In 2014, Cuba, a tourist destination par excellence in the Caribbean, joined the select group of countries that received three million international visitors, a sign of the fast growth of the tourism sector.
The Cuban archipelago, full of attractions marked by its biodiversity, provides a wide range of options to the tourism industry, from traditional sun and beach offers to those linked to nature, culture, history and health care.
Under that scheme, airlines, tour operators, hotel chains and foreign companies operating in Cuba joined their efforts to set a record in tourist arrivals.
That result also represents a 5-percent growth in tourist revenues compared to 2013.
Exuberant nature, centuries-old traditions and history go hand in hand in Cuba, which has an area of more than 110,000 square kilometers, with nearly 5,800 kilometers of shores, including 600 kilometers of excellent beaches.
Cuban beaches, which benefit from the country's tropical climate, fine sand and warm crystal-clear water, make up an offer that tourists cannot refuse.
In Havana, the Cuban capital, beaches are to the east, where the so-called Circuito Azul (Blue Circuit) is located, with more than 15 kilometers of sandy beaches, especially Santa María del Mar.
In Jardines del Rey (King's Gardens), one of Cuba's major tourist resorts, 30 kilometers of pristine beaches welcome tourists on Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo. The latter holds the highest dunes in the Caribbean (15 meters high).
In eastern Cuba, mainly in Holguín, where Bariay, the place where Admiral Christopher Columbus landed in 1492 is located, there are excellent beaches such as Guardalavaca, Esmeralda and Pesquero.
Diving enthusiasts can enjoy more than 70,000 kilometers of Cuba's insular platform and a dozen of specialized diving centers nationwide.
Cuba's mountain ecosystem is also influenced by the fast growth of the country's tourism sector, so many options include trekking and camping in the mountains.
Also in eastern Cuba is Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Baracoa, founded in 1511 and 1512 by Governor Diego Velázquez. Baracoa was Cuba's first capital and held the island's first archbishopric.
Another centuries-old city is the village of Santísima Trinidad (Holy Trinity), which was also among the first villages founded by the Spanish conquistadors in Cuba.
The list also includes the city of Camagüey, founded in 1514 as Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe, which is characterized by one-tower temples, façades with pillars, iron-wrought railings, inner portals and red-tile roofs.