Other regions in Cuba Holidays
Other regions in Cuba
As of 1976, it was necessary to appropriately divide the Cuban country according with the needs of planning, administration and the control of economic, political and social activities.
Cuba is currently divided into 14 provinces and 169 municipalities, one of them with special characteristics and status. From west to east the provinces are named as follows: Pinar del Rio, La Habana, Ciudad de La Habana, Matanzas, Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Sancti Spiritus, Ciego de Avila, Camagüey, Las Tunas, Holguin, Granma, Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo. The special municipality known as the Isle of Youth is located on the south coast of the Havana Provinces.
The criteria for the creation of the new limits between provinces consisted of the similarity in the characteristics of fundamental indicators, like extension, population and economic conditions. Here, there are some of its characteristics.
Pinar del RioPinar del Rio is the third largest province in our country. Although its territory is mostly plain, it comprises also many mountains like the ones in Guaniguanico divided in Los Organos and Rosario Sierras. The highest mountain in this area is the Guajaibon Pan, with 699 meters over the sea level.
Vinales, National Monument and one of the most beautiful landscapes in the island constitute the most important tourist place of the province. The Rosario Sierra, biosphere reserve, comprises more than 800 species of plants, 34% of which are endemic, and almost all the animal species of the Island, like the Zunzun or fly bird, known to be the smallest bird in the planet. Soroa is located in this area. This zone keeps the highest Orquideario of Cuba, with 750 varieties, 250 of which are national, that give their colors and aroma to the travelers
In the Rosario Sierra is also located "Las Terrazas" tourist complex, with surprising sceneries, more than 800 vegetable species and 73 types of birds.
In the most occidental part of Pinar del Rio, marking the limits of the Island, there is the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, with the National Park of the same name and the natural reserves "El Veral" and "Cabo Corrientes", in which there are lots of caves with archaeological rests and coral formations in perfect conditions for diving. The International Diving Center, Maria la Gorda, located in this area, favors practicing the aquatic sports where its 8 kilometers of fine sand and quiet waters reminds the legend of a big fat woman named Maria who was hijacked in Venezuela by pirates and later leave here in this piece of land.
La HabanaHavana is the agricultural support of Havana City. It is almost surrounding the Capital of Cuba that is why there are lots of beaches that pertain to Havana, such as Jibacoa in the Northeast part, located half way between Havana City and Varadero.
Walking to the occidental part of the province we can find "El Salado" spa, with an intimate beach surrounded by coral formations in excellent conditions for diving, just 30 km from Jose Marti International Airport. It is easy to get to Artemisa from there, a place where The Sugar Cane Ranch and the ruins of the famous La Angerona coffee plantation deserve to be visited. The cattle's rising is very much developed in this province, in big farms like "Picadura Valley", "Los Naranjos" and "Nina Bonita (Pretty Girl)".
The biggest rum production plant of Latin America, "Santa Cruz", is located in the last town with the same name, where the famous rum "Havana Club" is prepared.
San Antonio de los Banos hosts the Humor Festival dedicated to the memory of the humorist Marcos Behemaras, where one can enjoy some days of jokes, songs and caricatures.
Ciudad de La Habana (Havana City)Havana City was founded in 1519 by Diego Velazquez. It was moved twice until getting to the privileged place that occupies today in the North Occidental coast of the Island.
It was entitle the Capital of Cuba 40 years later and in its harbor, all the Spanish ships coming from the continent stopped here to defend from corsairs and pirates with their storerooms full of gold and silver. This naval traffic developed commerce and it helped develop the City as well, more than any other in the country. Havana City, as capital of Cuba, concentrates the maximum functions of the State and Government.
The productions of the Industries in Havana City are an important share in the economy of the country. Havana's harbor is the most important one of Cuba and through it come and goes half of the Cuban imports and exports.
The visitors say that once one gets Havana City it is not like any other. Its streets, its houses, its people, the malecon, are unique and there is always a sea aroma that makes the city impossible to forget.
