Ciego de Avila is a Cuban province known as the city of portals and cradle of Cuban language pronunciation. It is considered by many language specialists and Cubans as the province whose people have the most authentic Cuban accent. Located in the central part of the island of Cuba, bordering the two west Sancti Spiritus and to the north by the Florida Straits and to the east with Camagüey and south by the Caribbean Sea. The capital is the city of Ciego de Avila, founded in 1840; it is characterized by the precision of its city layout which utilized the modern grid or block configuration similar to modern cities. The presence of portals and varied designs of the neoclassical columns that define the image of this country. Ciego de Avila seventh in size among the provinces with 6 946.90 square kilometers, accounting for 6.3% of the total land area. It is the home province to such spectacular tourist destinations as Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Romano, Cayo Sabinal and Cayo Paredon all of which are controlled by the Ciego De Avila Provincial government. It also controls a large portion of the Jardines del Rey Keys, the local government having been intimately involved in the planning and completion of the now famous pedraplen causeway linking these paradise islands to the mainland.
The city of Ciego de Avila is 460km east of Havana and 110km west of Camaguey, has developed as something of an historical intermediate stopover point for travelers. Many travelers is the city as an overnight resting place before continuing on to the cities of Trinidad and Santo Domingo in the 19th century.
An interesting place to visit is Parque Marti and just a few blocks from there it is the Teatro Principal, a 500-seater theatre which has recently been totally restored. This was built by a rich socialite, Angela Hernandez Viuda de Jimenez, who battled to create a cultural Mecca in her home town of Ciego de Avila.
The Museo Provincial on Calle Jose Antonio Eschevarria is well worth a visit if you are interested in the area’s role in the struggle to overthrow Batista. The Centro Provincial de Arte building on Calle Independencia may appeal to those looking for the peculiarities of provincial artwork. The Casa de la Trova on Libertad No 130 can occasionally deliver a guttural night out and overall noisy fun.
Traffic in the town is almost all horse-drawn buggies, and the longest possible journey should only cost a few pesos. The town is built on a strict grid system centered on Parque Marti but there are few buildings of note, the most popular meeting place on the square is the Casa de Agua (Water House), which serves free glasses of the local mineral water, as well as homemade refrescos (soft drinks), fruit juices and the Cuban favorite of Malta with condensed milk.