Info Santiago De Cuba
Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city of Cuba and capital city of Santiago de Cuba Province in the south-eastern area of the island, some 870 km (540 mi) south-east of the Cuban capital of Havana.
The municipality extends over 1,023.8 square kilometers (395.3 sq mi), and contains the communities of Antonio Maceo, Bravo, Castillo Duany,Daiquirí, El Caney, El Cobre, El Cristo, Guilera, Leyte Vidal, Moncada and Siboney.
Historically Santiago de Cuba has long been the second most important city on the island after Havana, and still remains the second largest. It is on a bay connected to the Caribbean Sea and is an important sea port. In 2004 the city of Santiago de Cuba had a population of about 509,143 people.
|POPULATION :||• City 509,143|
• Metro 1,049,084
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone CST (UTC−5)|
• Summer (DST) CDT (UTC−4)
|AREA :||1,023.8 km2 (395.3 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||82 m (269 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||20°01′11.4″N 75°48′50.1″W|
|SEX RATIO :|
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+53 22|
Santiago de Cuba is the capital of the Santiago de Cuba province in south-eastern Cuba.
Santiago is the second city of Cuba, and the birthplace of the current government. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara launched their revolutionary movement from here in the 1950's.
Santiago de Cuba was the hometown of poet José María Heredia. It houses a museum that displays the extensive art collection of the Bacardí family.
Santiago de Cuba is well known for its cultural life. Some of Cuba's most famous musicians, including Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer and Eliades Ochoa (all of whom participated in the Buena Vista Social Club) and trova composer Ñico Saquito (Benito Antonio Fernández Ortiz) were born in the city or in one of the villages surrounding it. They have contributed to the typical, country-like music of the city.
Furthermore, Santiago de Cuba is well known for its traditional dances, most notably son, from which salsa has been derived, and guaguancó, which is accompanied by percussion music only. The city is also well known for its Carnival, which is strangely enough celebrated in July. During Carnival, traditional conga music is played in the streets on a traditional pentatonic trumpet, called the trompeta china.
World Heritage Site
The local citadel of San Pedro de la Roca is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "the most complete, best-preserved example of Spanish-American military architecture, based on Italian and Renaissance design principles"
World Heritage Biosphere Reserve
The Baconao Park was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Biosphere Reserve List in 1987.
Santiago de Cuba was the fifth village founded by Spanish conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar on July 25, 1515. In 1516 the settlement was destroyed by fire, and was immediately rebuilt. This was the starting point of the expeditions led by Juan de Grijalba and Hernán Cortés to the coasts of Mexico in 1518, and in 1538 by Hernando de Soto's expedition to Florida. The first cathedral was built in the city in 1528. From 1522 until 1589 Santiago was the capital of the Spanish colony of Cuba.
The city was plundered by French forces in 1553, and by British forces under Christopher Myngs in 1662.
The city experienced an influx of French and British immigrants in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, many coming from Haiti after the Haitian slave revolt of 1791. This added to the city's eclectic cultural mix, already rich with Spanish and African culture.
It was also the location where Spanish troops faced their main defeat at San Juan Hill on July 1, 1898, during the Spanish–American War. After capturing the surrounding hills, General William Rufus Shafter laid siege to the city. Spain later surrendered to the United States after Admiral William T. Sampson destroyed the Spanish Atlantic fleet just outside Santiago's harbor on July 3, 1898.
Cuban poet, writer, and national hero, José Martí, is buried in Cementerio Santa Efigenia.
Pope Francis visited Cuba in 2015.
Role in the Cuban Revolution
Santiago was also the home of the revolutionary hero, Frank País. On July 26, 1953, the Cuban Revolution began with an ill-prepared armed attack on the Moncada Barracks by a small contingent of rebels led by Fidel Castro. Shortly after this disastrous incident, País began talking with students and young working people informally, drawing around him what became an extremely effective urban revolutionary alliance. This developed into highly organized cells coordinating a large scale urban resistance that became instrumental in the success of the Cuban Revolution.
