starts at 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
ends at 6:00 – 6:30 p.m.
sights to see The Sanctuary of El Cobre, the Morro fortress, Vista Alegre, “1900” – declared the best restaurant in Cuba, the Museum of Rum, the Museum of Carnival, Plaza Dolores and Enramadas (the Main Street of Santiago)
breaks Lunch break, coffee (cocktail) break
price 50 Euro (if the group is 7) to 70 Euro (if the group is 3)
price includes Transportation, all entrance fees, the fees of the musicians, the lunch (lobster, beer, cocktail), one cocktail (soft drink, coffee, rum), a bottle of mineral water

Panorama Santiago

Santiago is the second city of Cuba and the only one officially titled “Hero City” and not only for its role in the Independence Movement 1868-1898. It is the capital of the Oriente (the Eastern Provinces), considered to be the real heart of Cuban spirit. It is the birthing place of the contemporary rum developed by Facundo Bacardi and later spread all over Cuba and Central America. Santiago is la cuna (the cradle) of the Cuban music and in the vicinity of Santiago is the sanctuary of the Patron Saint of Cuba – Virgen de la Caridad.

This route is trying to give you the chance to see, hear, taste, feel some of what Santiago really is, of what Cuba really is.

I. Duration – one day

  • 1.Starting Hour – 9:30 – 10:30
  • 2. End Hour – 18:00 – 18:30

II. Price – 50-70 Euro (depending on the size of the group).

What covers the price?

  • a/ the transportation
  • b/ all the entrance fees (not the fees for cameras and photos)
  • c/ the lunch (food, cocktail, beer/soft drink)
  • d/ a bottle of mineral water
  • e/ one cocktail in “Don Pancho”
  • f/ the fee of the musicians
  • g/ copies of the texts accompanying the excursion

III. Starting point – depending on the location of the passengers: Parke Cespedes, in front of the Port or Hotel Melia Santiago

IV. Places to visit

1. The Sanctuary of Virgen de la Caridad in El Cobre

  • 1.1 Distance – 22 km from Santiago
  • 1.2 Transportation – depending on the number of passengers
    • 1.2.1 Two or Three – old authentic American car
    • 1.2.2 Four to Seven – Willies Jeep
    • 1.2.3 More than Seven – a mini-Bus
  • 1.3 What is to see?

    Virgen de la Caridad is the Saint Guardian of Cuba (for further details please see the annex) and is considered miraculous helping the health and noble success of the believers. The route Santiago – El Cobre is considered a kind of pilgrimage and many people are covering it on foot so they can get the help they need from the Virgen.

  • 1.4 Duration – 45 minutes
  • 1.5 Photos. Photos are allowed in the Sanctuary at a certain distance from the altar and out of the hours for Mesas.

2. Vista Alegre in Santiago

  • 2.1 Distance – 2 km from the Historical Center of Santiago.
  • 2.2 Transportation – on the way back from El Cobre
  • 2.3 What is to see? Vista Alegre used to be the part where the rich citizens built their villas between year 1910 and 1950. There are exuberant examples of rich colonial style villas and many of them are turned into schools, kindergartens and other facilities to be used by children after the revolution of 1959.
  • 2.4 Duration – 20 minutes
  • 2.5 Photos – photos are allowed everywhere

3. El Morro (Castillo del Morro San Pedro de la Roca)

  • 3.1 Distance – 8 km from Santiago on the entrance of the bahía.
  • 3.2 Transportation – the car from El Cobre and Vista Alegre
  • 3.3 What is to see?
    • 3.3.1 El Morro is a fortress built in 1638-1639 under the guidance of Batista Antonelli, a member of the family that constructed the system of fortresses to protect the Caribbean region from the pirate invasions.
    • 3.3.2 For certain time it also served as a prison where some of the prominent figures of the Cuban independence movement were held – Dominga Moncada, Emilio Bacardi, El Cautillo etc.
    • 3.3.3 At the entrance of the bahia the decisive sea battle of the Hispano-American war 1898 took place and there is a museum dedicated to it.
  • 3.4 Duration – one hour
  • 3.5 Photos – photos are allowed but there is a fee of 5 CUC for each camera to be used.

