La Victória de Las Tunas (as it's officially known) is a sleepy agricultural town anointed provincial capital. It has long held a sleazy reputation for being the Oriente's capital of sex tourism. But thanks to good private lodgings, welcoming locals and a handy location on Cuba's arterial Carretera Central, handfuls of road-weary travelers drop by and are pleasantly surprised. Missing here are the touts that exasperate tourists in other destinations. It's a window into real provincial life.
Referred to as the 'city of sculptures,' Las Tunas is certainly no Florence. But what it lacks in grandiosity it makes up for in small-town quirks. You can see an authentic country rodeo here, admire a statue of a two-headed Taíno chief, go wild at one of the city's riotous Saturday-night street parties or wax lyrical at the weird and witty Jornada Cucalambeana, Cuba's leading country-music festival.