The province of Las Tunas, situated between Camagüey, Holguín and Granma, is known for its rural culture and rodeos rather than its 30 pristine beaches. Only Covarrubias beach – together with the virgin beach Playa La Herradura, the most beautiful in Eastern Cuba – has been developed for international tourism. Because of the absence of many tourist facilities, Las Tunas is a great place to go to if you want to experience authentic Cuba.
Las Tunas is considered the gateway to Cuba’s eastern region. It’s closer to Haiti than Havana, in fact, and the cultural differences between the eastern and western parts of Cuba become more noticeable out this way. The province boasts various historical sites related to the war of independence, such as the Fuerte de la Loma national monument – a defense wall constructed by the Spanish troops to fend off attacks by the mambises, Cuba´s fierce independent army.
The city of Las Tunas, also known as La Victoria de las Tunas, was founded in 1759 but only became a provincial capital in 1975 when Las Tunas was established as a province. Las Tunas is renowned for the large amount of public art – particularly sculptures – scattered around town. Each February, Las Tunas hosts the National Sculpture festival.
At the end of June or the beginning of July, the Festival de Décima Cucalambeana, named after the poet Juan José Nápoles Fajardo or “El Cucalambé, is held. This cultural event, which pays tribute to Cuban country music and rural traditions, includes a competition during which participants recite their original 10-line stanzas. The whole affair is accompanied by a huge party with lots of food, dancing and Cuban country music.
The Festival International de Magia (Magic Festival) is held in November.