It is the capital of the namesake province. Attractive on account of its people, incomparable history and musical roots enriched by a mixture of races and culture that converge in the most Caribbean of all Cuban cities. It is the only one that has received the honorary title of Ciudad Héroe de la República de Cuba (Hero City of the Republic of Cuba.) Seventeen sites of the territory have been declared Monumento Nacional (National Monument.) Its foundation in 1515 marked an important milestone in the expansion of Spanish colonialism in America, which made it possible for its historic center to evolve rapidly, reaching an area of  2.5 sq km. It has the entire necessary infrastructure to promote tourism events, congresses and also has, in its mountainous and marine environment, all conditions to develop ecotourism in its forms of adventure and hiking, as well as nautical activities, reception of cruises and health tourism.



Capital: Santiago de Cuba

Extension: 6 156 Km2

Municipalities: Santiago de Cuba, San Luis, Palma Soriano, Guamá, Tercer Frente, Segundo Frente, Contramaestre, Songo la Maya and Julio Antonio Mella.

Demonym: santiaguero/a

Limits: It limits to the north with the province of Holguín; to the east with the province of Guantánamo; to the south with the Caribbean Sea, and to the west with Granma province.

Accesses: Santiago de Cuba is connected to Havana and the rest of the country by the Central Highway and by rail. The Vía Azul and Omnibus Nacionales bus lines connect it directly with Havana, Trinidad, Varadero, Baracoa and Camagüey, and indirectly with the other provincial capitals. By air, the province can be accessed through the Antonio Maceo International Airport while by sea it can be accessed through the International Cruise Terminal and the Marina Santiago de Cuba also known as Punta Gorda.



Places of interest

Céspedes Park

It is located at the junction of Aguilera, San Pedro (General Lacret), Heredia and Santo Tomás (Felix Pena) streets. It is the main square of the city whose site dates from the sixteenth century, when the main buildings and institutions of the newly founded town around it began to be established. It constitutes a hub spot where the social, cultural and political life of the city converges. Named after the Founding Father of the Nation, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, on its south side it has a monument dedicated to the memory of the hero of the independence of the Island. In its surrounding architecture diverse architectonic styles are present, as well as some of the buildings that are hallmarks of the city.


Former City Hall

Aguilera between San Pedro (General Lacret) and Santo Tomás (Félix Pena) streets.

In 1950, it was decided to promote the construction of a building that was worthy headquarters of the town hall. The new Municipal Palace was the final product of a tender put out for that purpose on January 31, 1951. The construction of the project concluded on October 18, 1954: the date on which it was inaugurated.

The building reproduces the colonial esthetic codes with a ring-shaped floor plan, interior patio and surrounding galleries, inclined roofs of local roof tiles finished with eaves of tiled roofs, continuous balconies supported by modillions, roofs that rest on right feet, turned wooden bars, Spanish doors of nails and cuarterones, oculi and round arches. This was the place from where Fidel Castro addressed a crowd and announced for the first time, the Triumph of the Revolution on January 1, 1959. It is currently the seat of the Municipal Assembly of the People's Power.


House of the Governor Don Diego Velázquez de Cuellar, Museo de Ambiente Histórico Cubano 

602 Santo Tomás (Felix Pena) between Aguilera and Heredia, Tel 022 65 2652

It is considered the oldest preserved Spanish building in Latin America and the oldest house on the island, due to which it constitutes a valuable sample of the architecture of the early days of colonial times. Built between 1516 and 1530, it was the seat of the first government of Cuba. It has various architectural and decorative Mudejar style elements such as bars and wooden shutters. On the lower floor was established a gold foundry that is still maintained in the back of the premises. The house currently houses the Museo de Ambiente Histórico Cubano in whose rooms are preserved the original furniture and decorations, as well as other pieces of invaluable archaeological and historical value from the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. Identified also as Museo de Arte Colonial (Museum of Colonial Art,) there are people who have baptized it as Museum of Furniture.

