San­cti Spí­ri­tus

Guía de Excelencias Cuba - - Summary -

Wit­hin its te­rri­tory are two of the first se­ven towns foun­ded by the Spa­niards in the is­land: San­cti Spí­ri­tus and Tri­ni­dad. The Vi­lla del Es­pí­ri­tu San­to (Vi­lla of the Holy Spi­rit) was foun­ded by Die­go Ve­láz­quez and Fer­nán­dez de Cór­do­ba in 1515, about 6 km from its pre­sent lo­ca­tion. Eight years la­ter it was re­lo­ca­ted, achie­ving great pros­pe­rity thanks to the su­gar in­dustry.

Ca­pi­tal: San­cti Spí­ri­tus Ex­ten­sion: 6 779, 81 sq. km

Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ties: San­cti Spí­ri­tus, Ta­guas­co, Ja­ti­bo­ni­co, Ya­gua­jay, Ca­bai­guán, Tri­ni­dad, Fo­men­to and La Sier­pe

De­nonym: es­pi­ri­tuano/a Li­mits: to the north with the Old Channel of Baha­mas, to the east with the pro­vin­ce of Cie­go de Ávi­la, to the south with the Gol­fo de Ana Ma­ría and the Ca­rib­bean Sea, and to the west with the pro­vin­ces of Cien­fue­gos and Vi­lla Cla­ra.

Ac­cess: its main ac­ces­ses by land are the Au­to­pis­ta Na­cio­nal (Na­tio­nal High­way,) the Ca­rre­te­ra Cen­tral (Cen­tral Na­tio­nal Road) and the north and south cir­cuits and the Cen­tral Rail­way, the Lí­nea Nor­te (the Nort­hern Li­ne) and the San­cti Spí­ri­tus-tu­nas rail­way branch li­ne of Za­za. It has two na­tio­nal air­ports in the ci­ties of San­cti Spí­ri­tus and Tri­ni­dad.

PLA­CES OF IN­TER­EST PLA­ZA SE­RA­FÍN SÁN­CHEZ (SQUA­RE)

In­de­pen­den­cia and Má­xi­mo Gó­mez streets

It is a mo­dest cen­tral park, na­med af­ter the pa­triot Se­ra­fín Sán­chez, and su­rroun­ded by the main buil­dings of the city built in neo­clas­si­cal sty­le.

PLA­ZA HO­NO­RA­TO DEL CAS­TI­LLO (SQUA­RE)

A small squa­re lo­ca­ted in the in­ter­sec­tion of Je­sus Me­nén­dez and Ho­no­ra­to del Cas­ti­llo streets, it ho­nors the me­mory of the lo­cal he­ro of the Wars of In­de­pen­den­ce Ho­no­ra­to del Cas­ti­llo. In its cen­ter it was pla­ced a sta­tue of Ru­de­sin­do An­to­nio Gar­cía Ro­jo, a city´s emi­nent phy­si­cian.

Igle­sia Pa­rro­quial Ma­yor del Es­pí­ri­tu San­to (Church)

58 Agra­mon­te Oes­te, Tel 042 32 4855

Per­fectly pre­ser­ved, this buil­ding dates from 1680. The sof­fits of the main na­ve and the vaul­ted roof of the Ca­pi­lla del Cris­to de la Hu­ma­ni­dad y la Pa­cien­cia (Chapel of Ch­rist of

Humanity and Pa­tien­ce,) ma­ke this church one of the most outs­tan­ding buil­dings of the his­to­ri­cal cen­ter of San­cti Spiritus. It is the se­cond ol­dest one that is con­ser­ved in Cu­ba, and its to­wer, erec­ted in 1819, be­ca­me the hig­hest of the Is­land.

