Everybody do the conga! Santiago de Cuba is celebrating its birthday!
¡Cuba is having a party! The second largest city in the country is celebrating no less than 500 years of existence. Its close proximity to Jamaica and other tropical islands has given the city its unique Caribbean spirit, which is exuded in its art and architecture, music and all of its celebrations, including the Caribbean Festival or Festival of Fire and its famous carnival.
The city boasts an eclectic variety of architectural influences, from the imposing Castillo del Morro (declared World Heritage by UNESCO) to the beautiful colonial houses of Céspedes Park in the historical centre and the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre, which is the holiest pilgrimage site in Cuba.
After five centuries, the charming balconies, railings and patios that inspired and continue to inspire poets and troubadours still captivate visitors today. Its steep, narrow streets, staircases and natural viewpoints over the Caribbean unite to bring an extra special touch to this city which, like wine, gets better with age.
But best of all is its people. Everyone who visits Santiago de Cuba is guaranteed to fall in love with its people, who open their homes and hearts to tourists from all over the world. Santiago’s people are happy, frank and open. Enveloped in the aromas of rum and tobacco, no one can resist moving their feet whenever the trompeta china starts to play.