Santa Metropolitan Basilica Cathedral Church

Santo Tomás (Félix Pena) between San Basilio and Heredia streets, Tel 022 65 4586

It was the first Cathedral of the Island. In 1522, the Parish Church of Santiago de Cuba, called Ermita de Santa Catalina, was declared a cathedral by Pope Adriano VI, and its seat was established in the city. Its construction ended in 1526. It suffered damages during the earthquakes of 1678, 1766, 1852 and 1932. In 1882 it receives from the Holy See the title of Minor Basilica. Between 1919 and 1922 it was subjected to a capital remodeling projected by architect Carlos Segrera, who endowed it with its current appearance. It was at this time that the marble effigy of Arcángel Gabriel was placed on top of the main pediment, the height of the towers was increased and the interior was modified with the placement of dropped ceilings decorated with paintings and ornaments in plaster and papier mache. In 1958 it was declared a National Monument.

 Archdiocesan Museum of Religious Art “Monsignor Enrique Pérez Serantes”

Founded on December 28, 1963, it exhibits pieces corresponding to Catholic religious art and its evolution from artisanal forms to the Précieuses with pieces of high value. Among the pictorial works that it keeps there is a valuable collection of oil portraits of the bishops and archbishops of Cuba. The presence in this museum of the "Santo Ecce Homo," made in Cartagena de Indias in 1610 and considered the oldest religious painting in Cuba, is noteworthy. It also exhibits other objects such as staffs, statues, crucifixes and other high-value paintings such as "La Virgen del Carmen" by Nicolás de la Escalera; "La Virgen de las Angustias" painted with the technique of chiaroscuro of the Spanish school of Rivera and Ribalta; "Ecce Homo" from Murillo's school; "Cristo Rey" 

by Luis Desangles, and "La Virgen de la Caridad de El Cobre" by Spaniard Víctor Patricio Landaluze.

Casa Granda Hotel

21 Heredia between San Pedro (General Lacret) and San Felix (Hartman) streets, Tel: 022 65 3021

Labeled by the press at its time as "...a display of modern architecture," in 1913 they began the construction of the five-story building, which works were made in just seven months, being presented on January 1, 1914. Established with the Casa Granda name, the hotel was inaugurated on January 10, 1914. It was said to be one of the best hotels during The Republic times, mounted perfectly in European style. In 1916, architect Carlos Segrera designed the Roof Garden, which currently constitutes one of its main attractions. The building is distinguished by the majesty and sobriety of its decorative elements that give it elegance and combine in perfect harmony with the surroundings of Parque Céspedes.


Club San Carlos

San Pedro (General Lacret) and Aguilera streets

In the surroundings of the Céspedes Park, before the imposing image of the Cathedral, the building of the San Carlos Club was the one of greatest distinctions. At present, it houses various offices such as banking and tourism offices, and the Galería Oriente, an art center belonging to the Bacardi Museum. Founded on June 22, 1962, it has a main hall where traveling exhibitions are set, an expo-selling room that exhibits the best and most authentic art of the city in all its manifestations and a courtyard of great architectural beauty. The Gallery also offers direct contact with artists, catalogs and information of historical social and cultural character of the city.


Casa Dranguet, Center for Interpretation and Dissemination of the Coffee Cultural Heritage

Heredia and Mariano Corona streets

Since its opening, on November 7, 2015, Casa Dranguet promotes actions aimed at safeguarding the culture linked to the coffee heritage, especially in Santiago de Cuba and in the eastern part of Cuba. The old house of Don Carlos Dranguet Thomas, restored as part of the actions for the celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the foundation of the town of Santiago de Cuba, is the headquarters of the project "Los Caminos del Café." The property consists of two levels, with a colonial style of neoclassical influence and a C-shaped floor plan. It was built between 1859 and 1861. Its permanent exhibition hall shows the values of the coffee cultural heritage of the southeastern region of Cuba, throughout its history, with special emphasis on the vestiges that are still preserved in the mountainous Santiago territory.


Casa de la Trova

208 Heredia between San Pedro (General Lacret) and San Felix (Hartman) streets, 

Tel: 022 62 3943

Known as the birthplace of Son (musical genre,) it was the official residence of the famed composer Rafael Salcedo. It is the place where son, bolero and the traditional trova of Santiago have their home with groups of medium and small format. It is the usual meeting place of the Septeto Santiaguero and other greats of the traditional trova such as Heliades Ochoa. With its history it reveals the visitor the essential melodies of the traditional Cuban musical heritage.


