Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba at a glance
City
Santiago de Cuba
Province
Santiago de Cuba
Santiago de Cuba - location map
Santiago de Cuba travel guide
Havana
860 km
Santiago de Cuba
0 km

Top Sights

  • 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!
Cuba Santiago de Cuba private accommodation

Accommodation in Santiago De Cuba ranges from casas particulares (private rooms with Cuban families) to quaint hotels and mega deluxe resorts - like the Meliá Santiago. Some popular hotels in Santiago De Cuba include: El Saltón, Casagranda and Hotel Bucanero.

If you’re looking for value for money (or are travelling on a budget) your best option is to stay in one of Santiago De Cuba’s casas particulares. This is also one of the best ways to get a feel for the “real Cuba”  - and meet some fascinating characters along the way!

Here’s just a few of the many reccommended casas particulares in Santiago De Cuba’s historical centre.

Accommodation Offers in Santiago de Cuba

Photo Gallery

  • Alameda square in Santiago de Cuba - sight seeing
    The Plaza Alameda square
  • Balcony of Velazquez in Santiago de Cuba
    Balcony of Velazquez
  • Tourism in Santiago de Cuba - panoramic views Bay of Santiago
    Panoramic views towards the Bay of Santiago de Cuba
  • Best sights - Cathedral Santiago de Cuba
    Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba
  • Lighthouse Santiago de Cuba - travel destination
    The lighthouse - a romantic place to visit
  • Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba
    Here started the Cuban Revolution - Moncada Barracks
  • Plaza Marte square in Santiago de Cuba - tourism and sights
    Plaza Marte square
  • Tourism Santiago de Cuba - Square of the Revolution
    Plaza de la Revolución
  • Palacio Provincial - colonial architecture in Santiago de Cuba
    Beautiful colonial architecture
  • Santiago de Cuba - sunset sea views from the fortress
    Views from the old Spanish fortress in Santiago de Cuba
  • Castillo de San Pedro - best sights Santiago de Cuba
    On the way to the Castillo de San Pedro
Tourism Santiago de Cuba

Beaches |
Culture |
History |
Nature |
Nightlife |

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 it’s 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

Sights in Santiago de Cuba

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 centre) 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.

Parque Baconao

Just outside the city centre 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 include: 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.

On the corner of Calle Hartmann (San Félix) and Calle Castillo Duany (Santa Lucía).

Accommodation in Santiago de Cuba

Cuba Santiago de Cuba private accommodation

Accommodation in Santiago De Cuba ranges from casas particulares (private rooms with Cuban families) to quaint hotels and mega deluxe resorts - like the Meliá Santiago. Some popular hotels in Santiago De Cuba include: El Saltón, Casagranda and Hotel Bucanero.

If you’re looking for value for money (or are travelling on a budget) your best option is to stay in one of Santiago De Cuba’s casas particulares. This is also one of the best ways to get a feel for the “real Cuba”  - and meet some fascinating characters along the way!

Here’s just a few of the many reccommended casas particulares in Santiago De Cuba’s historical centre.

Santiago de Cuba beaches

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.

Playa Siboney

This small, charming beach is located around 20 Kilometres 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.

Playa Bucanero

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.

Playa Cazonal

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 & Paladares in Santiago de Cuba

Beaches 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. 

Restaurants

Restaurant "La Isabelica"

La Isabelica serves up mouth watering French style cuisine in a peaceful and stylish setting. 

Restaurant "ZunZun"

ZunZun is an elegant upscale restaurant for those who like fine cuisine and lush surroundings. It’s located in an old 1940’s 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!

Paladares

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.

Nightlife: Bars & Clubs in Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba nightlife

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 quite 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, Cafe Cantante and Club El Iris.

Casa de la Trova
Club Iris
Cafe Cantante

Arrival to Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba bus

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 200mm of rain (each month).

Sights
Cuba Santiago de Cuba sights
Sights
  • Santiago De Cuba Carnaval
  • The International Trova Festival
  • Parque Baconao
  • Other sights in Santiago de Cuba city
Beaches
Cuba Santiago de Cuba beaches
Beaches
  • Playa Siboney
  • Playa Bucanero
  • Playa Cazonal
  • Playa Caletón Blanco
Accommodation
Cuba Santiago de Cuba hotels
Hotels
  • Hotel "El Saltón"
  • Hotel "Casagranda"
  • Hotel "Bucanero"
Public Transport
Cuba Santiago de Cuba Airport
Airport
  • Airport Santiago de Cuba (SCU), located 7 km out of the city
Cuba Santiago de Cuba VIAZUL Bus Stop
VIAZUL Bus Stop
  • Santiago de Cuba is well linked to many destination by Viazul busses.
Cuba Santiago de Cuba Bus stations "ASTRO"
Bus stations "ASTRO"
  • This bus is only for Cubans.
Cuba Santiago de Cuba Train stations
Train stations
  • Here ends the train coming from Havana
Cuba Santiago de Cuba Car Rental
Car rental
  • Airport
  • Hotel Melia
  • Hotel Casa Grande
  • Hotel Las Americas
Useful Informations
Cuba Santiago de Cuba Tourist Office
Tourist Office
  • There "Infotur" offices in the hotels. There you get information and can book excursions, lodging and transport.
Cuba Santiago de Cuba Money Exchange
Money Exchange
  • "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
Cuba Santiago de Cuba Internet
Internet
  • 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)
Gastronomy
Cuba Santiago de Cuba Restaurants
Restaurants
  • Restaurant "La Isabelica"
  • Restaurant "ZunZun"
Cuba Santiago de Cuba Paladares
Paladares
  • Paladar "Salón Tropical"
Nightlife
Cuba Santiago de Cuba Nightlife
Bars & Clubs
  • Casa de la Trova
  • Club Iris
  • Cafe Cantante
English