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martin Santiago de Cuba - A travel report by Martin
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Santiago de Cuba,  Cuba - flag Cuba -  Santiago de Cuba
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martin's travel reports

A short visit in Santiago de Cuba

  10 votes
Here did the music style Son first see the light and Santiago de Cuba is counted as the music capital of Cuba. The city was often attacked and revolutions has started here.

Santiago de Cuba was founded in year 1524 by Diego Velázquez and is a former capital of Cuba. Fidel Castro and his fellows started the revolution here on 26th of July 1953 by storming the barrack Moncada, and after a few years they overthrow the president Batista. The city is the second largest, after La Havana, on Cuba. Due to that the revolution started here, are many places connected with it and also to the history of pirates that tried to invade the city. As the second city there are museums and a old defense fortress to visit. You can arrive to Santiago with bus (Viazul) or train from La Havana, both stops at major towns on the way. Viazul has also a connection to Baracoa (the first capital on Cuba). A small waring for the cigar fabric in Santiago, it is just one big room that is shown where they work, very little english if any and not worth the money. The fabric in Havana shall be good, with also a good guiding (unfortunately did I not visit the one in Havana).

Favourite spots:
Go to the top of the stairs in calle Padre Pico in the morning, look towards the cathedral and see the sun goes up. I did also have the possibility to do this from the roof of the Casa Particular where I stayed. The Parque Céspedes that is the center plaza of Santiago, around the place there are many historical building that are worth visiting e.g. on the west side lies Casa de Velázquez, the house of the first gouverner of Cuba and is claimed as the oldest house on Cuba.

What's really great:
The music bars and all friendly people. This is a town where the music has a great influence on the daily life. Or go up to the terracce of the hotel Casa Granada and look down on Parque Céspedes, from here you will also see parts of the harbour.

The Moncada barrack where the revolution started, the fortress El Moro that guards the entrance to the harbor and hosts a museum of pirates (that somehow as very few spanish pirates), and also the cemetery Cementario Santa Ifigenia. The cathedral of course.

Stay in a Casa Particular, this will get you closer to the Cubans and in all places where I stayed in in Cuba they offered me breakfast, many did also offer a meal in the evening. The meals are extra, but they are worth it, as you will be served good Cuban food.

As in many towns on Cuba go to La Trova de Musica or La Trova de Cultura.

In the street Calle Heredia and around there are many pubs and clubs.

If staying in a Casa Particular ask if they can cook for you (often they cook really good) or try to find a Paladres (a privat restaurante).

Published on Saturday September 4th, 2004

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Mon, Sep 06 2004 - 01:24 PM rating by milana

Hi Martin!!Thank a lot for the report!It's really very interesting! I'm dreaming of Cuba! One of my friends has just arrived from Cuba, he says it's a paradise in the world. Do u have some photos of Santiago de Cuba?

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