Set between the Sierra Maestra mountains and the coast, Santiago de Cuba is Cuba's second biggest city. Santiago de Cuba has more of an Afro-Cuban feel than Havana and the passion for salsa and carnival are greater here. Residents of Santiago de Cuba also pride themselves that their city is known as the 'Cradle of the Revolution' as this is where the revolution began and also where Fidel Castro first announced to the people of Cuba that the revolution had been a success.
The Santiago de Cuba carnival runs annually in the latter two weeks of July and is the biggest carnival event in Cuba. Interestingly (we will give you a bit of Santiago de Cuba history here), it was on the 26th July 1953 that Castro launched an attack on the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba. Castro's reasoning was that the soldiers would be too busy drinking and celebrating carnival to create too much of a threat to his men.
One of the Santiago de Cuba hotels that we recommend is the Casa Granda that features in Graham Greene's novel Our Man in Havana and is also a local landmark in its own right. If, however, you want to have a swimming pool to cool in after a day of exploring the city then we would recommend the modern Melia Santiago De Cuba hotel. Another Santiago de Cuba hotel that we feature is the Brisas Sierra Mar, which has amazing panoramic views over the mountains and across the Caribbean Sea.