Cuba's leisure industry, the most dynamic sector in the domestic economy, has diversified its options in favor of thousands of travelers from all latitudes who spend their vacations in the largest Antillean Island every year.
Cuba's unique nature, in which endemic plant and animal species are abundant, combines hundreds of kilometers of excellent beaches - white sand and crystal-clear water - with cultural, historic and medicinal programs.
The Cuban central province of Villa Clara, a major stopover for vacationers, provides excellent options in which travelers can enjoy the Island's exuberant nature and participate in programs related to health tourism.
For those interested in improving their health, the Elguea Spa, in northern Villa Clara, boasts excellent mineral waters that are rich in sodium and bromide, with a low content of sulfur, have an average temperature of 45 degree Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) and run at 25 liters per second.
The medicinal properties of Elguea's waters were discovered accidentally in the 19th century, when one of the slaves of the Elguea family, who suffered from a skin disease, was freed to prevent him from contaminating other slaves.
Some time later, the slave returned and he was completely cured as a result of using water from a sort of miraculous hot-water spring near the farm. This anecdote marks the beginning of the exploitation of the region's curative properties after the opening of a small hotel.
At present, health services are concentrated in the Horizontes Elguea and Spa Hotel, one of the major establishments of its kind in Latin America.
Over 100 rooms - doubles, for couples, and wheelchair accessible for disabled people - are available for guests, who can enjoy all modern amenities, in addition to tennis and volleyball courts, bicycle rentals, horse-riding excursions and table games.
The spa's Thermal Center, which covers an area of 1,300 square meters (1,555 square yards), features swimming pools of medicinal waters, sauna, gymnasium, individual baths, beauty parlor, massage parlor, rest area and doctor's offices, among other services.
The Elguea Spa provides other services, including electrotherapy, mud therapy, aerobic exercises, moxibustion, chiropodist, psycho-relaxation, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, traditional medicine and facial treatments.
Thanks to those medical techniques, vacationers can combine leisure with specialized programs to relax, get fit and lose weight, and fight stress, respiratory and circulatory disorders, and bone and muscle problems, and get treatment against neurological diseases.
Health and leisure go hand in hand in perfect harmony, and vacationers can enjoy tours of the city of Santa Clara, and excursions to the northern keys and places of historic and cultural interest in the province.