Visit Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba, the city known as “The Hero City

Santiago de Cuba is one of the provinces of Cuba and the second in importance in the country. Also known as Tierra Caliente, the Balcony of the Caribbean and Rebel yesterday, Heroic today and Hospitaller always, Santiago stands as a place full of history and culture. 9 municipalities make up its political-administrative division and more than a million inhabitants live in it. Its climate is tropical humid with large mountainous areas and temperatures that can reach 38 degrees. 6 thousand 170 km² that includes the keys, is the territorial extension of this province that guards the Sierra Maestra and in it La Gran Piedra, Pico Turquino, Parque Baconao and El Morro.

This land full of mixtures of languages, customs and traditions, is also the abode of the Blessed Virgin of Charity of El Cobre, whose temple thousands of people come to each year to offer her candles and flowers and keep their promises. Santiago de Cuba is home to warm and friendly people, beautiful beaches and comfortable places where you could spend your vacations in Cuba, the Fire Festival and the most beautiful carnivals on the island.

Municipalities of Santiago de Cuba

The southeastern province of Santiago de Cuba, known by the title of Hero City of the Republic of Cuba, has nine municipalities and the capital bears the same name as the province. Within each of these territories there is something special to show, such as Contramaestre, which has Baire, where the independence struggles resumed in 1895, Mella with Baraguá, where the famous protest by Antonio Maceo took place, and Segundo Frente, where column 17 was established, which was fundamental. for victory in that area of eastern Cuba.

San Luis also has its charms as the land of the Maceo Grajales family, Guamá with Pico Turquino, the Third Eastern Front, Palma Soriano and its contributions to the independence struggles and Songo La Maya with the history of the Movement of the Independents of Color, unique in the country. The main municipality has the privilege of having facilities such as the Moncada Barracks, the Siboney Farm and the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery.

Where is Santiago de Cuba located?

Santiago de Cuba is one of the easternmost provinces on the island of Cuba. Locating it on a map can be very easy, you just have to be located southeast of the east, between the provinces of Granma and Guantánamo. Official sites place it at coordinates 20˚01 ҆ 17, 42ʺ N, 75˚49 ҆45.75 ʺ0. It limits to the north with Holguín and a piece of the Granma territory, to the south with the Caribbean Sea, to the east with the Guantánamo province and to the west with the Granma province. Another fact that may interest you if you travel to Santiago de Cuba is that its territory is nestled in mountainous terrain. Almost all of its terrestrial extension steps on the Sierra Maestra, one of the geographical wonders of the country.

Both in the main city and in the rest of the municipalities, temperatures are usually above 30 degrees, which is why it has received the nickname Tierra Caliente. We suggest you protect yourself from the sun and always carry a bottle of water with you to take care of your skin and stay hydrated, while you discover the mysteries and beauties that a land also called indomitable keeps, due to the courage of its inhabitants. You can access it through the Antonio Maceo International Airport, by bus or on cruise ships, as well as through the unlimited option of car rentals or private service rentals throughout the country.

What to do in Santiago de Cuba?

If you are one of those people who are always looking for purposes and new things to do on your vacations, an excellent option is, without a doubt, the province of Granma in Cuba. It is a land that values ​​history and culture as weapons of the nation. There you will find museums, monuments and innumerable sites that recall the different liberating stages of the island. But there is much more you can do if you get to the Cradle of Cuban Independence. In its capital city, one of the most beautiful boulevards in the country, recently restored, awaits you. There is also the Wax Museum, the only one of its kind in the largest of the Antilles and where there are statues of famous people from Cuba and the world such as Ernest Hemingway, Rita Montaner, Bola de Nieve, Polo Montañez, among others.

Its Casa de la trova, serenades and traditional groups are constant to have a good time with family or friends. Also its beaches and its cars similar to those that existed in the colonial era, can be an irresistible journey to knowledge and delight. Outdoor activities, excursions, hiking or other modalities will also bring you closer to one of the regions with the most beautiful landscapes in the country. An infinite range of possibilities will open before you. You just have to choose Granma, the rest is up to you.

