Built upon a sequence of hills, overlooking a large bay and set in a dramatic backdrop of the majestic Sierra Maestra Mountains, Santiago de Cuba is a truly breathtaking destination. Geographically impressive and arguably the most Caribbean of the Cuban cities, the city is an inviting choice, thanks to its warm and jovial locals, tropical climate and cultural heritage. Those that visit will be instantly dazzled by the city's rich history, exotic traditions and unique charm.
Easily the most popular attraction is Parque Cespedes, a beautiful square with extensive gardens found at the heart of the historic city. A statue of the national hero Carlos Manuel de Cespedes stands proud in the middle of the square, and directly opposite is the city's beautiful colonial cathedral.
For a history lesson, take a walk to the Moncada Barracks. The barracks are dedicated to the 25th July Movement when Castro launched an uprising that became a key turning point in the outbreak of revolution. Now the sight is used mainly as a school, but also has a museum dedicated to documenting the historic event. Another impressive monument is the Castillo de San Pedro Del Morro located a little out of town, providing the perfect opportunity to explore the superb surrounding countryside. The 17th century fortress is perched at the top of a cliff at the entrance of the bay and was built originally to protect the city against pirate attacks. Today the building is open to the public and contains an interesting naval museum.
Santiago de Cuba also boasts some of Cuba's oldest museums. The Emilio Bacardi is the second museum founded in Cuba and displays an impressive array of fascinating archaeological finds and colonial paintings. There are also a number of others worth visiting, including a rum museum, a piracy museum and a carnival museum. All are entertaining ways of exploring Cuban culture.
Calle Basilio 403
Between Calvario and Carnicería