It is the second city in importance of the Caribbean country. It is located in the south of the island and has witnessed throughout history the important historical events since the time of Spanish colonization.
Founded in 1515 by the Spanish conquistador Diego Velázquez, the city maintains a multitude of places that remember that era that changed the course of the history of the island and many later ones whose importance is reflected in the footprint left in the architecture , the art and traditions of the Santiagueros
In this wonderful city you can visit the Museum of Cuban Historical Environment, located next to Cespedes Park and very close to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, the Balcón de Velázquez and the Casa Diego Velázquez to learn more about the colonial era.
In addition, the city has a privileged location located in the Bay of Santiago de Cuba that allowed it to be the first capital of the country for a while. Through it, the first black slaves arrived in Cuba and, with them, their traditions that are still preserved and that they try to maintain in places like the House of the Caribbean and the House of Popular Religions.
In this way, you can contemplate the incredible landscape of the Caribbean Sea from the Turquino Peak, the green views that can be seen from the Gran Piedra or the beautiful images of the bay of Santiago de Cuba from the Cayo Granma or from the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997
For centuries, this city has witnessed the different struggles for the country’s independence, as well as the Revolution that starred the troubled times of the second half of the twentieth century. Known as the “Hero City of Cuba,” it has exciting places that rose to commemorate all those who fought in each and every one of those decisive clashes. In this way, you can visit the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery where many Santiago heroes are buried next to monuments that recall their exploits.
In addition, the city honors the widespread tradition of dedicating plazas and parks to important personalities of Cuban history. For this reason, a series of beautiful open spaces such as the Parque Céspedes, the Historical Park of San Juan and the Tree of Peace or the Abel Santamaría Historical Park, are the perfect place to take a break and get carried away by the atmosphere of the city. The most important monuments are contemplated.
The Cuban Revolution was a historic moment of great importance for the whole island, but it was experienced with a special intensity in this area. This city was the place chosen for the 1953 uprising that took place in a joint action in 3 phases led by Fidel Castro, Abel Santamaría and Raúl Castro.
If you are interested in this part of the history of Cuba, there are many places that remember and show this important Cuban moment. From the Clandestine Struggle Museum, the Revolution Square or the Frank and Joshua Country House Museum, to the Granjita Siboney Museum, just outside of Santiago de Cuba, and the Model Presidio located on the Isle of Youth; they are only a few places where the events related to the struggle are explained by the exhibition of places and objects used in those scrambled times.
Important places (outside the city limits):
El Cobre, the sanctuary of Cuba
El Castillo del Morro (fortified against the attacks of pirates)
Cayo Granma (located in the bay of the island of Santiago)
Great Stone (1083m high mount of Santiago)
Bacanao (Dinosaur Park and Aquarium)