Originally a simple fishing and salt-collecting village east of the Bahía de Nuevitas, Santa Lucía has been attracting tourists—mostly Germans and Italians—for decades, and all you need is a glimpse of the beach to understand why. Its 20-km (12-mile) swath of white sand, shaded by coconut palms and lapped by blue-green waters, is as impressive as any beach on the island. About a mile offshore is a barrier reef that beckons both divers and snorkelers, and in the Bahía de Nuevitas are the ruins of a Spanish fort and other reminders of the days when pirates threatened the region. The tourist area consists of five hotels and other facilities scattered along a 2-km (1-mile) stretch of beach just west of town.
Climate change, industrial activity, poaching, and urban expansion are a few of the problems that plague the preservation of the world’s most important monuments andMore