Must see attractions in Camagüey

  • Top ChoiceSights in Camagüey

    Plaza del Carmen

    Around 600m west of the frenzy of República sits another sublimely beautiful square, one less visited than the central plazas. It's backed on the eastern side by the masterful Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen, one of the prettiest city churches.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Camagüey

    Casa de Arte Jover

    Camagüey is home to two of Cuba's most creative and prodigious contemporary painters, Joel Jover and his wife Ileana Sánchez. Their magnificent home in Plaza Agramonte functions as a gallery and piece of art in its own right, with a slew of original pieces, resident chihuahuas and delightfully kitschy antiques on show. Guests can browse and purchase high-quality original art.

  • Sights in Camagüey

    Museo Casa Natal de Ignacio Agramonte

    The birthplace of independence hero Ignacio Agramonte (1841–73), the cattle rancher who led the Camagüey area's revolt against Spain. The house – an elegant colonial building in its own right – tells of the oft-overlooked role of Camagüey and Agramonte in the First War of Independence. The hero's gun is one of his few personal possessions displayed.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Camagüey

    Museo Provincial Ignacio Agramonte

    Named (like half of Camagüey) after the exalted local War of Independence hero, this cavernous museum, just north of the train station, is in a Spanish cavalry barracks dating from 1848. There's some impressive artwork upstairs, including much by Camagüey locals, as well as antique furniture and old family heirlooms.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Camagüey

    Martha Jiménez Pérez

    In Cuba's ceramics capital, the studio-gallery of Martha Jiménez Pérez shows the work of one of Cuba's greatest living artists. See everything from pots to paintings being produced here. The studio overlooks Pérez' magnum opus, Plaza del Carmen's alfresco statue of three gossiping women entitled Chismosas (gossipers). The chismosas also feature in many of her paintings inside.

  • Sights in Camagüey

    Estudio-Galería Jover

    The working studio of Joel Jover, a noted Cuban artist with exhibits in New York, Vienna and Italy. By comparison, his works here are a bargain (though still not pocket change). Multimedia works and paintings deal with themes of identity related to Cuba's complicated heritage and relationship with the diaspora. A visit is best if you speak Spanish. There's plenty more at his magnificent home, Casa de Arte Jover.

  • Sights in Camagüey

    Plaza San Juan de Dios

    Looking more Mexican than Cuban (Mexico was capital of New Spain so the colonial architecture was often superior), Plaza San Juan de Dios is Camagüey's most picturesque and beautifully preserved corner. Its eastern aspect is dominated by the Museo de San Juan de Dios, formerly a hospital. Worthwhile restaurants lurk behind the square's arresting blue, yellow and pink building facades.

  • Sights in Camagüey

    Parque Ignacio Agramonte

    Camagüey's most dazzling square in the heart of the city invites relaxation with rings of marble benches and an equestrian statue (c 1950) of Camagüey's precocious War of Independence hero, Agramonte. Stop by at 6pm to watch local youth in white campesino garb solemnly lowering the flag with great pomp, accompanied by a speaker blasting out the national anthem.

  • Sights in Camagüey

    Necropolis de Camagüey

    This sea of elaborate, lop-sided, bleached-white Gothic tombs makes up Cuba's most underrated cemetery, secreting the resting place of Camagüey-born independence hero Ignacio Agramonte, among others. It might not quite have the clout of Havana's Cementerio Colón but isn't too far behind in its roll call of famous incumbents.

  • Sights in Camagüey

    Mercado Agropecuario Hatibonico

    If you visit just one market in Cuba, make it this muddy one. Beside the murky Río Hatibonico just off the Carretera Central, and characterized by its pregones (singsong, often comic, offering of wares) ringing through the stalls, this is a classic example of Cuban-style free enterprise juxtaposed with cheaper but lower-quality government stalls.

