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The province of Las Tunas, situated between Camagüey, Holguín and Granma, is famous for its quiet, untouched beaches, rural “cowboy” culture and diverse array of events, including Cuba’s biggest campesino music festival, Latin America’s only magic conference and a month-long sculpture exhibit.

The provincial capital, the city of Las Tunas, has been dubbed El Balcón del Oriente (The Balcony of the Oriente), thanks to its location, marking the divide between western and eastern Cuba – both geographically and culturally. Also commonly known as the “City of Sculptures,” the city streets are decorated with more than 100 sculptures.

Las Tunas Province also has its share of shimmering sand, turquoise waters and colourful coral, most notably at Covarrubias Beach, on the Atlantic coast. Nearby is the province’s second-largest city, Puerto Padre, which is known for its sugar mills and a history dating back to the 16th century.

Local flavour

Saturday night is the time to visit the city of Las Tunas for rompin’ stompin’ rodeo action and lively music at one of the weekly street festivals. Don’t miss the sundial at Martí Square in the city. Its shadows mark important dates in National Hero José Martí’s history, summer and winter solstices and spring and autumn equinoxes.

Head to the province’s virtually undiscovered north shore to enjoy a spectacular stretch of gleaming white sand and calm, turquoise waters.

Playa La Herradura

Enjoy the peace and quiet at this golden-sand beach, perched on the eastern shore of Bahía de Chaparra, 30 km from Puerto Padre.

Covarrubias Beach

The white sand glistens along this 10-km stretch of shoreline on the north coast, 90 km from the city of Las Tunas. You’ll find six beaches here: Blanche, Bonita, Rocosa, Covarrubias, Real Covarrubias and Malagueta. The quiet enclave is less than a kilometer away from the coral formation that leads into the keys of nearby Jardines del Rey.

The calm waters that lap Covarrubias Beach offer fantastic views of the black coral and various types of loofah. For sport fishing, head to La Isleta, a protected area where you can catch snapper, tarpon or barracuda.

Fishing

La Isleta

Reel in some snapper, tarpon and barracuda at this quiet mangrove-lined enclave located 60 kilometres from the city of Las Tunas.

Scuba Diving and snorkeling

Take advantage of the area’s calm clear waters on a scuba or snorkeling excursion.

Playa Bonita

Take a catamaran ride off the coast of Playa Bonita and enjoy snorkeling stops and a seafood lunch.

Punta Covarrubias

Explore one of the area’s 12 dive sites. The coral reef begins 1.5 kilometres from the shore and extends for 6 kilometres.

Las Tunas has a friendly, down-to-earth culture that’s all its own. Learn about the province’s history by taking a guided tour of some of its most noteworthy sites, like the “City of Sculptures” and the beachside sugar-town of Puerto Padre.

Excursions

Get a glimpse of Las Tunas history, culture and unique way of life during some of the province’s fun and educational excursions.

Puerto Padre: Sugar and Sea tour

Enjoy a sweet afternoon learning about how to harvest and process sugar cane in this charming coastal town. This tour includes stops at the La Loma Fortress, Salcedo Castle and Casimba del Malecon, as well as a seafood lunch.

Vicente García Memorial

See the house where liberator General Vicente García was born. Built in 1800 and declared a national monument in 1996, the home features four exhibition rooms dedicated to the general’s life and achievements.

Plaza de la Revolución

Catch a Sunday afternoon concert at this plaza in the heart of Las Tunas The square officially opened in 1915, when a statue of liberator General Vicente Aguilera García was unveiled. There is also a noteworthy bust of National Hero José Martí.

Las Tunas city tour

Let a knowledgeable guide show you around the “City of Sculptures” with a tour that includes stops at Vicente García Revolution Square, Martí Square, and a presentation about the city’s Afro-Caribbean heritage.

Las Tunas is teeming with unspoiled vegetation and an incredible variety of birds. The protected Monte Cabaniguán area is one of the best spots to immerse yourself in the province’s lush natural attractions.

