Cuba, an archipelago full of sun and beach leisure options, complements its tourist offers with the cultural and historical richness of the country.
In addition to dozens of excellent beaches distributed across the country, Cuba has an architectural heritage contributed by the Spanish presence in Cuba and the eventual European influence after colony time.
Precisely, this element turns Havana, located among the first seven villages founded by the Spanish and named San Cristobal de La Habana, a key city in many tourist programs with emphasis in Havana’s historic heart.
It is important to mention that Havana’s historic heart preserves an actual collection of castles, fortresses and buildings of important historical and cultural value which were constructed around a system of squares combined with monasteries and temples.
The second largest urban area of this kind is located in the city of Camagüey –previously known as Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe-, and also called the City of Large Earthenware Jars (Tinajones) due to the wide use of these big earthenware containers to store water.
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.
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).
Meanwhile, 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.
The Cuban historical heritage, which has grown through centuries, is properly preserved in a large network of museums across the country.
The abovementioned system is composed of nearly 300 such facilities, including 14 art museums, seven for science and technology, five ethnographic and anthropological museums and 68 museums of history.
In addition, natural reserves, biosphere reserves, natural landscapes, national parks and protected areas make up an extensive network of offers characterized by its richness, excellent conservation and unique features of the region.