Havana City is the smallest of the Cuban provinces but is the most populated. There are different architectonic styles in the city, from houses of the XVII to modern constructions. And the most curious thing!! It is the only City in the world which is capital for 3 times. Capital of Cuba, Capital of 2 provinces; Havana and Havana City.
MatanzasIt was founded in 1689 by neighbors from a coastal village that were escaping from the attacks from pirates and privateers. Its capital, Santa Clara, is located in the center of Cuba. Landmarks for hunting, reservoirs to fish the trout, and the only square in the island with two churches and an image of the Immaculate Conception in state of pregnancy are among the attractive things in the province. There is also Caibarien, the fishermen people connected, by a rustic road system, to various virgin keys; and the Hanabanilla, artificial lake surrounded by mountains.
In the north part of the municipalities of Sagua la Grande and Caibarien can be found the Fauna refuge of the keys at the north of the province, with a extension of 78 thousand hectares formed by the islets of Santa Maria, Las Brujas, Ensenachos, Cobos, Maja, Fragoso, Frances, Las Picuas and Espanol de Adentro.
In these keys we can find lizards, mollusk and birds endemic of that place, accompanied with a flora that includes 248 species, 91 of which serve for medical purposes, 72 timber-yielding, 41 meliferous, and 40 ornamental, with 29 originally from Cuba. Health tourism lovers can enjoy the medicinal waters of "Elguea, a modern facility that offers a wide variety of therapeutic modalities including thermal baths, therapeutic massage electrotherapy, treatments to face stress, and some others.
The province is formed by various towns such as Remedios, famous for its traditional "parrandas", which take place every year in its streets, and almost all the people assist grouped in two bands as friendly rivals. These festivities that began in 1870, show today to the travelers the influence of the different cultures that coincided in the formation of the Cuban nation. The Memorial Museum "Ernesto Che Guevara" was opened in 1997 and it keeps the rests of the Heroic Guerrilla Man and of his fellows, who all died in Bolivia.
CienfuegosCienfuegos City was founded in 1819 with the name of Fernandina de Jagua by French Colonos from Burdeos, and it is mostly known as the South Pearl. It is an attractive port city with coast only to the Caribbean and a beautiful bay very much wanted long ago by colonizer and pirates. The French influence is prominent and it decided its development in architecture and agriculture in its first years of existence; that is the case of the "Arch of Triumph" similar to the one in Paris, rose in the historical center of the province. These special characteristics let it develop tourism with a distinctive product.
With a lot of palaces, parks, theaters, churches and its Prado walk, which ends in the sea, Cienfuegos shows to the world the charms of Terry Theater and Valle Palace. In the Bay, the fortress of Our Lady of Angels of Sagua, built in 1745, shows the kind of military architecture of the XVIII Century in Cuba. By the time it was built, it was the only one of its type in the center of the Island to defend itself from the attacks of the corsairs and pirates.
The sea bottom is ideal for diving, with coral formations of low and media depth. In the area, there are some diving centers that provide services, such us Faro Luna and Guajimico, with initiation courses, day and night immersions in submerged ships and in reef, as well as trips in catamaran, aqua bikes and kayak.
Sancti SpiritusThis province has two of the first Villages founded by the Spanish conquerors in 1514: Sancti Spiritus and Trinidad, and it also have the biggest artificial lake of the country; the Zaza Dam, where trout fishing is practiced.
Sancti Spiritus, capital of the Province, was founded in 1514 almost in the middle of the Island. This city counts on a historical center with buildings from the XVII and XIX Centuries. Trinidad, known as the Museum City of Cuba, was founded also in 1514 with the name of Santisima Trinidad Village, and it was declared Mankind Patrimony by UNESCO for being one of the most complete architectonic wholes of the American Continent.
Trinidad combines characteristics of the XVIII and XIX Centuries with the first years of the XX Century, that's why its stoned streets lead the visitors to its artistic balconies and multi color facades in the buildings, each of them a museum itself.
Travelers can find great architectural monuments like the Mayor Square or the Santisima Trinidad Church or the Santisima Trinidad Church, one of the biggest of Cuba. It treasures valuable artistic religious works of the Island, among them the famous Vera Cruz Christ, as well as a marble altar aimed to Mercy Virgin, unique in Cuba, and other religious images of great value. There are cultural options such us the Romantic and the Archaeology Museums.
