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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: Medicinal Waters for Tourism

Cuba, a fast-growing tourist destination in the Caribbean, also offers its natural wealth, which complements traditional sun and beach options for national and foreign tourists.

Health tourism is one of the most attractive tourist modalities in Cuba, where foreign vacationers come to improve their quality of life.

Several hotels and health facilities are available for medical treatments, including medicinal waters. One of those places is San Diego de los Baños, in western Pinar del Río province.

The place earned its fame in 1632, when a slave discovered the medicinal qualities of the region's springs.

According to history, Taita Domingo, a slave freed by his masters because his skin was very sick, was wandering from village to village.

One day he found a spring called La Gallina, whose medicinal waters relieved his wounds and even cured them. That event marked the beginning of a new period in that western Cuban town.

From then on, people suffering from skin diseases began to arrive in the small town to treat their wounds, thus promoting the attractions of Pinar del Río.

Bath with waters with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties are combined with therapies with mud from the mouth of the San Diego river, and complemented with acupuncture.

A building from the 1950s and some 20 pools to provide medical treatments are located some 50 meters away from the Mirador Hotel.

The hotel, inaugurated in 1948, was named after an old Spanish-colonial construction used as a lookout, from where the region's pristine nature and local flora and fauna can be seen.

San Diego de los Baños has been visited by prominent Cuban and foreign personages, including German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt and Francescho Antomache, who was Napoleon Bonaparte's personal doctor.

Among the Cuban figures who visited San Diego de los Baños were author Cirilo Villaverde, who wrote a masterpiece in Cuban literature, "Cecilia Valdés", and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, who was the president of the Republic in Arms during the 1868 war of independence.

In that context, rest is combined with miraculous waters from the region's springs to create a one-of-a-kind option for those who need medical treatment and want to enjoy nature at the same time.

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