Santa Clara plays a huge part in Cuba’s history, it is considered to be the most revolutionary city in the country. It’s a city where creativity and new trends are welcomed along with the energetic youth resisting and bending the strict rules of the Cuban government.
Thanks to Santa Clara’s central location you can easily get to other cities like famous Varadero, Cayo Santa Cienfuegos, and Trinidad. Santa Clara is also home to the most recognized university outside Havana. The city also hosts Cuba’s drag show and the most popular rock festival in the country. Don’t miss a chance to visit this vibrant city!
Things to do
Santa Clara has a strong colonial and revolutionary history and you will not have to walk far to come across a monument or statue of Che Guevara who was the Cuban Leader in the 1950s. The history of Santa Clara is not the only thing the city can offer, there are plenty of sights, interests, and ways of entertainment and it will truly leave you surprised.
Forget about guides, go on a self-guided tour around the city and visit every little corner and watch street performances at the Parque Leoncio Vidal or Parque Vidal which is the main plaza in town, this is the best way to practice the language and meet the locals.
Visit the only colonial theaters remaining in Cuba. Teatro la Caridad is Santa Clara’s treasure, it dates back to 1885 and it only costs about 1 CUC to enter. The interior of the theater is beautifully painted in ornaments and the architecture is truly one of a kind. You can either get a guided tour or even catch a show for 5-10 CUC.
Make sure you dedicate at least one night to party at the Club El Mejunje, this place respects diversity as it is LGBT inclusive.
Where to stay
Depending on your needs and preferences you can choose from plenty of apartments rented on Airbnb, hotels or if you are looking for a more unique experience you can choose a small privately-owned guesthouse (casa particular).
If you choose to stay in a casa particular visit the Hostal Vista Park, it is a charming blue house in the center of the city, moreover, you will be able to get a WIFI connection here. For an authentic stay book a fancy La Pergola Hostal, a colonial house with a divine courtyard garden, a fountain, and Corinthian-columned pergola. Hostal Alba located one block away from the Parque Vidal offers breakfast for an extra 5 CUC per person and has a super helpful host. Casona Jover another guesthouse with huge rooms, it also has a small pond and offers a dining area.
Those who fancy hotels, we advise choosing the Hotel Central, a newly reconstructed and located next to Parque Vidal square. The hotel is in a beautiful colonial building and offers its guests a stylish and intimate stay for a reasonable price.
Points of interest
If you have danced with the locals, tried some rum and seen a play in the theater there are just a few things left that you should cross off your Santa Clara must-see list.
Stop by the Monumento a la Toma del Tren Blindado – Derailed Train Monument, this location is where Che Guevara and his men derailed and armored railway car in 1958 during the Battle of Santa Clara. We recommend taking a guided tour to get a better history of the event.
Climb up the Loma del Capiro viewpoint, from there you can get a 360-degree view of Santa Clara. The hike is not the hardest, but remember to bring some water.
As you know Cuba is the place where the best cigars come from. Visit the Fábrica de Tabacos Constantino Pérez Carrodegua on a guided tour, it is Santa Clara’s tobacco Factory that makes a quality range of cigars.