What to visit in Santiago de Cuba?

Visiting the city of Santiago de Cuba is one of the best options if you decide to spend your vacations on the island. It is a land recognized for its warmth, its hills, the charisma of the people who inhabit it. However, much more can make you fall in love with this impressive land of brave Cubans: the coffee in Isabelica, its historical sites, its carnivals, hotels, museums, beaches, the Casa de la Trova and many other places of cultural interest.</ p>Among them the Castle of San Pedro de la Roca or El Morro, as it is also known. The Cathedral, the Céspedes Park, the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery and its most popular artery, Enramadas Street, where shops abound and the street is a hive of people looking for what they need. The night spots open their doors when night falls. Tropicana Santiago may be your ideal choice, but in the same way other places offer shows such as the Casa Granda Hotel and other more recently opened clubs. This is an invitation to get to know the Tierra Caliente, the rebellious land of yesterday, hospitable today and always heroic, the Balcony of the Caribbean, it is Santiago de Cuba, don’t be surprised by anything.

What cultural activities are celebrated in Santiago de Cuba?

Santiago de Cuba, a city that is light, music, shelter and history, has among its greatest roots, local traditions. You can match your vacation with your partner, family or friends, depending on your purpose, with the most important cultural activities that are celebrated there. Social communication events, poetry, international university forums on nature, ceramics and cinema are some of the themes. Other topics are also added in diversity of meetings: The Francophonie week, the Pepe Sánchez trova Festival, Matamoros Son, the Choir festival, among others. Of course, point and aside they deserve two of the most appreciated in the world: the Carnivals and the Fire Festival or Caribbean Festival.

Carnivals take place in July for around 10 days and are part of the date of the Patron Saint of the city Santiago Apóstol. According to the criteria of many people, it is the best carnival on the island and is listed as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. Congas, troupes, floats, the dance and the joy of the people from Santiago who go out to the streets until dawn are options of these famous parties. But there is also the Fiesta del Fuego or Festival of the Caribbean, an event that brings the Caribbean together through exhibitions, conferences, the parade of the serpent opening and the burning of the devil sealing the meeting that also takes place in the month of July. Some brushstrokes for you to choose Santiago de Cuba as your next vacation destination.

How to get to Santiago de Cuba?

Getting to Santiago de Cuba offers three possibilities: air, sea and land. Just 7 kilometers from the city is the Antonio Maceo y Grajales International Airport. Flights arrive at this air terminal from different cities around the world, on all continents and also from other provinces of the country. As it is far from the city, you must take a taxi, either those belonging to companies or individuals, increasingly used for offering better prices.

Another option is to arrive by boat, a suggestive proposal to be able to admire the beautiful bay and the city as the Spaniards saw it when they arrived on the island and as an addition, the port is in the city itself, therefore there is better communication.

If you are already in Cuba and want to jump to Tierra Caliente, you can use the bus service. The Cubanacán Travel Agency is at your disposal every day in all the Agency’s Sales bureaus in each province of the country. From the option you choose, depending on your type of trip and economic possibilities, arriving in Santiago de Cuba will be an experience like few others: warmth, hugs, coffee, beaches, museums, cultural events, people to meet. A unique destination, as you always wanted for your vacations.

Where to eat in Santiago de Cuba?

To have a good time in Santiago de Cuba, an essential addition is to know which places to go to enjoy a good meal. In the city there are several possibilities that range from establishments in hotels to private places that also offer traditional and universal dishes, with a Caribbean touch. Specialized restaurants, bars, tapas and barbecues are daily offers in the city. You can access through reservations, unexpected visits, leaving it to chance or opt for home delivery, an added modality for those who prefer it.

