Together, the provinces of Cienfuegos and Villa Clara form a strip of land that runs north-south from coast to coast. The border between the provinces is shown on the above map.
The northern province of the two is Villa Clara. Heavily cultivated, this province is second in tobacco production only to the province of Pinar del Río.
The northern areas of Villa Clara province are mainly low-lying flatlands. There are no major ports in along the province's northern coast; the area's main importance is in its sugarcane production.
The province's capital, Santa Clara, is located in the southern part of the province, near the border with Cienfuegos province. The area around, and especially to the south of, Santa Clara is dominated by the mountain range Las Alturas de Santa Clara. It was in this rain-forest environment that Che Guevara established his stronghold during the Revolution of 1959.
The southern portion of the area makes up the Cienfuegos province. Cienfuegos' importance lies in its significant industrial output - despite being a relatively small province, it leads the nation in overall industrial production. Cienfuegos province is also an important trading center; its capital city, Cienfuegos, is one of the major ports on Cuba's southern coast.
The geography of Cienfuegos province is mainly dominated by the Alturas de Santa Clara and Sierra del Embarscay mountain ranges, except for a small coastal plain. The province's agricultural production is insignificant, and without any spectacular beaches, it attracts relatively few tourists.
Above: An oil painting depicting a landscape in Cienfuegos province.