Birthplace House of 

José María Heredia

260 Heredia between San Felix (Hartman) and Pio Rosado,

Tel: 022 62 5350

It is the place where José María Heredia and Heredia was born on December 31, 1803 and lived his first two years, who is considered the First Romantic Poet of the Spanish Language. The building, described as one of the oldest houses in the city, is a significant example of the colonial architecture of the mid-eighteenth century with a marked influence of Moorish or Arabic art. The house has been preserved until our days, thanks to the management of the Heredia Board, an association officially created in 1889 by illustrious patriots who watched over the preservation of this historical cultural treasure of their city. In 1979 it was declared a National Monument. It is currently an important center promoting national literature and art.


Carnival Museum

303 Heredia between Carnicería and Calvario streets, 

Tel: 022 62 6955

The construction of the building dates from the end of the 18th century, conserving still valuable elements of its original carpentry. Since 1983 it has been the headquarters of the Carnival Museum and its halls exhibit the history of this festivity divided into three stages, the carnival in the colony, the Republic, and the Revolution. By touring its rooms, you can appreciate the history of the Santiago Carnival that was originated in the religious processions of July 25, dedicated to Santiago Apóstol. The museum treasures important objects that constitute elements of this tradition such as models of floats, trophies, banners, costumes, capes and street decorations. It also has a room dedicated to the musical instruments of the groups participating in these festivals: the Cabildo Carabalí, the Tumba Francesa and the conga santiaguera.


Ron Museum

358 San Basilio (Bartolomé Masó) and Carnicería streets, 

Tel 022 62 8884

On June 24, 1996, it opened its doors as the Museum of Rum, with the mission of preserving and spreading the history of the Santiago rum industry, whose origins date back to the end of the 18th century. The museum treasures more than 80 types of distilled rums in Cuba and in other countries of the region. It has six exhibition rooms through which you can review the history of the Cuban sugar industry, the appearance of brandy and rum as a by-product of it. Among its main attractions are old machinery used in the bottling process at the beginning of the 20th century, and a room with aging barrels and the tools used in its construction and repair. Its main room, called Santiago, is divided into two exhibition areas. The first one exhibits models of the Caney and Matusalem rum factories, photographs of the main factories before 1959 and a collection of promotional labels. The second one shows a permanent exhibition of the development of the rum industry in Santiago de Cuba from its beginnings to the present.


Emilio Bacardi Moreau Museum

Carnicería between Aguilera and Heredia streets, Tel 022 64 8402

Founded in 1899 by Don Emilio Bacardí Moreau, the first Mayor of Santiago de Cuba, it is the first institution of its kind in Cuba. It treasures an amazing collection with samples of the pre-Columbian cultures, national and international art, as well as the history of the country, belonging to its creator. On the first floor, it shows objects related to slavery on the Island and a collection of ancient weapons. Among its historical pieces of great value, it has a coat belonging to José Martí, National Hero of Cuba, and various objects belonging to the Founding Father of the Nation Carlos Manuel de Céspedes. The museum has an Egyptian mummy and Paracas mummies from Peru, as well as a shrunken head. The art gallery located on its second floor exhibits a collection of Cuban colonial paintings, as well as works of the Spanish Renaissance and pieces by important Cuban creators such as Wilfredo Lam and René Portocarrero.


Plaza Dolores

Located in the intersection or Aguilera, Calvario (Porfirio Valiente), Enramadas (José Antonio Saco), and Reloj (Mayía Rodríguez) streets

As the second most important square of the city emerged in the early years of the seventeenth century, it was intended for religious activities. Until 1776 it constituted one of the limits of the city and therefore the entrance by land of the agricultural produce coming from El Caney. This is the reason why it was turned into a market, combining this function with the religious one. In 1910 it was renovated replacing the central fountain with a statue of the patriot Francisco Vicente Aguilera. In 1994, a remodeling project adapted to its topography was initiated. It is currently an area of strong pedestrian circulation and busy activity, as it maintains a constant influx of public, given the existence around it of restaurants and commercial facilities


