Genoese Admiral Christopher Columbus first set foot on Cuban soil, expressing his delight for the island's beauty.

Coastal zones of unique beauty are found in Guardalavaca, Esmeralda and Pesquero beaches, along with excellent options at the Naranjo Bay natural park, or a possible encounter with aborigines at the Chorro de Maíta archeological site.

Granma's exclusiveness lies in the fact that the province holds 50 percent of the historical sites in the Cuban archipelago, including the city of Bayamo, the second village founded by Spanish colonizers in 1513 and a National Monument.

Holguín, Esmeralda Beach
Yunque de Baracoa (Baracoa`s Anvil)
Ruins of La Demajagua Sugarmill - National Monument

The region's natural charm is reflected in the existence of many archeological, natural and historical paths and routes, as well as excellent spots for diving and the possibility of visiting the waterfalls in the Cilantro and Las Yaguas rivers.

Moreover, the "Desembarco del Granma" and Sierra Maestra national parks complement the region's tourist offer for nature lovers, which includes exclusive plant and animal species, virgin forests and one of the most representative marine terraces in the world.

Santiago de Cuba, also known as "the capital of the Caribbean", was founded in 1514 near a huge bay defended by the Castle of San Pedro de la Roca, declared Humankind's Heritage and a key element, along with the Castle of La Estrella and the Socapa Battery, in the most complete exponent of European military engineering in the region.

That city holds Diego Velázquez's house, the oldest in Cuba, which is surrounded by more than 15 museums and interesting sites, including the Sanctuary of the Vírgen de la Caridad del Cobre, Cuba's patron saint.

Guantánamo, the island's easternmost province, is where Baracoa - the Prime City of Cuba and a major attraction for international tourism - is located. Baracoa is the place where the only Cross of Vine, out of 29 erected by Christopher Columbus throughout the island during his voyage to discover the so-called New World, still exists.

A strong historical presence accompanies visitors touring eastern Cuba, giving the region a unique touch and meeting the demands of thousands of vacationers who bet on the largest Antillean island every year.

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