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What to see in Santiago De Cuba

Santiago De Cuba Attractions

There is a wonderful variety of things to see and do in Santiago de Cuba, which is a particularly exciting city for history buffs, especially those interested in military and revolutionary history. The Castillo de San Pedro Del Morro (Morro Castle) is an astounding ancient fortress; it is difficult not to imagine battles with fearsome pirates when strolling along the battlements. Other worthwhile historical attractions in Santiago include the famous Moncada Barracks (where Castro's revolution officially began), Santiago's Plaza de la Revolucion and its impressive monuments, and the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, which houses the grave sites of many important Cuban personalities, including Jose Marti.

There are also a number of museums worth visiting in Santiago: the Diego Velazquez Museum, possibly the oldest house in Cuba, gives remarkable insight into colonial domestic life and the history of the city; and the Bacardi Museum offers a glimpse into the private collection of one of the most famous families of Santiago. The imposing Metropolitan Cathedral, in the centre of town, is also definitely worth exploring.

The cultural and historical attractions of Santiago are matched by the natural surroundings of the city which also draw tourists from far and wide. The vast Baconao Park has plenty of natural splendour as well as a number of historical and cultural sites. And, if you can manage an excursion a little further afield, the Parque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt is an awe-inspiring wilderness area and UNESCO World Heritage Site, widely hailed as the most valuable and biodiverse park in the Caribbean.

Santiago de Cuba is a treasure trove for tourists and the fact that it is still slightly less crowded and commercial than Havana adds to its charm.

Baconao Park

The large park region, which is a World Heritage Biosphere Reserve, is filled with attractions, including wildlife refuges and coffee plantations. It is possible to climb 459 stone steps to the summit…

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Castillo de San Pedro del Morro (Morro Castle)

Santiago's most impressive structure is poised ominously atop the cliffs at the narrow entrance to Santiago Bay, about nine miles (14km) south of Santiago. This enormous piece of military architecture,…

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Emilio Bacardi Moreau Museum

Bacardi, the world's largest family-owned spirits company, started producing rum in Santiago way back in 1862. The family was forced to flee Cuba after the revolution in 1959, and Bacardi drinks are…

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Moncada Barracks

If you are interested in the history of the revolution then visiting Moncada Barracks is something you must do in Cuba. The bullet-ridden Moncada Barracks and adjacent Parque Historico Abel Santamaria…

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Parque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in the Cuban provinces of Holguín and Guantánamo, and features an impressive selection of flora and fauna, such as parrots, lizards and hummingbirds,…

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Santa Ifigenia Cemetery

Santa Ifigenia Cemetery was officially founded in 1868 - although some of its graves are older - and declared a National Monument in 1937. It now shelters a number of important historical and cultural…

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