Santiago de Cuba
- Sight seeing in the old town of Santiago de Cuba with its lots of historic places.
- Visit the old Spanish Fortress Castillo de San Pedro by the mouth of the Bay of Santiago de Cuba
- Sun bathing and swimming at the beautiful beaches in the surroundings
- The vibrating nightlife in the streets and clubs of Santiago de Cuba.
- The Carnival in Santiago de Cuba - unique in Cuba!
Santiago De Cuba is a captivating and lively city, drenched in culture and set in a bay surrounded by the spectacular Sierra Maestra Mountains. It’s the second largest city in Cuba and the most important (after Havana). This former Cuban capital city is the birthplace of the Cuban revolution and home to many members of the famous Buena Vista Social Club. If it’s music and culture you’re after, you’ve come to the right place!
Located on the Southeast end of Cuba, Santiago’s proximity to Jamaica has given it a distinctly Caribbean feel - one that shines through in its architecture, music and extravagant festivals – most notably the Festival Del Caribe along with the world-famous Carnaval De Santiago De Cuba.
The city itself boasts a wealth of fascinating architecture – some of the oldest in Cuba - including Casa de Diego Velazuez and Museo Municipal Bacardi. It’s also home to Cuba’s most sacred pilgrimage site (the exquisite Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre). Other treasures Santiago has to offer include the colonial casas of Parque Céspedes – located right in the hearth of the city’s historic quarter.
Santiago has its own airport – “Antonio Maceo”, located approximately 30 minutes drive from the town. With probably the best climate in Cuba, Santiago has an average temperature of 30c and gets bright sunny days most of the years with little or no rain.
Santiago De Cuba is an absolute gem – a fascinating mixture of sun, sea, landscape, culture, history, architecture and fun! It’s a must for any visitor to Cuba.
Sights in Santiago de Cuba
Santiago De Cuba Carnaval
Located in one of Santiago’s most famous parks (Baconao), the carnival in Santiago is one of Cuba’s most dramatic celebrations and enjoys a “special” status amongst the local Cubans. It starts off in Baconao (very close to the city center) and ends up at the Baconao lagoon. The Carnival dates back to the 17th Century and is heavily influenced by African culture.
The International Trova Festival
This dynamic musical event is a celebration of the birthplace of Cuba’s “Trova”, which is a genre of voice, song and poetry (usually accompanied by a guitar) dating back to medieval times. Artists come from as far away as South America, Europe and Asia to take part in this legendary musical feast.
Just outside the city center lies a unique World Heritage Biosphere Reserve - The wonderful Parque Baconao - truly a place of outstanding beauty. The park is filled with wildlife refuges, along with other interesting attractions, including a Cuban car museum and a huge garden (Jardin Ave de Paraiso) that stretches for over 110 acres.
Other sights in Santiago de Cuba city
Other sights worth a look: Museo de Ambiente Histórico, Casa Natal de José María Heredia, Casa Natal de Antonio Maceo, Casa Natal de Frank País Garcia. Museo del Carnaval. Museo Emilio Bacardí. Museo del Ron.
Santiago De Cuba has a wide variety of beaches – most of which offer crystal clear, warm blue waters with fine white sands, all year round.
This small, charming beach is located around 20 Kilometers outside Santiago De Cuba city. It’s a popular spot with the local Cubans and definitely the place to go if you want to avoid the most touristy sun spots.
Bucanero beach is a massive sandy beach owned by Hotel Bucanero. It’s a seemingly endless stretch of fine white sand, with spectacular views of the Sierra Maestra mountain range.
With warm waters and plenty of trees for shade, Playa Cazonal is a swimmers paradise and the perfect place to spend the afternoon both in and out of the sea.
Playa Caletón Blanco
With amazing views towards the majestic Sierra Maestra mountain range, Caletón Blanco offers dramatic scenery along with a balmy climate, warm waters and fine white sands.
