The Cuban archipelago, a fast-growing tourist destination in the Caribbean region, offers a wide range of natural, historic and cultural options for the thousands of foreign vacationers who visit the island nation every year.
Cuba's exuberant nature, centuries-old traditions and history are complemented by more than 70,000 kilometers of Cuba's insular platform and 5,000 kilometers of coastline, including 600 kilometers of beaches, bathed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
Traditional sun and beach options are complemented by nature tourism, scuba diving and snorkeling, and bird watching.
In central Cuba, made up of Cienfuegos, Sancti Spiritus and Villa Clara provinces, tourists can practice ecotourism and nautical sports, as well as learning about the island's history and traditions.
The city of Cienfuegos, also known as the Pearl of the South, offers an excellent tourist product, in which the Bay of Jagua – the venue of major nautical events – and small beaches on the Caribbean Sea are ideal sites for scuba diving and snorkeling.
The development of Cuba's tourism industry has also involved the keys surrounding the main island, as major projects have been carried out on Villa Clara's northern keys, which boast several kilometers of excellent beaches and pristine nature.
A 48-kilometer-long causeway over the sea connects the largest island of the Cuban archipelago with the keys Santa María, Las Brujas, Ensenachos, Cobos, Majá, Fragoso, Francés, Las Picúas and Español de Adentro, among others.
A system of canals becomes an aquatic labyrinth between the keys, offering a huge potential for diving programs and nautical activities.
Sancti Spiritus, the fourth of seven villages founded by the Spaniards in the 16th century, treasures architectural, historic, traditional, cultural and natural values, which create an attractive and singular combination.
The five-century-old village of San Cristóbal de La Habana, one of the first villages founded by the Spanish conquistadors, is one of the most faithful exponents of Spanish colonial architecture in Cuba and its prominence dates back to the late 16th century.
In addition, Old Havana, which was declared Humankind's Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), holds nearly 140 buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries, and about 200 houses from the 18th century and more than 460 buildings from the 19th century.
In Guantánamo, Cuba's easternmost province, Baracoa is visited by thousands of foreign tourists every year interested in watching the famous Cruz de la Parra (Cross of Vine) in the Parochial Church, one of 29 crosses erected by Admiral Christopher Columbus throughout the country.