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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: Vacations in Contact with History

The largest Antillean island, a destination par excellence to enjoy sun and beaches, is one of the fastest-growing tourist regions in the Caribbean, thanks to its excellent climate and unique nature.

The safety that the Cuban archipelago provides to thousands of visitors who bet on its many options for leisure is complemented by a huge and varied patrimony of traditions and history.

Since Genoese Admiral Christopher Columbus discovered Cuba in 1492, the Island has gathered and protected memories that are more than 500 years old, as well as archeological sites that have provided elements about the life of the aborigines who lived on the Cuban archipelago before the Spaniards' arrival.

One of the major sites in the Cuban historic panorama is located in Havana, with its complex system of fortress - made up of nine big constructions - that has become one of the most relevant defensive works of its kind in Latin America.

Moreover, Havana's historic heart, which was declared Humankind's Heritage by UNESCO, holds more than 100 buildings constructed during the 16th and 17th centuries, while 200 other edifices were built in the 18th century.

In central Cuba, major historic sites are found in the province of Sancti Spiritus, the only region in the country that boasts two of the first seven villages founded by Spanish Conqueror Diego Velázquez in the 16th century, under the name of Espiritu Santo (Holy Spirit) and Santísima Trinidad (Holy Trinity).

Aguiar Street, Old Havana
Trinidad
City of Camagüey

The latter, currently called Trinidad, holds the most complete and best preserve architectural complex in the American continent.

However, the second major historic center in the country is in the city of Camagüey, formerly known as Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe and also called the "City of Tinajones", because of the large earthenware jars that proliferate everywhere in the city, which were used to collect water during the rainy season.

The eastern province of Granma holds 48 percent of all historic sites on the Cuban archipelago, including its capital city, Bayamo, which was declared a National Monument and was the capital of the Republic in Arms at the beginning of the 1868 war of independence.

For its part, Santiago de Cuba treasures memories that are more than 480 years old. Its defense system, made up of the Castle of San Pedro de La Roca, the Castle of La Estrella and the Socapa Battery, is considered the maximum exponent of European Renaissance military engineering in the Caribbean.

In the eastern region sits Cuba's Prime City, Nuestra Señora de Asunción de Baracoa, founded in 1512 and protected by a complex of fortresses from the Spanish colonial period.

All those historic sites are complemented by more than 260 cultural institutions and museums throughout the country, which treasure many aspects of Cuban history and are available to foreign tourists in search of knowledge, in addition to leisure, sun and beaches.

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