Mu­seo de Ar­te Co­lo­nial (Mu­seum)

74 Plá­ci­do Sur and Je­sus Me­nén­dez streets, Tel 041 325455

Lo­ca­ted in the stri­king Pa­la­ce be­lon­ging to Va­lle Iz­na­ga fa­mily da­ting from the se­cond half of the eigh­teenth cen­tury, it was sub­se­quently sub­jec­ted to va­rious re­no­va­tions, lea­ving it with its cu­rrent ap­pea­ran­ce in the 19th cen­tury. It has mo­re than a hun­dred doors and win­dows, and is de­co­ra­ted with de­co­ra­tions ty­pi­cal of the co­lo­nial pe­riod. Among its most va­lua­ble pie­ces, it has por­ce­lain and fans that illus­tra­te the way of li­fe of the lan­dow­ners of the ti­me.

Puen­te Ya­ya­bo (Brid­ge)

Con­ti­nua­tion of Je­sús Me­nén­dez Street on the Ya­ya­bo Ri­ver

Con­si­de­red one of the sym­bols of grea­test pro­mi­nen­ce of the city, it was cons­truc­ted in 1817, with a height abo­ve 9 m and a length of 85 m. con­si­de­red uni­que of its kind in Cu­ba, it is dis­tin­guis­hed by its 5 mo­nu­men­tal ar­ches of Ro­ma­nes­que sty­le. It was built with bricks, li­me and sand from the su­rroun­dings.

CA­SA DE LA GUA­YA­BE­RA (MU­SEUM-SHOP)

Ca­lle el Llano and Pa­dre Quin­te­ro Streets

Both, a mu­seum and a sto­re ope­ned in 2012 to honor the Cu­ban gua­ya­be­ra, it has in its co­llec­tion mo­re than 200 pie­ces do­na­ted by per­so­na­li­ties li­ke Fi­del and Raúl Cas­tro, Hu­go Chá­vez and Ali­cia Alon­so. Vi­si­tors may buy their own cus­tom­ma­de gua­ya­be­ra in this pla­ce.

PAR­QUE DE LA CA­RI­DAD (PARK)

A small squa­re of­fi­cially known as Par­que Ma­ceo, it is cha­rac­te­ri­zed by its sim­ple Igle­sia de Nues­tra Se­ño­ra de la Ca­ri­dad,

and for ha­ving in its vi­ci­nity the

Fun­da­ción de la Na­tu­ra­le­za y el

Hom­bre (1 Cruz Pé­rez/tel 041 32 8342,) a mu­seum that dis­plays on the expedition ma­de by a group of Cu­bans in 1996 in ca­noes for 17 524 km from the Ama­zon Ri­ver to the Baha­mas. In ad­di­tion, the­re are co­llec­tions ran­ging from ca­noes to re­pli­cas of ar­ma­ment used by Her­nán Cor­tés.

PRE­SA ZA­ZA (DAM)

6 km east of San­cti Spiritus hea­ding to Cie­go de Avi­la

Mar­ked by an im­pres­si­ve su­rroun­ding ve­ge­ta­tion, it is the ideal pla­ce for birdwatching and hiking. Its wa­ters are per­fect for fis­hing for trout and perch. Nearby is Ho­tel Za­za (Tel 041 32 7015) whe­re you may book fis­hing trips on the la­ke th­rough Ecotur.

PAR­QUE NA­CIO­NAL CA­GUA­NES (NA­TIO­NAL PARK)

Lo­ca­ted near Ya­gua­jay, it is ho­me to al­most 200 spe­cies of Cu­ban fau­na, in­clu­ding the lar­gest co­lony of the Cu­ban Cra­ne that exists on the Is­land. It has im­pres­si­ve ca­verns with un­der­ground ga­lle­ries whe­re pre-co­lum­bian pe­troglyphs ha­ve been found. The park is part of the Re­ser­va de la Bios­fe­ra Bue­na­vis­ta, with 313,503 hec­ta­res and has 11 protected areas.

Bal­nea­rio San Jo­sé de los La­gos (Spa)

Town of Ma­ya­ji­gua, Tel 041 54 6108

A mo­dest lod­ging si­te with spa and a la­ke whe­re you can ta­ke ri­des on wa­ter bi­kes and ro­wing boats. Its real im­por­tan­ce lies in ha­ving hy­dro car­bo­na­ted, cal­cic, mag­ne­sian, basic, tem­pe­ra­te, co­lor­less, tas­te­less and pu­re (from the bac­te­rio­lo­gi­cal point of view) wa­ters, which are sui­ta­ble for me­di­ci­nal baths.

