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Cuban architecture

Villa Clara

Villa Clara Villa Clara Villa Clara is located in the central region of the island bordering with the Atlantic at north, Matanzas Province by west, Sancti Spiritus by east, and Cienfuegos on the South. Villa Clara shares with Cienfuegos and Sancti Spiritus on the south the Escambray Mountain Range. Its main cities are Santa Clara (the capital), Sagua La Grande, Placetas, Camajuani, Remedios and Caibarién.

The current provinces of Cienfuegos, Sancti Spíritus, and Villa Clara were once all part of the now defunct province of Las Villas, but Villa Clara is still referred some times just as “Las Villas” using the shorter old name. Santa Clara was the capital of historical Las Villas and still capital of Villa Clara.

The northern coast of Villa Clara is dotted with numerous cays (part of the Sabana-Camaguey Archipelago), and there are many coral reefs, sandy beaches, and newly constructed touristic resorts.

The Cays are a capricious cluster of some 500 islands, strewn along a sea of varying shades of blues and greens off the northern coast of the central province of Villa Clara and close to the second largest coral barrier reef in the world. It’s a tropical paradise with more than 17 km of fine-white sand beaches.

Villa Clara Keys, covering more than 77 844 hectares, are a veritable wildlife refuge and provide a habitat for some 248 species of plans. The most precious jewels are Cayo Las Brujas, Cayo Ensenachos and Cayo Santa Maria, renowned for their immaculate landscape of incredible beauty, with sugary-white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, fringed by autochthonous vegetation and connected to Caibarien, a small fishing town on the Cuban mainland, by a 48 km causeway stretching over the sea -accorded an international prize for its harmonious combination of nature and engineering in an area declared a World Biosphere Reserve- thus enabling visitors to access the keys directly from Santa Clara City, site of the international airport. The causeway has a total of 46 bridges especially designed to allow the flow of sea water, therefore protecting both the biodiversity and sustainability of the area.

Places to go:

  • LAS BRUJAS CAY: It takes its name from an old legend about a young couple whose love was thwarted by a jealous uncle, who in turn is the namesake of another islet: Cayo Borracho, which means drunkard. The remains of the San Paulo, a ship that ran aground many years ago, can be observed a mile away from the key. Built in San Francisco, California and launched in 1919, the ship evokes the presence of American writer Ernest Hemingway in the area. From its deck, Cuban painter Leopold Romañach found inspiration for some of his famous marine landscapes.
  • ENSENACHOS CAY: It is the smallest of the three keys but it’s a refuge for 22 endemic plants and 39 wildlife species. Shaped like a horseshoe, the islet was originally an aboriginal settlement. The beach is always calm due to the position of the key which prevents the large waves from hitting the shore with force.
  • SANTA MARÍA CAY: It is also known as the White Rose of Jardines del Rey. The key was named after the flagship of Christopher Columbus’s fleet on his maiden voyage to the New World. Legend has it that this strip of land-some 13 km long and 2 km in width- is haunted by the spirit of Rosa Maria Coraje, a woman who hid aboard a ship in a desperate attempt to find both paradise and her beloved. She landed on the key and managed to survive hiding in the marshes, among the mangroves and feeding on fish, until she finally discovered her dearly-loved in a neighboring key.
  • SANTA CLARA CITY: A vibrant provincial town, with a agreeable Parque Central, Santa Clara is most famous for its connection with Che Guevara
  • BAÑOS ELGUEA:
  • PLAYA CAIBARIEN: Playa Caibarien is famous for its crabs and its intense maritime life on the northern coast of Villa Clara province.
  • REMEDIOS: This town is a typical, but beautiful, example of Spanish colonial architecture.


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