Cuba's leisure sector, which is growing as a result of an increase in tourist arrivals, is promoting several recreational options as complements to traditional sun and beach programs.
Nature, recreational nautical activities, extreme sports, ecotourism and cultural tourism are complemented by highly-demanded alternatives like golf, which is benefiting from large investments.
In that regard, letters of intent were signed by the state-owned company Cubagolf S.A. and German and Chinese firms to build real estate complexes.
According to the agreements, the Cuban company will set up a joint venture with the German firm CON-IMPEX Touristik to build a real estate complex in Punta Gorda, in the eastern province of Camagüey.
The first stage of the project will consist of about 500 apartments, an international marina for 300 boats and a 300-room five-star hotel.
For its part, the Chinese company Yantai Golden Mountain is interested in developing a real estate project linked to golf courses in Loma Linda, in Guardalavaca Beach, in eastern Holguin province.
The plans also include the Bello Monte project, 30 kilometers east of Havana, where the companies Cubagolf S.A. and Beijing Enterprises Holdings Limited, from China, will build a luxury hotel, apartments and houses in an area of 336 hectares.
It also includes the construction of 1,000 real estate units, a hotel with more than 100 rooms and an 18-hole golf course by the joint venture Carbonera S.A., with Cuban capital and from the British firm Esencia Hotels and Resorts.
There is another project in conjunction with the Spanish chain Globalia to build condominiums and golf courses in El Salado Beach, in western Cuba.
For several years, golf enthusiasts have enjoyed the facilities of the Varadero Golf Club, in Peñas de San Bernardino, where decades ago, the millionaire Irenne Du Pont de Nemours built a nine-hole golf course for his personal enjoyment in an exclusive area of 180 hectares.
The course, which was designed by the architect Les Furber, combines different styles, including the classic one, with broad lanes limited by trees and broad greens with little protection.
The millionaire's former mansion, which he called Xanadu, became the Club House, where visitors can enjoy liquors from several brands and countries.
Built in the 1920s, the mansion consists of 11 bathrooms, 11 rooms, seven balconies, furniture and a private pier, and it is a museum of precious timber, including mahogany, jiqui and sabicu, in a perfect combination with the unrepeatable tones of marble from Cuba, Spain and Italy.
For golf players, Xanadu is the perfect place to meet and rest after a game or a learning session in the nearly 40 hectares of the course, where the Caddie House offers its services.