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Cuba's second city, Santiago is home to many citizens of French and African descent, giving it quite a different feel to Havana. Life moves to a slower rhythm in the hotter climate and the city is well known for its love of music and dance, culminating in the annual carnival in July. Santiago is surrounded by mountain ranges and the region's Caribbean beaches are within easy reach, ideal for those wishing to combine a relaxing stay with a thorough exploration of the city and national parks.
Places to Visit
Visit the former Moncada Barracks, which were the scene of a key battle during the Revolution.
Cemetery of Santa Ifigenia
See the resting place of some of Cuba's most famous citizens including Jose Marti.
Casa De La Trova
Enjoy the music here, which is home to the best local practitioners of trova, bolero and son.
Castillo del Morro
Take in outstanding views from this Castillo, a clifftop fort built to fortify the city against pirates in the 17th Century.
Visit the imposing basilica of El Cobre in the foothills of the Sierra Maestra, where offerings at the shrine include Hemingway's Nobel Prize medal.
Baconao National Park
Expolre this 200,000 acre reserve which features La Gran Piedra, a huge monolith affording panoramic views over the area.