Santiago de Cuba Travel Guide

  • Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, Santiago
    Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca,...
    by SWFC_Fan
  • cock fight
    cock fight
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  • Chevy
    Chevy
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Santiago de Cuba Things to Do

  • Castillo del Morro

    Spanish fortress, south of the city was built in 1633 , designed by same author of Morro in Havana. It has long and disturbing history. Place is nice but crowded with touristic scams who want to sell you cigars etc. Very strange is that you won't see any ships in front of fortress or even birds (don't know why). Scenery is spectacular (sea and...

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  • Basilica del Cobre

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    When you approach to this site from Palma Soriano, you'll be amazed of its beauty in middle of rich landscape. Pope was there, you should too if you're around Santiago. Popular Cuban sport stars left their medals there as a sign of gratitude. Indoor is beautiful too. Patron saint of Cuba and only basilica in Cuba.

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  • Parque Cespedes

    The park square is surrounded by the Town Hall, the Catedral de la Asuncion, and the Hotel Casa Granda. The rooftop patio of the hotel offers beautiful views of the surroundings, as well as a bar. The streets leading away from the park house many shops, restaurants, etc. to explore. In the park itself there are benches to rest on and there will...

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Santiago de Cuba Hotels

Santiago de Cuba Restaurants

  • Government owned restaurants

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    La Elisabelica is a coffee shop in Plaza Dolores opposite the Restaurant Matamoros on the corner of Calvario and Aguilera . The prices here are in moneda nacional , not in convertibiles but if you are a tourist they will try to charge you in convertibiles , in otherwords 24 times the proper rate . Insist in paying in pesos Cubano , dont take no for...

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  • Paladars

    5 out of 5 stars

    One of my favorite restaurants in Santiago is La Cocinita. Cheap and delicious fried chicken and plantain meals for about $2 USD. Don't freak out when you see the menu the prices are in pesos. I don't know what the Cubans fry their food in but it sure tastes good! Be forewarned...the washroom is quite disgusting, but useable. This restaurant allows...

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  • La Elisabelica

    La Elisabelica is a coffee shop in Plaza Dolores opposite the Restaurant Matamoros on the corner of Calvario and Aguilera . The prices here are in moneda nacional , not in convertibiles but if you are a tourist they will try to charge you in convertibiles , in otherwords 24 times the proper rate . Insist in paying in pesos Cubano , dont take no for...

    more

Santiago de Cuba Nightlife

  • Casa de la Trova

    This place holds maybe 100 - 120 people. The performers change during the course of the evening but are generally of an impressive standard. Most of the people that are in the crowd seem to be touristy couple but it isn't exclusively like that. There's some Cubans also go numerous of whom approached me. Within no more than a few mins max on each...

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  • Live Music

    in santiago you can find almost every day concert, live music TRANCE, DANCE & PERFORMANCE Have a look at the pros : salsa, casino, mambo, chachacha or son courses and lessons offered by members of Conjunto Folklorico de Oriente founded in 1959 or Ballet Folclórico Cutatumba, an Afro-Cuban group well-known in North America and Europe. Some of the...

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  • Parque Cespedes

    View of Parque Cespedes from the balcony of our casa. Lots of tourist shops line this park. During the Festival of Carribean Culture this is also the focal point of music, dance and art exhibits from all over the Carribean (one week in early July). At night, this park is the centre of jinetera activity. You can avoid them however and just watch...

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Santiago de Cuba Transportation

  • Airplane and Helicopter

    By air as it is the quickest. We flew by helicopter from outside our hotel in Guardalavaca. The journey took 45 minutes as opposed to a bus journey lasting about 4 hours. For more information please see my Santiago De Cuba travelogue.

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  • Train

    www.cuba-individual.com/ s_horario.htm. to check timetable Some trains are really nice, clean and fast (but not always, don't expect Thalys or TGV). Santiago is connected with Guantanamo, Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Santa Clara, Matanzas and Havana. Price Santigo-Havana from 30 CUC do 60 CUC one way.

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  • Car Rental

    Due to knowing a Santiago resident I became familiar with the common Santiago way of transport, the motorcycle. For the more daring under you, try it. It's a quick and very cheap way of transportation. Most trips will cost 10 cts. Just wave down any motorcycle you see passing by and enjoy your ride. Some will try to let you pay $ 1.- but a little...

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Santiago de Cuba Shopping

  • Local market

    Walk to local market (ask in your hotel for direction or take tuk-tuk).Plenty of tropical fruit, some unusual vegetable, no fridge in meat section (fly heaven), cool people, and prices are soooooooo low !!! Different kind of bananas. Pine apple. Really nothing couse prices are usually in Pesos not CUC.

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  • Cuban Shopping Area

    This is me in Plaza de Marte which is a small square in downtown Santiago. This square is surrounded by the stores frequented by the local Cubans. Parque Cespedes is the shopping area for the tourists. This area is very busy and if your looking a slightly better price this is where to go! There are also two budget hotels facing this square. Most...

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  • Santiago de Cuba Hotels

    20 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba

    3 Reviews

Santiago de Cuba Local Customs

  • Religion

    Christmas in Cuba this year passed with little more observance than the tiny plastic Xmas tree for me. Some of my Cuban friends did attend church as usual but there was none of the comercialization that we have been accustomed to here in North America and Europe. However, there is always a shrine to El Cobre, the patron saint of Cuba, in the...

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  • Practical

    During your visit of Moncada garrison you'll see that part of it is school as well (Mr.Casto decision)... it's strange that we passed and kids had exam...with open door and none told us to be quite or anything...i know cubans have pride considering their education but still...

