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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Western Cuba: A Combination of Nature, Beaches and History

The western region of the largest Antillean island, which includes the provinces of Pinar del Río, Havana, the City of Havana and Matanzas, as well as the Isle of Youth special municipality, shows a true combination of nature, beaches and history in its offers for tourism.

The Cuban capital, a tourist destination par excellence, is also one of the key elements in the region, backed up by rich historical and cultural traditions and boasting such attractions as the Castle of the Three Kings of El Morro and the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña, which are world-famous defensive constructions.

Thousands of tourists who every year visit the Cuban capital, which is favored by its strategic geographical location, feel attracted to colonial promenades such as El Prado and the Alameda de Paula.

The country's westernmost province, Pinar del Río, is where the world's best tobacco is cultivated. Its offers are complemented with the Viñales Valley, declared Humankind's Cultural Landscape, the Las Terrazas complex, the first project for sustainable tourism in rural areas, and the medicinal waters of San Diego de los Baños.

The Guanahacabibes Peninsula boasts excellent facilities for diving at the International Center in María la Gorda, where there exist large colonies of black coral in its 40 diving spots.

Havana, considered the capital's safe rearguard, has beaches of warm and calm waters in Jibacoa, which is flanked by high reefs that provide a special sense of privacy.

View of Alameda de Paula
Cueva del Indio, Viñales
Viñales Valley is one of the natural attractions

Beautiful landscapes such as the Escaleras de Jaruco, where many reefs and caverns turn the territory into a special scenario for adventure and speleological research, stand out in the province.

South of Cuba is the Isle of Youth special municipality, the second largest island among the 600 islets that make up the Cuban archipelago, with the renowned El Colony international diving center and more than 200 aboriginal pictographs in Punta del Este's cave number 1.

Another tourist destination in the Western Region is Cayo Largo del Sur, which has been linked to the leisure industry over the past two decades, and boasts 24 kilometers of excellent beaches and many facilities for vacationers.

However, the largest diversity of tourist attractions in the region is concentrated in Matanzas, especially the world-famous Varadero Beach, with a wide gamut of offers to meet the needs of the most demanding tourists.

Other options include the Cayo Piedras del Norte marine park, which is a heavenly place for diving, and the Punta Hicacos ecological reserve, inhabited by 662 species of birds around the Mangón Lagoon, in addition to aboriginal pictographs in the Ambrosio and the Musulmanes caves.

Southern Matanzas holds the Zapata Swamp Biosphere Reserve, a stronghold for nature tourism and an excellent place to practice cave diving, in addition to being considered the largest swamp in the Caribbean.

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