Three Cities Proving There is More to Cuba Than Havana

The tranquil Caribbean island nation of Cuba has become a major magnet for tourists all over the world. Its rich history, warm tropical climate and vast array of architectural landmarks all add to the country’s allure. Approximately four million people visited Cuba last year, with capital city Havana being the main attraction.

Whilst the capital city’s charms are not to be underestimated, there is so much more to Cuba than Havana. We take a look at three cities elsewhere that have different things to offer for holidaymakers with a sense of adventure.

Santiago de Cuba

Image Source: Flickr.com

The second largest city in Cuba, Santiago de Cuba marries the best of Cuban and Afro-Caribbean culture together. On the east of the island, it has a rich culture and some of the country’s most awe-inspiring buildings. The Castillo de San Pedro, a 17th century fort that dominates the local skyline, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for 20 years now.

Santiago de Cuba’s culture is a major selling point. Most music genres associated with Cuba started here, most notably salsa. On almost every corner, you’ll find a bar or cafe, whilst the hustle and bustle of the city centre will keep boredom at bay, day and night.

Cienfuegos

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

This southern city is known locally as the Pearl of the South. On visiting, it’s easy to see why. It is almost surrounded by a bay of deep, blue water that looks great at any time of day. As for the city itself, Cienfuegos’ historic centre is another World Heritage Site, giving history buffs plenty of reason to explore.

For an authentic Cuban holiday, a stroll along the streets and waterfronts of Cienfuegos will more than suffice. Aside from the centre, a short boat ride will take you a few miles south to the coast, where the pristine Playa Rancho Luna lies. If the crowds get too much in Cienfuegos itself, you could do a lot worse!

Santa Clara

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

A landlocked part of the country, Santa Clara has more green space than many other cities in Cuba. The city centre has at least five parks, but there is plenty more to explore here. Loma del Capiro is a hill overlooking Santa Clara and the surrounding areas. For ramblers who like to be within easy reach of urban comforts, it’s a handy place to visit.

In Santa Clara itself, you’re sure to enjoy a quiet break. There is still a lot to see, particularly the El Mejunje building. The beating heart of the arts and LGBT communities, this cultural venue is a must-visit for fans of theatre, jazz and local art.

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Collection of guest posts and pro-tips from globe trotters. First-hand account of travel bloggers from all across the world!

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