The easiest way to reach the vibrant city Santiago de Cuba is from the capital city Havana. The distance of 870 kilometers (540 miles) can be covered either by air, train, car or bus. The fastest way would take you to the Antonio Maceo Airport and picking among the other options, you are advised to choose the railways.
Santiago De Cuba
Current weather nearby
- Broken clouds, light rain
- Temperature: 20 °C
- Wind: South-Southeast, 11.1 km/h
- Pressure: 1010 hPa
- Rel. Humidity: 88 %
- Visibility: 6 km
55.7 km South-Southwest
Fri, 11/09/2012 - 04:00
Once you hear the vibrant conga on the pentatonic trumpet, see costume wearing people dancing the salsa during hot July, praising the home grounds of revolutionary Frank Pais then you know you have reached Santiago de Cuba. An old colony founded in the 16th century carrying the name of the Spanish patron saint, this colorful destination includes historical treasures like the first home in the Americas, the first cathedral of Cuba or the first Cuban museum.
The Former Capital of a Spanish Colony
Santiago was founded on June 28th 1514 by Spanish conquistador Diego Velazquez de Cuellar. After it was destroyed by fire, the settlements of the Spanish were rebuilt and from 1522 till 1589 Santiago was named the capital in the colony of the present republic. Nowadays, the former headseat of the Spanish colony is the second largest city of Cuba and is located 870 kilometers (540 miles) from the present capital city Havana. Its geographical position, connecting the city to the Caribbean Sea has turned Santiago into an important port.
Once plundered by raiding pirates, then by French and British troops, Santiago de Cuba was a very wanted territory which has developed a great eclectic mix due to the numerous influences. The municipality of the city extended with time, nowadays including the communities El Caney, Antonio Maceo, Bravo or Castillo Duany.
From Baroque to Neoclassical
The San Pedro de la Roca Castle about 10 kilometers (6 miles) outside Santiago has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and taking a trip to the lovely Cuban metropolis, you should definitely consider this local citadel. Considered ''the most complete, best-preserved example of Spanish-American military architecture, based on Italian and Renaissance design principles'', the mighty castle was once a defense increasing fortress. In Santiago de Cuba, you will be amazed with the differences in architecture which strike even if you are not really a passionate in this domain. The colonial buildings with huge windows and crowded balconies beautify the steep streets and a visit in the Tivoli neighborhood will make you recognize the French-Haitian origins.
500 Years of Carnivals
Also known as ''charangeas'' or ''parrandas'' the colorful carnivals have been brought to Santiago de Cuba by Spanish colonists in the 17th century. A traditional celebration ever since, this Cuban happy-spirits event is more than a mixture of music, dance and costumes . Under the cover of the vibrant masks, Fidel Castro has entered the city and started the Cuban Revolution. Even though winter is usually the season of mask wearing in other parts of the world, the carnival in Santiago de Cuba takes place from the 18th to the 27th of July; the date of 26th is also the celebration of Independence Day.
Dance the salsa, visit the first main settlements in the Americas and live the optimism of Santiago de Cuba, a city famous for its cultural life.