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Santa Lucía, on the northern coast of Camagüey Province, is a wide beach, 21 km long, with fine golden-white sand, bathed by warm, turquoise water that is always calm. Protected by a long coral reef only 2 km from shore, the seabed supports an astonishing variety of marine life. In addition to flora and fauna, there are also sunken ships to explore, including some dating from the 19th century.

Close by, Cayo Sabinal is natural treasure well worth exploring. Once the refuge of pirates, the tiny island offers intimate beaches tucked into beautiful coastal scenery and an abundance of wildlife, virtually untouched by man. Local attractions include the ruins of the San Hilarío Fort and the Colón Lighthouse, one of the oldest working lighthouses in the country.

Local flavour

The area around Santa Lucía is flat, featuring marshlands, lagoons and flocks of flamingoes. Perfect for bike riding.

Sunseekers flock to Camagüey’s north coast for excellent beaches, spectacular diving and sport fishing, in a secluded natural setting.

Playa Los Cocos

This beautiful beach at the western tip of Playa Santa Lucía offers views of the Colón lighthouse on Cayo Sabinal (just across the Canal de la Boca), and flocks of pink flamingoes in the lagoon behind the beach.

Playa Santa Lucía

Enjoy the sun and shimmering white sand at this 21-km stretch of pristine beach that is well-served by a variety of good hotels and resorts. Santa Lucía’s ecosystem is carefully preserved, allowing flocks of pretty pink flamingoes to thrive here.

Cayo Sabinal

Escape to this gorgeous, unspoiled coral key lined with mangroves, marshes and lagoons and watch clouds of butterflies flutter above the lush landscape. Be sure to spend an afternoon at Playa Los Pinos, a standout amid the key’s many beaches, located 22 km from the town of Nuevitas.

Santa Lucía is one of the longest coral beaches in Cuba. It is on the northern shore of Camagüey Province, at the point where the largest concentration of coral formations in the western hemisphere is closest to the coast. Its waters are ideal for diving, sailing, fishing and other water sports.

Boating and sailing

Sail around Santa Lucia’s stunning coastline to take in the region’s beauty from another angle.

Coral tour

Learn about Santa Lucia’s marine ecosystem on a guided motorboat tour of the coastline.

Catamaran to Playa Bonita

Enjoy a leisurely catamaran tour of the stunning Santa Lucia coastline. The trip includes two snorkel stops, a seafood lunch on the beach at the pristine Playa Bonita as well as music and drinks on board.

Fishing

Deep-Sea fishing

Spend half a day luring in some red snappers, cuberetas, rabirrubias and ronco on a deep-sea fishing excursion that departs from Shark’s Friends Dive Centre.

Open-Sea fishing

Embark on a fishing yacht that departs from Shark’s Friends, and bait some dorado, barracudas, sierra, peto, cubera and snappers.

Scuba diving and snorkeling

The diving area, which extends from Maternillos Point to the area around Cayo Sabinal, contains many sunken ships, including the Nuestra Señora de Alta Gracia, the Mortera and the Pizarro. The coral reef has ridges up to 10 m high.

Shark’s Friends dive center (Santa Lucia)

Set out to Santa Lucia’s 35 dive sites, including Poseidon and Valentina, from this well-equipped dive centre. The dive masters can guide you on scuba or snorkeling adventures along Cuba’s longest coral reef formation. Be sure to inspect the assortment of shipwrecks dating as far back as the 19th century, like the Mortera and the Pizarro. Night dives are also available.

Take advantage of the tours that depart regularly from Santa Lucía hotels, including a visit to a cowboy-themed ranch, a Jeep safari through Cayo Sabinal, a trek out to a crocodile-breeding farm and a tour of the historic city of Camagüey.

Excursions

The Santa Lucía area may be best known as a paradise for divers, but there’s lots to enjoy inland as well.

Colonial Camagüey Tour

Explore the historic city of Camagüey on a guided tour that takes you to the Puerto Príncipe Rum Factory, Revolution Square, Cándido González Baseball Park and the magnificent La Merced Catholic Church.

