Cool, rhythmical and spicy Santiago de Cuba "The Hot Land" is the Caribbean authentic capital because of its geographic position and ethnic origins.

Home of rum and revolution, Santiago -as people colloquially call it- has a unique, enigmatic appeal that makes it one of the most charismatic and spectacular cities in the country. Founded by Diego Velazquez in 1515 Santiago is Cuba's second largest city and has an eclectic collection of architectural styles, ranging from colonial to art deco. Its historic center keeps in its splendor valuable examples of colonial architecture (of strong Andalusian and Moorish tradition) with the outstanding house of Diego Velázquez, considered the oldest one in the island, and the Metropolitan Cathedral, both of them located very close to the most well known arteries of the city: the streets of Enramada and Padre Pico.

Magical Santiago de Cuba was the birthplace of the bolero, the conga and the son. Several cultures blended in this city to give it a distinctive culture of its own. Racial mixing-Spanish, black and French-is more clearly seen here than in the rest of the country. The people of this beautiful city are attentive and festive. Hospitality and joy are deeply rooted in the hearts of those who live in this Caribbean city.

Nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the "Sierra Maestra" Santiago gives possibilities for ecotourism and adventures, water sports, cruise ship tourism and health tourism. There are in total 70 Scuba Diving Sites all along the 150 kilometers of the coasts of Sigua, Daiquirí, Bucanero and Sierra Mar. In these sites, besides the untouched natural beauty of the sea bottom, it is possible to see the remains of sunken ships that date back to the XIX century. The fact that each of these four spaces has its own attractions turns Santiago de Cuba into an excellent alternative site to discover the Caribbean Sea beauties.

Céspedes Park: The city's the main square. Formerly the Plaza de Armas this square is the heart of the historic center of the city. It was renamed Céspedes after the nation’s founding father whose statue stands in the middle of the square. It’s a place for socializing, relaxing, and celebrating.

San Pedro de la Roca Castle: The most important of Santiago's forts, Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1997. Together with Castillo de La Estrella and the battery of La Socapa, it is part of the largest and most complete example of European Renaissance military engineering, applied to the conditions of the Caribbean by a colonial power.

Bacardí Provincial Museum: Housed in an elegant Neo-Classical building, it is the first one built in Cuba as well as the most eclectic one. Founded in 1828 by Emilio Bacardí, owner of the famous rum distillery, the museum is a rich source of relics dating from the Spanish conquest to the wars of independence. The place conserves an important collection of works by important 19th- and 20th-century Cuban painters.

Santa Ifigenia Cemetery: Cuba's second most important cemetery. Originally the Latin cross layout was divided into courtyards, the most important of which were reserved for higher status personalities. Two centuries of Cuban history are evoked there. The tombs of such illustrious 19th century Cuban patriots such as José Martí, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, Emilio Bacardí, Maceo’s mother, as well as the tombs of the 20th-century Cuban revolutionaries like Frank País. Tombs there are very beautiful, especially the Neo-Classical ones at the entrance, which are also the oldest.

Diego Velázquez House: Built between 1516 and 1530 it used to be the residence of Cuba's governor Diego Velázquez. The house, considered the oldest one in the island, is the Museo de Ambiente Histórico Cubano, covering the history of furniture in Cuba. It contains wonderful examples from all Colonial periods, Creole furniture dating from the 16th and 17th century. The basement has 18th-century Luis Las Casas furniture, a style peculiar to Cuba which combines English influences and French rococo motifs. The 19th-century section includes a dining room with stained-glass windows and French furniture.

Heredia Street: The most famous street of Santiago de Cuba. It's located on one side of the cathedral, where many historic buildings are found, like the birthplace of the poet José María Heredia (which is a museum today), the residence of the Casa Salcedo (today Casa de la Trova), the students' house and the palace of the Carnival Museum.

Beyond the limits of the city, visitors can find several attractions. We suggest:

La Gran Piedra: The Natural Protected Landscape of La Gran Piedra is one of the most beautiful places in the province. This enormous rock sits more than 1100 meters above the sea level and the estimate of its weight is about 70 000 tons, and constitutes an exceptional lookout from where you can enjoy the splendid landscape of Sierra Maestra.

Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre National Sanctuary: The Cuban patroness' temple is located in a small village west of Santiago. Pope John Paul II crowned the virgin during a religious ceremony held here on occasion of his visit to the city in 1998. The famous novelist Ernest Hemingway left his Nobel Prize here.

The Great Natural Park of Baconao: Located in the Biosphere Reserve equally named, calls for a tour on the Promenade of Sculptures, the Prehistoric Valley (a true Caribbean Jurassic Park)

Isabelica's French coffee plantations: Near La Gran Piedra there are the ruins of an ancient FrancoHaitian coffee plantation. This place was recently declared Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

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