Santiago de Cuba
Santiago de Cuba Highlights
Nestled between the Sierra Maestra mountains and the Caribbean coastline, sits Santiago de Cuba; Cuba's second biggest city. This memorable metropolis is considered the 'Cradle of the Revolution'; the place which sparked the uprising and ultimately, it is where Fidel Castro announced its success. Additionally, Santiago is the final resting place of Castro. For those wishing to pay reverence to the revolutionary leader, his mausoleum, placed next to Cuba's national hero Jose Marti is a much-revered resting place, though visitors must adhere to the respectful code.
Fidel Castro launched an attack on Santiago de Cuba because it was reputed that soldiers would be too busy celebrating the carnival to pose any threat to his men. Today, Santiago de Cuba, hosts Cuba's biggest carnival event; retaining its passionate reputation.
At the end of July, for two weeks, the effervescence of Santiago de Cuba can be witnessed: there's an explosion of colour whilst dynamic dancers cavort along the streets to rhythmic drum beats. This awe-inspiring carnival is a time for Cubans to remember their history, community and cultures and it is something which shouldn't be missed.
Music and dance appears hereditary here, many musicians, notably from the Buena Vista Social Club were born in Santiago de Cuba. Additionally, it is the place where the traditional son dance, from which the salsa is derived, began.