Concert Hall Dolores

Aguilera and Reloj (Mayía Rodríguez) streets, Tel: 022 62 4623

Nuestra Señora de los Dolores church, currently converted into the Dolores Concert Hall, is located south of the namesake plaza, attached to the Jesuit Dolores School, where Fidel Castro studied in his youth. As of January 1, 1989, it was converted into a concert hall. This place is not only appreciated for its architectural attributes, but also for its excellent acoustic qualities put to the test in concerts of symphonic, lyrical and chamber music, as well as in the international choir festivals that it hosts annually. It has a Rieger-Kloss organ, manufactured by a prestigious Czech firm that has manufactured more than 400 units of its kind in the world.


Plaza de Marte

It is located in one of the most populous and highest points of the city, occupying about 5000 sq m. It pays tribute to the Liberation Army of Cuba with the “Columna de la Libertad” (Column of Freedom) dedicated to Cubans who fought for freedom in the 19th century. In the same space it occupies today, the soldiers and volunteers of the Spanish army were trained, and the young revolutionaries conspired against tyranny in the Republic. The plaza and the statues of Perucho Figueredo, author of the National Anthem stand out in the plaza; that of Major General Francisco Sánchez Hechavarría, first elected governor of the then province of Oriente, and that of Brigadier General and distinguished surgeon and researcher, Joaquín Castillo Duany, the first Cuban explorer of the North Pole and a supporter of independence; as well as other monuments dedicated to José Martí and the heroes of the Revolution.


Heritage Corridor of 

“Las Enramadas”

The Calle de las Enramadas, one of the oldest in the city, has been known over time as the smile of Santiago de Cuba or the city's girlfriend. It joins the east and west end of the Urban Historic Center, linking the Plaza de Marte with the Paseo Marítimo. The road had, until the eighteenth century, several names at the same time depending on the section. During colonial times, the street was the transit site of the processions of various festivities, so in 1790 it was widened and added a Balzac stone curb and it is popularly called Calle Ancha. Its most popular name is due to a tradition established during the Corpus Christi festivities. The well-to-do neighbors placed awnings at the entrance of their houses so that the procession would not be disturbed by the sun or the rain, and those not having an awning would place a palm tree bower. This road was the first to be paved in 1899 during the North American intervention.

Until the nineteenth century the street was mostly residential, something that changed in the first decades of the twentieth century when it was populated with shops. The various banks that are still operating and the presence of a tram route from 1908 gave greater prominence to the street and reinforced its use as a commercial thoroughfare. An ideal place for recreation, it offers luxurious accommodations such as the Hotel Imperial, as well as numerous restaurants, cafes and shops.


Plaza La Alameda

Close to the bay, it remains like a walk of trees, paved in some of its parts, in others of polished granite, with fountains and banks. In 1830 the idea of building a walk arose, but it was not until 1859 that La Alameda was built and named Téllez, in honor of the governor Don Juan Téllez. Today the image of Paseo de La Alameda is due to the project executed by Mayor Luis Casero Guillén between 1949 and 1951. In addition, commemorative monuments were erected to the memory of Germán Michaelsen and José Martí. Around it important city arteries converge, modern mixed shops and regal buildings of the early twentieth century such as the one currently hosting the Puerto del Rey Brewery, an interesting oasis in which one may quench thirst in hot Santiago nights.


Velázquez's balcony

Felix Pena (Hartman) and Mariano Corona streets

As a natural balcony of the city located on the top of a hill, it was once an old Spanish fort. At the moment, it works as a small cultural place that offers the visitor a beautiful panorama of the city as well as the possibility of purchasing tourist publications and souvenirs.

City Model 

Mariano Corona between San Basilio (Bartolomé Masó) and J. Castillo Duany streets,

Tel 022 65 2095

The elaboration of the model began in the 90s. It is a project in execution and the installation that exhibits was inaugurated on August 1, 2003. In the sample of the model of the city it will continue representing the urban area of the city of Santiago de Cuba, with an extension of 91 sq km. The Historic Center stands out with an extension of 3.2 sq km, declared a National Monument in 1978, as well as the bay with the Fortress of Morro at its entrance.