RE­SER­VA ECO­LÓ­GI­CA AL­TU­RAS DE BANAO (ECO­LO­GI­CAL RE­SER­VE)

Tel 041 39 9205 Al­so known as "El Na­ran­jal", it is a re­gion rich in flo­ra with mo­re than 700 spe­cies of flo­we­ring plants, in­clu­ding 100 spe­cies en­de­mic to the area, in­clu­ding 60 spe­cies of or­chids. Banao is con­si­de­red a pa­ra­di­se for lo­vers of birdwatching and for vi­si­tors who li­ke hor­se ri­des, and ex­cur­sions to ca­ves and wa­ter­falls. The re­ser­ve has 8 sim­ple ca­bins and a small res­tau­rant.

TRI­NI­DAD

Foun­ded in 1514, it is the fourth of the first se­ven towns settled by Die­go Ve­láz­quez on the is­land. Known as “La Ciu­dad Mu­seo de Cu­ba” (The City Mu­seum of Cu­ba,) it ex­pe­rien­ced a ra­pid ri­se due to the su­gar and sla­ve tra­de in the Ca­sil­da re­gion, which is pro­ved by the great wealth of its cons­truc­tions. In 1988 it was de­cla­red by UNES­CO, along with the Va­lle de los In­ge­nios (Valley of the Mills), World He­ri­ta­ge Si­te.

1 Pla­za Ma­yor (Squa­re)

Cris­to, Desengaño and Real streets

The at­trac­ti­ve Pla­za Ma­yor, sin­ce the foun­ding of the city, was the heart of its li­fe. Su­rroun­ded by im­por­tant buil­dings, it stands out for the so­briety and beauty of its su­rroun­dings with spa­cious ben­ches and traf­fic-sa­fe wic­ker­work. It has beau­ti­ful gar­dens and sta­tues of neo­clas­sic sty­le that de­no­te the re­fi­ne­ment of the town.

2 Igle­sia Pa­rro­quial de la San­tí­si­ma Tri­ni­dad (Church)

Its cons­truc­tion was fi­nis­hed in 1892. Its in­te­rior, com­po­sed by 4 na­ves, has a Neo­got­hic al­tar de­di­ca­ted to the Virgen de la Mer­ced with a pain­ting of the Cu­ban ar­tist An­to­nio Herr at the back. In this church is the ima­ge of the Se­ñor de la Ve­ra Cruz, an ima­ge car­ved out of wood in Spain in the se­ven­teenth cen­tury. Le­gend has it that this cul­tu­re came on a boat from Bar­ce­lo­na in 1731, bound for the Igle­sia de Ve­ra­cruz in Me­xi­co. Ho­we­ver, for th­ree suc­ces­si­ve ti­mes the boat was pus­hed by strong winds to Ca­sil­da, about 6 km from the city. In the fourth at­tempt to reach Me­xi­co, the Cap­tain de­ci­ded to lea­ve part of the car­go on firm land, whe­re was the chest con­tai­ning the ima­ge. Sin­ce then it be­ca­me an ob­ject of cult for the Tri­ni­dad peo­ple.

3 Pa­la­cio Bru­net, Mu­seo Ro­mán­ti­co (Mu­seum)

52 Fer­nan­do Her­nán­dez Eche­rri and Bo­li­var streets, Tel 041 99 4363 Its cons­truc­tion con­clu­ded in 1741 and it cu­rrently hou­ses the Mu­seo Ro­mán­ti­co. A do­zen show­rooms show de­co­ra­ti­ve ob­jects and fa­bu­lous an­ti­ques. The pa­la­ce stands out for the beauty of its ar­chi­tec­tu­ral de­tails, such as half-ar­ches and for its ex­ce­llent views of the squa­re. Of its ori­gi­nal ow­ners, only a wrought iron bed is pre­ser­ved in the buil­ding.

