Eastern Cuba is a place of striking scenery, population and culture. The terrain is somewhat rugged and boasts such hallmarks as the Sierra Maestra mountains to the south and the Sierra Cristal, with its Sagua Baracoa ridges, to the north. The provinces of Las Tunas, Granma, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo make up what’s known as Eastern Cuba, a surface of some 13,500 square miles.
On the ground, the Central Road reaches through the entire area. A mess of highways and dirt roads takes visitors to other locations, cities, towns and sightseeing spots across the territory. By air, the main entry points are the international airports of Santiago de Cuba (Antonio Maceo), Holguin (Frank Pais) and Granma (Carlos Manuel de Cespedes and Sierra Maestra. There are two excellent marinas in Bahia de Vita (Holguin) and Santiago de Cuba.
The coastal areas and the plains show a balmy and slightly milder climate, even cold up in the mountains. The higher the ground, the higher the temperature, though hot conditions are common. July and August are extreme months in this sense.
Blacks, whites and mixed-race people are the three largest racial groups of eastern Cuba, with as many as 3.9 million inhabitants.
Spanish. (In all major tourist centers, staff members speak foreign languages such as English, French, Italian and German).
Mostly Catholic, Apostolic and Roman, though African-cuban rituals are well rooted. The Day of Our Virgin of Charity of Cobre, Cuba’s Saint Patron, is observed on September 8. Thousands and thousands of devoted pilgrims head for Santiago de Cuba in a massive procession to the steps of the Virgin’s church in the outskirts of the city.
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba’s secondlargest city, second best to Havana. Other major cities are Holguin, Las Tunas, Bayamo, Guantanamo, all capitals of the region’s provinces.
Like in the rest of Cuba, traffic is on the right side of the road. When it comes to driving in rural areas, it’s commonplace to see tractors, horsehauled buggies and bicycles, so there’s need to take extra precaution measures when hitting those roads. Up in the mountains, drivers must double those precautions due to regular rainfall and the existence of zigzagging and narrow dirt roads.
The main travel destinations across the region, from the north of Las Tunas and Holguin all the way to faraway Baracoa, feature excellent hotels and resorts next to top-class beaches or in the cities and inland natural locations with a variety of options in terms of rates and categories.
Roads are in good conditions across the board, but it’s important to h a v e maps or ask your way around with the locals. Road signs are not everywhere. When touring around or planning group traveling, visitors may rely on transfer in/transfer out services from their hotels. There are plenty of car rentals at airports, tourist centers and major cities.