Padre Pico Street

It is located in the old Loma de Corvacho, named after the surname of a shopkeeper who had his business in the next corner. The stairway was built by order of the mayor of the city Emilio Bacardi and Moreau who, declining the honor of lending his name to this work, determined to dedicate it to the one who was Dean of the Cathedral, Dr. Bernardo Antonio del Pico y Redin, for his exemplary life and the love he had for his parishioners and people in general. Today, the Padre Pico stairway, along with the other fourteen that the city has, offers those who climb them a great view and the satisfaction of having gone through something indisputably Santiago.


Museum  Birthplace 

of Frank País

266 Banderas between General Portuondo and Habana streets,

Tel 022 65 2710

It shows the visitor photographs, documents and personal belongings of the brothers and the País García family. It was declared a National Monument on October 10, 1978. The house was built during the second half of the 19th century. There lived the brothers Frank and Josué País García, brave young people who played a very important role in the struggle against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Frank, a primary school teacher, organized and directed the armed uprising of November 30, 1956 in Santiago de Cuba, in support of the landing of the Granma yacht; and later he was designated by Fidel Castro as the chief of action and sabotage of the July 26 movement.


Tumba Francesa 

“La Caridad de Oriente”

268 Carnicería between Habana and Trinidad streets, 

Tel. 022 66 9440.

It is a music-dancing tradition. Having the merit of preserving up to the present, handed down from generation to generation empirically and orally, their songs, touches, drum beats, linguistic phenomena, culinary heritage, the respect for their ancestors and the need to maintain their origins, is what makes it worthy of recognition as a carrier group of traditional Cuban and universal popular culture. Declared a masterpiece of the Intangible and Oral Heritage of Humanity, on November 3, 2003, it is a group that bears a 150-years old authentic tradition. Emerged as an expression of the fusion of the African rhythms from the Dahomey region and French dances, it bears socio-cultural values that characterize this group since its creation on February 24, 1862 to our days, maintaining an uninterrupted work.


Museum  Birthplace 

of Antonio Maceo

207 Maceo between Corona and Rastro streets, Tel 022 62 3750

It is the house where the “Titán de Bronce” was born on June 14, 1845, baptized with the name of Antonio de la Caridad Maceo Grajales. The Museum has four exhibition rooms that, by themes, expose the military career of General Antonio, the history of the Maceo-Grajales family and the political thought of the protagonist of the firm “Protesta de Baraguá.” The personal objects of the family stand out in the exhibition of the institution and the printing house where the newspaper "El Cubano Libre" was reissued in 1895.


Monument Area “26 de Julio”Abel Santamaría Historical Complex

Trinidad between Calle Nueva and Carretera Central streets,

Tel. 022 62 4119

It is composed by the Abel Santamaría Museum, the Municipal Library, the monument dedicated to the revolutionary leader from Santiago de Compostela Abel Santamaría Cuadrado, and the institution located on the site of the ruins of the former Saturnino Lora Hospital.


Abel Santamaría S

quare Park

 In its center there is a gigantic granite cube-shaped fountain whose faces are carved with the faces of Abel Santamaría and José Martí. At the base of the fountain you can see a beautiful and complex geometric layout in the form of an eight-pointed star that harmonizes with the straight lines of the sculptural set in general.


Abel Santamaría Museum, former Saturnino Lora Hospital

Tel. 022 62 4119.

The museum occupies the remains of the former Saturnino Lora Hospital, an institution that on July 26, 1953 was assaulted by Abel Santamaría along with twenty-two young revolutionaries, in order to open fire from there against the Moncada Barracks. They were captured in the action and in these same facilities they were tortured and killed. On October 16 of that same year, there took place the trial against Fidel Castro, on account of the events of the Moncada, where he delivered his historic speech La Historia me Absolverá (History Will Absolve Me.) It was opened to the public as a museum in 1973 and its nine rooms show the history of the hospital, personal belongings of the combatants of the aforementioned action and the room where the aforementioned trial took place.


