Cuba's largest province, Camagüey, is a destination rich in culture and history. Indeed, if you want a unique trip to Cuba that will help you to learn more about the culture of the country, a trip to this colourful region is just the ticket. Here are some must-sees if you are planning a trip to Camagüey.
A Trip to the City
We should first note that, unlike other parts of Cuba, like Holguin and Varadero, tourists are not drawn to Camaguey so much for the beaches as for its unique historical and cultural heritage. A simple trip to Camagüey, the main city and provincial capital, will convince you.
You will discover colourful and architecturally-stunning monuments; narrow, winding streets strewn with shops and small Cuban restaurants; merchants who want to sell you cigars and cerveza at good prices; and also Cubans who laze in the streets or dance to Latin music. The experience is one-of-a-kind and unforgettable.
A Few Must-Sees
Among the sites that must be seen in the cultural centre of Camagüey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, are the Plaza de la Revolucion, which honours veterans of the revolution; the Nuestra Senora de la Soledad Church, a magnificent building with Baroque frescoes built in 1776; and the Iglesia Nuestra Senora del Carmen, the only church in the city to boast two towers.
Plaza del Carmen is also a popular spot with tourists who can admire the splendour of 18th-century Cuban Baroque architecture. In Camagüey, you will also want to stop for a beer at a Cuban bar and visit an authentic village.
Santa Lucia, a Popular Tourist Resort
For those wishing to enjoy the beach while exploring Cuban culture, Santa Lucia, perched north of the city and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is the ideal spot.
This is the perfect place to bask in the sun in the luxury of an all-inclusive hotel, while remaining close to the Camaguey cultural centre, leaving you the option to take advantage of the many activities and excursions.
For travellers who want something other than an all inclusive, it is possible to rent a casa particular (accommodations in private houses) recognizable by the small, triangular, blue sign posted on the facades of houses.
To rent a casa particular, all you have to do is go downtown Camagüey and ask people where you can rent one. The offers will start coming to you in no time.
Not only are these houses inexpensive (about $20 per night), but they offer you the best opportunity to visit the place differently, soaking up the culture while living together with the local Cubans. They are happy to introduce you to their manners and customs. This has all the ingredients of an unforgettable trip!