The San Luis Valley or Valley of the Sugar Cane Refineries, Cuban Sugar Cane Industry Museum, shows 75 ruins of sugar cane refineries, summer houses, barracks and other facilities related to sugar production. In that place we can find the famous tower of Manaca-Iznaga, built in 1816 with 45 meters high, ended in a big bell that marked the beginning and end of the sugar cane plantation works. This zone treasures the protected natural landscape "Topes de Collantes" in the mountain group "Escambray" with almost 12 500 hectares long and exuberant vegetation, numerous animal species and rainy climate that favors life of orchids, moss, lichen, alborescent ferns, pines and eucalyptus.
Ciego de AvilaThis province is one of the most promising tourist destinations of Cuba due to the construction of a stony road from the province to "Cayo Guillermo" and "Cayo Coco".
"Cayo Coco", the fourth biggest islet of Cuba, has about 370 square km of land and 22 km of beaches, with wide vegetation. The origin of the name comes from the bird called White Ibis; commonly know as Coco bird, which provides personality to the region due to its brilliant colors. It is expected to build an important tourist center of about 22 thousand rooms.
"Cayo Coco" joins "Cayo Guillermo" in 18 km, 5 of which are beaches like "El Pilar", named after the ship of the famous North American writer Ernest Hemingway.
There is also a great infrastructure for nautical activities, where the Coco-Guillermo and Jucaro Marines provide 16 moorings for ships, together with the necessary facilities to get water, oil, electric power, protection and programs to ensure life on board and diving practice. This last activity can be practiced in the diving centers Abalone, Action Sport and Coco Diving Center with an offer that includes day and night immersions in coral formations and caves and spectacular shark show in the first of these facilities. The Marlin Coco Cay Marina gives the chance of an integral offer with its yacht and catamaran trips, some of which have glass button to watch the sea soils. In addition, the traveler has the chance of getting into aqua bikes to enjoy the beaches and the sceneries.
Beyond the islet systems that are around the Province, Ciego de Avila counts on a strong potential in the sugar cane industry and on a rooted culture, part of which can be appreciated in the Moron Municipal Museum where there are more than 1600 aborigine archeological pieces that were found in 1947 near of what is now Moron City.
Ciego de Avila is a great place to rest and forget the noisy environment of the big cities.
CamagueyIt was founded in 1515 under the name of Santa Maria del Puerto del Principe.
The colonial architecture is present in its fenced houses with tile roofs, big gates, inside yards, squares, churches and alleys, all pervaded with the fights for independence against the Spanish colonialism during the 19th Century.
This region, mostly plain, is about 16 thousand square kilometers long, lots of which are beach areas, which is extremely good to develop tourism in the Province. There is one 20 km beach called Santa Lucia in the north coast which is a paradise on earth, very quiet where silence is only broken by the shouts of seagulls and flamingoes. In font of its coast we will find the biggest coral formation of Cuba, with 36 km long that protects the coast from the violent currents of the Bahamas Old Canal, and is an excellent place for diving.
The visitors will be able to count on specialized equipment and devices in two diving centers and a marine that invite to meet the great Caribbean blue in fishing, day and night immersions in submerged ships and spectacular shark show. And for the sea sports lovers we offer aqua bikes, Remo boats, sail boats and trips in catamaran. In the islets grouped in Jardines de la Reina archipelago in the South and in part of the so called Sabana-Camaguey, in the North, the visitors will find great virgin beaches and abundant nature.
Las TunasLas Tunas is located in the Oriental part of Cuba. This province, dedicated itself to sugar cane production and cattle, and nowadays, it is making its first steps in tourism.
The offer to the travelers is addressed to hunting places, and forest for the Nature Tourism, medicinal matters and the biggest American Crocodiles Reservoir of the Caribbean with almost 20 000 animals of that specie.
Its coasts offer virgin beaches of high quality with limpid waters, coral formations and white sand. The Puerto Padre City is also a cultural option. People began to live there by 1869 and there were important battles during the independence wars.