4 Mu­seo Ar­queo­ló­gi­co Ca­sa Pa­drón, Gua­muha­ya (Ar­chaeo­lo­gi­cal Mu­seum)

457 Bo­lí­var bet­ween Fer­nan­do Her­nán­dez Eche­rri and Ru­bén Mar­tí­nez Vi­lle­na streets, Tel 041 99 3420

It ex­hi­bits a great va­riety of dis­sec­ted ani­mals, ob­jects be­lon­ging to pre-co­lum­bian cul­tu­res and re­lics of the co­lo­nial era. This hou­se hos­ted the Ger­man ex­plo­rer Ale­xan­der Von Hum­boldt du­ring his in­ves­ti­ga­tions in the Is­land in 1801.

5 Ca­sa de los Sán­chez Iz­na­ga, Mu­seo de Ar­qui­tec­tu­ra Co­lo­nial (Mu­seum)

83 Ri­pal­da bet­ween Fer­nan­do Her­nán­dez Eche­rri and Ru­bén Mar­tí­nez Vi­lle­na streets, Tel 041 99 3208

Lo­ca­ted in the old hou­se be­lon­ging to the Sán­chez Iz­na­ga fa­mily, it is de­di­ca­ted to the dif­fe­rent ar­chi­tec­tu­ral sty­les of Tri­ni­dad, as well as to the cons­truc­tion tech­ni­ques used du­ring co­lo­nial ti­mes.

6 An­ti­guo Con­ven­to de San Fran­cis­co de Asís, Mu­seo de la Lu­cha Con­tra Ban­di­dos (Mu­seum)

59 Fer­nan­do Her­nán­dez Eche­rri and Pino Gi­nart streets, Tel 041 99 4121

It dis­plays the history of the strug­gle against the coun­te­rre­vo­lu­tio­nary gue­rri­llas in the Sierra del Es­cam­bray. It dis­plays maps, pho­to­graphs, a ra­dio trans­mit­ter do­na­ted by the CIA to the ban­dits and the re­mains of a U2 pla­ne shot down du­ring the Mis­si­le Cri­sis in the zo­ne. It has a room de­di­ca­ted to the re­li­gious history of the buil­ding. You can go up to the bell to­wer to en­joy ex­ce­llent views of the city.

7 PA­LA­CIO CAN­TE­RO, MU­SEO HIS­TÓ­RI­CO MU­NI­CI­PAL (MU­SEUM)

423 Si­món Bo­lí­var bet­ween Gus­ta­vo Iz­quier­do and Ru­bén Mar­tí­nez Vi­lle­na streets, Tel 041 99 4460

It is lo­ca­ted in the buil­ding built by Ma­riano Bo­rrell and Pa­drón, one of the main su­gar pro­du­cers in the city, and pur­cha­sed in 1841 by Ma­ría de Mon­se­rrat, who ma­rried a year la­ter with lan­dow­ner Can­te­ro. The lat­ter re­na­med the hou­se as Pa­la­cio Can­te­ro and tur­ned it in­to a sum­ptuous neo­clas­si­cal re­si­den­ce. The mu­seum des­cri­bes the history of Tri­ni­dad with co­llec­tions of ob­jects, maps, do­cu­ments re­la­ted to the Can­te­ro fa­mily. It al­so ex­pands on the events of pi­racy in the area, the sla­ve tra­de, the ac­ti­vity in the Va­lle de los In­ge­nios and in the wars of in­de­pen­den­ce. From its to­wer you can see a beau­ti­ful view of the city.

8 Mu­seo Es­pe­leo­ló­gi­co (Mu­seum)

Las Cue­vas, San­ta Ana

Lo­ca­ted 1 km nort­heast of the cen­ter, this mu­seum is lo­ca­ted in­si­de a ca­ve of 3,700 sq. m. Le­gend has it that the na­ti­ve Cau­cu­bú took re­fu­ge in this ca­vern when the Spa­niards mur­de­red their lo­ver Na­ri­dó, and in ho­ma­ge to their lo­ve a foun­tain was built on the si­te who­se wa­ters are said to bring luck to the lo­vers who drink them. On full moon nights, the young wo­man ap­pears at the door of the ca­ve loo­king for her lo­ver.

