The second largest city in Cuba and arguably the most soulful, Santiago de Cuba, is a city in the east with character to rival Havana. With its diverse ethnicity of inhabitants, relaxed life-style and inspiring music tradition, Santiago is recognised as the most Caribbean area of Cuba. Despite the laid-back style of Santiago life, the city streets are always bustling with energy, particularly around the colonial quarter where the air is often filled with the sounds of car horns and the beat of the Afro-Caribbean drum.
Santiago was a very important platform in the Cuban revolution and support for the rebel army is still stronger here than in the west of the island. It was in the city’s neighbouring Sierra Maestra mountains that Castro and his men constructed their hideout, and it was in Santiago that Castro delivered his maiden speech after the rebel victory. Santiago is a metropolis of both Cuban history and culture. Whether you take in a performance at the Casa de la Trova, marvel at sight of the commanding El Morro castle or simply take a stroll through the animated streets, there is plenty to keep visitors entertained in Santiago.