Several stories have been weaved around the founding of this province. Some speak of the arrival of Alonso de Ojeda to the aboriginal village of Cueybá after having wrecked in 1510. He wandered along the coastal marshland carrying an image of Virgin Mary that he rescued from the wreckage. The first village he encountered was that of Cueybá and, as he had promised to himself, he gave the image to the cacique and had him build a temple for the adoration of the virgin.
In 1513, the territory of Las Tunas was part of Bayamo, but in the 18th century it became more independent. It was not given the title of city until 1853. In the Ten-Year War, Vicente García, a brave and polemic figure of Cuban struggles for independence, took over with his men the city of Las Tunas on December 22, 1876. In the war starting in 1895 the participation of the people of this city in the East-West Invasion was glorious. The cavalry of this region combated fiercely the Spanish adversary, thus favoring the movement of infantry towards the province of Camagüey.
During the neocolonial republic, Las Tunas was characterized like the rest of the eastern region by the intransigency of its people. It was closely linked to clandestine movements and cooperated actively in the guerrilla war in the mountains.