Ciego de Ávila is the seventh province in extension, with 6 910 km2. It is located in the central region, and the head city of the province is Ciego de Ávila. It is limited in the north by the Atlantic Ocean and the Canal Viejo de Las Bahamas; in the south by el Golfo de Ana María and the Caribbean Sea, and in the west by the province of Sancti Spíritus. In the old times, this territory was located within the limits of la Villa de Sancti Spíritus and Puerto Príncipe, founded in 1514 and 1515, respectively.

The origin of its name goes back to the geographic term Ciego, that means a plain and sandy soil surrounded by forests without communication with others of its class, and the term Ávila is due to the name of the man who is supposed to have been the founder of the first farms in this area.

The buildings in the Avileña city are generally modern, which in most cases have been built during the period of the Revolution. Within the urban system, it can be pointed out one of the most attractive and visited places, the “José Martí” park, in which terrain centuries ago there used to be a cemetery. Speaking about the numerous places that the province treasures, we have to mention La Redonda lagoon, with the biggest concentration of trouts of the country, and la Laguna de la Leche (the Milk Lagoon), located in Morón city, and named like that for the white color that its waters have when the wind blows and removes great concentrations of calcium sulphate and plaster that are deposited at the bottom of the lagoon. There is a tourist resort in this place with a restaurant built on the lagoon, where sea-food dishes are offered. Besides, there are boat rides, as well as sailing-boats and fishing regattas. Annually, in this place, they celebrate aquatic carnivals which have been incorporated to the traditions of the village.

Ciego de Ávila is a land of sugar cane and citrus fruits, very famous in the country for its delicious pineapples and oranges. In the north coast lies the greatest of its richness, the Jardines del Rey Cays, constituted by numerous cays, among which Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Paredón Grande and Cayo Romano stand out, considered the national reservation for its natural and landscape values. The access to these cays is possible through a stone-road that crosses the sea.

The drive along the causeway to Cayo Coco is 30 kilometers from whence its coral reef extends more than 21 kilometers with white, fine sands and transparent waters. The key is admired for the softness of the sand, the unparalleled beauty of the sea floor and landscapes of abundant vegetation, where deer, wild pigs, and other wild animals move about with no fear. The area also contains outstanding rocky prominences, coastal shelves, and nature trails. n the lower parts of the Bahia de los Perros (the Bay of Dogs) situated on the south coast of Cayo Coco, in an area exposed at low tide, live many seabirds and that can be observed from the viewpoint of La Silla. The drive along the causeway to Cayo Coco is 30 kilometers

Cayo Guillermo is 13 kilometers long of which five are beaches. Their characteristics are very similar to those of Cayo Coco. Less than one kilometer out is a fascinating coral reef where several kind of corals can be found such as the brain coral. This key is an ecological paradise of beaches with fine, white sands and comfortable hotels, one of which is a floating hotel. The better beaches are the Playa El Paso which is five kilometers of long, the Playa del Medio and the Playa Larga.

HOTELS

Hotel Meliá Cayo Coco:***** Located in Cayo Coco in Cuba’s north coast, only 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from the local airport. This hotel has 256 rooms distributed among 53 two-story bungalows. A total of 168 of these rooms are standard, 68 superior, eight junior suites and 12 regular suites with a living room. All rooms have air conditioning, telephone, remote control satellite TV, fully equipped bathroom with hairdryer, freezer, safe deposit box, and balcony or terrace. Laundry, buffet restaurant, à la carte gourmet restaurant, Italian restaurant, grill hut, bar, swimming pool with jacuzzi, boutique, gym, sauna, Turkish bathroom, medical services, clubhouse, a club for children, mini club, car rental, game rooms, water sports. With the “all-inclusive” plan, all guests will enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, all kinds of buffet, snacks, à la carte restaurants, national and imported alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages 24 hours a day, non-motor water sports (except scuba diving), sports activities, daytime club for children and mini-club, safe deposit box, beach chairs, and towels.

Meliá Cayo Guillermo: ***** Situated on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Cayo Guillermo on the adjacent island to Cayo Coco is, only 20 km from Cayo Coco international airport, 125 km from Ciego de Avila international airport and only 1 km from the Coral reef. Accommodation: Bungalow style rooms surrounded by spacious gardens, all of them with a full bathroom, hairdryer. Satellite TV with remote control, air-conditioning, mini fridge, balcony or terrace, safety deposit box and laundry service. Services: Buffet-style restaurant, “A la carte” restaurant, and Italian Restaurant. Beach Barbeque. Lobby Bar open 24 hr. Buffet a la carte restaurants specializing in Cuban and international cuisine. Business meeting conference hall. Beauty parlor, gym, sauna and massage. Fun pub.

Hotel Trip Club Cayo Coco:***** This five-star hotel operating on the “all-inclusive” plan has 474 air-conditioned rooms (40 of them are suites) with a minibar and safe deposit box. It also has a swimming pool with snack bar, game room, buffet, shop, bar, jacuzzi, à la carte restaurant, laundry, gym, and cafeteria. Excursions, international telephone service, beauty parlor, medical services, water sports, beach volleyball, tennis, bike and motorcycle rental, nighttime entertainment, and childcare service.

Ciego de Ávila Hotel:** This modern hotel is located on the outskirts of the city of Ciego de Ávila. Because it is close to fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling sites, as well as various marinas, Ciego de Ávila hotel is especially recommended for visitors who come to this part of Cuba to enjoy sports tourism. There are 143 air-conditioned rooms with private bathroom, minibar, international telephone service, radio, and satellite TV. Restaurant, snack bar, bar, cafeteria, disco, beauty parlor, swimming pool, medical services, hard court tennis, shop, car rental, taxis, parking, postal service, laundry, currency exchange, and central safe deposit box.

Villa Daiquirí:**** Located on Cayo Guillermo on the north coast of Ciego de Ávila province, the villa is only 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from Cayo Coco airport. This hotel has 312 rooms, 277 of them are double and four suites. They all include air conditioning, telephone, satellite TV, and private bathroom. Thirty-one rooms are interconnected. Buffet restaurant, specialized restaurant, snack bar, bar-grill, bar, beach hut specializing in Cuban Creole cuisine, aqua bar, swimming pool, water sports, hard court tennis, multipurpose sports facilities, sports area for beach volleyball and archery, minigolf, disco, medical services, sauna, massage, shop, hosted entertainment, parking, car rental, taxis, currency exchange, postal service, motorcycle and bike rental, fax service, and tourist information bureau. Operates on the “all inclusive” plan.

Villa Cojímar:**** Located on Cayo Guillermo along the north coast of Ciego de Ávila province, Villa Cojímar can be reached along a causeway that connects the key with the big island of Cayo Coco. The villa is 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from Cayo Coco airport and 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the city of Morón. It has 205 rooms, 174 double and 31 triple rooms. They all include air conditioning, private bathroom, hairdryer, telephone, safe deposit box, refrigerator, and satellite TV. Specialized restaurant, buffet restaurant, cafeteria, snack bar, bar, hard court tennis and volleyball, water sports, sports area for practicing archery, aerobics room, swimming pool, medical services, gym, sauna, massage, shop, hosted entertainment, parking, car rental, taxis, currency exchange, central strongbox, postal service, fax service, tourist information bureau, and art gallery. Operates on the “all inclusive” plan.