Santiago de Cuba City
The second largest city in Cuba has historically been rebellious, heroic, friendly and hospitable. Founded by Diego Velazquez in 1514, it was the second capital city of the island until Havana city took over due to a more strategic geographical position. Santiago is the most African, musical and Caribbean of all Cuban cities and teems with historical and cultural interest sites. It boasts a magnificent example of a military construction in the 17th century San Pedro de la Roca del Morro fort, declared a site of the world heritage by UNESCO in 1997. Myriads of appealing sites in the city include Cespedes Park, around which life in the city revolves The second most important carnival in the American continent occurs here and a museum tells the tale of such a hectic event. Nature lovers would be at ease outside the city with La Gran Piedra national park, Baconao biosphere reserve, the ruins of French coffee plantations inscribed in the Archaeological Landscape list of UNESCO in 2000 and the popular beaches that attract both local and foreign visitors. Santiago de Cuba city has been granted the title of The Cradle of the Revolution and A Heroic City, the only one in Cuba that enjoys such honorary titles due to its inhabitants’ altruistic historical contribution to the independence of the country.