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Eastern Cuba Travel Guide

Plan Your Eastern Cuba Vacation

The region known as Oriente has a variety of sublimely beautiful settings—from palm-lined beaches to the city of Santiago—the metaphorical seat of the Cuban soul—to the majestic Sierra Maestra. The sagas that unfolded here lent great drama to the island's history, and Cubans speak of the area with awe.

Top Reasons To Go

  1. Arts and Culture Santiago, arguably Cuba's cultural capital, is the birthplace of son, a forerunner of salsa. You can catch live-music performances at hotels, theaters, clubs, and the Casa de la Trova. The city's musical energy is highlighted in the late July carnival celebration.
  2. Scuba Diving and Snorkeling The diving and snorkeling are best on the northern coast, near Guardalavaca. The waters here are perfect for snorkeling, and you'll find an abundance of coral formations and colorful fish just off the shore.
  3. The Revolutionary Trail Visitors to Cuba increasingly follow the path of Fidel Castro and his revolution. This decidedly takes one to Playa las Coloradas, where Castro landed in 1956, and onto the Sierra Maestra, which was the base for his rebel army.
  4. Stunning Landscapes Granma province is the home to some of the most varied landscapes, from the forbidding peaks of the Sierra Maestra to the dry south coast. There are nature reserves of the Playa las Coloradas and the Bayamo-Manzanillo roadway, where the jungle and sea coast meet.
  5. Hidden Spaces Eastern Cuba has historically been the most remote part of the island. It is the home of Baracoa, Cuba's first Spanish settlement, which was founded in 1512 by Diego Velázquez. Eastern Cuba is also home to the now infamous American military base at Guantánamo Bay.

When To Go

When to Go

Although peak season is technically December through April, July is a hectic month owing to Santiago's carnival and the Festival del Caribe. Make reservati...

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