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Renovated building of the former Casino Español, now Casa de Cultura on pedestrian bulevar © sogestour
•]• Restaurante Romagnolo © sogestour
OUR CASA LIST BEGINS HERE REGIONAL MAP HERE
Located in what is essentially an agriculture centre (large orange groves, pineapple, sugar cane, milk production, potatoes, tomatoes), Ciego de Avila was named after one of Diego Velazquez' (Spain's main man) henchmen Alonso de Avila who was granted a huge hacienda from which the town was founded in 1849.

Wanting to protect the area from Cuban freedom fighters, Velazquez built
fortifications and watchtowers (trochas) from its mangrove-laden coast in Moron to Jucaro and Avila's farmland. These did not prevent Manuel Suarez (1876), Antonio Maceo (1895) or Camilo Cuenfuegos in 1958 to take the town.

For over a decade, the town is site of an annual film festival dedicated to erotica in mid-February : the
Festival de cine erótico. On the UNEAC stage in September is held the local stopover of the national tour of Jovenes Trovadores (Young Trova performers).

DISTANCES (km)
Bayamo, 321
Camaguey, 110
Cayo Guillermo, 94
Ceballos (airport), 24
Chambas
Cienfuegos, 219
Holguin, 318
Jucaro, 32
La Habana, 397
Las Tunas, 129
Morón, 36
Santa Clara, 139
Santiago, 438

Orlando Garcia : Portrait of an elderly man ENLARGE
© Orlando Garcia - HT 2015 Photo Contest here

ciego minimap

MAPS & LINKS
Map of center - Architecture & Landscape Guide
Downtown map with details
Map of Province from South to North and Cayos
Map - Cayos Coco & Guillermo via Moron, 36k away
Viazul through here : Ruta 25 + Ruta 24 + Ruta 16
Island-wide bus connections (horariodebuses.com/)
National train sked going through here
Motor Coach train to Camaguey, daily
Weather (Weather City)
Circuits Centro - Itineraries & Top Casas
Daily exchange rates
All that's natural in Ciego de Avila
Robin Thom Photography - Ciego de Avila Gallery

All the Web particuba.net

POPULATION 139,937 (2007)

SEE.KNOW.DO
Museo Provincial Simon Reyes Hernandez
"Quite possibly the best-presented municipal museum in Cuba, this mustard-yellow building with a typical avileña porch is one convertible peso well spent. Fascinating exhibits include a scale model of La Trocha, detailed information on Afro-Cuban culture and religion, and explanations on the province's rich collection of traditional festivals.", says Lonely Planet Cuba

A short train ride evoking Memoria Viva aboard a refurbished steam train, maintained by able engineers of the Minaz (Ministry of Sugar) runs weekends leaving at 9 for a return trip to Santo Tomas, 8 km north on the road to Moron passing by the famous Trocha towers Centro Raul Martínez Museo Provincial Parque Marti (his statue and the Ayuntamiento or city hall) Teatro Principal Galeria de Arte Provincial La Trocha. Every second year (even numbered years) is held the Festival Nacional de Danza Solamente Solos

NATURAL & NEARBY
Lago La Redonda near Moron Laguna de la Leche, Cuba's biggest lake (68 square km) with pink flamingos also near Moron Jucaro and Jardines de la Reina for scuba diving.

RESTAURANTS
Doce Plantas
Don Pepe (a bit better, centrally-located) El Colonial Meson El Fuerte Moscù PALADARES Las Delicias Los Flamingos (best in town)

EVENINGS
Casa de la Trova (Trovadores from all over Cuba meet every September) Casa de la Cultura Casa de Fiesta Disco Amigo Cine Carmen Cine Iriondo Hotel Ciego de Avila : to be avoided, unless you come with female companion : bed bugs assured. Read more (Feb. 2015)

TRANSPORTATION
Bus Viazul Click on map below Trains (From La Habana, three trains go by here every 3 days : #3, #5, #7 see links above + Circuito Norte below) Trains MotorCoach #503 CocheMotor leaves daily at 14h05 to Camaguey;

SERVICES
Internet Office Open daily 8h30-19h30 Centro Multiservicios de Ciego de Ávila Joaquín de Agüero e/ Honorato del Castillo y Maceo Banque BFI, calle Honorato del Castillo 14, mon-fri, 8h-15h Bandec calle Independencia 73 y Maceo Aeropuerto (33) 26-6626 Cubacar (33) 30-8197 Cubana, Honorato Castillo (33) 26-6627 Havanautos (33) 22-3312 Marina Cayo Coco-Guillermo (33) 30-1637 Radio Surco 1440 AM, 98,1 FM Transautos (33) 22-8013 Cubacar, (33) 30-8197 Cubataxi (33) 22-2997

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Enlarge to see map with some of local buildings with architectural, cultural and historical interest.

