La Gran Piedra Santiago de Cuba At just over 1234 meters (4000 Feet) above sea level La Gran Piedra in Santiago de Cuba is accessed by 459 step climb to the “The Big Rock” or, in Spanish, La Gran Piedra. The viewing platform at its peak guarantees a cooler climate to help you freshen up after the onslaught of step after step. Even though the climb sounds fearful, it takes no more than 20 minutes but, do bring some comfortable shoes along. Legend has it that on a clear night one can see the lights of Montego Bay Jamaica from La Gran Piedra, however on the humid day we visited the visibility was greatly reduced. This fantastic site was declared a biosphere reserve by those great folks at UNESCO in 1987 and at just 20km from the center of Santiago de Cuba its certainly worth your time, especially because the Santiago de Cuba Botanical Garden is close by and it's easy to combine both in one trip. The massive 50x25x30 meter rock is of volcanic origin, thought to have been pushed to this altitude by the movement of tectonic plates in the Caribbean region. Probably the most amazing view available in Santiago de Cuba and definitely worth the 459 [...]
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If you only visit one war museum in Cuba, just five blocks northwest of the Parque Marti is the ornate pink building containing the Naval museum of Cienfuegos. Dating back to 1933 the Museo Historico Naval Nacional in Cienfuegos is probably the most interesting but overlooked of museums in Cuba. It’s based in the former headquarters of the southern naval command center; it is approached by a wide driveway, flanked with armaments dating from different eras. From the outside it [...]
Plagued by bandits, buccaneers and pirates, Spanish king Philip V decided to build a fortress in Cienfuegos to protect the entrance to the city's bay in the 1740s. It was originally called the Castillo de Nuestra Senora de los Angeles de Jagua due to the name of the location known as Jagua, just outside the city. The Jagua Fortress or in Spanish Castillo de Jagua. It was declared a National Monument on October 10, 1978 and opened as a museum [...]
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is located on the main city square called Parque Marti and was completed in 1819. A building of immense beauty it is the pride Cienfuegos residents. The Cienfuegos Cathedral has a neo-Classical façade with two large red bell towers of differing heights, three arched entrances and French stained glass windows of the Twelve Apostles. It also boasts beautiful French ornate carvings. The first ever house of worship of Cienfuegos has been [...]
Probably one of the most historic buildings in Cienfuegos has to be the Teatro Tomas Terry. Built in 1889 it was, at the time, one of the largest capacity theaters in the Caribbean designed for 1200 people. Unlike many historic theatres around the world, the Terry Theater of Cienfuegos is still used regularly for performances. Admission fee to simply view the theater itself is 10 pesos (or $50 cents). This impressive building in Cienfuegos is located on the north side [...]
For many the promise of petting and swimming with dolphins is a once in a life experience. The Dolphinarium of Cienfuegos offers excellent shows, dolphin acrobatics and the inimitable Dolphin contact with visitors. At just 15 CUC entrance fee, this show should not be missed. Located 5 minutes from downtown Cienfuegos the Dolphinarium of Cienfuegos is one of the few in Cuba which allows guests varied levels of contact with Dolphins. For those with the courage, two dolphins are trained [...]