Nature

Monte Cabaniguán

Escape to this peaceful protected area to see the world’s biggest crocodile breeding farm, and observe multitudes of birds fluttering in the trees and gliding over the water.

Las Tunas is famous for the more than 100 fanciful sculptures which grace the city streets, ranging from a monument celebrating national literacy to statues of various Cuban heroes like José Martí and Vicente García. Be sure to stop by Martí Square to see the gold-encrusted sundial. If you’re in the province in July, you can take in Cuba’s biggest campesino music festival at the Motel El Cornito.

Architecture

In addition to its abundance of sculptures, Las Tunas features one of the most fascinating sundials you’ll ever see.

Martí Square

This distinctive square in the city of Las Tunas was designed by architect Domingo Alas Rosell and features an eye-catching sundial encrusted in gold. Shadows from the sundial mark significant dates in José Martí’s history, culminating with a sunbeam that lights up the bronze statue’s face at 2:30 p.m. on May 19, commemorating the moment Martí died in battle at Dos Ríos.

La Loma fortress

Visit this fortress, strategically located on top of a hill, for a great view of Puerto Padre.

Plaza de la Revolución

See the imposing sculpture of war hero Vicente García, which stands tall in this huge plaza.

Galleries

The city of Las Tunas feels like a gallery in itself, with over 100 sculptures throughout the town.

Galeria Taller Escultura

Visit this gallery to see work by talented local artists.

Museums

Absorb the province’s unique history at one of its museums.

Museo Provincial General Vincente García

This museum was built on the site of the first Las Tunas settlement. Its exhibits feature art, natural sciences and provincial history.

Memorial a los Mártires de Barbados

Learn about the victims of the tragic Cubana Flight 455, which was destroyed by terrorists in 1976. This museum is situated in the former home of Olympic fencer Carlos Leyva Gonzalez, who was aboard the ill-fated flight along with the rest of the Cuban fencing team.

Theaters

Take in a touring production or a local performance at one of the charming Las Tunas theatres.

La Pérgola

Catch a magic show, a stand-up comedian or a theatrical production at this multi-purpose theatre in the city of Las Tunas.

Teatro Tunas

Head to this Las Tunas city venue to watch a movie, see a play or take in a ballet performance.

Delight the kids by taking them to the world’s biggest crocodile breeding farm, or a real rodeo.

Monte Cabaniguán

Take the family to the world’s biggest crocodile breeding farm in this peaceful protected area.

Feria Ganado

Head to Parque 26 de Julio in the city of Las Tunas for the weekend market, where kid-friendly activities and entertainment can include a full-scale rodeo.

Enjoy the fresh beach air on a shopping tour of Puerto Padre, or dine on traditional Cuban fare in the provincial capital of Las Tunas.

Restaurants and Cafes

La Bodeguita

Indulge in an international dish or a traditional Cuban meal here at this popular restaurant in Las Tunas city.

Shopping

Puerto Padre Shopping Tour

Take a guided shopping excursion from Las Tunas city to the beachside town of Puerto Padre.

Popular events in Las Tunas include an artsy sculpture exhibition, Cuba’s biggest campesino music festival and the only magic festival in Latin America.

Anfora International Magic Festival (November)

Magicians from across Cuba — and around the world — flock to the city of Las Tunas each November for this magical celebration. Expect to see plenty of public magic shows, contests and theatrical events during Latin America’s only magic festival.

Jornada Cucalambeana (July)

See how Cuban vaqueros (cowboys) party at the country’s biggest celebration of rural culture, featuring a campesino music festival. This is held at the beginning of each July at the Motel El Cornito.

National Sculpture Exhibition (February)

For the entire month of February, the city of Las Tunas is teeming with workshops and conferences for artists, as well as an influx of additional sculptures on display throughout the sculpture-loving city.