Crocodile breeding farm

Take a guided tour to one of the region’s crocodile breeding farm. Most tours departing from Santa Lucía also stop at nearby caves and even a violin factory.

Sabinal jeep safari

Observe the flourishing flora and fauna flourishing on unspoiled Cayo Sabinal. The Jeep tour includes sightseeing stops in the town of Nuevitas along the way.

Rancho King tourist farm

Soak up the Wild West atmosphere at this family-friendly ranch. Don’t miss the rodeo or the regular concerts. Bus tours to the Ranch depart regularly from several Santa Lucia hotels.

Horseback riding

Rancho King tourist farm

There are horses to ride at this family-friendly ranch which puts on a rodeo show.

The area around Santa Lucía is blessed with stunning natural attractions. Explore the caverns and isles surrounding the Sierra de Cubitas, or go flamingo-watching along the protected Santa Lucía coastline. Don’t miss Cayo Sabinal, a coral key lined with mangroves, marshes and lagoons and home to masses of butterflies.

Nature

See the region’s abundance of rich vegetation, secluded keys and colonies of flamingoes.

Cayo Sabinal

Escape to this gorgeous, unspoiled coral key lined with mangroves, marshes and lagoons and watch clouds of butterflies flutter above the lush landscape. Be sure to spend an afternoon at Playa Los Pinos, a standout amid the key’s many beaches, located 22 km from the town of Nuevitas.

Flamingo tour

Sail along the Santa Lucía coastline to visit a flamingo colony south of Cayo Sabinal. You’re sure to see hundreds of the pretty pink birds, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a dolphin in Nuevitas Bay.

Sierra de Cubitas

Visit this beautiful ecological reserve to explore the caverns, isles and leafy trails.

The city of Camagüey boasts the largest historic centre in the country. It is also one of the best preserved, with beautiful colonial buildings lining its winding streets, and Cuba’s finest array of churches.

Architecture

Explore plazas, museums and churches of diverse architectural styles from the 17th, 18th and 19th century.

General Ignacio Agramonte Revolution Square

Pope John Paul II officiated a mass here in January 1998. The public square honours the region’s most prominent freedom fighters of the 19th century.

Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Soledad

Don’t miss the wooden alfarje ceiling and wonderfully painted pillars adorning this church, built in 1776. It is a beautiful example of Cuban Baroque architecture.

Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Merced

This magnificent Baroque church, built in 1748, features an ornate, decorated ceiling and the dazzling Santo Sepulcro, crafted from 23,000 silver coins. It is the only church in the region to boast two towers.

Iglesia Sagrado Corazón de Jesús

Visitors are intrigued by the elaborate gilt altar, frescoes and stunning wooden ceiling at this church built in 1755.

Plaza del Carmen

Baroque and neoclassical influences are evident in this public square built in the early 19th century. Ceramic statues representing everyday life line the charming cobblestone plaza.

Plaza San Juan de Dios

This 18th-century square, a jewel of Cuban colonial architecture, has been declared a national monument. Here you’ll find the San Juan de Dios Church and Hospital (now a museum), a striking building erected in 1728 and updated in 1847. Its highest altar is made of precious wood from 1792, and it features a rare anthropomorphic representation of the Holy Spirit (one of only two in Latin America).

Parque Ignacio Agramonte

Camagüey’s main park encompasses part of the former Plaza de Armas, built in 1528. Highlights include an imposing bronze equestrian statue of General Agramonte and the Metropolitan Cathedral, a historic church built in 1617 that features a tower with an image of Christ, added in 1937. The park also contains the Julio Antonio Mella Provincial Library, and the Philharmonic Society of Puerto Principe, erected in the 19th century.

Dance

Camagüey’s renowned ballet company is second only to Havana’s.

Camagüey Ballet

The dancers of this world-renowned ballet company have performed in over 40 countries. In Camagüey, they call the beautiful Teatro Principal home.

