Travel #TheCubanWay: 3 cities to discover from Cuba’s nothern keys
The Cuban Keys are world-famous for their blue and transparent waters and calm surroundings, ideal for relaxing. In addition, there are other activities you can perform once you are in Cayo Santa María, Cayo Guillermo or Cayo Coco, for example. This is the perfect opportunity to do nature tourism and enjoy the center of the Island in close-up, a place pledged with history, culture and hospitality. These are 3 cities you can discover starting from the Cuban Keys:
Stuck in the middle of the Island, Santa Clara shares a unique bond with the legendary Che Guevara, the most remarkable guerrillero, in honor of whom there is a big monument/memorial assiduously visited. Also related with this is the armored train monument at the east side of Parque Vidal, repeating back the skillful movement of Che Guevara in 1958 when history was made. Santa Clara’s four main ecclesial buildings lie a few blocks from Parque Vidal and the city’s oldest and most interesting church, the Iglesia de Nuestra Senora del Carmen is a must.
The mirror-like Lago Hanabanilla is another highlight and a chance to other outdoor adventure possibilities.
Ciego de Avila
Not much is often said about this exotic city, and the truth is it has some Cuban and regional characteristics really worth-mentioning. The most modern of Cuba’s provincial capitals, Ciego de Avila was founded in 1840. Its inhabitants are innately proud of their city, which they refer to affectionately as ‘’the city of porches’’. More notables are the attractions to the immediate north: a patchwork of nature reserves including Parque Nacional El Bagá, Jardines de la Reina and Cuba’s largest natural lake, the lime-filled Laguna de la Leche, named by its reflective underwater lime deposits. Among the museums, Museo Provincial Simon Reyes, is possibly one of the best presented municipal museums in Cuba with fascinating exhibits and explanations on the province’s rich collection of traditional festivals. In summary, Ciego de Avila deserves at least a one- day visit!
Cuba’s third largest city is truly a destination like no other, starting with how beautiful it is. Fifty-four hectares of central Camagüey are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dedicated in 2008. The city of tinajones, as it is sometimes known, is the bastion of the Catholic Church on the island. If Cuba has a Catholic soul, it undoubtedly resides in Camagüey, a city of baroque churches and gilded altars, a place to hunt the ecclesial spirit through the narrow streets. Although an exploration of the city’s religious history must be done, I tell you in advance that its most important church is the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria. The Museo Ignacio Agramonte, named after the local hero and the most picturesque wide-open corner in the city, Plaza San Juan de Dios are top attractions.
Don’t miss the opportunity to enlarge your itinerary in the island, and witness a great and important part of Cuba’s reality and history. There are always new destinations, new adventures to carry on. On this occasion three cities are waiting to be re-discovered. Don’t you want to be the main character of this finding? The The Cuban Way is awesome. Be the one who tells the story!