With its verdant fields, expansive reservoirs and lush plantations all glistening in the sunlight, it’s no surprising to learn that Eastern Artemisa is known as the Jardín de Cuba (Garden of Cuba), an area of great fertility where bananas, sugar cane, citrus fruits and tobacco flourish in the rich red ferric soil. It’s a somnambulant area, with a couple of passing attractions like the photogenic town of San Antonio de los Baños and the poetic decay of Antiguo Cafetal Angerona. The area had a brief moment of infamy thanks to Mariel on the northern coast. The nearest port to the US, it was from here that some 125,000 Cubans left the island in 1980 in what was known as the Mariel Boatlift.