Santiago de Cuba vacation
Posted: 12 December 2007 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Vacations in Eastern Cuba
by: Giselle Rodríguez


Santiago de Cuba, located between the Caribbean Sea and the Sierra Maestra mountain range, is the Eastern capital and home of the Cuban Son, which is the father of all Cuban rhythms of this century. It is the capital of the Santiago de Cuba Province in the eastern region of the island and the country’s second largest metropolis. This city, rich in culture, tradition, and also in natural and architectural treasures, provides travelers with amazing experiences in their Cuba vacations. From hill-walking and mountaineering to historical and cultural tours, Santiago de Cuba is a destination that will not disappoint you.

For those who love nature and who enjoy mountain-climbing and hill-walking activities, Santiago de Cuba offers several points of interest like: the Sierra Maestra mountain range and Baconao Biosphere Reserve, where La Gran Piedra (The Great Stone) stands out.

The rugged topography of the Sierra Maestra, with elevations of up to 1,300 m above sea level, is unique in the island and famous for its landscapes of breathtaking beauty and unbelievable variety. Among these elevations are the three highest peaks of Cuba: the Pico Real del Turquino with 1,974 m, the Pico Cuba with 1,872 m and the Pico Suecia with 1,734 m above sea level. This scenery gives the visitor the feeling of being at the top of the island, and you can literally touch the clouds in the sky. It is an exclusive place where one can get the best view of the rivers, forests, mountains and valleys that surround the region. It’s also considered as one of the most important well-preserved areas in Cuba, due to the great diversity of its flora and fauna. I highly recommend bringing your camera along to take some pictures of endemic flowers and animals of the zone. Bird watching is also a popular activity in this area.

Moreover the Sierra Maestra is an emblematic site where decisive moments of the Cuban Revolution took place. In an intricate zone of this territory explorers can find the Comandancia de la Plata, the First Front of the Rebel Army, a place with historical value.

If you are traveling with the whole family, Baconao Park will be an excellent choice in your itinerary. Located in the Sierra Maestra, the Baconao Park was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Biosphere Reserve List in 1987, including three well defined biogeographic zones: the “Meseta de Santiago”, the “Sierra de la Gran Piedra” and the “Meseta Santa Maria de Loreto”. It incorporates beaches, mountains, lakes, forests and ruins of French coffee plantations. Visitors can appreciate a high biodiversity in flora and fauna, being a wonderful experience for nature lovers. Moreover, there is an International Diving Center and the Land Transport Museum, which exhibits over 2,000 miniature vehicles along with an exposition of vintage cars. Also, one can enjoy a visit to the Aquarium where dolphins and seals put an excellent show for both children and adults, exhibiting their abilities.

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