Santiago de Cuba is the second important city in the Republic of Cuba and it was the first capital of the country. The first settlement dates from 1515 although its foundation took place a year before by Diego Velasquez. ">Santiago de Cuba is the second important city in the Republic of Cuba and it was the first capital of the country. The first settlement dates from 1515 although its foundation took place a year before by Diego Velasquez. ">

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Morro Castle in Santiago.
The city emerged in the struggle for establishing law and order. It was located to the northeast of a wonderful bay and in one of the terraces surrounding the littoral in an undulating land bounded by Sierra Maestra whose mountains with excellent woods influence the construction of the city.

The average temperature of this are is 26,3 ºC, with an annual average humidity of 71%.

The rugged topography of the land contributes to the personality of that urban group characterized by the asymmetric route of its roads and the marked differences in their heights, among them we have the famous street of Padre Pico with its never-ending staircase only for passers-by. There are other important streets like Enramada, the commercial route; Heredia, the cultural route; and Libertadores avenue with a political and historical connotation.

We can find also, the delightful parks. The most famous of all is Céspedes Park; in honor of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, father of the country. There are other breezy places such as the Libertad park and Dolores park. The first one is known historically as Plaza de Marte since 1860; that is the meeting place of the old and well-preserved taxi fleet with historical car models like Dodge and Chevrolet. Dolores park dates from halfway through the 18th Century and its environment recalls that time, there we can find the excellent Dolores Concert Hall.

This great city has its own heterogeneous and particular rhythm. Its people with its perpetual compositions from more than 400 years turn it a unique place. This city features the most famous carnivals, the most authentic rum and the musical genres that have transcended boundaries.

The Trivoli is one of the most populous, picturesque and authentic neighborhoods created by French immigrants after the Haitian revolution in 1791.

The beautiful San Pedro de la Roca del Morro Castle is the loyal guardian of the bay from the time of corsairs and pirates. It was declared Heritage of Humankind by UNESCO in 1997.

The noble Metropolitan Cathedral, venue of the fourth diocese of American continent with a rich history whose interior shows a real ecclesiastic museum.

The Emilio Bacardí museum was the first museum in the country and it was declared National Monument in 1999 year of its centenary. Its creation owes its name to an outstanding journalist of Santiago.

The house of Diego Velazques in this eastern city is considered the oldest of the country and it was built between 1516 and 1530 and today it is a museum.

Likewise the suggestive Casa de la Trova; the San Carlos club; the city hall,Trocha street, one of the most popular party areas of the city; and other museums like the Carnival, Rum and the clandestine fight museums. The Saturnino Lora hospital shows evidences of the actions that took place on July 26, 1953 and the transcendental Moncada headquarter that became a school town among other important places involved in the history of this brave city.

Among the best hotels of this city, we can find the modern Melia-Santiago hotel and Casa Granda hotel, which is a classic building of the twenties.

If you prefer to enjoy a close contact with nature, in the outskirts of Santiago de Cuba you will find several places ideal for a complete entertainment.

The great Baconao natural park covers 80 km. UNESCO declared it World Reserve of Biosphere. It is a complex of attractions for the most demanding tastes.

Also, in La Gran Piedra visitors will discover a unique natural viewpoint to thousand 226 meters above the sea level in the highest point of an enormous rock of 63 thousand of tons after getting up a staircase of 400 steps, of course, following the security measurements form that purpose.

Besides this, you can visit La Isabelita farm, todays museum with the same environment and furniture of the residences of the coffee plantations owners who emigrated from Galicia and settled in Sierra Maestra.

To 27 kilometers of downtown, the small town El Cobre is located, that the sanctuary of la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, patron saint of Cuba.

Apart from the natural gifts and its people, Santiago de Cuba was the center for the Cuban independence wars for almost a century that is why it received the title of Hero City of the Republic of Cuba and the Antonio Maceo order. This was the birthplace of this brave leader of the anticolonial war known as el Titán de Bronce. The greatest sculptural group erected in the Revolution square honors him.

Before the admirable culture, history, people and nature Raul Gomez Garcia one of the attackers to the Moncada quarter who was known as the poet of this heroic deed said in one of his verses:... es Santiago de Cuba, no os asombréis de nada." it is Santiago de Cuba, you wont be surprised by anything

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