4. Restaurant “1900”

  • 4.1 Distance – the Historical Center of Santiago. Time of arrival – around 14:00
  • 4.2 Transport – final stop of the car from El Morro
  • 4.3 What is to see?

    “1900”, is situated in one of the houses belonging to Emilio Bacardi (built in 1900) and the architectural style, the authentic porcelain vases and sculptures, big Venetian mirrors, the old marble, inside garden with marble fountain, six meters high ceilings, luxurious terrace covered with vines makes it deserve the qualification “The Best Restaurant of Cuba” given by Fidel Castro in 1973 and written on a bronze plaque at the entrance

  • 4.4 What is to taste?

    The cuisine of “1900” offers a good variety of succulent meals prepared of beef, pork and chicken. Of course, the marking point is the seafood, langosta /lobster/ tail being the pearl in the crown. Also chatinos (tostones) – the favorite dish of the Queen of England is offered as side dish and Cocktel de Camarones (Shrimp Cocktail) as a starter.

    “1900” is specialized in preparation of Daiquiri. Daiquiri Rebelde (Daiquiri with Mint Liquor) is the specialty of Santiago (as everything “rebelde”) and the specialty of “1900” bar.

  • 4.5 What is to hear?

    Beautiful trio tenors is performing the best of the Cuban traditional music in two formats – three guitars and guitar, tres and maracas. It really is something that is a must.

  • 4.6 In the price of the excursion is included the food (langosta grille – or any other main course, chatinos, salad, rice), one cocktail, one Cuban beer or soft drink.
  • 4.7 Photos – photos are allowed everywhere
  • 4.8 Duration – 75 minutes

5. The Museum of Rum

  • 5.1 Distance – next door to “1900”
  • 5.2 What is to see?

    Santiago is the berthing place (la cuna) of the contemporary rum. It is very interesting to know how Facundo Bacardi developed and produced the fine Santiago Ron that later became the matrix of the rums - the Caribbean and Central American most famous drink. In the tour is included tasting of the rum produced in the former Bacardi factory at the Museum of Rum in Santiago.

  • 5.3 Photos – photos are allowed
  • 5.4 Duration – 30 minutes

6. Carnival Museum

  • 6.1 Distance – five minutes walk from Museum of Rum
  • 6.2 What is to see?
    • 6.2.1 The Carnival of Santiago takes place between 21 and 27 of July and is considered the richest carnival in Cuba. You can see musical instruments, costumes, masks etc. used in the carnival together with authentic photos from the carnivals along the years 1940-2010.
    • 6.2.2 From Monday to Saturday starting at 16:00 in the inside yard (patio) of the Museum there is folklore show where you can see the African part of the Cuban music, dancing, religion and participate in the traditional carnival Conga under the sound of Cornet Chino and all types of percussion instruments that you can imagine.
  • 6.3 Photos – photos are generally allowed but one snapshot costs 5 CUC.
  • 6.4 Duration – 1 hour

7. Walk around Plaza Dolores, one authentic Cuban cocktail in “Don Pancho” prepared with Ron Santiago, Ron del Caney or Ron Cubay (or an ounce of the beautiful local rums), then walk down “Enramadas” (the central street of Santiago), passing along Carniceria Street, Cerano Park and finishing in Cespedes Park in front of the Cathedral.

7.1 Duration – 45 minutes

Texts

  • 1. Races and religions in Cuba. The racial tolerance – now and before. The slavery. Values and customs in Cuba.
  • 2. The story of the Virgen de la Caridad
  • 3. Moments of Cuban History
    • a/ foundation of Cuban state – Diego Velazquez, Hernan Cortez
    • b/ the mambies in Sierra Maestra, the Independence Wars – Moncada, Antonio Maceo, Jose Marti, Quintin Banderas
  • 4. Santiago as a center of:
    • a/ the revolutionary movements
    • b/ the Cuban music – Esteban Salas, Miguel Matamoros, Sindo Garay, Nino Saquetti, Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Eliades Ochoa, the musical perception of the Cuban world
    • c/ the Caribbean rum – Facundo Bacardi, Ron del Caney
    • d/ the Cuban cigars
  • 5. Children and education in Cuba.