Galleries

Joel Jover Studio-Gallery

Admire work by two of Camagüey’s most noted contemporary artists, Joel Jover and his wife Ileana Sánchez at their working studio that doubles as a gallery.

Museums

Learn about local heroes like Cuban patriot, Ignacio Agramonte, and poet Nicolas Guillén at Camagüey’s unique museums.

Casa Finlay

Peruse exhibits highlighting the life and professional achievements of Dr. Carlos J. Finlay, who discovered how mosquitoes transmit yellow fever. The famous Cuban doctor was born here in 1833.

Nicolas Guillén House

This poetry-themed museum is located in the house where Guillén, the former National Poet of Cuba, was born in 1902.This poetry-themed museum is located in the house where Guillén, the former National Poet of Cuba, was born in 1902.

Museo Casa Natal de Ignacio Agramonte

Visit the house where Cuban patriot Ignacio Agramante was born in 1841, Built in the 18th century, the building now contains a museum dedicated to his life and achievements. A highlight is the colonial-style patio.

Ignacio Agramonte Provincial Museum

Housed inside the former Cavalry Garrison, built in 1848, the museum features furniture collections, as well as local and natural history displays.

Fábrica de violines

Artisans carve beautiful violins out of hardwood at this factory in Minas, located northeast of Camagüey.

Sports

Estadio Cándido González

Catch a baseball game at Camagüey’s stadium.

Theaters

Teatro Principal

This stunning neoclassical theatre, built in 1850, is the home of the celebrated the Camagüey Ballet. It also regularly hosts theatrical productions and variety shows.

It’s well worth leaving the beach to visit a real ranch, complete with a rodeo and live music. Or let the kids learn about nature at an exciting crocodile-breeding farm.

Crocodile breeding farm

Get close to some crocs on a guided tour of one of the region’s crocodile breeding farm. Most tours departing from Santa Lucia also include stops at nearby caves and even a violin factory.

Rancho King tourist farm

Delight the kids with the Wild West atmosphere at this family-friendly ranch. Don’t miss the rodeo or the regular concerts. Bus tours to the Ranch depart regularly from several Santa Lucia hotels.

Visit an authentic Cuban market in the heart of the city, see where Pope John Paul II officiated a public mass or dine like a movie star at a cinema-themed Italian restaurant.

Nightclubs and Bars

Mamá Inés Cafe/Bar

A famous song gives its name to this cafe, located in the colonial area were you can also find some great shops and restaurants. At Mamá Inés one can buy good Cuban coffee to take home. At night the ambiance is fantastic.

Bar El Cambio

Located in the city of Camagüey, El Cambio is a place worth visiting. Located opposite Plaza Agramonte, the establishment has a charming design and decoration with ceramic elements in its floor and ceiling.

Restaurants and Cafes

Restaurante Luna Mar

If what you are looking for is some Italian flavor or a delicious fish dish, this restaurant with bar in Nuevitas, Santa Lucía is the right place.

Retaurante Don Ronquillo

Dine at this restaurant and bar specialized in Cuban and international cuisine, located in Camagüey city.

Restaurante Bucanero

Indulge yourself with a delicious seafood dish or enjoy the Cuban and international cuisine at this restaurant with bar in Nuevitas, Santa Lucía.

Restaurante La Campana de Toledo/El Parador de los Tres Reyes

Savour exquisite Cuban and international dishes at this restaurant with bar located in Camagüey city.

Restaurante La Isabella

Dine like a movie star at this cinema-themed Italian restaurant located on the site of Camagüey’s first movie theatre.

Shopping

Mercado Agropecuario El Río

Stop by this lively open-air market located above Río Hatibonico and treat yourself to one the popular fresh batidos (fruitshakes).

Culture-rich Camagüey celebrates its artistic side the first week of each February.

Week of Cultural Celebrations

This festival takes over Camagüey the first week of each February, and is widely recognized as one of Cuba’s best cultural fetes. It commemorates the city’s foundation.