The first founded settlements were Alquizar and Guanajay. The villages San Cristobal, Bauta, Mariel, San Antonio de los Baños, Güira de Melena and Bahía Honda were founded in the 18th century. Artemisa, Candelaria and Caimito were founded in the 19th century.
The current capital of the province emerged because of the moving of some people from Havana affected by a fire. The village grew fast, first supported on the coffee crop economy, then on the cane of sugar. The ruins of Angerona Coffee Plantation, nowadays National Monument, give testimony of the golden age of coffee crop that granted the region the nickname of “Jardín de Cuba” (Garden of Cuba). Read More...
The territory of Artemisa was scene of several combats during La Guerra Necesaria (The Necessary War). Afterwards it gave the most part of combatants who participated in the Moncada Garrison assault and in the Granma yacht expedition.
The Artemisa combatants’ mortal remains rest in the mausoleum built on their memory: “Mausoleo de los Mártires de Artemisa” (Mausoleum to the Martyrs of Artemisa). Among the important figures highlight Carlos Baliño and Rubén Martínez Villena.
Las Terrazas community is another historical element of the province with about 1 300 inhabitants, built in harmony with the natural-surrounding environment. In this place is being carried out a successful project of sustainable rural economy aimed at the rational use of natural resources to the tourism.
This community is the result of a project by UNESCO for the biosphere reserve started in 1971 with the goal of approaching the rural communities with their surroundings. The area, where Las Terrazas is located, suffered a hard deforestation since the colonial period caused by the exploitation of the near cobber mines, indiscriminate forestry and coffee plantations, leaving the area like a lunar landscape.
When Sierra del Rosario was declared Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1985, and being the community inside of it, next started projects aimed at its renovation and tourism development. The complex Las Terrazas was officially created in 1994; then begins the settlement of modern accommodations and the transformation of the economic base, with a transfer to the service sector, especially to ecologic tourism, the sort of sustainable. This is the reason why the Hotel La Moka was built as well as restaurants, coffeeshops, rehabilitation rooms, etc.
The community does not receive state budget since 1995 because of the fact that it counts with a high autonomy and self-management level. The revenues from the national and international tourism are invested on the environment’s and the community’s caring.