El Cayo, located in Cayo Granma is a tempting offer. The transfer is done by boat. You will find a restaurant located on the sea, where the specialty of well-prepared seafood and fish, as well as the incredible views during your stay, will not make you regret your choice. Lobster, squid and shrimp are never lacking in a menu that, without being cheap or expensive, will be just the measure of your desires. Another suggestion is El Palenquito, in Reparto Pastorita. Far from the city center and in the middle of a garden, it is considered one of the best in the city for its Caribbean style in its design, for the attention and variety of the menu and for the seasoning of the food, highlighting the charbroiled meats. Ideal place to enjoy an evening with friends. They are not the only options. You must arrive in Santiago de Cuba and live the experience choosing from a range of gastronomic possibilities.

Culinary art and Cuban gastronomy.

Culinary art represents one of the most diverse aspects of Cuban culture, which in turn demonstrates the influence of foreign practices on the island. Amalgamation of species, colors and flavors that end up in a dish exquisitely presented for tasting. We propose the yucca with mojo, the ropa vieja and the tostones, the congrí, Moors and Christians and the famous roast suckling pig, they are a must at the table of any Creole restaurant or others that you visit on the island. There are also the ajiaco and the tamale, irrevocable samples of aboriginal and Spanish influences.

But if there is another thing that distinguishes Cuba, it is the drinks that are prepared here. Havana Club, Cuban rum and cocktails. From mojitos, rum collins, daiquiris and tasty piña colada, they are tempting invitations. However, nothing beats the preference of thousands of people around the world for Cuban rum. There are a lot of brands with different grades and quality. The Havana Club at the top, but others very close, such as the Caribbean Club, the Methuselah, the Caney, the Bucanero, and the Ron Santiago, 15 years old, which you can only buy in the city of Santiago de Cuba. Diversity and variety for all tastes, within reach of a visit to the Caribbean island.

Where to swim and tan in Santiago de Cuba?

Santiago de Cuba is an ideal place to enjoy a trip where sun and sea are your favorite variables. The geographical location of the province makes it possible for its beaches, lying on the Caribbean Sea, to offer visitors clear waters, warm temperatures and beautiful coastal landscapes. Just 14 meters from the city is Siboney, the most visited beach precisely because of its proximity to the city. However, other options are added such as Juraguá, Daiquirí, Bucanero, Costa Morena, Cazonal, Sigua and Berraco, each with its own characteristics, but equally ideal for resting and having a good time. In some of them you can find hotel facilities that will offer more comfort to your stay. You can rent so-called sun loungers or rent rafts or snorkeling equipment.

This area is called Baconao Park and it not only offers the attractiveness of its beaches, it also has two museums: the Granjita Siboney and the Automobile Museum, there is also the famous Valley of Prehistory, an aquarium with a show for the public in stands and others that will make you spend an excellent time with friends or family. To the west of Santiago de Cuba there is another group of beaches that you could visit. Among them Green Sea. Buey Cabón, El Francés and Caletón Blanco, places that also offer facilities and options for your enjoyment.

Where to go out in Santiago de Cuba?

Visiting the city of Santiago de Cuba will be an incredible experience that will make you surrender to the charms of a city that at night preserves the splendor of its sites and its people. There are multiple options to choose from. Shows, bars, clubs or restaurants will welcome you with the warmth that characterizes this part of Cuba. One of the treasures of the city is the Casa de la Trova, located in the central Heredia street. When night falls, the institution opens its doors to locals and foreigners to offer live concerts with groups and soloists who perform pieces from recognized musical genres such as son, trova and others.

Another option is the Iris Jazz Club, an attractive site for downloads and the environment that fosters cultural exchange. If, on the other hand, you are one of those who like to dance, we recommend you visit the Cabaret Tropicana Santiago, located on the outskirts of the city. But if you have a slower pace, there are also other added possibilities. The Hotel Meliá Santiago, on Avenida de las Américas, gives you the possibility of the best night views, as well as five-star attention in the Bello Bar. It also has a party room, known as Santiago café, fun and excellent music come together in a single place for you to have a great time, accompanied by friends or with your partner. A wide range of possibilities for your enjoyment await you in Santiago de Cuba, you just have to choose it as your next destination.

