Las Tunas province, in the eastern region of the largest Antillean Island, has become a fast-growing destination in Cuba's leisure industry, boasting many options, including excellent beaches, nature, culture and history.
The province's 265-kilometer (165-mile) coastline includes 35 pristine beaches characterized by crystal-clear water, coral reefs and white sand.
The development of tourism in that eastern province is taking place after several centuries during which the region's economic activity had focused on sugar production and cattle raising, in addition to recent steps in the iron and steel industry with the construction of one of the country's most modern plants.
One of the province's hot spots is the city of Puerto Padre, which was founded in 1869 and where many battles were waged during the Ten-Year War for Cuba's independence in the 19th century.
One of Puerto Padre's peculiar features is that the city's "malecón" (seawall) holds one of Cuba's few freshwater springs that flow into the sea.
The province's offers for foreign vacationers are complemented by preserves and forests, where they can enjoy nature, as well as medicinal mineral waters in the Jesús Menéndez municipality and several sites of rich speleological value.
Another attraction is the swamp, which holds the largest population of American crocodiles in the Caribbean, with nearly 20,000 specimens.
The province is rich in cultural and historic values, especially those related to Cuba's wars of independence in the 19th century, including Fuerte de la Loma (Hill's Fort), built by the Spanish Crown to defend its territory from Cubans' attacks.
Culture is a major attraction in Las Tunas, where the so-called Cucalambeano Festival - in honor of the Cuban poet Juan Cristóbal Nápoles Fajardo, also known as "El Cucalambé" - is complemented by other artistic manifestations, since the city of Las Tunas is known as he capital of sculptures.
Bird watching is a major attraction in Bahía de Malagueta, one of the four bird-watching sites in the province, inhabited by ducks, pelicans and pink flamingos.
The first hotel for international tourism in Las Tunas was built in Covarrubias beach. It is a 120-room establishment with all modern amenities for leisure. The beach is protected by a three-kilometer (two-mile) coral reef.
With those options, the province has joined the dynamic development of the leisure industry throughout the country, as a key element in Cuban authorities' strategy for economic growth.
Efforts are aimed at filling the gap between Las Tunas and other provinces in the field of tourism, based on the natural potential of the territory, which covers an area of 6,584 square kilometers (2,542 square miles).