Santiago de Cuba
Beach, History, Culture, Nature
Do you want to know the east of Cuba and know what to do it?. Come and make a trip to Santiago de Cuba with our agency Easy Booking Cuba. The cultural capital of Cuba, is a land of contrasts, where mountains and the sea converge. Is Located on the margins of a large bay with the Sierra Maestra in the background. Santiago is the most Caribbean of all Cuban cities.
Has a mainly mountainous territory, with the great extension of the Sierra Maestra. Santiago are the highest point of the archipelago, the Turquino Peak (1974 m above sea level). It is followed by Pico Cuba (1874 m), Pico Suecia (1734 m) and La Gran Piedra (Great Stone) (1225 m). We recommend you travel by rental car to better organize your time.
The distinctive feature of Santiago de Cuba is its hospitality. The inhabitants are open, friendly and communicative. They are the epicenter of many important events, such as the Wars of Independence of 1868 and 1895. As well as the attack on the Moncada Barracks led by Fidel Castro.
The Castillo del Morro was declared a World Heritage Site in 1997. It rises as an inaccessible fortress on a rock of 60 meter when arriving to the port of Santiago. The Italian who designed the fortifications La Punta and El Morro in Havana, designed it in 1587. It took more than 70 years to build. By the time he finished, there were almost no pirates. It was then used as a prison.
The Archaeological Landscape of the first coffee plantations in the southeast of Cuba. Was declared a World Heritage Site on November 29, 2000. In the La Isabelica Coffee Museum, in the elevations of the Gran Piedra, is the plate that recognizes this distinction.
The French Tumba became a dance and musical tradition in eastern Cuba, marked by the influence of black slaves. This survived through the musical group La Caridad de Oriente. It was declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2003.
Santiago de Cuba was the last of the first seven villages founded. By the Spanish conquistador Diego Velázquez, at the end of 1515. From its foundation and until 1607 it held the title of capital of Cuba.
It is a lively city, the same day as at night. Blessed by its warm climate and the hustle and bustle of its inhabitants. Here you can taste the best rum in the country.
It has a rich history, witnesses are the more than 20 museums it has. After the Haitian revolution, many French immigrated to these lands, introducing coffee plantations and their culture. His famous carnival was influenced by the festivities of African slaves, becoming a popular party. Where the conga, comparsa and floats are present. As well as the unmistakable sound of the Chinese trumpet and the drum.
The French Tumba is another representative element of its culture. Santiago, is the cradle of the son and the bolero; where traditional trova and choral singing are deeply rooted. It is distinguished by its songs of crossed spiritualism, palo monte and santería, among other syncretic and autochthonous religions.
As a tourist destination it offers the possibility of enjoying the well-preserved nature of its Baconao and Sierra Maestra parks. As well as the mountainous group of the Great Stone and other ecological reserves of the area. For the lovers of the diving, the coral reefs are a great attraction. They have a high degree of conservation and more than 70 species.
It is the most important and busiest park in the city. In its surroundings, buildings of varied styles coexist. You can see the house of Diego Velázquez, the Cathedral, the old Club San Carlos and Casa Granda hotel.
Located in a corner of Céspedes Park, was the home of the conqueror Diego Velázquez. It is an invaluable treasure of colonial architecture. It was built between 1516 and 1530. Experts consider it to be the oldest Spanish construction in Latin America.
The building was the site of the first government of the island. On the ground floor there was an old chamber of commerce and a gold foundry. On the second floor lived the Conqueror. It is memorable for its Mudéjar architectural and decorative elements. It was restored to the last stage of the 1960s and in 1970 it became a museum. Relive the colonial atmosphere of the first Cuban homes, as well as their furniture.
It was the first institution of its kind in Cuba, inaugurated in 1899. Its patron and promoter was Don Emilio Bacardí Moreau, the first mayor of Santiago and a mogul of rum. Treasures valuable pieces of pre-Columbian culture, national art and history. Show personal objects of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes.
