Santiago de Cuba
Santiago de Cuba is the second important city of the country due to its economy. It is located in the most eastern part of the country. Due to its geographical position, it was the first capital of Cuba, since its foundation in 1515 and until 1556. It is also known as the “City Hero” of Cuba, title awarded by the support of his people to the exploits of the cuban libertarian.
Sites to visit:
♦ Castel of San Pedro de la Roca or also known as “Castillo del Morro” (is a military fortress located in Santiago de Cuba). It was built in the year 1638 to defend the city of potential naval attacks. Has gone through several reconstructions due to damage caused by earthquakes from 1758 and 1766. Because of its conservation has been declared World Heritage Site by the Unesco.
♦ Santa Ifigenia Cemetary. It was opened in February, 1868 and was the third cemetery officially used in Cuba. It has works of art made in granite, marble and other components. Due to its historical and architectural value it is a must visit.
♦ House of Diego Velázquez. It is the home of the Spanish conquer and first governor of Cuba Diego Velázquez who was responsible for founding the first sevens cities of Cuba. This ancient residence from our governor during the sixteenth century, is the oldest building of the entire island and is one of the oldest of all America. The house is today a historical museum that is worth visiting.
♦ Cuartel Moncada. It is an important building that had great significance in the Cuban revolutionary history. It was the military headquarters of the general Batista who had Cuba under a dictatorship. In this building was initiated the fight 26/July/1953 against this dictatorship, which ended on the 1st of January, 1959, giving birth to the Cuban Revolution.
♦Baconao Park. It is a national park that covers a wide region. It is located approximately 20 kilometers away from the city of Santiago de Cuba. It has an area of 84,600 hectares and is declared a World Biosphere Reserve by Unesco. The park has attractions, wildlife refuges and coffee plantations.
These are the attractions you can find in the park:
♦ La Gran Piedra (The Great Stone). The great stone is located in the “Sierra Maestra”(that is a mountain chain in the southeastern region of Cuba). Is located in the province of Santiago de Cuba. It is a rock with volcanic origin of 70 thousand tons and is located at 1225 meters above sea level. The rock is the third largest of the world and that is why it is inscribed in the Book of Guinness Record. At the top of the rock you have a spectacular view of the entire province of Santiago de Cuba.
♦ Valle de la Prehistoria (Prehistory's Valley). It shows 227 dinosaurs sculptures and prehistoric animals made to natural size.
♦ Granjita Siboney. (Siboney's Little Farm). It was the place where the attackers to the “Moncada Headquarters”, led by Fidel Castro, spent the night before the attack of the 26/07/1953.
♦ Museum of the Landing Transport. Shows visitors about 2,500 replicas of cars in miniature.
♦ Acuarium. Has an underwater tunnel with 30 meters of depth, and a dolphinarium.
♦ Baconao Lagoon. Displays a copy of a villa of the “Taínos Tribe”. In addition you will find a restaurant specialized in seafood.
To enjoy a good show I suggest you to go to the “Tropicana's Cabaret Santiago”. Surely you will have a very nice evening full of music and dancing.