País' group prepared carefully, accruing weapons, collecting money, collecting medical supplies. They published a cheap newsletter that reported news that criticized the government, attempting to counter Batista's censorship.
In the summer of 1955, País' organization merged with Castro's July 26 Movement. País became the leader of the new organization in Oriente province, though two years later he was betrayed to the police and was shot after his capture.
On January 1, 1959, Fidel Castro proclaimed the victory of the Cuban Revolution from a balcony on Santiago de Cuba's city hall.
Under the Köppen climate classification, Santiago de Cuba has a tropical savanna climate with no significant wet and dry periods through the year.
Climate data for Santiago de Cuba
|Average high °C (°F)||28|
|Average low °C (°F)||21|
Santiago de Cuba is located in the southeast of the island at coordinates 20 ° 01'17 .42 "N 75 ° 49'45 .75" O, some 870 km (540 mi) of the capital, Havana. Historically Santiago de Cuba has been the second largest city in Cuba, behind Havana. It features a bay connected to the Caribbean Sea and is a major port. The municipality of Santiago de Cuba, where is its capital city, is the most populated of Cuba.
The city has been growing at the bottom of the bay and is surrounded on land by the Sierra Maestra. This determines the hot and humid climate of the place, the landscapes features rich composition of urban elements, natural and marine at the same time. It has an irregular offset, which contributed to the development of an urban setting where the avenues and streets are steep or descend.
The local newspaper is Sierra Maestra.
- ETECSA, Cnr. Hartmann and Tamayo Fleites. This ETECSA is the only place in Santiago where tourists can get internet. As usual, no wifi is available, and the terminals here are particularly slow. $12 for 2 hours of internet.
Transportation - Get In
Cubana flies in from Havana several times daily for $110 each way.
There is also a weekly Service from Montego Bay, and a twice weekly service from Kingston, Jamaica on Air Jamaica Shuttle [www]. The Cost of a return journey is approximately US$360 (June 2012)
Sunrise airlines flies to Santiago de Cuba from Port-au-Prince some 3 times per week for about $400 (round trip) (June 2025)
Overnight train service along the main line from Havana via Matanzas, Santa Clara, and Camagüey runs 2 of every 3 days. The Tren Francés, running every 3 days with refurbished coaches from the old Paris-Amsterdam service, is Cuba's premier train, and the most reliable train in Cuba (which is not to say it is reliable). It theoretically departs Havana at 6:27 PM and arrives in Santiago the next day at 9:12 AM, stopping overnight in Santa Clara and Camagüey. The other train is a simple express with a few more stops and also runs every three days. One-way from Havana on the Tren Francés costs $73 CUC in first class (which is well worth it) and $50 CUC in second class (calledespecial), while especial on the other train costs $30 CUC. Note that unlike Víazul, students studying in Cuba pay in pesos. There are other services, such as a daytime train to Camagüey and Santa Clara on Thursdays and Sundays, returning on Mondays and Fridays. Local train service to Holguin has been suspended due to poor track conditions. As elsewhere in Cuba, check in advance before planning train travel–the schedules are always in flux. And expect to arrive late, maybe by more than 10 hours, even on the Tren Francés. Santiago's train station is on the relative outskirts of town, so you'll want a taxi or bici-taxi to your accommodations.
Four daily Viazul buses run to/from Havana, three local and one express (stopping in Camagüey only). There is also a daily bus to Baracoa, another to Trinidad (which runs daytime to Santiago and overnight to Trinidad), and a daily overnight from Varadero. From Havana, the price is $51 CUC. Getting to Santiago from Havana takes about 15 hours on the local bus, and 12 hours on the express overnight.
Transportation - Get Around
Thanks to Cuba's relatively low traffic, and the compactness of the the city centre, Santiago is easily walkable. Nevertheless, it can be searingly hot (which is why you won't see many people out on the streets in the middle of the day), and the city is very hilly so stay hydrated, and don't overestimate your own energy levels.
Taxis can be easily found around most of the major plazas in the city.