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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Camagüey: Heritage and Beaches

Camagüey, Cuba's largest province, holds major cultural and historic values that are combined with the attractions provided by Santa Lucía Beach.

More than 100 kilometers of excellent beaches are available to foreign tourists interested in enjoying history and leisure, complemented by Sierra de Cubitas, an excellent site for nature enthusiasts.

It is there where Santa Lucía Beach, one of the world's most beautiful beaches, due to its crystal-clear water, is located, in addition to having the world's second longest coral reef and several colonies of pink flamingos.

In perfect combination of paradise and adventure, a long chain of keys, many of which are uninhabited and have pristine beaches, is offered as a recreational option.

Meanwhile, the city of Camagüey, the provincial capital, is among the first seven villages founded by the Spanish conquistadors in Cuba.

With a five-century history, the village was founded as Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe and was initially located on the Bay of Nuevitas and later moved to the banks of the Caonao River before being founded in its current location.

City of Camagüey
City of Camagüey
Church of Our Lady of Las Mercedes

The city took its current name after Indian Chief Camagüebax, who ruled in the region between the rivers Tínima and Hatibonico, where the first houses were built.

Also known as the city of "tinajones" (large earthenware jars), Camagüey is also characterized by the presence of those huge containers, which were used centuries ago to store rainwater for human consumption and now decorate the city's gardens and parks.

Camagüey is a city with one-tower temples, façades with pilasters, windows with artistic iron-wrought railings, houses with interior halls and red-tile roofs that were built in a labyrinth of narrow streets.

In fact, Camagüey's streets were designed in a capricious manner, as they run straight in short segments and then create a triangle or lead to a dead end in one of the many squares of the ancient village.

Therefore, there are streets that are less than one meter wide or four meters long, like the place known as Cinco Esquinas del Angel (Five Corners of the Angel), a picturesque site that illustrates the peculiar design of the city.

The main area in the city is the Ignacio Agramonte Park, which was built in 1528 as the Arms Square and which has remained the nucleus of the city's architectural structure, despite the changes made over the years.

Closer to our days is the Principal Theater, built in 1850 with abundant marble and glass. The Church of Mercy, which holds a Holy Sepulcher made of silver, the largest piece of that kind in Cuba, was built in the 18th century.

In addition, Camagüey's historic heart was declared Humankind's Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Cuba's exuberant flora is present at Casino Campestre, the largest urban park in the interior of the country and a great place for reflection and enjoyment among its statues, which honor outstanding figures of Cuba's history.

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