The bulevar attracts pedestrians
On a strip of calle Independencia, the bulevar (pedestrian street) starts at Parque Marti and covers three blocks of shops, culture centres and museums and more shops. Since 2009, it's still growing with new buildings and a hotel going up at the other end © sogestour ] Dog watching (or barking, who knows) after pedestrians © robin thom photography

Parque Marti © panoramio •]• Other view of bulevar, for motion not pullution © flickr.com
Parque Marti © panoramio ] Other view of bulevar, a place for natural motion not chemical pullution since January 2009 © flickr.com

Catedral de San Eugenio de la Palma © dentharthurdent, flickr.com •]• Cine Carmen, site of Festival de Cine Erotico © northknight panoramio
Catedral de San Eugenio de la Palma towers over Parque Marti on calle Independencia which becomes a pedestrian-only street © dentharthurdent, flickr.com ]• Cine Carmen site of Festival de Cine Erotico © northknight panoramio

Hotel Sevilla © Wampy 60 panoramio •]• Edificio UEB © OliWheatley flickr
Restaurant in a train car © Robin Thom Photography ]• Edificio UEB © OliWheatley flickr


Some of the best decorative art items in the land can be found here at the local MAD - Museo de Artes Decorativas - such as this luxurious bygone-era bedroom. Can't miss it, it's on Maceo, corner Independencia. © orlando gonzalez


These two happy go lucky compañeros or parqueadores will watch over your two-wheeler as bikes are not allowed on the town's main street which is pedestrian-only © sogestour


Viazul busses pass through here 14 times a day to or from La Habana, Varadero, Trinidad and Santiago — Rutas 16, 24, 25 and Circuito Norte : links above and below

Where the walking street begins, the polluting car stops — Parque Marti y Bulevar © sogestour •]• A beach on Cayo Coco about 100 k's away north © Sandrocan, panoramio

Catedral San Eugenio de la Palma

Casa de la Cultura [Casino Español]


Museo de Historia [Comandancia]

Colegio Champagnat

Teatro Principal
DIY WALKING TOURS [MAP HERE]
Parque Marti marks the center of the city. [Google Map here.] It was built in 1877 when it was named Plaza Alfonso XII; became Jose Marti in the XXth century. Since 1925, hosts a bust in memory of the patriot. On one side of the square, the catholic church of San Eugenio de la Palma. Built in 1947, declared a cathedral in 1996. Next to the church, the yellow building is the Poder Popular (Government House), built according to eclectic-style standards and inaugurated in 1911.

Also on the square, the
Museo de Artes decorativos, corner Marcial Gomez and Independencia with important collections of furniture, tableware, porcelain, gemstones and jewelry. Linked to this place, El Bulevar is pedestrian for three blocks, starting near Hotel Sevilla, then goes on with shops, cultural and music centers to its end where a new office complex and hotel are being built.


Poder Popular


Masonic lodge

Hotel Sevilla

Casa Perez, Cruz verde


Museo de Artes decorativas
Fine example of eclectic architecture, dating from 1927, the Teatro Principal is the work of Italian sculptor Giovanni Marcos and his son Giacomo. At the corner of Honorato Castillo and Maximo Gomez, the Museo de Historia in a magnificent building of the nineteenth century reshaped in the 70s: artifacts and exhibits on the history, culture and archeology of the province. Galeria de Arte Provincial Raul Martinez, calle Independencia offers four exhibit rooms with creations in contemporary art with pieces byt the Pauyet group, nationally known group of artisans; beautiful patio; cultural activities.

Hotel El Ariete


Banco CyC [Banco Nuñez]

Farmacia La Fé

Casa Balbin


Casa del agua y viviendas


Restaurante La Fonda
Formerly the headquarters of the Royal Bank of Canada until 1959, the building of Banco Comercio y Credito corner Maceo and Independencia's eclectic style was built between 1925 and 1930. Another historic building, built in 1865, El Cabildo for the personal use Ramon Cortes Pimentel, appointed prefect, was seat of the prefecture (cabildo for Cubans) for the next eight years. Restored in 1999. The wall of the history of the city lies corner Marcial Gomez and Joaquin de Agüero. This large mural represents the plan of the first 25 blocks of the city including the headquarters of the Spanish colony.

Photos by José Ramon (Junta de Andalucia) and René Silvera Toledo (Oficina del Historiador de Santiago de Cuba) from Guia de Architectura y Paisaje - Camaguey Ciego de Avila published by the city's Office of the Historiador and the Heritage conservation study centre of the Universitad de Camaguey under the direction of Lourdes Gomez Consuegra, 2009 - Full 238-page document (67 Mb) here.
JARDINES DE LA REINA
Only 500 fishermen and 1000 divers allowed per year.
The most pristine marine spot on Earth, yet untouched by oil spills, consumer pollution or overfishing.

This huge protected marine park established by Fidel in 1997 comprises 250 cayos and is frequented by scientists and (a few) water sports aficionados.


