The province of Villa Clara, in central Cuba, is an inevitable crossing point for the thousands of tourists who travel through the Caribbean island every year.
The territory, populated before the arrival of the Spaniards by aboriginal people who dedicated to collection, hunting and fishing, had its first village in San Juan de los Remedios (1514), which was the eighth town established by the colonizers in the country.
In 1689, the inhabitants who fled from the attacks of corsairs and pirates founded the city of Santa Clara, the current capital Villa Clara province and the nucleus of the later development of other towns.
Founded in the late 17th century, Santa Clara treasures a wealth of history, architecture and culture that make it stand out among all Cuban cities.
As in most of Cuban cities, Santa Clara's development started in heart in the so-called Plaza de Armas (Arms Square), which was later called, among other names, El Recreo Park, and is currently known as the Leoncio Vidal Park.
Declared a National Monument in the late 1990s, the aforementioned area also holds important monumental works that recall events of the struggles for independence in Cuba for more than a century.
Moreover, the Hotel Santa Clara Libre, inaugurated in 1956 and one of the tallest buildings in Santa Clara stands out in the architectural context as a kind of viewpoint that allows people to contemplate the city in its entire splendor and at the same time it serves as an orientation point to vacationers who visit the provincial capital.
In 1885, La Caridad Theater was built in the space occupied by the Chapel of La Candelaria; which was the first temple in the village and had been constructed in 1696 on the initiative of Father Juan de Conyedo.
Santa Clara carefully keeps the original names of its neighborhoods and precisely, in the surroundings of the Leoncio Vidal Park, there are important sites like the Jose Marti Library, which served as tribune in 1899 to Generalissimo Maximo Gomez during his visit to the territory.
The province also offers kilometers of beautiful pristine beaches and a unique natural environment, being one of the most promising destinations in Cuba's tourism industry, which is in constant development.
The tourist infrastructure of the territory includes hunting grounds and artificial reservoirs for the trout fishing, in addition to the keys, which are connected to mainland by a road of about 50 kilometers built on the sea.
For those interested in health tourism, the spa of Elguea in Villa Clara offers its mineral-medicinal waters.
Nature enthusiasts can stay at the Hanabanilla Hotel, which offers 125 rooms with all amenities required by modern tourism, in close contact with the environment.
South of the city of Santa Clara is the Cubanacan Protected Area, a true natural paradise and a refuge for amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds, including ten species on the country's list of endemic groups.