Camaguey Travel Guide, CubaIf you would like to feel something of the atmosphere of the colonial-era, you can’t leave out Camagüey, one of the most significant cities of Cuba. The special colonial-era flavor has been preserved, it still lingers about the streets, buildings, making this lovely city so attractive.
Camagüey is one of the seven original villas in Cuba, established by the Spanish settlers in 1514, as a port, by the name Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe, but it was in 1528 when it got its final location on the inland, between two rivers, and it was only after the Spanish-American war by the end of the 19th century, that the town received its present name, meaning in the Taino language: “Son of the Tree”.
Camagüey’s architecture is impressive. The bending streets and alleys, lovely colonial houses, two of Cuba’s most majestic colonial plazas, and plenty of baroque churches - no wonder why Camagüey is also called the city of churches, and the city of baroque - indicates the charming historic atmosphere of the city. Not to speak of the tinajon, a water jug where rainwater was collected in the past centuries, which is now a real symbol of Camagüey.
The old quarter, which represents one of the largest colonial sites in Cuba, is considered the primarily attraction of the city. Serious attention is being payed on the restoration of the buildings, taking for example the 18th century Catedral dedicated to Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria (patron saint of Camagüey), which transformed from a grey building into a beautiful church.
It is warmly recommended to see the Teatro Principal, Casino Campestre, the building of Camagüey’s Ballet Company, the birthplaces of the famous personalities of the city, like the house of Nicolás Guillén, the national poet of Cuba, and furthermore curiosities as the Callejón de Funda del Catre, Las Cinco Esquinas del Ángel, San Juan de Dios and Carmen squares, and the dozen of churches.
A very pleasant place to visit is Parque Agramonte, where you can see the statue of the most famous citizen of the city, Ignacio Agramonte, and from where you can step in Casa de la Trova - being on of the colonial houses found here -, where you can hear traditional Cuban music day-by-day.
Besides all these sightseeing interests, Camagüey offers you to have a glimpse in its flourishing cultural life. The city’s literary and artistic traditions are well-known, and don’t forget about the vivid group of plastic artists and the internationally famous Camagüey Ballet. Moreover, the city is not just Cuba’s significant cultural scene, but also a place where you can find plenty of light entertainments. The street festivals at Saturday nights, and the San Juan Camagüeyano, the traditional celebration days by the end of June are great occasions for having fun while getting closer to the Cuban feeling.
You can have a rest and sunbath at Santa Lucia Beach, and other tourist attractions of Camagüey province. Stretching over 20 kilometers, Santa Lucia Beach with its fine sand and crystalline waters is a lure for visitors, not to speak of our planet’s second largest coral reef found here! A spectacular world of corals, sponges, abundance of tropical fish, plus remains of sunken ships will burst upon your view when you dive among the reefs.
You can have a wonderful time at Cayo Sabinal as well, where more than 30 kilometer-long strip of beaches, including Playa Brava, and the surrounding unspoiled nature waits you to make complete your holiday. The Ballenatos Islands, La Sierra de Cubitas, and Jardines de la Reina are also fantastic places to explore.
Camagüey and other fascinating sights of the province of Camagüey will be the perfect vacation for you, which you won’t forget!
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