© Nicola Zingarelli
Dive report on undercurrent.org here. Jardines de la Reina ("Avalon Wildlife") PDF.
Rates 2015-2018 in USD here
(Figure a minimum of 5000$CAD, single rate per week in 2017, without airfare or ground transport to Jucaro. That calls for a 2nd mortgage ; - )


2015-2017 availability here

The lucky few will find huge groupers, pargos, jureles, robalos, barracudas and various species of sharks) as well as a few lucky scuba divers. An Italian company, Avalon, cooperating with the Cuban Marlin has a monopoly of exploiting the area for tourists; only "liveaboards" are offered as these diving and fishing areas are a long way off the Ciego de Avila province shores.

The national park can be reached some 60-90 km south of
the town of Jucaro (a train runs to it from Moron or Ciego de Avila). Speedboats leave from there at 5 a.m., taking at least 2-3 hours (up to 5) to reach the floating platform hotel ship Tortuga (8 cabins) more or less if one decides to travel the archipelago on one of the safari yachts such as La Reina (4 cabins), the Halcon (6 cabins) or the Caballones (5 cabins) or the Avalon (8 double/triple)

Not rare, they say that lucky fishing fans catch (and release) the 20 or so species found in the archipelago — all in a few days.
Advance bookings required, usually 10 months. The closest international airport is Cayo Coco off the northern coast. One has to cross the whole width of the island going by Moron, Ciego de Avila and the old sugar mill in the town of Venezuela. Five-day inclusive tours; best season is April through June. Lowest rate available - through German group cuba-diving.de - is on La Reina : about US$2900 (3,800CAD$/2600 Euros) for one week including 15 dives, excluding fuel surcharge and other extras, sharing double.

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS
::: Make sure that in your first email or phone call you specify that you want to book a room in that particular casa and that you will reconfirm your booking on arrival in Cuba. Unless you only want a room in any house which may be of the same quality, not the specific casa you booked through photos on these websites ::: So as to not abandon expecting owners with empty rooms, reconfirm (or call ahead to cancel) your booking by phone as soon as you can after arriving in Cuba ::: Please write or phone a casa owner to cancel a booking. As late as it may seem, it allows them a chance to rebook. ::: Children under the age of 16 may share a bedroom with adults for free. Specify the child's age when booking. ::: Since October 2010, maximum bedroom capacity is not limited to two adults ::: Also, large casas are not limited to renting only two bedrooms per night. ::: At the end of the casa name, the V signals the casa was suggested by travelers or owners but not verified by the website staff. If you try it and like it, write us about it. ::: Unless otherwise mentioned, the average room rates and service prices are : 20-25cuc per bedroom per night [up to 40+ for 4 in a room]; breakfasts 3-5cuc, dinners 7-10cuc. ::: Any casa particular anywhere in Cuba must have a hot water shower, otherwise it cannot have a permit to rent ::: Please share your Complaints, comments & suggestions webmaster [@]cubacasas.net

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BOOK BY PHONE
• From Canada and the USA : 011 53 (add phone # preceded by 33 for Ciego de Avila) • From Europe, Great Britain, Scandinavia and Mexico : 00 53 (add phone # preceded by 33 for Ciego de Avila) HOW TO DIAL A CUBAN PHONE NUMBER HERE CELL PHONE NUMBERS on our town lists and casa pages are preceded by 05 for calls originating Havana; from anywhere else in Cuba, dial 01 + the 8 digits of the cell.

BOOK BY EMAIL : Click on logo to open a message addressed to that casa in your email application; or right-click to copy address. Spanish vocabulary here.

VILLA JABON CANDADO
Two aircon bedrooms, ensuite baths, terrace
Calle Chicho Valdes (Carretera Central) # 51, corner Abraham Delgado, two blocks from Parque Marti, downtown. Tel. (33) 22-5854

VILLA JABON CANDADO


SERGIO y AYLIN V
One aircon bedroom, ensuite, patio
Calle Republica No. 265, entre Soto y Quinta, some 9 blocks from Parque Marti in reparto Diaz Pardo. Tel. (33) 22-3764


IRIS V
One aircon bedroom, ensuite bathroom
Calle Cuba No. 265, entre Soto y Quinta, 6 blocks from Parque Marti in reparto Diaz Pardo. Tel (33) 22-5571



CANDIDA V
Two aircon bedrooms, ensuite baths, terrace
Calle Joaquin Aguero 156 e/Marti y Pasaje Quesada, town centre, 4 blocks from Parque Marti and one from Parque de los Martires. Tel (33) 20-5296



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MARI y GUSTAVO
Tw ac bedrooms, ensuites
Calle Eduardo Marmol #25, e/ Abraham Delgado y Marcial Gomez, 4 blocks north of Parque Marti. Tel (33) 20-2323 cell 58 31 11 28

YELINE y LINO V
One ac bedroom, ensuite, mini lounge, pool
Calle Chicho Valdés 156, e/ José Marti y O. Hernandez, parque de los Martires. Tel (33) 22-3467, cel. 54 06 49 84







content & photos © sogestour

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Updated 31.08.2016