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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: Tourism and Recreation

The Cuban archipelago, which stands out for its natural, cultural and historic treasures, promotes tourism as an essential element to boost economic growth.

With a strategic location in the Caribbean region, Cuba has a growing hotel infrastructure, beautiful beaches and warm water.

Dozens of kilometers of excellent beaches with crystal-clear water and white sand have marked the development of tourism in the island nation.

Cuba is home to 16,500 species, some of which show an endemism of more than 90 percent. In addition, the autochthonous flora consists of more than 6,300 varieties.

Three dozens of specialized dive center operate throughout the country, where vacationers can take initiation courses and dive in coral reefs and caverns, under strict international standards for that activity.

Moreover, ecotourism, nautical activities and excursions are complemented by a broad agenda of cultural and sports events that attract thousands of tourists every year.

City Museum
Castle of the Royal Force
Façade of Armadores de Santander Hotel

In addition to traditional tourist options, the country's architectural wealth is a special incentive to remember the island's colonial past, consisting of several buildings from that epoch.

Cuba's tourism industry also has a solid infrastructure consisting of big hotels and small cozy establishments equipped with all modern amenities.

A major establishment in Cuba's hotel business for many years, the Plaza underwent major restoration works in 1985 to add the amenities that it offers its guests today in its 188 rooms, where modern furniture is combined with antique ornaments and artworks by Cuban painters.

The Plaza Hotel is close to the Central Park and the Grand Theater of Havana, where major ballet and opera performances take place.

Cigar aficionados can stay at the Hotel Conde de Villanueva, the former mansion of that illustrious nobleman, while El Mesón de la Flota is a reminder of Cuba's position as the Key to the Gulf during the Spanish colonial period.

Other small hotels in Old Havana are the monastery-like Los Frailes and Palacio de San Miguel, which are excellent options for those looking for culture and intimacy.

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.

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.

Cuba has about 120 art galleries, antique shops and art exhibition halls, in addition to nearly 260 museums and more than 80 theaters, which are excellent options for those looking for more than beach and sun in the Caribbean Island.

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