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Cuba: The Heritage of Cities

Cuba is a major tourist destination in the Caribbean region, due to its traditional sun and beach options, in addition to its culture, customs and history.

Hundreds of kilometers of coast, bathed by warm crystal-clear waters, are complemented by the island's tropical climate.

Cuba also offers programs of urban tourism based on the island's Spanish-colonial heritage, which can be found anywhere in the country.

One of the main urban destinations is the Cuban capital, which is rich in traditions, architecture and culture, and where tourists can stay in several hotels.

The former 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 European experts have expressed interest in the system of fortresses that protected the Cuban capital in Spanish-colonial times, especially the Castle of the Three Kings of Morro. Havana's defense system consisted of nine fortresses that, according to experts, made the most important military complex in the Spanish-speaking Americas.

Buildings on Havana`s Malecón (seafront)
Fountain at Plaza Vieja (Old Havana)
"Benny Moré" Café Tavern

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.

In the west, vacationers can visit the city of Matanzas, the capital of the western province of the same name and also known as the Athens of Cuba or the Venice of the Americas, due to the many rivers running through it, where both commerce and culture flourished during the Spanish colonial period.

In central Cuba, Cienfuegos offers a score of libraries, 11 museums, more than 30 movie halls and five theaters, in addition to houses of culture, art galleries and monuments, are visited by both national and foreign tourists every year.

Among the city's many attractions is the José Martí Park, built on the site where the village of Fernandina de Sagua was founded in April 1819. In the park, there are bronze and stone busts of the most relevant personalities of the city.

Surrounding the park are the only Arc of Triumph in Cuba, built in 1902, and the Tomás Terry Theater, one of Cuba's three major theaters in the 19th century, where prominent artists such as Enrico Caruso performed.

In Guantánamo province, vacationers can tour places of high historic value such as the village of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Baracoa, founded in 1512-1512. Baracoa was Cuba's first capital and first bishopric.

The city of Camagüey, the capital of the eastern Cuban province of the same name, boasts a unique patrimonial wealth resulting from 494 years of history.

Founded under the name of Villa de Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe on the Bay of Nuevitas, the city was moved hinterland, on the banks of the Caonao River and was officially called Camagüey.

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.

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