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Santiago de Cuba, the second-largest city in Cuba, is a vibrant and culturally rich destination located on the southeastern coast of the island. Known as the "Cradle of the Revolution" and deeply rooted in Afro-Cuban traditions, Santiago de Cuba offers a unique blend of history, music, and warm Caribbean charm.

The city's historical significance is palpable. It played a pivotal role in the Cuban Revolution and is home to significant landmarks like the Moncada Barracks, which was the site of Fidel Castro's failed uprising against the Batista regime. Visitors can explore the barracks, now a museum, to learn about this key moment in Cuban history.

Santiago de Cuba is also known for its lively music scene. As the birthplace of traditional Cuban music styles such as son, salsa, and Afro-Cuban jazz, the city pulsates with infectious rhythms. Music can be heard throughout the streets, particularly in the popular Casa de la Trova, where live bands perform and locals and visitors alike dance the night away.

In addition to its cultural offerings, Santiago de Cuba boasts architectural gems and picturesque plazas. The city's historic center features charming colonial buildings, including the grand Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, with its striking bell tower and ornate interior. Parque Céspedes, the main square, is a bustling hub surrounded by cafes, shops, and historic buildings.

Nature lovers will find plenty to explore in the surrounding areas. The nearby Sierra Maestra mountains offer hiking opportunities, including trails to Pico Turquino, Cuba's highest peak. Visitors can also venture to El Morro, a fortress overlooking Santiago Bay, to admire panoramic views and delve into the city's maritime history.

Throughout the year, Santiago de Cuba hosts vibrant festivals and carnivals, including the renowned Carnival of Santiago de Cuba, featuring colorful parades, traditional dances, and vibrant costumes. These events showcase the city's exuberant spirit and rich cultural heritage.

Santiago de Cuba invites visitors to immerse themselves in its history, music, and lively atmosphere. Whether you explore its historical sites, dance to infectious rhythms, or simply soak in the vibrant ambiance, this vibrant city is sure to captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories.




When visiting Santiago de Cuba, there are numerous activities and attractions to enjoy. Here are some of the top things to do in this vibrant city:

  1. Visit the Moncada Barracks: Explore the historic Moncada Barracks, now a museum, and learn about the pivotal role it played in the Cuban Revolution. Discover artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that chronicle this important chapter in Cuban history.

  2. Explore the Historic Center: Take a stroll through the charming streets of the historic center of Santiago de Cuba. Admire the colonial architecture, vibrant colors, and picturesque plazas. Don't miss the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, an impressive cathedral with a beautiful bell tower.

  3. Experience the Casa de la Trova: Immerse yourself in the lively music scene of Santiago de Cuba at the Casa de la Trova. Enjoy live performances of traditional Cuban music, including son and salsa, and dance to the infectious rhythms. This is a must-visit spot for music enthusiasts.

  4. Pay a Visit to Santa Ifigenia Cemetery: Visit the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, the final resting place of notable figures in Cuban history, including national heroes such as José Martí and Fidel Castro. Take a moment to appreciate the historical significance and tranquil atmosphere of this sacred site.

  5. Explore Castillo del Morro: Venture to Castillo del Morro, a historic fortress located on a hill overlooking Santiago Bay. Enjoy breathtaking views of the bay, explore the fortress's exhibits on maritime history, and witness the nightly cannon firing ceremony.

  6. Visit El Cobre: Take a trip to El Cobre, a small town just outside Santiago de Cuba, and visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre. This revered site is Cuba's most important pilgrimage site, dedicated to the patron saint of the country.

  7. Attend a Carnival or Festival: Experience the vibrant cultural celebrations of Santiago de Cuba by attending the annual Carnival or other festivals. Enjoy colorful parades, traditional music and dance performances, and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere.

  8. Relax at Siboney Beach: Enjoy some beach time at Siboney Beach, located a short distance from the city center. Soak up the sun, swim in the turquoise waters, or simply relax on the sandy shores.

  9. Visit the Casa Museo Diego Velázquez: Explore the Casa Museo Diego Velázquez, one of the oldest houses in Cuba. Learn about the city's colonial history through its exhibits, artifacts, and period furniture.

  10. Sample Local Cuisine: Indulge in the flavors of Cuban cuisine at local restaurants and paladares in Santiago de Cuba. Try traditional dishes such as ropa vieja, congrí, and tamal en cazuela. Don't forget to savor a refreshing mojito or Cuba Libre cocktail.


These activities offer a taste of the rich history, vibrant culture, and natural beauty that Santiago de Cuba has to offer. From immersing yourself in the city's musical heritage to exploring its historical sites and enjoying the local cuisine, Santiago de Cuba promises an unforgettable experience for every visitor.

Experience Cuba



Our two week trip was a great experience. The staff was impeccable with every aspect of the journey, from arrival in Miami for the charter flight to the amazing restaurants, walking tours and music excursions. To coordinate over 150 travelers for a premium tour would have been impossible without their wealth of knowledge and attention to detail. For myself, the band, and many of our guests, the trip was one of the best experiences of our lives!



—  Director of Development, Preservation Hall Foundation, New Orleans.

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