It has two mummies, one Peruvian and the other Egyptian, the latter brought by Bacardí himself. It show a collection of colonial paintings, works of Spanish Renancentism and modern Cuban painters such as Wilfredo Lam and René Portocarrero.
Because of its historical and architectural value, the birthplace of José María Heredia was converted into a museum, to preserved one of the colonial relics of Santiago. Exhibits documents, paintings and other objects. Its most recognized work Oda al Niagara, is found outside. Here lies the Heredia Study Center. Institution created to investigate the life of the first romantic poet of America.
Given the undulating and steep topography of the valley where the village settled, alleys emerged, staggered streets of marked slope. Built in 1899 by order of Emilio Bacardí, in honor of Clergyman Bernardo del Pico Redin. Is one of the most famous streets. Is a natural viewpoint and its steps are the entrance to the Tivoli neighborhood. It is, in addition, the avenue par excellence of Santiago carnival. It has 52 steps and 12 breaks.
This cathedral is the main church in Santiago. Its exterior and interior beauty are worthy of contemplation. It is said that this is the third one that was in the place. The current one, completed in 1922, accentuates its two neoclassical towers. The body of Diego Velázquez rests under its foundations. It was restored in 2015. Enjoy its beautiful paintings on the roof, chairs of choir carved by hand. Exhibits a majestic and elegant altar in honor of the Virgin of Charity.
It is one of the most frequented places in the city. It was built at the end of the 18th century, as part of the development of Santiago. In the nineteenth century the Spanish carried out the executions of those prosecuted for insurrection. By decree of the Government it was named Plaza Libertad (Freedom Square), but the inhabitants continued to name it Plaza Marte (Marte Square). The square honors the independence of Cuba.
Located in the historical center of Santiago, it was inaugurated on December 5, 1974. It exhibits objects related to the family and military life of Antonio Maceo Grajales, Major General of the Liberation Army. Known as the Bronze Titan, he was born in this house on June 14, 1845.
The story was made when a group of young revolutionaries attacked this barracks, led by Fidel Castro. The plan was to attack the barracks and then go to the mountains to fight against the dictator Fulgencio Batista. Became a school, after the Triumph of the Revolution, named Ciudad Escolar 26 de Julio. In the place there is a museum that relives the events of that July 26, 1953.
Located northwest of the city of Camino Real. It was established in 1868 to bury the deceased in the War of Independence. It has more than 8 thousand tombs. This cemetery is the final resting place of several illustrious Cubans: Fidel Castro, José Martí and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes. The rest of the generals of the War of Independence also repose here: José Maceo, Flor Crombet and Guillermón Moncada. In addition, Emilio Bacardí, Pepe Sánchez, the creator of the bolero in Cuba, Compay Segundo; among others.
Located on the Intendente hill, in the Tivoli neighborhood. This museum treasures part of the history of the underground movement during the struggle against the Batista dictatorship. Mainly it narrates the actions that took place inside and outside the city, by the Rebel Army and the July 26 Movement.
This was the home of the Frank País family, since 1939. It became a museum on November 30, 1964. It shows photos, documents and personal belongings of this young leader of the July 26 Movement.
Formed by a museum, a bookstore and a monument. The institution is located in what was formerly the Saturnino Lora Hospital. Scenario of the actions of July 26, where 23 young revolutionaries commanded by Abel Santamaría attacked him. In this place Fidel manifested his memorable plea “history will absolve me”.
It is the most important cultural center of Santiago. It is the only theater in Cuba, designed and built after the Triumph of the Revolution in 1959. Specialized in the programming, organization and promotion of artistic performances, exhibitions, festivals, congresses, conventions, and other national and international events. It occupies an area of 72 000 m2 and is the permanent headquarters of the Expocaribe International Fair.
Songs dances and other manifestations that came to the island, coming from Africa, find their place in the carnivals. The rooms of this museum are totally dedicated to the history of this popular festival. It is remarkable the Spanish, African, Haitian and French presence among the objects that are shown. As a fusion of cultures, it offers a great diversity of dances and rhythms, costumes and other distinctive features. What make the carnivals of Santiago de Cuba, the most spectacular of the island. The museum was inaugurated on June 7, 1983.
