The city of Sancti Spíritus, though captial of Sancti Spíritus province, is a fairly minor city in terms of economic importance. With a population of about 100,000 , Sancti Spíritus is not a large city compared with other provincial captials around Cuba.
Sancti Spíritus was one of the original seven Cubans cities founded by the Spanish in 1514. Its colonial origins are evident in its buildings and layout, though it's capital status has lent it a more commerical atmosphere. Histrorically, Sancti Spíritus has been somewhat neglected by Spanish governments as well as more recent dictatorships, and as such has been quite loyal to the various revolutions in Cuban history. During the Revolution of 1959, Sancti Spíritus aided Che Guevara's division of the rebel army with hundreds of volunteer fighters.
Sancti Spíritus does not earn much tourist attention; for all its historic sites and attractions, it dims in comparison with the exquisitely preserved colonial city of Trinidad to the south. Tourists heading through the province generally go south, enjoying the nature and wildlife, stop in Trinidad to take it the colonial sights and sounds, and then head on south to the beaches. Sancti Spíritus is therefore relatively tourist-free.
The city is located just a few miles from Presa Zaza, the island's largest lake. Presa Zaza is a manmade lake from the dam on the river Río Zaza. Despite any images of dirty shores and oily water this may conjure up, Presa Zaza is a beatiful setting. The area around it is now a pristine wetlands, home to many species of fish and waterfoul, so much so that it is a tourist attraction for the hunting.