Becoming the capital of Artemisa Province in 2010 didn't exactly transform Artemisa into a tourist mecca: this farming town’s days of affluence and appeal lie firmly embedded in the past. Having once attracted notables such as Ernest Hemingway and the Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén, and having grown wealthy on the back of 19th-century sugar and coffee booms, Artemisa's importance declined when the bottom fell out of the sugar and coffee industries. It’s known today as the Villa Roja (Red Town) for the famous fertility of its soil, which still yields a rich annual harvest of tobacco, bananas and sugarcane.
Artemisa has no accommodations for tourists: Soroa is the nearest option. As if in compensation, it has one of provincial Cuba's nicest bulevares (pedestrianized shopping streets) recently given an injection of government money.