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© / Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

Santiago de Cuba

The port of Santiago de Cuba is located in the southeast of the island of Cuba. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city in the country with 1.2 million inhabitants. When you arrive (or depart) you can observe the fortress of Castillo del Morro at the mouth of the bay and understand why this well-protected city was one of the most prosperous in the Caribbean.

The city was founded by Diego Velasquez in 1515. It was in Santiago de Cuba that Fidel Castro began an attack on Batista’s troops on July 26, 1953. Although it was a terrible failure, this event was a key element of Castro’s mobilization and rise in his revolutionary struggle.

In July, Santiago is the scene of an important carnival.

Useful Information


Spanish (English is understood by people working with tourists)



Cuban convertible peso - Tourists use the convertible Cuban peso which is at parity with the US dollar. On the other hand, a tax is levied when exchanging US dollars for CUC. It is therefore preferable to exchange with Canadian dollars or Euros.

The Cuban peso (CUP) is used by locals. Be careful to receive the exchange in CUC, because the Cuban peso at a much lower value.

Le Peso Cubain (CUP) est utilisé par les habitants locaux. Attention de bien recevoir le change en CUC, car le peso cubain à une valeur bien moindre.

Currency Converters:  
Bing   CAD   USD   EUR  

Time difference

UTC: -5

from New York: 0h

from San Francisco: +2h

from London: -5h


Cubans expect to receive a tip. Many street entertainers will try to play music with you or want to take a picture with you in order to receive a tip (1 or 2 CUC). Tour guides expect about 2 CUC per person for a day trip.

°C °F

MonthTemperature (Celsius)Temperature (Fahrenheit)Precipitations
21 70
27 81
28 82
21 70
27 81
28 82
22 72
27 81
28 82
23 73
27 81
28 82
23 73
28 82
28 82
24 75
29 84
29 84
25 77
29 84
31 88
25 77
29 84
31 88
24 75
29 84
31 88
24 75
29 84
30 86
23 73
29 84
30 86
22 72
28 82
30 86

Where is locate the Port of Santiago de Cuba

Le port de Santiago de Cuba est situé au pied de la ville. Un bureau de change trouve, mais il n’y a pas beaucoup d’autres services à proximité. Pour rejoindre le cœur de la ville, vous devrez gravir une pente assez prononcée.

Travelling around the port of Santiago de Cuba

The city can be discovered on foot, but has narrow streets and steep slopes.
Taxis are available near Cespedes Park.

Activities in Santiago de Cuba


Parque Cespedes

Parque Cespedes is a large square in the centre of the city around which you will find the majority of points of interest.

Nuestra Senora de la Asuncio Cathedral

The Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Asuncio marks the highest point in the city. Inside you can admire frescoes. It is possible to climb into one of the towers of the cathedral (the one on the right) for a few CUC.

Hotel Casa Granda

You can have a drink on the large roof terrace

Velasquez’s terrace

Balcon de Velzquez is located a block west of the Cathedral (corner Bartolomé Masso and Mariano Corona) and was an observation point to observe maritime traffic and protect against pirate attacks. From this point you will have beautiful views of the city and the bay.

Cuartel Moncada

Cuartel Moncada Barracks is a former military barracks now converted into a school. It was here that Fidel Castro rose up against the Batista regime in a failed attack. This event marked the beginning of the Cuban Revolution. You can visit the Museum of History on July 26.

Santa Ifigenia cemetery

The cemetery includes the tombs of José Marti, Fidel Castro, Frank Pais, Emilio Bacardi and several other figures who have marked Cuban history.


Casa de Diego Velasquez

The Casa de Diego Velasquez easily recognizable by its colonial-style balconies on the 2nd floor is now a museum. Diego Velasquez was one of the first Spanish conquistadors and governors of Cuba. You will find furniture and period objects. This 1522 house is the oldest on the island.

Museo del Ron

The rum museum is located on Bartolomé Maso Street

Museo Municipal Emilio Bacardi Moreau

The museum brings together objects collected by Emilio Barcardi during his many travels.

Excursions in Santiago de Cuba

The majority of excursions include a tour of the city and The Parque Cespedes place.

Castillo del Morro and city tower: This fort is very well restored and offers magnificent views of the bay. Gift sellers (art) can be found at the entrance.

El Cobre: At the foot of the Sierra Maestra mountain range 20km from Santiago, this Basilica is one of the most important sacred places on the island. You’ll see a black Virgin there.

Fern garden: more than 400 fern specimens are presented in this garden.

Cradle of the Revolution: This tour takes you on a tour of important places of the Cuban revolution.

Cuban Cigars and Rum: Learn how cigars are handmade. You will have the chance to smoke a cigar and enjoy rum.

Other ports in the area


Cruise Tips

Solutions to avoid seasickness on a cruise

Seasickness is caused by conflicting signals sent to the brain through the inner ear and the eyes. The inner ear senses movement that the eyes cannot see, causing discomfort and nausea.