The Capital of the province is known as the city of the sculptures and there are relevant cultural sites all over the province such as the monument to the poet Juan Cristobal Napoles Fajardo "El Cucalambe". The so called "Cucalambeana Period" gathers high artistic values, strong literary movements and lots of historical attractions. The Museum "General Vicente Garcia" shows the fighting traditions against the enemies of independence that is the pride of the inhabitants of this province.
In this region, one of the most important milk obtaining projects is being developed, for which we count on the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and of the World Food Program (WFP). The most modern steel Industry of the country is also in Las Tunas.
HolguinThis province is located in the Oriental part of Cuba; with a territory of 9300 square kilometer long and a population of one and half million and wide possibilities to develop tourism, rest and entertainment.
Christopher Columbus, our founder, got to Cuba for the first time on October, 1492, and disembarked in Bariay, in the North coast of Holguin, and he said "this is the most beautiful land that human eyes could ever see", due to its colorful and varied vegetation, its warm climate and the beauty of its coasts. About 14 important cities are located in this province. Among them, we can highlight Banes, archaeological capital of Cuba, Mayari and Moa, mine centers rich in nickel and chromium deposits, in addition to Gibara, also called White Village.
One of the most famous beaches of the province, Guardalavaca, offers an exuberant coral formation, interesting cliffs and curious vegetation. For the navigation lovers, the Marina Gaviota Bahia de Naranjo, provide dock possibilities for nine vessels with services of water, electric power, security, repair and maintenance, in addition to offers of catamaran and sailboats excursions and the attractions of an Aquarium with trained dolphins and sea wolfs. There are important diving centers and the Guardalavaca Marina, as well as the tourist complement is in Saetia Cay, where the biggest hunting landmark of Cuba is located.
In the Archaeology Museum Chorro de Maita, there is lots of evidence of the aborigine culture, made of gold and of other materials. This place shows the unique sample of funeral habits of our first inhabitants, and there is an aborigine graveyard where there are 56 of the 108 skeletons that were found in that place, and there is also an idol in a bird head shape that represents God Inriri Cahababayael.
GranmaGranma is located in the southeast of the Island, and offers a spectacular nature, a combination between mountains and sea and a rich historical tradition. Bayamo, the main city of the province, is one of the first villages that the Spanish founded on the XVI Century, and it was burned by its inhabitants in 1869 to avoid the occupation of the Spanish colonial troops. This city is the National Anthem place of birth.
In 1608 the Bishop of Cuba, Juan de las Cabezas de Altamirano was kidnapped in Bayamo by the French pirate Gilberto Giron who asked a high ransom for him. The people of Bayamo did not accepted that and instead, they attacked, rescue him and killed the pirate. This situation inspired the first poem that was written in Cuba "Espejo de Paciencia".
On December, 1956 the Granma Yatch disembarked on Las Coloradas Beach, and initiated the final stage of the fight for independence that ended with the Revolution triumph in 1959. In the mountains of the province is the 40% of the history of the country.
There is the huge prairie of the Cauto River, the largest of the country, and the mountain system of Sierra Maestra where the highest peak of Cuba is located, Turquino Peak with 1974 meters over the sea level.
The climate is a mixture between hot temperatures in the plains and cold in the mountains, with exuberant vegetation and lots of springs, together with the hunting landmark of Viramas and Marea del Portillo, the special black sand beach. There is a great diving center in this area, where the travelers can get initiation courses, immersions in coral formations and in submerged ships. They also have the chance of trips in aqua bikes, catamaran, and kayaks.
Santiago de CubaThis Oriental province was founded in 1514 by the Spanish conquerors and it was the first Capital of the Island. Nowadays it is one of the most important tourist poles of Cuba. In 1522 it received the title of "City" and all through the XVI and XVII Centuries it was constantly attacked by corsairs and pirates which made the authorities to build a lot of fortresses to defend from them.
As example of that we have San Pedro de la Roca Castle, declared Mankind Patrimony by UNESCO, built between 1638 and 1643 by the famous Italian engineer Juan Bautista Antonelly. The Piracy Museum is in this fortress.
