Cuba Travel

Ciego de Avila: A Land of Sugar and Culture

Posted July 07, 2003 by publisher in Cuba Travel.


The province of Ciego de Avila, in the central-eastern region of the largest Antillean Island, boasts a huge potential in the sugar industry, along with unique characteristics and a centuries-old culture, among other attractions.
Ciego de Avila, with an area of nearly 7,000 sq km (2,700 sq mi), including the adjacent islets, is predominantly flat and has fertile lands, two characteristics of vital importance for agriculture.

Situated in one of the narrowest portions of the island, the province is divided into ten municipalities, and the capital city is in the center, almost equidistant to all territories.

However, Ciego de Avila also has a rich history, a part of which can be appreciated at the Municipal Museum in the city of Moron, where the so-called “Idolillo de Barro” (Clay Idol) and over 1,600 aboriginal artifacts, found a few kilometers away from that city in 1947 are on display.

Among the key institutions in the province’s culture is the Principal Theater, which was built in 1927 and, according to experts, it is the theater with the best acoustics in the Cuban archipelago

Other major attractions in the province are the Church of San Eugenio de la Palma (the patron saint of the provincial capital), the House of Culture, the Art Gallery, the traditions of the Jamaica neighborhood, in Baraguá, the parties in Majagua, and the “parrandas” (popular festivals) in Chambas and Punta Alegre.

The province has few small rivers, mainly as a result of the Island’s narrowness, while its predominantly flat relief allows most rainfall to get into the aquifer.

Among the few streams of the province are the Caonao River, which is 133 kilometers (83 miles) long and is the natural northeastern border between Ciego de Avila and Camagüey, and the Jatibonico River, which is on the northwestern border with the neighboring province of Sancti Spiritus.

The most important waterway in the province is the Chamba River, where the “Liberacion de Florencia” Hydraulic Complex was built. The complex consists of two dams that can store 79 million cubic meters (over 103 million cubic yards) of water, and that are devoted to freshwater fish raising.

The region has major reservoirs, such as La Redonda lagoon (4.5 sq km - 1.73 sq mi), an ideal place for trout fishing, and La Leche lagoon (67 sq km - 26 sq mi), where a stage of the Formula T-1 speedboat world circuit is held every year.

La Leche lagoon, with 130 million cubic meters of water, owes is name to sediments of calcium sulfate on the bottom that make the water look like milk.

The province’s importance in the leisure industry is complemented by its closeness to the Jardines del Rey tourist region, which is considered one of the fastest-growing destinations in Cuba.

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