Li­ving San­tia­go “Th­ree Ti­mes”


Excelencias Turísticas del caribe y las Américas - - Vivir Santiago -

For any tra­ve­ler, it is al­ways im­por­tant to know the va­lues of San­tia­go de Cu­ba, a tra­vel des­ti­na­tion that can meet your ex­pec­ta­tions in terms of cul­tu­ral and na­tu­ral en­joy­ment, re­crea­tion and lei­su­re, food and so many ot­her in­ter­ests. This allows visitors to pre­pa­re a trip and that could be­co­me the first pha­se of en­joy­ment, which then leads to the se­cond (the trip it­self) and goes on to the third, which con­sists of te­lling re­la­ti­ves and friends about the ex­pe­rien­ce, to show them pictures, to re­mem­ber what hap­pe­ned. It's great when it can be en­jo­yed th­ree ti­mes!

In that sen­se, San­tia­go de Cu­ba and its vi­ci­nity ha­ve the abi­lity to unleash high-im­pact li­ving ex­pe­rien­ces for any tou­rist. Firstly, be­cau­se it is one of the first ci­ties of Hispanic Ame­ri­cas, with over 500 years of exis­ten­ce on its walls, ever foun­ded. And con­se­quently, it is the bea­rer of a broad le­gacy ex­pres­sed in its lands­ca­pe, ur­ba­nism, ar­chi­tec­tu­re and cul­tu­re.

This Ca­rib­bean city, su­rroun­ded by moun­tains and ho­me to th­ree World He­ri­ta­ge si­tes: the Mo­rro de San Pedro de la Ro­ca, La Ca­ri­dad de Orien­te French Co­ti­llion, and the cof­fee ar­cheo­lo­gi­cal lands­ca­pe re­sul­ting from the French settlers who came to the is­land following the Hai­tian Re­vo­lu­tion. To­day, the lat­ter is shown th­rough the re­kind­ling of the old ha­cien­das that re­call the cof­fee cul­tu­re of yes­ter­year.

San­tia­go is the city of his­tory in Cu­ba, gi­ven the pro­mi­nen­ce of its chil­dren in the in­de­pen­den­ce wars and its ro­le as the set­ting for ma­jor na­tio­nal events. The­re are many his­to­ri­cal parks, sight­seeing spots, mo­nu­ments... that pro­vi­de an ef­fec­ti­ve tour th­rough re­le­vant mo­ments in Cu­ba's his­tory, such as the Mu­seums of Cuban His­to­ric En­vi­ron­ment, the Emilio Ba­car­di and the Car­ni­val Museum.

In the same breath, you'll ha­ve the op­por­tu­nity to un­ders­tand the last sta­ge of the Cuban Re­vo­lu­tion, star­ted by Fi­del Cas­tro and the Cen­ten­nial Ge­ne­ra­tion, by vi­si­ting si­tes of high his­to­ric va­lue, such as the Mon­ca­da Ba­rracks.

Pa­ying a vi­sit to the San­ta Ifi­ge­nia Pa­tri­mo­nial Ce­me­tery, with its so­lem­nity and beauty, is to ha­ve the op­por­tu­nity to view the fi­nal res­ting pla­ce of the foun­ding fat­hers of the Cuban na­tion and, to­get­her with them, a slew of bold­fa­ce na­mes re­la­ted to the is­land na­tion's cul­tu­ral li­fe. He­re, art and his­tory come to­get­her to crea­te an un­for­get­ta­ble ex­pe­rien­ce.

Traip­sing down the city's his­to­ric cen­ter will let visitors ha­ve a bet­ter un­ders­tan­ding about a city that is split bet­ween the sea and the moun­tains, which is ma­ze-li­ke and in turn, opens broad vi­sual pers­pec­ti­ves in its many na­tu­ral van­ta­ge points. But the city can al­so be un­ders­tood th­rough mu­sic and rum, two ele­ments that play an un­de­nia­ble ro­le in the way the peo­ple of San­tia­go cons­true plea­su­re and en­joy­ment.

No one leaves San­tia­go wit­hout vi­si­ting Our Lady of Cha­rity, at the Na­tio­nal Sh­ri­ne.. This uni­que lands­ca­pe is a pla­ce of pil­gri­ma­ge, de­vo­tion and great spi­ri­tua­lity.

The­re will al­ways be a lot to say about this li­ving city, a city full of co­lors and sounds, full of sym­bols and mea­nings, joy­ful and play­ful, mo­ving and so­lemn. Come to think of it, you'd bet­ter come down he­re to San­tia­go for a clo­ser look at its Ca­rib­bean cha­rac­ter and its th­ree-pron­ged hall­mark: hos­pi­ta­ble, re­be­llious and he­roic.

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