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Make the most of Santiago de Cuba!

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Men playing guitars, cuba

Street musicians, Santiago de Cuba

Top 5 must –do activities in Santiago de Cuba

We love all of Cuba, but Santiago de Cuba is probably our favourite and is where we have been operating for over 15 years! Here is our list of the top things to do in and around the city:

  • Go dancing to live Cuban music at the Casa de las Tradiciones – this is a small, intimate venue where the band is right next to you on the dance floor, a bit like going dancing in someone’s large living room. Wooden rocking chairs are provided for those who prefer to sit and watch, with stools and upturned barrels strategically placed next to the dance floor for easy access.  An eclectic mix of posters, paintings and decorations on the walls make this a must-see venue for dancers and live music aficionados!
  • Visit la Granjita and Gran Piedra – just 30 minutes outside Santiago is the Granjita former chicken farm where Fidel and his followers met to set off for the ill-fated Moncada Barracks assault on 26 July 1953, setting in motion the early steps for the Cuban Revolution. Now a small museum, with original items belonging to the revolutionaries and a selection of period photos on show, this is a fascinating place to visit. Very close by is the winding steep road up to the Gran Piedra, literally the ‘Big Rock’ which is exactly what it is.  A sturdy metal ladder up to the top of the rock gives you amazing views over the sea, the  countryside and down the coast all the way to Santiago
  • Have a meal at Rumba Cafe – one of the more recent bar/restaurants to be opened in Santiago and one of our favourites!  Great Italian food, great drinks and all at very good prices, and you can have your hair, nails and make up done in the beauty salon at the back too!
  • Drink a mojito at sunset at the Casa Granda hotel – sip a cool Cuban cocktail on the fifth floor terrace of the famous Casa Granda Hotel in Parque Cespedes whilst the sun goes down over the Sierra Maestra mountains and Santiago Bay and the angels on the top of Santiago Cathedral watch over you…
  • Learn to dance salsa – there is no such thing as two left feet when you are learning to dance salsa with a professional Cuban teacher!  The infinitely patient and encouraging dancers from our partner company Ballet Folklorico Cutumba will help you to learn, literally step by step, and will carry you along on their wave of enthusiasm and positive energy so that before you know it you are up there on the dance floor having the time of your life
About the Author
Kath Bateman founded Caledonia in 1996 and still has a very active role in the company. As a linguist and avid traveller, Caledonia brings together many strands of Kath’s personal and professional interests. She is a Modern Languages and Tourism graduate and has worked as a tour leader and trilingual guide, ski rep and salsa teacher, cultural events organiser, salsa club promoter and English language teacher. She lived and studied in France and Austria and has travelled widely elsewhere in Europe, Latin America and particularly in Cuba. Kath is still very much involved in the business and is as motivated by what Caledonia does as when she first set up the company in the spare room at home all those years ago.