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Set in an attractive bay surrounded by the impressive Sierra Maestra mountains, Santiago de Cuba is a vibrant, cultured city that used to be the country’s capital - second only to Havana in size, it rivals the capital in many ways.

Throughout Cuba’s history Santiago nurtured the seeds of revolution which then blazed west to Havana.

Music

The city’s roots are predominantly Afro-Caribbean but today it is a true cultural melting pot and a music lovers’ dream. In July the city explodes for carnival into a rum-fuelled musical street party, a riot of colour, drum and dance.

Hiking

Fidel Castro’s original command post is in the beautiful Sierra Maestra mountains together with excellent hiking trails and Cuba’s highest peak, Pico Turquino.

Accommodation

Standard room, Melia Santiago de CubaCompared to Havana, Santiago has more limited accommodation options, but there is a simple historic hotel and a larger, more comfortable hotel ten minutes drive from the city centre. Staying here for a few days is a highly rewarding experience, especially for those interested in music.

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who's been there

Audley Travel specialist Caitlin

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Santiago de Cuba by contacting one of our Cuba specialists

Suggested Santiago de Cuba itinerary

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Santiago de Cuba, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Santiago de Cuba

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Santiago de Cuba

    Photos of Santiago de Cuba

    Accommodation choices for Santiago de Cuba

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Santiago de Cuba. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • Hotel Casa Granda, Santiago de Cuba

      Hotel Casa Granda

      Medium

      The Casa Granda is located on Santiago's main central square Parque Cespedes and like the other colonial buildings set around the leafy plaza is an important historical attraction.

    • Junior Suite, Melia Santiago de Cuba

      Melia

      First Class

      The Melia Santiago is a five minute drive from the city's historic centre in a quiet, peaceful location.

    Ideas for experiencing Santiago de Cuba

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Santiago de Cuba, and which use the best local guides.

    • Monument to Antonio Maceo, Santiago de Cuba

      Santiago City Tour

      Santiago de Cuba

      Enjoy a stroll up Calle Heredia past the city's Casa de la Trova. This atmospheric, busy street is the most famous in Santiago and every house bears signs of the city's great passions of music, dancing, carnivals and poetry.