VA­LLE DE LOS IN­GE­NIOS

Lo­ca­ted east of Tri­ni­dad is al­so known as Va­lle de San Luis. It took its na­me from the lar­ge num­ber of su­gar fac­to­ries (mills) that we­re lo­ca­ted in its vi­ci­nity reaching the num­ber of 43 in the ni­ne­teenth cen­tury, at which ti­me the re­gion be­ca­me the main pro­du­cer of su­gar in

the country. Cu­rrently this lar­ge open-air mu­seum, de­cla­red by UNES­CO World He­ri­ta­ge Si­te, ex­hi­bits 70 ar­chaeo­lo­gi­cal si­tes. The view­point Lo­ma del Puer­to at 122 m of height of­fers a spec­ta­cu­lar view of the who­le valley.

The Co­mu­ni­dad Ma­na­ca Iz­na­ga, is one of the main si­tes of in­ter­est, as it pre­ser­ves many of its fac­to­ries and fa­ci­li­ties, as well as its im­pres­si­ve 45 m high to­wer, a per­fect view­point from whe­re you can see al­most the en­ti­re valley.

PE­NÍN­SU­LA DE AN­CÓN

Lo­ca­ted about 10 km south of Tri­ni­dad, it has among its at­trac­tions the na­me­sa­ke beach on the southern part of the pe­nin­su­la. It has the Ho­tel

Club Ami­go An­cón (Tel 041 99 6123), from which vi­ci­ni­ties the boats that ta­ke the di­vers to the dif­fe­rent di­ving si­tes in the co­ral re­efs that bor­der the coast set off. Si­mi­larly, on the rocky sho­res near the beach Ma­ría Agui­lar, the­re are la­goons whe­re it is pos­si­ble to watch, with just so­me di­ving gog­gles, a great va­riety of tro­pi­cal fish. On the ot­her si­de of the bay, in front of the pe­nin­su­la is lo­ca­ted, in the old port of Ca­sil­da, a pla­ce of pas­sa­ge for tho­se who go to the bea­ches of the area, which in past cen­tu­ries was one of the main points of the sla­ve and su­gar tra­de in the Is­land.

GRAN PAR­QUE NA­TU­RAL TO­PES DE CO­LLAN­TES (NA­TU­RAL PARK)

Di­vi­ded in­to a se­ries of small parks, it has the Com­ple­jo

Tu­rís­ti­co To­pes de Co­llan­tes (Tel 042 54 0330), with a ho­tel, as its main fea­tu­re, de­sig­ned in 1936 as a sa­na­to­rium for tu­bercu­losis. In 1970, it be­gan to fun­ction as ac­com­mo­da­tion for tou­rism. Among its nu­me­rous na­tu­ral at­trac­tions, To­pes de Co­llan­tes has the Sal­to Ca­bur­ní, an im­pres­si­ve 75 m high waterfall; the

Jar­dín de Gi­gan­tes, with trees of gi­gan­tic di­men­sions; the

Sen­de­ro La Ba­ta­ta, which has a ca­ve sys­tem with an un­der­ground ri­ver and na­tu­ral pools; the Par­que Gua­na­ya­ra with the Sen­de­ro Cen­ti­ne­las del Río Me­lo­dio­so and the Cas­ca­da del Ro­cío, and fi­nally the Par­que el Ni­cho, with the Sen­de­ro El Reino de las Aguas.

VIEW OF THE YA­YA­BO BRID­GE Sym­bol of the city

MA­NA­CA IZ­NA­GA The for­mer hou­se of the plan­ta­tion be­lon­ging to the Iz­na­ga fa­mily. From its to­wer, you can see the Va­lle de los In­ge­nios

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