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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Tourism and Heritage in Cuba

The Cuban archipelago, a fast-growing tourist destination in the Caribbean region, offers a wide range of options, including excellent beaches, nature, culture and traditions.

The crystal-clear warm waters surrounding the island are complemented by facilities to practice nautical activities, including scuba diving and snorkeling.

In addition, tourist programs take vacationers to sites of cultural and historic interest.

Havana, formerly known as Villa de San Cristóbal de La Habana, is one of the best exponents of Spanish-colonial architecture in Cuba. Havana's notoriety dates back to the 16th century.

The Cuban capital also has a centuries-old defense system, in which the emblematic Castillo de Los Tres Reyes del Morro stands out. The defense system consisted of nine fortresses that made the most outstanding complex of its kind in the Spanish-speaking Americas at the time, according to experts.

In Havana's historic heart, declared Humankind's Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), nearly 140 buildings were constructed in the 16th and 17th centuries, another 200 were built in the 18th century, and more than 460 in the 19th century.

Castle of Los Tres Reyes del Morro
Fountain at Plaza Vieja (Old Havana)
"Benny Moré" Café Tavern

Havana has several squares, especially the Arms, Cathedral, Old, Cristo and San Francisco squares, being the latter near the church and convent of Saint Francis of Assisi.

The capital's buildings combine different architectural styles, including Renaissance, art deco, Mudejar, baroque, neoclassicism, eclecticism, art nouveau and Cuban baroque.

In Cuba's easternmost province, Guantánamo, is the village of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Baracoa, founded in 1511-12 by Governor Diego Velázquez, and the first capital and first bishopric in Cuba.

Another important city is Camagüey, the capital of the eastern Cuban province of the same name, which was founded as Villa de Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe.

Also known as "the city of tinajones", Camagüey is famous for those large earthenware jars, which were used centuries ago to collect rainwater for human consumption and currently decorate gardens and parks

Camagüey is a city with one-tower temples, façades with eaves and pilasters, iron-wrought windows, inner portals and red-tile roofs, elements that are characteristic of a sober and at the same time flamboyant architectural style in a true labyrinth of alleys.

Cuba's exuberant flora is present at Casino Campestre, the largest urban park in the interior of the country. It is an excellent place for reflection and spiritual relaxation. The park is full of statues of Cuban personalities.

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