THINGS TO DO IN SANTIAGO DE CUBA


Emilio Bacardí Museum

Emilio Bacardí Museum

This is the oldest historical museum in the country, founded in 1899. It owes its present-day name to its founder and promoter, who at that time was acting as the local mayor. It is just a few metres from the Parque Céspedes, in the heart of the city. The museum displays its pieces in three halls, which exhibit part of its extensive collection, consisting of more than 23,000 pieces pertaining to the heritage of Pre-Columbian culture, national art and Cuban history.


Loma de San Juan

Loma de San Juan

The silent witness of history, as this is where the final battle of the Spanish-Cuban-American war was fought, bringing the end to an era. At the helm of a brigade at this battle was a future president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. This is the only place in Cuba with a monument to the American soldier.


Baconao National Park

Baconao National Park

One of the most beautiful Biosphere Reserves in Cuba. This park covers an extensive area of forest, offering visitors numerous attractions such as the Valley of Prehistory, the Museum of Land Transport, the Great Lagoon of Baconao, Daiquirí beach and the Great Stone, a stunning viewing point in the ruins of a French coffee plantation.


The Diego Velázquez House-Museum

The Diego Velázquez House-Museum

Distance: 0.8 Km

The construction of this house dates back to 1515 and it is therefore thought to be the oldest building in Cuba. In the 16th century it was a trading house and was subsequently used for the establishment of a gold and silver foundry. The walls, ceilings, some of the doors and the furnace are original. It now houses the Museum of Cuban History, displaying furniture and domestic items dating from the 16th to the 19th century.


26th of July Historical Museum

26th of July Historical Museum

Distance: 0.9 Km

This museum is located in the former Moncada Barracks, a military fortification which came under attack on 26 July 1953 by a group of young revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro Ruz. This event launched the final stage of the struggle for the country's freedom. The museum exhibits some of the revolutionaries' personal belongings, some of the weaponry used and photographs of the historical event, as well as a valuable coin collection.


The Troubadour's House

The Troubadour's House

Distance: 2 Km

This venue is one of the symbols of Santiago de Cuba, where traditional rhythms such as the trova, bolero and son were born. Situated in a large house on the calle Heredia, very close to the Parque Céspedes, it is the meeting place for 'trovadores', both old and new. Considered one of the most important cultural institutions in Cuba, it preserves a musical movement that is deeply-rooted in the traditions of Santiago and forms an integral part of the city's life.


Santiago Carnaval

Santiago Carnaval

Distance: 2 Km

One of the city's most famous popular celebrations, the carnival originated as a religious procession organised by the church authorities every 25th of July, in honour of St James the Apostle. Their Spanish, African and Franco-Haitian roots distinguish the Santiago carnivals from those held in the rest of the country and that is why there is a museum dedicated to them. In Santiago, festivals are a part of life.


Metropolitan Cathedral

Metropolitan Cathedral

Distance: 2.1 Km

This is one of the continent's oldest cathedrals, the seat of the fourth bishopric of America, although the building that it currently occupies was built in 1922, thus reflecting the eclectic style of architecture. One of its sides houses the Ecclesiastical Museum, with a valuable collection of furniture, paintings and sacred artefacts.


Padre Pico

Padre Pico

Distance: 2.4 Km

This is undoubtedly one of the city's most well-known streets. It offers an excellent natural viewing point and is the only stepped street in Cuba. It also marks the boundary between the upper and lower areas of Santiago de Cuba and leads down to the Tivolí district, the finest stage for the famous Santiago carnival.


Tropicana Santiago

Tropicana Santiago

Distance: 2.6 Km

Every night, the Santiago Tropicana cabaret offers its performance "Viaje al Caribe" (a Journey to the Caribbean), which narrates the history of the people of Santiago, the most Caribbean city in Cuba, where one can feel the influence of Haiti and its voodoo religion and French customs, Dominican Republic and its merengue, Jamaica and its reggae and Puerto Rico among others. This modern facility has been elegantly decorated with traditional elements that blend-in with the lush natural vegetation surrounding the area.


Santa Ifigenia Cemetery

Santa Ifigenia Cemetery

Distance: 11.4 Km

Founded in 1868, the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery contains one of the most important funeral monuments in Latin America and the Caribbean: the mausoleum to our National Hero, Jose Mart. The remains of the Father of Our Homeland, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes are also buried here.


Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre

Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre

Distance: 14.7 Km

The basilica of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, the Patron Saint of Cuba, can be found 27 km from the city centre, in a mining town founded in 1830. The Basilica stands on a gentle hill and contains display cases with items such as the medal received by the writer Ernest Hemingway on being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre was crowned by Pope John Paul II in 1998, during his visit to Cuba. Every 8th of September, her feast day, thousands of pilgrims come here to give thanks and beg favours of the blessed virgin.


Sierra Maestra

Sierra Maestra

Distance: 80 Km

The Great National Park, covering around 38,000 hectares across the provinces of Granma, Santiago de Cuba and Guantánamo. This is not only the site of the highest point on the Island, the Pico Turquino (1,974 metres above sea level), but also the peaks of Cuba, Caracas and Magdalena, ideal for mountain climbing. Of particular interest to visitors is the place known as El Saltón-Cedrón, ideal for ecotourism and health tourism.


Baracoa

Baracoa

Distance: 140.4 Km

Baracoa was the first settlement founded by the Spanish conquistadors in 1512. This attractive city is located in Guantánamo, the eastern most province of the country that borders Santiago de Cuba. Visitors can enjoy one of the most beautiful natural scenic views in the Caribbean, especially El Yunque Mountain that dominates Baracoa's horizon.


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