The Cuban archipelago, a tourist destination for sun and beach lovers, combines these traditional leisure options with novelties from the country’s nature, history, culture and heritage.
Varadero, in the western area of the island, is located along 22 kilometers of beaches in the Hicacos peninsula, offering a sea of the most various color shades which bathe fine and white sands.
Meanwhile, natural reserves, biosphere reserves, natural landscapes and protected areas make up a large network of options characterized by the richness, excellent preservation and unique features which distinguish the area.
In addition, more than 70,000 kilometers of island shelf are available for diving activities, with about 5,000 kilometers of coastline bathed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
More than 30 diving centers can be found throughout the country, including facilities for beginners’ courses, as well as diving in coral reefs and caverns, always under the international standards for such activities.
The Cuban cultural and historic heritage also plays a key role, especially in Havana where a complex fortress system, composed of nine huge constructions, represents one of the most relevant defense systems in Spanish America.
Likewise, Havana’s historic heart, declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, holds more than 100 buildings dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries, while 200 more were built in the 18th century.
The central area of the island also has historic attractions, mainly in the province of Sancti Spíritus, the only province in the archipelago having two of the first seven villages founded by the Governor Diego Velázquez in the 16th century, under the names “Espíritu Santo” (Holy Spirit) and “Santísima Trinidad” (Holy Trinity).
The latter, currently called Trinidad, has one of the most complete and best-preserved architectural complexes in the Americas.
Nevertheless, the second-largest historic center of the island is in Camagüey, previously known as Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe, and also called “Ciudad de los Tinajones” (City of Large Earthenware Jars) due to the abundant existence of these large jars which were used to store rainwater.
More to the east, in the province of Granma, 48 percent of all Cuban historic sites can be found; Bayamo, the province capital city, declared as National Monument; was the capital of the Republic in Arms at the start of the war of independence in 1868.
Santiago de Cuba also has a 480-year-old defensive system which is regarded as the most important example of military engineering from European Renaissance in the Caribbean, which is composed of the Castle of San Pedro de la Roca, La Estrella and the Socapa battery.