For those looking for peace and tranquility, Cayo Santa Maria is a true paradise. A beach of very fine and pearly sand, a sea with blue-green water that seem as if it had been brushed by one of the best painters awaits visitors.
The construction of a causeway over the ocean connects the Caribbean territory, the northern part of central Villa Clara, to Cayo Santa Maria - a very small island, beyond the Great Island, 13 km in length and 2 km in width. This causeway opened doors of Cayo Santa Maria as a tourist destination. One will appreciate the diversity of its flora and fauna and for the snorkeling fan, the underwater world.
Cayo Santa Maria is a small island of 13 km in length and 2 km wide and is located in the northeast part of the central province of Villa Clara, in the Jardines del Rey archipelago; at 10 km from the local airport of Las Brujas, at 50 km from Caibarien city and at 116 km from the "Abel Santamaria" Santa Clara's city International Airport.
Cayo Santa Maria offers 11 km of fabulous top quality beaches. To reach the Cayo, you will take a 48 km causeway that connects with Caibarien.
This cay is part of the Jardines del Rey archipelago and is located at 60 km from Villa Clara, a city of high cultural and historical value and where lie the Memorial that renders tribute to the "guerrillero" Ernesto Che Guevara and his fellow companions and at 355 km from Havana.
The temperature varies between 25 and 27 Celsius degrees. The breezes are smooth. The presence of coral reefs helps toning down the force of the strong winds and avoids unpleasant swelling of the ocean. Sunny days and pleasant tropical climate allow the beach season to extend throughout the year.
Activities and tourisim
With its 13 km surface, its 11 km of beaches and with proper lodging, Cayo Santa Maria allows enjoying the surroundings' numerous attractions. It is accessible via a 48 km causeway that connects to Cairarien. A small airport is located in Las Brujas.
There are 24 snorkeling points to enjoy the remarkable variety of coral and fish species of the virgin bottoms. It also has infinite potential for nautical activities.
There is also an interesting project to build a tourist resort that would offer its visitors the peaceful serenity that provide villages located on the oceanfront. With this resort, a central plaza built around the church and designed to resemble the first Cuban villas with very distinguishable elements are to be built.
Other unavoidable visits in the northeast region of Villa Clara: Cayo Ensenachos and Las Brujas.
Located 60 km from Cayo Santa Maria is the village of San Juan de los Remedios, declared National Monument. Towards the center of the island, Santa Clara, the provincial capital, filled with history, culture and hospitality. The localization of part of the mountain range Sierra del Escambray in its territory also makes Villa Clara one of the best tourist attractions for nature lovers. The presence of Elguea's thermal baths and mineral-medicinal waters leave the door open for the ones interested in their quality of life.
A canal system is transformed in a real aquatic labyrinth between the cayos. It offers a huge potential for enjoying nature tourism and for nautical activities.
Another option sui generis (unique of its kind)of the region is the vessel San Pascual, made of reinforced concrete that was run aground, seven decades ago in the Cayo Frances region. In 1920, from the shipyard of San Francisco, California, the ship was put back in water. Commonly known as the El Ponton, it is considered a small island in itself with an enviable position to appreciate the region's attractions.
For nature lovers, Villa La Granjita offers a welcoming site where reins a matchless peacefulness between palm, fruit and coconut trees.
Las Brujas (the witches) will satisfy the curiosity of those preferring legends. The name in itself is tied to ghosts, strange noises and stories of apparition that have been running from word of mouth. Others say that it is because of stories of fortuitous loving encounters between a fisherman and a young woman from the village. In the city of Las Brujas - on the small island of the same name - the beach with its very white sand, runs for almost 2 kilometers, connecting to a thermal area capable of welcoming boats of small and medium size.
For health tourism, many attractions and singular options are offered. Among these attractions are the medicinal baths of Elguea, located in the northern part of the province. The nature of this region is characterized by the high number of endemic species, combined with hundreds of kilometers of beautiful white sandy beaches and crystal clear water, paths for horse back-riding, table games and its thermal center located in a 300 square meters area where waters have a high mineral content. The waters also contain sodium, bromide and have a slight content of sulphide. The average water temperature is of 45-Celsius degrees with a flow of 25 liters per second.
Villa Clara also offers an ample range of museums, cultural centers, churches, art galleries and theaters.
In Remedio, the small musical bands playing during holidays and celebrations are considered the oldest ones of Cuba, dating back to 1871. Thanks to Father Francisco Vigil de Quinones, the church's priest of Villa Juan de los Remedios, who was worried by the absence of parishioners at the Misa del Gallo (Mass for the rooster), decided to invite teenagers of the village to come out with whistles, horns and other accessories to wake up the whole town.
During celebrations, bands from different districts of San Salvador oppose one another. The San Salvador's symbol is a rooster of blue-green color. The symbol for El Carmen's team is a globe of brown color.
Santiago de Cuba
To Santiago de Cuba are usually applied two characteristics that make it unique: its friendly, happy and helping people and its historic and cultural heritage. Its Caribbean identity can be noticed in the music and folklore. The city has a title that is Hero of the Republic of Cuba for the role played by its people during the 1950's revolutionary struggles.
As a tourist destination, it has incomparable possibilities to enjoy of beaches, city and nature and for the wealth of the three sites. In those areas there is a growing development of event tourism, in both the cultural and commercial aspect of it. Santiago de Cuba is bounded by Holguin province to the north, to the west by Granma province, to the south by the Caribbean Sea and to the east by Guantanamo province. The area of the province is 6 343.21 square km. You can arrive in Santiago at the "Antonio Maceo" International Airport. Using the roads from any other place in Cuba and using the sea by the Punta Gorda Marina. For those arriving at Santiago de Cuba, there are several lodging options in the city and surroundings, both related to sea and nature. It will always be a guarantee for visitors looking for quiet and comfort. Santiago de Cuba has been privileged by its historical evolution.
In the city are located two of the Cuban sites honored by the UNESCO with World's Heritage titles: The San Pedro de la Roca (el Morro) castle and the ruins of the first French coffee plantations at La Gran Piedra. There is also the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, the 26 de Julio Historical Museum and the Siboney State, all of them having a deep historical relation. All of them are part of the region's attractions along with Granma Key and Baconao Park.
There are many other things that make the people of Santiago to be full of pride: to be the cradle of almost all Cuban musical genres par excellence in a country where music is the soul and root of everything, the carnivals that take place every July and its rum. Also the Party of Fire and the already traditional Caribbean Festival. The Santiago de Cuba region, having all the necessary infrastructure to develop events and congresses tourism, has also a sea and mountain environment which are all the necessary conditions to develop nature and adventure tourism, trekking, sea related activities and health tour-ism.
But there is nothing compared to walk-ing its streets full of history and music.