Santiago de Cuba Region

The Region of Santiago de Cuba is the second largest in the country by both population density and for its contribution to the nation's cultural heritage, with its numerous attractive buildings, churches, parks, landscape and nature. To all this we must add a rich history.

There are 9 municipalities making up the region. The main tourist destination is the capital, Santiago de Cuba.

In the menu on the right you can find extensive information on the most interesting tourist (or non tourist) locations and Cuban emblematic places. Everything you need to know about Cuba before and during your trip.

It is a mountainous province, dominated by the Sierra Maestra range where Peak Turquino reaches a height of 1972 meters.

How to get there

By plane

It is the fastest route and there is an in internal flight from Havana, twice a day which takes 70 minutes. Price 135 CUC. Aerogaviota

By road

transporte carretera CubaThe roads of Cuba are not at all good. The route is often in poor condition, signs and directions are quite rare and there is almost no night lighting. It is not advised to drive at night.

Please note that there is only one motorway, the "eight-route way" which finishes at Taguasco, from there it´s another 400 kilometers to Santiago on a road with just two lanes.

The cheapest option is by bus. Viazul bus agency provides this service at a cost of 51.00 CUC. The journey takes approximately 16 hours.

Taxi is another option, but the amount can cost more than 300 CUC.

Most important cities

Santiago de Cuba

vista Santiago de CubaSantiago de Cuba is, after Havana, the country's largest city. Founded in 1515 by the Spaniard Diego Velázquez it was the capital of the former Eastern region.

Today it is one of the main tourist destinations in Cuba and the main stop-off point in the region, offering tourists a rich and unique heritage of history and culture, as well as plenty of nature, mountains and beach.

Well worth a visit is the National Sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity, better known as the Patron Saint of Cuba. The Sanctuary is located at the top of Cerro de Maboa Hill. The Havanatur agency offers a tour to this sanctuary from Santiago for the cost 15 CUC.

Other local attractions for visitors include San Pedro de la Roca Castle, Santa Ifinia cemetery and the Cathedral.

Beaches

Playa Siboney SantiagoThere are several beach areas just 10 minutes east of Santiago. These are different from the north island. Crystal clear water and few waves, with darker sand. Coconut palms reach just about to the shores and are often sought by tourists as shade from the sunshine.

Some of the most important beaches are Siboney which is the most frequented by Santiagueros, Juraguá, Daiquiri and Bucanero among others. There are some hotels for international tourism in the area as well as a diving center, hunting grounds and an aquarium.

About 20 kilometers to the west of Santiago there are other beaches of special beauty where sometimes the mountains lead right into the sea. The most significant beaches are Mar Verde, Ox Cabon, Coleton Blanco and French beach.

Nature

Mirador la gran Piedra SantiagoCubaOne of the most visited places is Gran Piedra in the mountain range National Park Sierra Maestra. A volcanic rock over 50 meters tall.

To access the top visitors climb over 450 steps surrounded by lush vegetation. There is a gazebo on the peak with stunning views.

The Sierra Maestra mountain range, Baconao Park, has been declared by Unesco as a World Biosphere Reserve. Different excursions and hiking trails are available along with other activities related to ecotourism and nature. Enjoy not only the beauty of the landscapes, but also some beautiful waterfalls or cascades which form natural pools below.

Peak Turquino also known as Peak Real del Turquino, is the highest point above sea level on the island of Cuba and was declared a National Monument on December 30, 1991. It is located in the heart of the range Sierra Maestra, the largest mountain range of Cuba. To get there you need to go up and down a lot, sometimes over rugged places, other times by trails that facilitate the passage through an exceptional well preserved landscape. There are two typical routes to access for trekkers, one route from Santiago de Cuba region and another, slightly easier one, from Granma region.

More information about excursion in Infotur