Santiago de Cuba, surrounded by the mountain group "Sierra Maestra" is a city of Lomas and slanting streets with a rich history always linked to the independence fights.
It gathers an African, Spanish and French heritage, which defined the race and personality of its citizens. The cosmopolitan center is in the Cespedes Park, named honoring Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, Father of Cuba. In this Park we can find the cathedral, the municipal Palace, the laddered street Padre Pico and Diego Velazquez house, considered to be the most ancient of the continent.
Baconao Park is a Biosphere Reservoir located between Sierra Maestra and the Caribbean Sea. We can find a dense vegetation in its 80 000 hectares, together with excellent beaches for diving. Baconao also offers the cultural option of the Science Museum, an Aquarium and the prehistory Valley, which shows 200 stone sculptures in natural size that represent the fauna of the planet millions of years ago. For navigation lovers, Santiago de Cuba offers the Marlin Punta Gorda Marina, with capacity for 30 vessels with services of drinking water, power light, fuel, minor repair and crew renting together with fishing and yacht and catamaran excursions.
There are three diving centers in the province: Bucanero, Sigua and Sierramar, which offer initiation courses, day and night immersions in coral formations and caves as well as in the war ships from the Spanish Crew of the Admiral Cervera that were sunken hundred years ago.
Excellent tourist facilities and the permanent smile of its people assure a happy staying in Santiago de Cuba where a roasted pork meat accompanied by a cold beer will give you the welcome to the hottest place of Cuba. At the end of any Creole food or accompanying a conversation, the hot and exquisite cup of black coffee cannot fail.
GuantanamoIt is located in the most oriental part of the Island, about 1000 km from Havana City and with a great contrast because it presents almost desert-like areas very close to the exuberant vegetation of the mountains. 99% of its territory is covered by mountains.
The most attractive part of the province is the Village "Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion de Baracoa", founded by Diego Velazquez in 1512. Its inhabitants are very affable and the city is surrounded by abrupt coasts, foliage, mountains, and rivers. Guantanamo was the first capital of Cuba and it was named after an aborigine word meaning "sea existence".
The City was always being attacked by corsairs and pirates that burned it in 1652, that is why the Spanish colony created in Baracoa a strong defense system with La Punta, Seboruco and Matachin Forts, as well as Joa and Caguase fortified towers.
The first parochial church of the Island was built in this Village, with a bust of the aborigine Hatuey, a symbol of rebelliousness, some meters away from the entrance. This church keeps inside the "Grape Cross", brought to Cuba by its finder, Christopher Columbus, on December 1492. Baracoa is one of the few regions of the Island that the aborigines could escape to the mountains and survive colonization. That is why we can see features of the aborigines in the people at the present time. From the City one can see the "Sleeping Beauty", mountain that has in its surface, the form of a woman lied taking the sun, and also the famous Yunque of Baracoa.
The economy is centered in the coffee and cacao cultivation.
Special Municipality Isle of YouthThe Evangelist, the first name given by Christopher Columbus to this Isle, was the place where corsairs and pirates made their wrongdoing, until the Revolution Triumph in 1959. Known as The Pine Isle until 1975, it received its current name after thousand of young people that studied and developed them selves there.
The isle has a beautiful sea soil with virgin coral formations of diverse species and caves, all perfect for diving in the Colon Center that has grate offers with day and night immersions, sub marine picture and a Marina with dock facilities for 15 vessels with services of water, electric power, fuel and others.
Its beaches and compact jungles with stony grounds, palm trees and sulfurous water springs are very much appreciated by the travelers.
Concerning history, and for the history lovers, the Farm Museum El Abra, declared National Monument, treasures samples of the time Jose Marti stayed there, as well as some of his personal objects. In the same condition is the sadly famous Model Prison, one of a kind in Latin America. In its jails, Cuba independence fighters spent much time, among them Fidel Castro Ruz and other young who took Moncada Headquarters in 1953.
The attractive black sand beach Bibijagua, the Sucu Sucu typical dance and the well known cave system of Punta del Este beach, declared National Monument, are great options for those who want to live interesting experiences.