Cuba's third-largest city is easily the suavest and most sophisticated after Havana. The arts shine bright here and it's also the bastion of the Catholic Church on the island. Well known for going their own way in times of crisis, its resilient citizens are called agramontinos by other Cubans, after local First War of Independence hero Ignacio Agramonte, coauthor of the Guáimaro constitution and courageous leader of Cuba's finest cavalry brigade.

Camagüey's pastel colonials and warren-like streets are inspiring. Get lost for a day or two exploring hidden plazas, baroque churches, riveting galleries and congenial bars and restaurants. The flip side is that there is a higher-than-average number of jinteros (touts) who can dog you as you stroll.

In 2008, Camagüey's well-preserved historical center was made Cuba's ninth Unesco World Heritage Site and in 2014 the city celebrated its quincentennial.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Camagüey.