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Cuba Vacations - Spotlight on Camaguey and Santa Lucia

February 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 193

Cuba is world-renowned for its spectacular beaches, friendly locals, extensive history and incredible architecture. While this is a painted picture of the entire Island, there are few places in Cuba where one can discover all of Cuba's characteristics in one place. On the north shore far from the hustle and bustle of Havana, and away from the busier resort area of Varadero, you'll come across the City of Camaguey and the beaches of Santa Lucia.

Camaguey, much like Cuba in general, is a tale of survival and deep history. Originally located on the north coast and founded as Santa Maria del Puerto del Principe in 1515, it was the target of continuous attacks by pirates looking to plunder riches such as the much sought after sugar. Sometime around 1528, the city was moved inland and rebuilt with a confusing layout of winding forked streets, blind alleys, and dead ends to make it easier to defend against future attacks. The city was also built with only one exit with the thought that should the pirates return, they would be trapped and killed by the local inhabitants. The new inland Camaguey with its maze like roads had little effect around 1668 as the legendary pirate Captain Henry Morgan sacked the city for much of its loot and burned the city. To this day, the streets wind around like an endless maze of cobblestone which in 2008 prompted UNESCO to declare the old city a World Heritage Site.

Today, Camaguey is a city of learning with numerous schools ranging from High School to University focusing on Engineering, Humanitarian and Medical education. The winding cobblestone roads built to repel attacks still exist and snake their way past historical churches, museums and rainbow-colored houses. A walking tour of the city takes you to the many statues and monuments dating back to the 18th century and explores buildings of magnificent Spanish colonial architecture. Markets, plazas and squares are lively with the sounds of Cuba and provide a quaint backdrop to enjoy the friendly atmosphere of the locals and perhaps a cigar or Mojito in a café.

The beaches of Santa Lucia are the main tourist area of Camaguey boasting 20 kilometers of white sand and turquoise waters. The northern coral reef is a haven for deep-sea fishing and for divers looking to discover the incredible marine life and explore the many shipwrecks. Hotels and All Inclusive resorts dot the coast but don't overwhelm the pristine coastline therefore leaving the essence as an unspoiled, yet to be discovered location. Most resorts include non-motorized watersports such as snorkeling, kayaking and sailing allowing visitors to enjoy the beach both on land and water.

The areas around Camaguey and Santa Lucia are quite scenic and many excursions are available to enjoy such activities as a jeep safari through remote jungle terrain or day trips to parks and lagoons filled with hundreds of pink flamingos and other exotic wildlife.

Camaguey is a fairly quiet area of Cuba but also one of the most authentic. You won't find the wild nightlife, mega resorts, or luxury dining you may receive at other Caribbean destinations, but what you will find is a snapshot of true Cuban culture, a stunning beach and if you were looking for an easy-going, relaxed holiday, you'll find that too.

If you are looking for a relaxing yet authentic trip to Cuba where you can take a step back into Cuba's past and enjoy one of the island's famous stunning beaches all in the same day, then a visit to Camaguey and the beaches of Santa Lucia and should be on your list of Cuba Vacations.

Source: EzineArticles
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