Located in the eastern-central part of the country, Camagüey is the largest province in Cuba. The largest number of cays and islets in the Cuban archipelago lie just off its coasts, and it has over 120 km of beautiful beaches, almost 25 percent of the length of all the beaches in Cuba. This province is also home of one of the most important port towns in the island: Nuevitas.
Its capital, the city of Camagüey, boasts a great cultural, architectural and economic tradition. Often overlooked by visitors, Camagüey is full of beautifully restored plazas that lend the city its nicknames: “City of Squares” and “Corinth of the Caribbean”. It is also known as the city of the churches.
The city of Camagüey offers plenty of colonial charm, treasuring 490 years of history in its streets and buildings. It was one of the first towns to be founded by the Spanish rule in 1514, under the name of Port Prince. The oldest part of the city is unique because of its narrow, twisting streets and alleys, which form a complicated labyrinth that was deliberately designed this way to confuse pirates and other raiders in the past. Its Historical Center is the largest in the country and one of the best preserved ones. It has been declared a national monument.
Of a much simpler and discreet style than in Havana, the homes of the wealthiest people in Camagüey were built without palatial adornments and around big courtyard patios, surrounded by arches and galleries, or in more modest abodes, with eaves supported by wooden columns. There was always a “tinajón”, a big earthenware jar unique to this city and which has lent it the nickname: “City of Tinajones”. These vessels that were used by locals to store rainwater are today the symbol of the village.
Camagüey is proud of its cultural traditions and personalities. It is the headquarters of the second most important ballet company in the country.