Provinces of Cuba
Cuba is one of the most diverse islands in the Caribbean, geographically as well as culturally. It is divided into 15 provinces and a special municipality.
|Artemisa (2)||Camagüey (10)||Ciego de Avila (9)|
|Cienfuegos (6)||Granma (12)||Guantánamo (15)|
|Holguin (13)||Isla de la Juventud (16)||La Habana (3)|
|Las Tunas (11)||Matanzas (5)||Mayabeque (4)|
|Pinar del Rio (1)||Sancti Spiritus (8)||Santiago de Cuba (14)|
|Villa Clara (7)|
Artemisa is one of the newest provinces of Cuba. It is a rustic, naturally beautiful region with forests and farms. Artemisa, the capital of the province, is home to several cultural sites such as the Cafetal Angerona dating back to the period of great abundance in Cuba. Hotel Campoamor is another important historical landmark, dating back to 1911. It was visited by several important people like Gabriela Mistral and Ernest Hemingway.
The province of Camagüey is made up of several large cays with a number of good fishing spots. The northern coast of the province is home to Jardines del Rey, a stretch of islands with several beach resorts that are perfect for those looking for a peaceful break away from the crowds. Along both coasts are a number of sandy beaches that remain undeveloped. Santa Lucia beach is an exception, attracting a large number of tourists to the North Coast each year. For those interested in cultural and historical attractions, the province is home to cities like Nuevitas, Florida and Camagüey.
The province of Ciego de Avila is home to colonial cities and quaint rural towns with a very laid back vibe. Along the northern coast of the province are popular beach resorts with powdery sand and crystal clear waters. The resorts of Cayo Guillermo and Cayo Coco are particularly popular and attract a number of tourists each year. Ciego de Avila, the capital of the province, is another colonial city of Cuba. Although it is seldom explored by tourists, it does have a lot of attractions and charm.
Located in central Cuba, the province of Cienfuegos is a rural area with vast regions of cattle ranges, tobacco and sugar cane plantations. The capital city of Cienfuegos is a port town and a charming place to visit. It is home to a large seaside promenade as well as a number of excellent historical attractions like Cuba's only Arco de Triunfo and Palacio de Valle. The city is also home to a large botanic garden. Throughout the province there are a large number of dive sites and underwater caves. Great scuba diving opportunities attract locals as well as tourists to the province.
The province of Granma offers tourists the opportunity to experience authentic Cuba. It still has several reminders of the Wars of Independence and Cuban Revolution. There are several unmarked archaeological digs, fortified hamlets of many escaped slaves and sites of palenques. The plaques located in the mountains are reminders of the Fulgencio Batista struggle of 1959. The capital of the province is the city of Bayamo, the region's largest city.
The culture and architecture of this province is quite unique. The province is home to a number of Jamaican immigrants and so the buildings here are quite similar to those in New Orleans' French Quarter. Other than being home to the naval base of Guantánamo Bay, the province is also home to the exceptionally charming city of Baracoa. The city is home to several museums, forts dating back to the 1800s and spectacular hotels. Close to the city are several waterfalls like el Saltadero. Alejandro de Humboldt National Park is also located a short distance from the city.
Until very recently, Holguin was undiscovered by tourists. Today, the province's natural attractions and its beach resorts attract nature lovers from around the world.. Guardalavaca is a premier resort with its turquoise waters and white sand. Cayo Saetia and Playa Pesquero are also beautiful locations worth visiting. The capital city Holguin also attracts many because of its rich beauty and culture. For those interested in adventure and nature, Alejandro de Humboldt and Sierra Cristal National Parks and the Biosphere Reserve of Cuchillas del Toa are excellent places to visit.
Isla de la Juventud is Cuba's special municipality. The major attraction here is scuba diving because of the crystal clear waters, underwater caves, corals and wrecks. Most scuba sites are easily accessible from the maritime park of Punta Frances with its white sandy beach. Playa Bibijagua and Playa Paraiso are the other popular beaches located near Nueva Gerona. Other than beaches, the island is also home to well preserved and elaborate cave paintings.
La Habana is a province, capital city and a major port. It attracts millions of tourists each year because of its wealth of cultural and historical attractions. Havana offers a mix of beautiful white sandy beaches, colonial buildings, modern attractions and museums to its visitors. It is an enchanting and lively city that has something for everyone. Old Havana is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to fortresses, churches, palaces and museums. Many of the original buildings have been restored, making it a delight for those interested in architecture.
The province of Las Tunas includes several major cities like Amancio, Puerto Padre and the province's capital, Las Tunas. Puerto Padre had originally been a small town in the 16th century. It played a major role in the independence wars and is a tourist center today. Tourists are attracted by its quaint streets, hilltop fortress and beautiful views. There are several virgin beaches in the area including La Llanita, La Boca and El Rail that attract visitors as well as locals. Other than the beaches, Puerto Padre is also home to important churches, museums and monuments.
Matanzas is one of the largest and most popular provinces in Cuba for tourists. It is home to Varadero with its spectacular white beach and luxurious resorts that attracts thousands each year. The province is also home to several good natural attractions like wetlands, swamps and mangroves that offer ample fishing, bird-watching and wildlife-watching opportunities. Those interested in scuba diving will find Playa Larga and Playa Giron to be great options. For cultural attractions, the cities of Cardenas and Matanzas offer a number of beautiful colonial era architectural attractions.
The province is home to the Mayabeque River and the Mayabeque beach, believed to be the location of the Havana village that was first founded in the year 1514. It is one of the newest provinces of Cuba. It is also the least populated and the smallest province. The economy of this province is based mainly on livestock farming and agriculture. The province is also home to two major rum factories and an industrial sector.
Located at Cuba's western end, the province of Pinar del Rio is home to many natural attractions. Viñales is a beautiful hamlet located in a valley that is surrounded by beautiful karst hills. It is a major tourist destination and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The location offers caves, mountain biking, bird watching and hiking opportunities.
Sancti Spiritus in Central Cuba is one of the oldest settlements in the country and home to some of Cuba's major attractions. Trinidad is a major colonial city with its beautiful cobblestone streets and restored historic buildings. Plaza Mayor in Cuba features pastel colored houses, Spanish colonial architecture and beautiful attractions like Convento de San Francisco and Santisima Trinidad Cathedral. Just a short trip away from Trinidad are Casilda Bay and Topes de Collantes, popular ecotourism centers. There are also a number of pristine white sand beaches around the city. The capital city of Sancti Spiritus is home to quaint historic buildings and churches.
The natural beauty of the province of Santiago de Cuba has been attracting a very large number of visitors from around the world. The province's Bocano Park is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The capital of the province, Santiago de Cuba, is an important tourist attraction in its own right. It is a major cultural centre and had been home to some of the country's important musicians like Nico Saquito, Eliades Ochoa and Ibrahim Ferrer. One of the major attractions in the city is the San Pedro de la Roca citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its exceptional architectural style.
The province of Villa Clara is home to lively colonial cities as well as spectacular natural sights. Villa Clara Cays is a beautiful wildlife refuge. For clear waters and sandy white beaches, head to Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Ensenachos and Cayo Las Brujas. The city of Santa Clara is a university town and home to a large Che Guevara memorial. Surrounding Parque Vidal at the heart of Santa Clara are a number of interesting attractions like Gran Hotel, Santa Clara Libre and Teatro de la Caridad. Just north is the charming city of Remedios with its beautiful colonial architecture.