Parque de la Ciudad

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The once scrubby wasteland between Hotel Ciego de Ávila and the city center, on the northwestern edge of town, is now a vast park featuring an artificial lake, the Embalse La Turbina, with boating available, children's playgrounds and good eateries. With its offbeat attractions and amiable understatedness, it's one of Cuba's most interesting urban regeneration projects.

It's also testimony to the wonders achievable with scrap: old steam trains have been dusted off in homage to Ciego's transport history; there are impressive artes plásticos (art pieces) including an elephant statue fashioned from old car parts; and, among the eating possibilities, an old Aerocaribbean aircraft converted into a restaurant.

The lake fills a hole left by an old quarry that used to provide stone for the Trocha defensive wall in the 1860s and the Carretera Central in the 1920s.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Museo Provincial Simón Reyes

0.44 MILES

One of Cuba's best-presented municipal museums, this mustard-yellow building with a typical avileño porch is one convertible well spent. Riveting exhibits…

3. Parque Martí

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All Ciego roads lead to this textbook colonial park laid out in 1877 in honor of then king of Spain, Alfonso XII, but renamed in the early 20th century…

4. Iglesia Católica

0.53 MILES

The Iglesia Católica dating from 1947 is notably emblazoned with the city's patron saint, San Eugenio de la Palma.

5. Museo de Artes Decorativas

0.55 MILES

Cuba's most beautiful beds? Not in Varadero, nor in one of the island's classic colonial stop-offs, but downstairs at this modest museum. The thoughtful…

6. Ayuntamiento

0.55 MILES

Looking out over the main square, Parque Martí is Ciego's town hall dating from 1911. Visitors are not allowed inside.

7. Plano-Mural de Ciego de Ávila

0.61 MILES

A bronze map of the city in the late-19th century is stuck on the side of a building, and it marks the site of its founding on June 26, 1840.

8. Cockerel

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Morón is famous for its emblematic cockerel, which stands guard on a roundabout opposite the Hotel Morón on the southern edge of town. It's named after a …