Considered the most significant monument of the 20th century in the city. Is located at the entrance to the city, as if welcoming the visitor. It has an equestrian statue of Generalissimo Antonio Maceo, made by the sculptor Alberto Lezcay. It is the highest in Cuba, with 16 m.
The history of the sanctuary is linked to a legend that has been modified over time. According to the legend three humble men found the Virgin. One white, another mulatto and another black. They saw the image of the Virgen de la Caridad (Virgin of Charity) floating in Nipe Bay. Together they decided to take her to the mines of El Cobre where they made an altar.
Currently it is the place where the faithful followers of the Patron of Cuba, make offerings and ask for protection. In place are the offerings left by thousands of believers. Among these is the medal awarded to the Nobel Prize for Literature Ernest Hemingway. You can buy small copper rocks as a simple souvenir or as a protection against evil.
The Castle of San Pedro de la Roca is also known as Castillo del Morro. It began to be built in 1638 and extended until the beginning of the 18th century. Was designed by the Italian military engineer Juan Bautista Antonelli. Its main objective was to protect the city from attack by corsairs and pirates.
In 1997 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is a building of extraordinary historical and architectural value and an example of Renaissance architecture in the Caribbean. Every evening the cannon-shot ceremony takes place, with people disguised as Cuban patriot. There is the piracy museum and another room dedicated to the Spanish-North American naval offensive. Which happened in the bay in 1898.
The museum has an attentive qualified staff that provides you with an overview of the rum’s history in Cuba. Also invites you to a drink of aged rum. It is located in a beautiful townhouse in Bartolomé Masó, No 358. It has a nice bar, where you can taste the Cuban rum of your choice.
The bus station is in front of the Heredia Monument, behind the train station, only 3 km northeast of Céspedes Park. It has an international airport, Antonio Maceo and a port, Guillermón Moncada; as well as an international marina, Punta Gorda.
For a pleasant stay in our city, we recommend you visit our excursions link. There you can find all the activities to be carried out:
If you decide to stay in this hospitable city, in a private house or in a hotel. You can select the one of your preference, just click on the corresponding link.
It offers homely food, but with supreme quality, as well as its atmosphere and service. Located on a rooftop. Small place, but very cozy. There is fish, pork and chicken, accompanied by tamales or sautéed eggplant. The cocktails are delicious. And the best, they have food for vegetarians and vegans.
Address: Avenida de los Mártires y M, Hotel Meliá Santiago
It offers excellent pizzas, lasagna, ravioli and garlic bread, among other delights. They have a good wine list.
Address: Castillo del Morro, Telephone: 22691576
It is located in the Castillo del Morro, on the slope of the cliff. While tasting exquisite classic dishes, such as chicken and roast pork, you can enjoy the beautiful view.
Address: Avenue del Río No. 28, between Street 6 and Rod to Caney, Telephone: 22645220
Its specialty is barbecue, with pork or chicken, which are accompanied by rice and meat dishes. The best are the desserts. Fame has the delicious zapote or mamey (a kind of fruit) or coconut ice cream, served in the shell of the fruit.
Address: Calle 8 No. 105, Telephone: 22644138
Located in a refined colonial house in Vista Alegre neighborhood. In its beautiful interior patio invites the enjoyment of very tasty creole food. Grilled meats predominate among the main courses: smoked steaks and seafood skewers. It also offers Italian food.
Address: José A. Saco No. 605, Telephone: 22652292
All dishes are delicious, we recommend gazpacho, chicken strip with pineapple and garlic octopus.
Address: Avenida Manduley No. 159, Telephone: 22641528
The place that was previously was an elegant home. It offers chicken curry, delicious paella and an excellent cheese board, accompanied by cognac.
The supermarket in Marte Square is one of the best in the city. The Alameda Business Center is equally attractive. If you wish to acquire good works of art, go to the Oriente Art Gallery, in General Lacret No. 656.