Santiago de Cuba - Travel guide of the Cuban city: everything basic and essential

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Travel guide of the city of Santiago de Cuba: everything basic and essential.

Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba
Cathedral Casa Particular in Santiago de Cuba © jarek106 - Fotolia.com

Casa Particular in Santiago de Cuba It is the ideal place if you want to disconnect on your deserved vacation. It is the second most important city of the Cuban island, and like the capital of the country, it is well prepared to welcome the endless number of tourists who visit it every year.

Sea, mountain or museum holidays and architecture are possible in this tropical wonder. Its climate is special, good temperatures throughout the year makes it the favorite destination of many. You can go in any season, not only in summer.

Here are some details and curiosities about Casa Particular in Santiago de Cuba.

How to get to Santiago de Cuba

You know it's an island, so you'll need to get your feet off the ground. Well by air, well by sea.

Only 7 km south of the city is the Santiago de Cuba International Airport, also known as Antonio Maceo and Grajales, in honor of a man who fought until his death in the war of independence. He is considered a war hero and Cubans hold him in high esteem.

After this brushstroke of history, tell you that to get to the city you will have to take a taxi. Unlike Havana, there are no buses or other public transportation to the airport. Anyway it is not very expensive, since they are only 7 km.

Another option is to arrive by boat. The ports are better communicated with the city.

Move in the city

Ancient church Sala Dolores de Santiago de Cuba
Old Sala Dolores church in Santiago de Cuba © Aleksandar Todorovic - Fotolia.com

Once you have arrived you will need some mobility, since Santiago de Cuba is very extensive. With tell you that it has almost half a million inhabitants you can get an idea.

Like the capital, Santiago de Cuba has a network of public transport Pretty good: the bus (that's what Cubans call the bus), the bus - which is the interprovincial bus, for long distances - and the trains.

Regarding the Trainsfor Santiago There are two types: Cuban and French. The Cuban train is cheaper, but you never know when it arrives. If you are relaxing and do not mind waiting a while, the service will please you. But if you depend on a schedule, better buy a ticket for the French train. This one is punctual.

You also have available the service of taxi, and the option of rent a car.

With obligatory insurance included, you usually leave for around 50 $ per day, plus the fuel you consume. In general, the roads are quite good, better than in any other country around them.

What to do in Santiago de Cuba

This is a city with a very interesting culture. You can visit The first museum in Cuba, the first house in America or the first copper mine in the country. The architecture is very interesting, going through several eras. It is very curious to see the contrasts that exist between very close areas.

Siboney beach near Santiago de Cuba
Siboney beach near Santiago de Cuba © Aleksandar Todorovic - Fotolia.com

The Parties and celebrations of Santiago de Cuba are at least curious. During the month of July you can enjoy the fire festival (at the beginning of the month) and the carnival (from the 27). In December and January the commemoration of the war is celebrated, often with historical representations.

If you plan your trip on other dates, you can enjoy the theater Cuban. The price is very economical and the representations for all types of public. There are plays for children and adults, with a Cuban touch that will captivate you.

And the amount of museums what is in the city is impressive, some with free admission, and the rest with more than affordable prices. Several examples are the piracy museum, the historical museum or the Frank País house. It is easy to know and get immersed in Cuban culture.

The nature that you can see in Santiago de Cuba is fascinating. There is a lookout called La Great Stone, located at 1.000 meters above the sea with spectacular views. As the name suggests, it is a giant rock where you can see all kinds of wild plants, highlighting orchids.

But the most special thing is the nature reserve of the Baonao Park. It is about 20 km, but it's worth it. It has an area of ​​almost 85.000 hectares and was declared part of the world network of biosphere reserves in 1987. You can not lose this. As you can not stop visiting the castle of San Pedro de la Roca, qualified as the best example of Hispanic American military architecture.

The best beaches

In this city bathed by the Caribbean Sea, the beaches are mandatory stop. To the east lies the Siboney beach. Being the closest is the most visited, both by tourists and by people from Santiago. The beach of Bucanero and Costa Morena They are also famous for the variety of aquatic flora and fauna. You will discover a new world, the Caribbean is a joy.

Towards the west the beaches are completely different. The water and the sand are the same, but the landscape is between mountains and the views are impressive. A delight for the eyes. Beaches like El Francés, Oxo Cabón or Green sea, prepared to receive tourists from all over the world.

Where to stay in Santiago de Cuba

The most common areas are beaches. Most have hotel complexes where you will not miss anything. Here the hotels usually have programmed activities with everything related to the beach and the sea: diving classes, fishing, aquariums, there is even a prehistoric park nearby if you choose a hotel on the eastern beaches.

If you prefer the city center there are also magnificent hotels, some housed in old buildings, very nice indeed. The advantage of staying in the city is that you can enjoy the authentic Cuban atmosphere, visit the museums and get to know Santiago in its purest state. You always have to go to the beach a couple of days to relax.

It would be very unfair to reveal all the secrets of this special city. Discover the magic of yourself Casa Particular in Santiago de CubaIt will be an unforgettable trip.

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