Palacio de Justicia

This property was declared a National Monument on July 10, 1998. The building was designed in the 40s of the twentieth century and inside there were two public hearings related to trials number 37 of the year 1953 and number 67 of the year 1956. The first was the trial of the survivors of the armed revolutionary action of July 26 where 30 assailants of the barracks of Santiago de Cuba and Bayamo were prosecuted. In the second, those involved in the armed uprising of November 30, 1956 in support of the disembarkation of the Granma Yacht were accused.


Moncada Barracks

General Portuondo between Moncada and Avenida de los Libertadores streets, 

Tel 022 66 1157

The going down in history of this military fortress occurred after the assault carried out by the youths of the so-called Generación del Centernario (Centennial Generation) that, guided by Fidel Castro on July 26, 1953, tried to take the fortress, and then headed to the hills of Santiago de Cuba and from there waged the fight against the tyranny of Fulgencio Batista. After the revolutionary triumph of 1959, it was turned into the Ciudad Escolar 26 de Julio. Part of the facilities of the former barracks house the Museo Histórico 26 de Julio (Historical Museum July 26,) also known as the Museo de la Revolución (Museum of the Revolution, Tel 022 66 1157), which shows in its rooms the history of the events of July 26, 1953 and its consequences for the development of the revolutionary struggle. The museum treasures an impressive collection of weapons, among which are some belonging to Fidel Castro and other revolutionary fighters, as well as uniforms, military plans, photographs, and a model of the military facility.


Loma de San Juan 

Historical Park

Located to the south of Avenida Pujol, it constitutes a symbolic space, which functions as the verdure of the city. On the hill two works stand out for their historical significance: the inscription that expresses why this conflict should be called Spanish-Cuban-American War and the monolith unveiled on the centenary of the event, where its transcendence for the Cuban people is evident. Also, in a suggestive triad, the representations of the three armies are gathered: the Unknown American Soldier (1926), the Victorious Mambí (1929) and the Spanish Soldier Fallen in the Pursuance of his Duty (1929), pieces of remarkable value This is an art that interweaves with inscriptions, trenches, forts and cannons.

Santa Ifigenia 

Heritage Cemetery

Calzada de Crombet,

Tel 022 63 3522

On April 22, 1868, the Santa Ifigenia cemetery began to operate, considered one of the oldest in Cuba that is still active. Its more than 9.4 hectares in length keep the remains of personalities linked to history, culture, science and sports. As the site of final rest of several generals and fighters of the different stages of the revolutionary struggles for the independence of the Island, is currently one of the main places of pilgrimage for those who visit the city of Santiago. Since October 10, 2017, next to the mausoleum that keeps the mortal remains of José Martí, National Hero, and the funerary monolith of Fidel Castro, the funerary monument of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, Founding Father of the Nation, was relocated and in an impressive sculptural funerary complex and the remains of Mariana Grajales, mother of the Maceos and Mother of the Nation were placed.

Casa del Caribe

154, 13th Street, Tel 022 64 3609

Created in June 1982, it stands out in the hosting of events and academic workshops where folk art is reflected on, as well as fam courses about the history of the guest countries in the Caribbean Festivals. It sponsors every year, from July 3 to 9 in Santiago de Cuba, the Festival del Caribe (also known as the Fire Fest).


Plaza de la Revolución (Revolution Square)

Avenida de las Américas and Avenida de los Libertadores.

A monumental complex composed of several elements that make up the Plaza de la Revolución Antonio Maceo Grajales. The gigantic bronze equestrian statue by the Santiago artist Alberto Lescay, which represents the General Lieutenant of the wars of independence of the XIX century, Antonio Maceo, an illustrious son of this city, stands out in this place. Surrounding the statue are twenty-three giant steel machetes made by plastic artist Guarionex Ferrer. To the north of the square there is an eternal flame commemorating the figure of this famous patriot. At the base of the monument is the Sala de Exposición Holográfica (Tel 022 64 3053) whose exhibition is based on holographic representations of the life and revolutionary struggle of Antonio Maceo.