Restaurants und Paladares in Santiago de Cuba
There’s a wide variety of cuisine to choose from here in Santiago…
Paladares in Santiago De Cuba
A “Paladar” is a Cuban term to describe a family run restaurants. These mostly serve homemade Cuban food and are a popular choice for anyone in search or authentic Cuban cuisine, in a local family setting.
Restaurant "La Isabelica"
La Isabelica serves up mouth watering French style cuisine in a peaceful and stylish setting.
ZunZun is an elegant upscale restaurant for those who like fine cuisine and lush surroundings. It’s located in an old 1940s house and has four private salons – perfect for that intimate dining experience. It also has a wide veranda at the front, marble floors and period furnishings. Well worth a visit!
Paladar "Salón Tropical"
Not to be missed, the (increasingly popular) Paladar Salón Tropical. This stylish Paladar offers excellent views and is the perfect place for chilling out with a cool beer. The food is top quality and the interior is delightful – with stained-glass windows and a balmy plant-filled terrace.
Nachtleben: Bars & Clubs in Santiago de Cuba
Santiago De Cuba is regarded by many as having the best nightlife in the whole of Cuba – even more so than Havana. The city literally pulsates with salsa, Caribbean rhythms and the latest dance music all year round. It’s non-stop nightlife! Whatever you’re looking for – chill out bars, packed pubs, dance clubs or just quiet bars – you’ll find them here. There’s a lot more to Santiago De Cuba than cultural attractions and it all starts when the sun goes down! Just some of the hot spots not to be missed include Casa de la Trova, Café Cantante and Club El Iris.
Casa de la Trova
Anreise nach Santiago de Cuba
You can get here either by plane, bus, car or train. There are direct international flights into Aeropuerto Internacional Antonio Maceo and charter flights run between Miami and Santiago a number of times per week. Check out the Cuban Airlines for more information.
Traveling by bus is one of the best ways to see the spectacular Cuban countryside and a great way to see the main points of interest. Check out our VIAZUL-page for Santiago de Cuba for timetables and fares.
Getting the train in Cuba can be an adventure in itself! Breakdowns are quite common but if you don’t need to be anywhere at any specific time, sit back and enjoy the ride!
Driving in Cuba is relatively straightforward. There’s a toll-free motorway (A1) and the main road that runs the length of Cuba, from Pinar del Río to Santiago.
Weather & climate Santiago De Cuba
Santiago De Cuba is blessed with an idyllic climate. It’s the hottest part of Cuba and sees very little seasonal variation in temperature. It rarely gets below 29 °C but the heat is dry so it’s still bearable (unlike other parts of the island). It rains the most in May and October – about 200 mm of rain (each month).
- Santiago De Cuba Carnaval
- The International Trova Festival
- Parque Baconao
- Other sights in Santiago de Cuba city
- Playa Siboney
- Playa Bucanero
- Playa Cazonal
- Playa Caletón Blanco
- Hotel "El Saltón"
- Hotel "Casagranda"
- Hotel "Bucanero"
- Airport Santiago de Cuba (SCU), located 7 km out of the city
- Santiago de Cuba is well linked to many destination by Viazul busses.
- This bus is only for Cubans.
- Here ends the train coming from Havana
- Hotel Melia
- Hotel Casa Grande
- Hotel Las Americas
- There "Infotur" offices in the hotels. There you get information and can book excursions, lodging and transport.
- "Cadeca" office at the Hotel Ls Americas and Hotel Melia
- "Banco Financiero Internacional" near the Hotel Las Americas
- "Banco de Credito" y comercio by the Cespedes park
- Wifi-zones of the state telephone company ETECSA:
- - Parque Céspedes
- - Parque Ferreiro
- - Plaza de Marte
- - Alameda
- ETECSA sells prepaid cards "Tarjetas de prepago" in their stores (1 h = 1 CUC)
- Restaurant "La Isabelica"
- Restaurant "ZunZun"
- Paladar "Salón Tropical"
- Casa de la Trova
- Club Iris
- Cafe Cantante