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Recreation and History in Eastern Cuba
Date: JUL 30, 2007
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Cuba, a major tourist destination in the Caribbean region, offers unique options that combine history and recreation, in addition to nature and beaches.

The Caribbean Island's warm climate, characterized by moderate winters and hot summers, turns a pleasant swim in Cuba's many beaches into a need.

In addition to the world-renowned coastal resort of Varadero, vacationers can enjoy other excellent beaches like Santa Lucía, in the eastern province of Camagüey, where sun, sand and crystal-clear water make a perfect combination.

More than 20 kilometers of beaches run along Camagüey's north coast, turned into a true natural swimming pool by the country's largest coral reef, which is some 200 meters off the coastline.

The reef, which runs parallel to the keys Sabinal, Guajaba, Cruz and Romano, protects the region's marine fauna and flora.

Santa Lucía is also an excellent place for scuba diving and snorkeling, as it offers 35 dive sites, some of which keep the remains of sunken ships from the Spanish colonial period and World War II.

In addition, the city of Camagüey, founded 493 years ago, has a rich historic and cultural wealth.

Founded under the name of Villa de Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe on the Bay of Nuevitas, the city was moved hinterland, on the banks of the Caonao River. It was moved to its present location later, when it was officially called Camagüey.

Also known as "the city of tinajones", Camagüey is famous for those large earthenware jars, which were used centuries ago to collect rainwater for human consumption and currently decorate gardens and parks.

The city combines modernity with history in an environment where buildings are closely related to historic attractions that give the city a special touch.

In fact, Camagüey's streets are winding and sometimes they make a triangle or come to a dead end at one of the city's many squares.

The main square in Camagüey is the so-called Ignacio Agramonte Park, built in 1528 as the Arms Square. The park remains to be the nucleus of the city's architectural structure despite the many changes Camagüey has undergone through time.

Other major buildings in Camagüey are the Principal Theater, built in 1850 and decorated with marble and glass, and the 18-century Church of Mercy, where visitors can appreciate the beauty of the silver Holy Sepulcher, the largest of its kind in the country.

The exuberance of Cuban flora is present at Casino Campestre, the largest urban park in the interior of the country. It is an excellent place for reflection and spiritual recreation, decorated with statues of prominent figures of Cuban history.

City of Camagüey
Santa Lucia. Mayanabo
Camagüey. Patio with "tinajones" (large earthenware jars)
Camagüey. Principal Theater
Santa Lucia. Mayanabo
San Juan de Dios Square
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    City of Camagüey

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    City of Camagüey Santa Lucia. Mayanabo Camagüey. Patio with "tinajones" (large earthenware jars) Camagüey. Principal Theater Santa Lucia. Mayanabo San Juan de Dios Square Santa Lucía Club Villa Tararaco.Santa Lucia Santa Lucia. Villa Tararaco Santa Lucia. Caracol Club Church of Our Lady of Las Mercedes
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