National Sanctuary 

of the Virgen de El Cobre 

Promontorio de Santiago del Prado, El Cobre, Telf.022 34 6118

The La Ermita de El Cobre, a distant temple 19 kilometers from Santiago de Cuba, and built in 1927, becomes a destination that travelers should include in their agenda. It is the main enclosure of the Virgen de la Caridad de El Cobre, the patron saint of Cuban Catholics, elected as such by the veterans of the wars of independence in 1936. Her altar was built in marble and her silhouette is usually facing the chapel of the sanctuary, which is accessed through the back, located on the "Capilla de los Milagros” (Chapel of Miracles,) where there lay the memories and votive offerings brought as an offering by thousands of parishioners. A very special donor was the American novelist Ernest Hemingway, who in 1956 gave the Cubans the medal that accredited him as the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature. On December 30, 1977, Pope Paul VI sent the African Cardinal Bernardín Gantin as an emissary, in order to proclaim the Hermitage, "Minor Basilica." The Holy Father John Paul II returned to crown this Virgin during his visit to Cuba in 1998. Later Pope Benedict XVI honored the image with two gifts: a rose and a golden rosary. During the 400th anniversary of its discovery in 2012, a pilgrimage was made throughout the entire island, culminating in the festivities in the main abode of the Virgin in Cuba, its Sanctuary in El Cobre.


Castillo de El Morro 

San Pedro de la Roca, Museum of Piracy

7 ½ km Carretera del Morro, 

Tel 022 69 1569

Also known as Castillo del Morro, it was built between 1638 and 1643 by the famous military engineer Bautista Antonelli, in order to protect the city from attacks by corsairs and pirates. In 1664, after the attack to the city by the pirate Henry Morgan, it was necessary to reconstruct it almost in its entirety because it was in ruins. After this repair, it has been reconstructed on numerous occasions, being the most important the one made by the military engineer Juan Martín Cermeño, after being almost destroyed by two earthquakes in 1758 and 1766, which remodeling gave it its current appearance. It was declared a National Monument on July 25, 1998 when the site was proclaimed as a World Heritage Site. Nowadays, it houses the Museo de la Piratería (Piracy Museum,) where you can see antique weapons, plans and other objects related to this theme. The Faro del Morro (Morro Lighthouse,) built in 1920 and maintaining its original manual mechanisms, can also be visited in the fortress.


Teatro Heredia

Avenida de Las Américas and Avenida de los Desfiles

It is located on the east side of the Plaza de la Revolución Antonio Maceo and on its front it has a giant mural that represents the revolutionary commander Juan Almeida Bosque. Considered the most important cultural center of the city of Santiago, it is named after the illustrious Santiago poet José María Heredia. It is the only theater designed and built in Cuba after the Triumph of the Revolution.


Monumento al Cimarrón (Monument to the Maroons)

A sculptural work of gigantic proportions, made by the artist from Santiago Alberto Lescay, pays homage to centuries of slave rebellion in Latin America and the Caribbean. It can be seen from almost any point in the town of El Cobre. From its top you can see the beautiful turquoise color of the Laguna Azul, whose waters have acquired this color due to the oxidation of the copper contained in the soil of the region.


Mausoleum of the III Frente Oriental 

Avenida de los Mártires

Opened in 2013 at the site where Commander Juan Almeida Bosque founded the III Frente Oriental Mario Muñoz, during the last stage of the revolutionary struggle, today it houses the mausoleum where the remains of Almeida and 216 other guerrilla fighters rest. The mausoleum is complemented by the Museo del III Frente Guerrillero (Museum of the III Guerrilla Front,) which shows the history and actions of the combatants of this front by way of original pieces related to the events that took place there.


Historical Complex of Museums of the II Frente 

Avenida de los Mártires, Mayarí Arriba, Tel 022 42 5749

Located 23 km northeast of the city of Santiago de Cuba, it was the site chosen by Raúl Castro to found the Segundo Frente Oriental on March 11, 1958. The complex located on the northern side of the town of Mayarí Arriba includes a museum that exhibits photos, maps, military equipment, a helicopter, models of warplanes and heavy weapons. The museum focuses mainly on the revolutionary activity of Raúl Castro, Vilma Espín and Frank País, in the liberation of the Batista troops from the region and the establishment of a system of public administration in 1958.


