Camagüey is the third biggest city in the country and one of the nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Cuba. Founded as Santa María del Puerto Príncipe, the city changed its name to honor an Indian chief of the area named Camaguebax. Although, it was one of the first cities established by the Spaniards in Cuba, Camagüey has suffered a certain isolation given its remote location.
Land of prolonged droughts but fertile in talents, this village is famous for its ballet company and for being the place of birth of many Cuban writers and poets. People of Camagüey is mostly Catholic and has a funny accent when speaking that recalls the colonial era.
The Historic Centre of Camagüey is the largest in the country and noted for the excellent preservation of its colonial buildings. Its curious urban plan is attributed to a defense program prepared by the Spanish founders. Two elements stand out in the urban city setting, the cobblestones installed in 1900 and the “tinajones”. These being huge clay jars use to store water for the droughts and place in the entrance of each house.
The tallest building in the city is the Cathedral, dedicated to Our Lady of Candelaria. Located in the former Plaza de Armas renamed Parque Ignacio Agramonte, this structure dates from 1617. The building has undergone many repairs and restorations over the past four centuries.
Although the Cathedral is the greatest religious building in the city, Camagüey has seven smaller churches, all of great beauty. The baroque church of Our Lady of Mercy is the custody of one of the most emblematic relic of the country. The Holy Sepulchre comes out of the church every Good Friday on a procession to the Cathedral and across the whole city to the beat of colonial songs.
The best time of the year to visit Camagüey is on Saint John’s Day (July 24th). This celebration is comparable with the carnival in the rest of the Cuban cities. The streets are completely decorated while people share the local specialty for the day, ajiaco -a sort of stew but cooked with local ingredients such as cassava, plantain and corn. If you want to enjoy this wonderful village, we welcome you at Be Live Turquesa. This extraordinary resort, located in the famous Varadero beach, is ideal for use as a hub, for those travelers interested in discovering more than the tourist Cuba.