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  • Cuban Music

    The famous "Casa de la Trova" in Calle Heredia - exchange of emotions between a teacher and his student (a Cuban music player living in the Netherlands ) - we had a great time. But no misunderstanding - this is Ingrid and the famous leader of the band (72 years old-the leader i mean) and the portrait at the wall showing the location of the Casa at...

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Santiago de Cuba Warnings and Dangers

  • Hustlers

    When you arrive at the via azul terminal in santiago, you are either in a hurry to buy a ticket or just leave after long trip from habana. please be careful as there are many people who are watching your movements and in one such moment when your defenses are down gone is your bag or money jacket or something else. Recently I was relieved of my...

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  • Robberies

    How to avoid crime and delinquency in Cuba: this comes at a price, but having been robbed rwice in the last one year at palces where tourists gather, I have decided to avoid such places altogether. Instead of ViaAzul ( from santiago to baracoa), use a taxi ( usd 80 ). Fly the long distances. Avoid going to places where tourists gather. In Baracoa,...

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  • Drugs

    Do not, under any circumstances, carry dope or deal with anyone on the subject. This is something the authorities take very seriously, and you may not see the light of day for a while if caught. Stick to alcohol.

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Santiago de Cuba Tourist Traps

  • TOFFY's Profile Photo

    by TOFFY Written Oct 20, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We found that Santiago was the only place in Cuba that we were actually pestered by some pesty locals asking for stuff.....and this only on our second visit there i.e. they are learning.

    Unique Suggestions: Do not give stuff to people on the streets if you have no relationship with them at all. You will only attract more people. Save it for the person who gave you directions, or suggested a good hotel.
    Try not to be rude getting rid of them, but a stern "No Gracias" should work. If that doesn't work, ask another Cuban to ask them to leave you alone.

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Santiago de Cuba What to Pack

  • TOFFY's Profile Photo

    by TOFFY Written Oct 20, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Miscellaneous: If you have room, pack a few school supplies and stop in at a country school to deliver them. You will have a wonderful experience as you receive thanks and take a photo with the kids. All schools have a flag flying outside, and a bust of Jose Marti outside the one room school house.

    Thanks!

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Santiago de Cuba Off The Beaten Path

  • Nature

    La Gran Piedra up in the Sierra Maestra is a splendit tropical rain forrest. From La Gran Piedra you can see all of Santiago de Cuba and on a clear day you can see as far out as Jamaica...

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  • Beaches

    Take the road from Santiago, east to Siboney Beach. On the way, you will pass twenty-six white monuments in memory of the heroes who died during the attack on the Moncada Barracks with Castro. At the "farm", where the attack was planned, you will see a museum display of the plan of attack, including the weapons. Then on to the beach - Playa Siboney...

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  • Religion in Cuba

    You will find some religious monuments in Santiago dated from the spanish period - like in the house of the former conqueror of this island - Diego Velasquez. But the actual religious situation is not very clear to me since the visit of the pope ! (Pic by J@C)

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Santiago de Cuba Sports & Outdoors

  • kuere's Profile Photo

    by kuere Updated Dec 7, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    roads are surprisingly good and you have very little traffic (outside of big cities) even on the main roads

    Equipment: we bought some chinese mountain bikes in the shops (in santiago). well, it worked out in the end, but you better bring your own ones or rent it at cicloturismo in havana

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Cycling

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Santiago de Cuba Favorites

  • Castillo del Morro

    El Morro de Santiago de Cuba is one of the most beautiful fort in all of the Caribbean. Its elevated very high up and its very majestic. It is one of those places that at any time of the day you can see the most fantastic colors come out of the Cuban sky.. The sunsets are beautiful.

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  • Street Scenes

    Walk along Avenida Jose A Saco, Santiago de Cuba, The downtown portion between Plaza de Marte and Parque Cespedes has most of the tourist shops and interesting architecture. Some of the oldest Spanish colonial architecture with French influences.

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  • Avoid Santiago Touts!

    Avoid Touts Who Recommend Casas in Santiago De Cuba.We arrived in Santiago and went straight to the Casa which was recommended in our guide book. It was central and had a balcony. Unfortunately it was not available.As we left we were approached by a tout who told us his Tia had a casa close by - Casa Vivian, with a terrace and great views.We were...

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Explore Deeper into Santiago de Cuba
Cementerio
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Padre Pico Stairs
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Sierra Maestra
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Bad deal reviews
Warnings and Dangers
Street Scenes
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Cuartel Moncada
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Servicio rapido
Transportation
motorcycle transport
Transportation
Best cementerio of Cuba
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Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca
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visit dinosaurier park valle de la prehistoria
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santiago is the music town of cuba
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School and musem
Local Customs
Shrine of Miracles
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Santiago airport
Transportation
Brief history of revolution
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Salsa live
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The Square
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Soldiers ceremony on Cementario
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Fortress and sea
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Holliest place in Cuba
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Parque Céspedes
Local Customs
Lovely Views
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Explore the Square and Surroundings
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Cementerio de Santa Ifigenia
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Amigo
Warnings and Dangers
Best deal
Restaurants
Trucks and Cars
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Drink a 7 years old Habana Club at La Maison
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Casa de las Tradiciones
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Blackouts
Favorites
NO DOPE! Simple as that.
Warnings and Dangers
Siboney Beach - a Cuban Beach
Off The Beaten Path
Gran Piedra - Another Mountain
Things to Do
Santiago de Cuba: Coffee Culture Pt. 1
Restaurants
Live music and dancing
Nightlife
Live music and dancing
Nightlife
Try it.
Restaurants
Map of Santiago de Cuba

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