  • Sights in Camagüey

    Casino Campestre

    Cuba's largest urban park sits across the Río Hatibonico from the old town, and was laid out in 1860. There are shaded benches, a baseball stadium, concerts and activities. On a traffic island near the park entrance, there's a monument dedicated to Mariano Barberán and Joaquín Collar, Spaniards who made the first nonstop flight between Seville, Spain, and Camagüey, Cuba, in 1933.

  • Sights in Camagüey

    Lago de los Sueños

    The so-called 'lake of dreams' is as an out-of-town escape from Camagüey's urban maze. It uses the same inventive (if slightly kitschy) methodology employed by a similar venture in Ciego de Ávila. The bizarre pièce de résistance is an ice-cream parlor encased in the fuselage of an old Soviet plane. Runner up is the antediluvian train-carriage-turned-restaurant.

  • Sights in Camagüey

    Museo de San Juan de Dios

    Housed in a former hospital administered by Father José Olallo, the friar who became Cuba’s first saint, the museum chronicles Camagüey’s history and exhibits some local paintings. Its front cloister dates from 1728 and a unique triangular rear patio with Moorish touches was built in 1840. Ceasing to function as a hospital in 1902, it served as a teachers' college, a refuge during the 1932 cyclone and the Centro Provincial de Patrimonio, responsible for restoring local monuments.

  • Sights in Camagüey

    Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Merced

    Dating from 1748, this is arguably Camagüey’s most impressive colonial church. Its history is imbued with legend. Local myth tells of a miraculous figure that floated from the watery depths here in 1601, and it has been a spot of worship ever since. The active convent in the attached cloister is distinguished by its two-level arched interior, spooky catacombs (where the church faithful were buried until 1814) and the dazzling Santo Sepulcro, a solid silver coffin.

  • Sights in Camagüey

    Casa de la Diversidad

    Impossible to miss thanks to its eclectic facade (a mix of Moorish and neoclassical elements), this museum's best exhibit is the building itself. Four exhibition rooms dedicated to slavery, costumes, art and architecture are explored relatively quickly, but it's worth savoring the ornate lobby with soaring pillars. Pride of place, however, goes to the toilets (yes, toilets!) where intricate frescos have been uncovered. The ladies' is the most ornate.

  • Sights in Camagüey

    Iglesia de San Lazaro

    The Iglesia de San Lazaro is a beautiful (if diminutive) cream-coloured church dating from 1700. Just as interesting is the nearby cloistered hospital constructed a century later by virtuous Franciscan monk Padre Valencia to nurse leprosy victims.

  • Sights in Camagüey

    Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria

    Any exploration of Camagüey's religious history should begin at its most important church, named for the city's patron saint. Rebuilt in the 19th century on the site of an earlier chapel dating from 1530, the cathedral was fully restored with funds raised from Pope John Paul II's 1998 visit. While not Camagüey's most eye-catching church, it is noted for its noble Christ statue that sits atop a craning bell tower. You can climb the tower for CUC$1.

  • Sights in Camagüey

    Iglesia de Nuestra Corazón de Sagrado Jesús

    One of Cuba’s rare neo-Gothic churches beautifies Parque Martí, a few blocks east of Parque Ignacio Agramonte. The triple-spired Iglesia de Nuestra Corazón de Sagrado Jesús is technically from an architectural subgenre called Catalan Gothic and dazzles with its ornate stained glass, decorative ironwork and pointed arches. You can sometimes climb the tower for CUC$1.

  • Sights in Camagüey

    Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad

    Gleaming after a much-lauded 2007 renovation, this massive baroque structure dates from 1779. Its picturesque cream-and-terracotta tower actually predates the rest of the church. It's an eye-catching landmark on the city skyline, and inside there are ornate baroque frescoes and the hallowed font where patriotic hero Ignacio Agramonte was baptized in 1841.

  • Sights in Camagüey

    Iglesia de la Caridad

    On the southeastern edge of the city, this church was originally constructed as a chapel in the 18th century. It got a couple of 20th-century renovations (in 1930 and 1945) and has a fine silver altar (c 1730) and image of the Virgin de la Caridad del Cobre, complete with an embossment of Cuba's national flower, la mariposa (white jasmine).