The flora and fauna of Cuba, diverse and beautiful.

Like the green that fills your eyes when you observe a Cuban landscape, so diverse and beautiful is the Cuban flora and fauna. Those who like ecological tourism will have the opportunity to go hiking and appreciate the variety of species up close. Cuba keeps in itself an immense wealth related to the subject. Of the Cuban flora, more than 11 thousand species are identified. Among them and that are most notable for their endemism are the pot-bellied and cork palms, the cashew, the Mayarí pine and the royal palm, the national tree.

In the fauna there are more than 16 thousand species identified between mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, arachnids and molluscs. In this aspect it should be clarified that none of the species are lethal to human life, resulting in a true gift to admire them in their natural habitat. Five wetlands, one of them, the Ciénaga de Zapata, declared a Ramsar Site, and the mountain ecosystems, make up this marvelous and diverse world of Cuban flora and fauna, which you can access if you get to the Caribbean island.

History of Santiago de Cuba.

Known today as the Hero City of the Republic of Cuba, Santiago de Cuba was born as a town in 1515, founded by the Spaniard Diego Velázquez along with six others throughout the country. Due to its geographical location, from the beginning it had a marked importance on the island of Cuba, even from the voyages of Christopher Columbus. From that place, its first mayor Hernán Cortes left to conquer Mexico and turned out to be the capital of Cuba due to its advantageous bay and later of the old Oriente province. This land stood out for the large number of sons and daughters who were linked to the struggles for independence from its very beginning in 1868.

In that city the Moncada was assaulted, the trial of the participants took place where Fidel Castro assumed his self-defense, settled the leadership and most of the members of the July 26 Movement and there is the Sierra Maestra, a decisive site for the Army Rebel and the definitive triumph of 1959. In all these years the province has been revolutionized and since the death of Fidel Castro and his ashes rest in that city, the number of Cuban and foreign visitors who come to the eastern city is considerable, including leaders and top notch personalities.

Nature in Santiago de Cuba.

Santiago de Cuba is a natural paradise par excellence. In this province the city options contrast with those of nature, without being less appreciated than the former. The location of a large part of its territory in the Sierra Maestra, its rivers, landscapes, nature reserves, as well as the flora and fauna, will make this province your best choice to spend a holiday in the healthiest style. The territory has offers for those who like ecological tourism such as the coastal strip of Baconao Park, a site declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1987.

Going along the coast you can access various sites such as the Bird of Paradise Garden, the Aquarium with shows of trained animals such as dolphins and sea lions. For those who prefer hiking or climbing, there are La Gran Piedra and Pico Turquino. More than a thousand meters above sea level in close contact with the varied flora and fauna of the province. For these trips, there are specialized guides who, at the same time that they describe you and show you the way, contribute to the preservation of the environment and the species that inhabit these sites.

Where to sleep or stay in Santiago de Cuba?

If Santiago de Cuba is on your travel agenda for these vacations, you will surely need to know which places you could stay in, which are the best, which are the cheapest and which are the most central. Those who like the city’s nightlife and permanent contact with the people who live there, can choose the historic center for their stay. In this part there are several places that you could put on your agenda such as restaurants, museums, parks, churches and others. In this area, the most popular among visitors, there are hotels with different categories such as Casa Granda, Imperial, San Félix and San Basilio, but there are also houses for rent, some of which are very comfortable, the experience of sharing with a family from Santiago and their prices will always be cheaper.

But the city has several important points such as Plaza de Marte, Ferreiro and in each and every one of them there are hotels and other places such as hostels or private houses. Depending on your interests and type of trip, you can choose a quieter or more active area, more central or away from the hustle and bustle of the city, full of cries and early risers who go out to live everyday life.

Melia Santiago Hotel *****

Location of Melia Santiago Hotel The 5-star Melia Santiago Hotel is part of the Melia Hotel Chain and is located on Las Américas Avenue in...

Monuments of Santiago de Cuba.

