Santiago de Cuba

Tourist Destinations

Santiago de Cuba has two outstanding characteristics: the true hospitality of its people, who are cheerful and good-natured, and its great cultural wealth. It also has a distinctive air, conferred by its setting -embracing a splendid bay, with mountains as a backdrop. The San Pedro de la Roca del Morro Fortress (the Morro, for short) adds another distinguishing touch. Santiago de Cuba, "the most Caribbean of Cuba's cities," hospitably offers visitors the best of its rich history, traditions and customs.

Governor Diego Velázquez founded Santiago de Cuba in 1515. The King of Spain made it the capital of the island in 1522, and it remained the capital until 1553.

This is the Cuban city with the greatest Caribbean flavor, and it hosts many popular festivities. It is also distinguished by having been the scene of important events in Cuba's history and by being the place where the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre (Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre), Cuba's patron saint, is venerated with most fervor.

Santiago de Cuba has the infrastructure needed for conferences and congress tourism. The adjacent mountains and sea are ideal for ecotourism and adventures, water sports, cruise ship tourism and health tourism.

When visiting Santiago de Cuba, be sure to stroll along its streets, to see the friendship and contagious enthusiasm of the people who live here. Either of its two main arteries, Enramada and Aguilera streets, will take you from the Plaza de Marte (parade ground) to Céspedes Park, the heart of the city.

Magical Santiago de Cuba was the birthplace of the bolero, the conga and the son. Several cultures blended in this city to give it a distinctive culture of its own. Racial mixing -Spanish, black and French- is more clearly seen here than in the rest of the country. The city has around 15 museums and many other places related to folklore.