Mausoleum of the II Frente

It is a majestic marble monument surrounded by royal palms and adorned with red caliph gardens representing the blood shed by the fighters in the fight. Inside the complex there is a monolith that keeps the ashes of the revolutionary fighter Vilma Espin and where the funerary niche of General Raúl Castro is prepared.

Baconao Biosphere Reserve

Declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1987, it has 32 400 hectares and is located 40 km east of the outskirts of Santiago de Cuba on the border with the province of Guantánamo. Declared a Biosphere Reserve due to the biodiversity it treasures, it is home to several endemic species of the region. The reserve is linked to the city through the Carretera Siboney, bordered by 26 monuments dedicated to the fallen heroes in the Moncada Assault. The region has beaches, which are popular among the local population, mainly on warm weekends.

Gran Piedra National Park

Km 14 Carretera Siboney and Carretera la Gran Piedra roads

It is barely 30 kilometers from Santiago de Cuba, almost on the edge of the Sierra Maestra National Park and covers an area of 3 357 hectares. The gigantic rock sits 1,225 meters above sea level with an estimated weight of 70,000 tons and dimensions of 51 meters long, 26 meters high and 30 meters wide, something unusual that has made it possible to include the place in the Book of Guinness Records. Archaeological and historical studies reveal this area as the main focus of the settlements of French emigrants in the nineteenth century, due to the existence in the area of the ruins of coffee plantations proclaimed by UNESCO World Heritage.


La Isabelica coffee plantation, La Isabelica Ethnographic Museum

Km 14 Carretera de la Gran Piedra 

Declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO on November 29, 2000, it is part of the set of coffee plantations established in the region by Franco-Haitian immigrants. It is an excellent example of the agro-industrial coffee heritage that recreates the family life of the founder of this plantation Víctor Constantin Couson, who left Haiti in 1792, through an excellent display of furniture and decorative arts of the time, as well as tools for employees in the coffee industry.

Granjita Siboney

km 13 ½ Carretera Siboney 

A small house with red tiles, located one km inland from Siboney beach, is the place where the group of young people led by Fidel Castro left for the Moncada Barracks at 5:00 am on July 26, 1953. It served as the general barracks for the training of the young people who carried out the armed action. It is currently called Museo Granjita Siboney (Tel 022 39 9168) and exhibits weapons used in the actions of the 26 de Julio, bloody uniforms belonging to combatants fallen or wounded in these actions, as well as the 1950 Oldsmobile used by Abel Santamaría.


Museum of the Spanish-Cuban-American War

Tel 022 39 9119

Located 100 meters east of the Granjita Siboney, it is dedicated to the events of the Spanish-Cuban-American War that took place in 1898. It exhibits an excellent collection of historical photos, plans and maps of battles, fortifications and ships, scale models of the ships involved in the battle, original cannons and other weapons including two Spanish torpedoes. The detailed models of the battles during this war stand out in its sample.


Valle de la Prehistoria (Valley of Prehistory)

Approximately 22 km away from the city of Santiago de Cuba is the Valle de la Prehistoria, a sculptural complex composed by more than one hundred life-sized pieces, mostly made with the metal structure technique covered with iron-cement corresponding to ancient animals. It is a very interesting visual portrait of animal evolution on the planet, in which species that span the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras, including the Tertiary and Quaternary, have been represented. It is an unparalleled experience to walk through the areas of this park, where a diversity of living botanical species seem to have not evolved and share the space with the Dimetrodon, a carnivore that had a huge dorsal fan and the Diplodocus, a herbivorous dinosaur of the Mesozoic era, of more than 27 meters in length. A good way to put an end to this walk is to visit the area selling handicrafts located under huge trees, and to buy reproductions of these animals from the Valley as a souvenir, or to go visit a cavern constructed with the same technique as the sculptures in order to regain strength in the small cafeteria before continuing on the road.


Baconao Aquarium

Phone 022 35 6176

Located about 50 km east of the city of Santiago de Cuba, it has a small but interesting museum with various objects used in nautical activities and samples of marine life. Its exhibition of marine life has unique facilities in the country with an underwater glass tunnel from where you can see species such as sharks, sea turtles and moray eels. The aquarium offers dolphin shows daily at 10.30 am and at 3.00 pm.