Because of its extensive history in the Hero City there are several spaces that have the status of monuments with some of a national nature. The site of Mangos de Baraguá, the Granjita Siboney, the Old Villa of Santiago de Cuba, the Moncada Barracks and the Santa Ifigenia Patrimonial Cemetery where the remains of the fathers of the Nation Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and Mariana Grajales, stand out for their peculiarities. the apostle José Martí and the leader of the Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz.

In the same way, the Pico Real del Turquino, the Ruins of the French Coffee Plantations, the Historical Site of Loma del Gato where José Maceo fell mortally wounded and the Commanders of the II and III Eastern Fronts stand out for visitors. Other spaces with the status of monument are the Castle of San Pedro, the Loma del Intendente, the Gran Piedra, the Plaza de la Revolución Antonio Maceo Grajales, the Copper Cultural Landscape and Sites of the Camino de la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, as well as the Provincial Court that was previously the Palace of Justice.

Cuba and its world heritage sites.

Traveling to Cuba is, in itself, the discovery of a paradisiacal place that keeps various sites cataloged as World Heritage. Beyond the places famous for their beauty or for the comfort they offer visitors, Cuba offers those who come to its land, 10 sites considered by UNESCO in this category. They are places chosen for their incalculable value from the cultural and natural point of view or for their own immaterial value, current in the traditions of the island. Among them are the Historic Center of Havana and its system of fortifications and the Castillo San Pedro de la Roca in Santiago de Cuba, also known as the Morro. Other urban centers add to the list, such as Trinidad and Valle de los Ingenios, Cienfuegos and Camagüey.

You can visit if you get to the largest of the Antilles, more sites in this category: the Desembarco del Granma National Park, the Viñales Valley, the Archaeological Landscape of the first coffee plantations in the southeast of Cuba and the Alejandro National Park of Humboldt. As part of this intangible heritage, the French Tomb La Caridad de Oriente is added. You can visit these sites that preserve an essential part of the culture and that deserve the visit of locals and foreigners.

Education in Santiago de Cuba.

The province of Santiago, with its nine municipalities, has a wide network of facilities in the education sector to serve all ages, from the first years of life of infants to senior citizens. Its teaching staff is complete in all teachings such as primary, secondary, professional technique and vocational secondary education such as art, exact sciences and military.

There are also pre-university and other schools for children and adolescents. As for the schools of Higher Education, there is the popular University of the East, which welcomes students from all over the east and center of the country, as well as the faculties of Physical Culture, Pedagogy and Medicine.

Museums of Santiago de Cuba.

To travel to the city of Santiago de Cuba is to access a world where culture is an active part of its inhabitants. Hence the thematic variety of the museums that you can find in it. About 15 institutions keep objects and memories that you will surely want to know. Among them, the Emilio Bacardí, the first museum on the island, houses collections of weapons, paintings and something amazing, the only Egyptian mummy in Cuba. No less important are the Carnival Museum, the Image Museum, the Archdiocesan Museum or the Tomás Romay Museum, all of which show us the life of the people of Santiago from their religious or natural cultural theme.

Other museums are added to this list of opportunities to visit: the Museum of the Cuban Environment, located in the house of Diego Velázquez, the oldest house in Latin America; the one of the rum, the Birthplace of Antonio Maceo, the one of the Clandestine Fight or the Granjita Siboney. The curious thing is that other sites could be considered open-air museums such as the Santa Ifigenia cemetery where the remains of great heroes of the country rest. The San Pedro de la Roca Castle, the Cuban Hispanic American War Museum and many others can be your exclusive reason to visit a land where history and culture are the most important.

Car rental in Santiago de Cuba.

To move more easily, to stop where you want and contemplate the landscape or share with the people you meet on your way, these may be the reasons why you should rent a car in Santiago de Cuba.

Various sites and agencies with different prices and car models you will find to make a trip according to your needs. You can also if you wish to choose a private transport. You just have to give us a click, all the information will be at your fingertips.