May 7, 2012 / 5:00 am
Tourism in Cuba attracts over two million people a year, and is one of the main sources of revenue for the island. With its favorable climate, pristine beaches, colonial architecture and cultural history; Cuba has now become a most attractive destination for tourists. Tourism has now surpassed Cuba's traditional export industry (sugar) as the nation's leading source of revenue. Visitors come primarily from Canada and Western Europe. The main tourist areas are Varadero, Cayo Coco, Holguín, and Havana. With 3,735 kilometers of total coastline, Cuba offers dozens of the world’s finest beaches featuring crystal clear water and flour-like sand. Combine that with well-preserved nature, some of the world’s friendliest and most hospitable people - you’ll know why Cuba attracts so many millions yearly.
Havana, the capital of Cuba is a living museum of architectural styles reaching as far back as 16th century , to the beginnings of the Spanish colonization. There are over 300 museums in Cuba, some specializing in art, some in science and technology, some in anthropology and ethnography, but most are focused on the country's history. The opportunities to lose yourself in this capital city are limitless – take a guided tour around Havana's colonial monuments, experience the entertainment of a late-night cabaret show, stroll along the Malecón as the waves crash over the sidewalk, or admire the abundance of vintage cars lining the streets and hiding around every corner. Along with beautifully preserved palaces, first class hotels and restaurants; make sure you visit a couple blocks north of leafy Parque Central where you’ll find yourself in a 1950s time warp where working-class mothers still go shopping with their hair in rollers and young children play baseball in the street.
Holguín, the spot where Christopher Columbus landed in October of 1492. It's located on the S.E. side of the island and is 680km's from the capital. It's the 3rd largest city in Cuba supporting a population of over 1.5 million. It's a thriving and prosperous commercial center and transportation hub. Often called "Cuba's granary," Holguín is located in an area of the island where corn, beans, sugarcane, tobacco, and cattle are raised. Also known as "city of parks", Holguín boasts 19 museums, 1 theatre, 27 culture houses, 9 art galleries, and 97 professional groups showcasing the fields of theatre, music, dance, and art. Among the infrastructure there are over 40 beaches as well as 2 National Parks. With all that's offered here it's no wonder filling the over 2000 hotel rooms is not usually a problem !
Cayo Coco is mainly known for its water activities and coral reefs, making it an ideal spot for those interested in underwater exploration, immersion, and other ocean activities in general. Here you will find more than 27 km of sandy beaches, ideal to practice any water sport, ranging from kayak or aqua bike riding to water skiing, windsurfing, and diving. Diving is one of the most practiced sports in the area and novice and skilled divers alike flock to the area for exploration. You can take guided tours for Shark watching, at experience the highest sand dune in the Caribbean (49ft). This more luxurious area of Cuba offers 4 internationally acclaimed diving centres as well as dozens of first class resort and hotels.
Varadero is perhaps the most well known spot for visitors as it is one of the biggest resort areas in the entire Caribbean. Varadero is fully set up for tourism and operates as a major Caribbean destination for a number of package tour companies based in Europe and Canada. The wide variety of hotels and other accommodation, clear turquoise water, sandy white beaches, Cuba's only 18-hole golf course (the Xanadu Golf Club), great weather, water sports and spectacular ocean views all combine to make Varadero the ideal holiday destination. The white sandy beaches of Varadero stretch for over 20 km, meaning it's never too hard to find somewhere quiet away from holidaymakers, or a beach party to join and make new friends. If you enjoy scuba diving, then the Cayo Piedras del Norte is a local marine park with a number of specially sunken boats. An easy way to explore the coastline is by boat, and with three harbours to choose between (Chapelin, Darsena and Gaviota), arranging a suitable sightseeing cruise couldn't be easier. Walking tours are an excellent way to check out the grounds and rather extravagant interior of the Mansion Xanadu, or pay a visit to either the Parque Central or the Parque de las 800 Taquillas. For families, the Dolphinarium (Delfinario) may satify all family members needs and many people come here each day to get up close to the dolphins and watch their shows. Stroll through the Varadero Ecological Park (Reserva Ecologica Varahicacos), where hiking trails and caves with ancient wall paintings are in abundance. You can view traditional houses and a wide array af statues scattered throughout the area as well as take in some shopping. Due to it's location, day trips from Varadero to Havana take place daily as well as visits to the Ernest Hemingway House.
Learn more about this vibrant Caribbean Island here : http://www.gocuba.ca/client/home/index.php
For more information and to start planning your Cuban experience, stop by your local Travel Agent.
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