Reasons to visit Santa Clara and Remedios

Reasons to visit Santa Clara and Remedios

jan 05, 2024
4 min read

One of the stops that we suggest you not to miss during your trip to Cuba is Santa Clara, the most revolutionary city in Cuba, because Cuba is inextricably linked to the memory of Che Guevara, an Argentine doctor who became a guerrilla fighter. Right in the geographical heart of Cuba, it is a city full of new trends and insatiable creativity, with a young and cutting-edge culture. We always include a stop in Santa Clara during our beautiful organized tours because Che Guevara is now an iconic character that we all admire.

Among the most original attractions of Santa Clara we mention a collective of artists specializing in satire and the best rock festival in the country, Ciudad Metal. Moreover, the proud character of the city has been forged over time thanks to the presence of the most prestigious university in the country after that of Havana and the long connection with the figure of Che Guevara, who liberated it in December 1958, marking the end of the Batista regime. This place has always been the epicenter of small cultural revolutions.

Missing his calculations by several kilometres, Christopher Columbus believed that the ancient indigenous village of Cubanacán (or Cubana Khan, a name which in the local language meant ‘the center of Cuba'), near Santa Clara, was the seat of the khans of Mongolia ; this misunderstanding pushed the explorer to believe he had reached the coasts of Asia. Santa Clara was founded in 1689 by 13 families from Remedios, fleeing from the raids of pirates in transit, and grew rapidly until it became the capital of the province of Las Villas in 1867. Having become an important industrial center, enough to host a Coca-Cola factory before the revolution, Santa Clara also played an important role during the construction of the Cuban communications network.

The final stop on many pilgrimages dedicated to Che Guevara, Santa Clara is home to a monument, mausoleum and museum complex located 2km west of Parque Vidal, near the Víazul bus station. For all admirers of the Argentine guerrilla, for whom many have an almost religious respect, it is difficult not to get excited in the vast square that embraces both sides of the large avenue, on which the bronze statue of Che stands (placed on a high pedestal 16 m).

Che Guevara memorial

Erected in 1987 for the 20th anniversary of Guevara's assassination in Bolivia, the statue is always visible to the public. At the back is the deferential mausoleum, with 38 stone niches dedicated to the other guerrillas killed during the failed Bolivian revolution. In 1997 the remains of 17 guerrillas, including Guevara, were exhumed from a secret mass grave in Bolivia and interred in this monument, where Fidel Castro lit the eternal flame on October 17 of the same year. The adjacent museum illustrates life and death and displays various memorabilia of Che.

You can decide to stay overnight in one of our BnB houses in Santa Clara or in the beautiful town of Remedios, one of Cuba's lesser-known colonial jewels, which is completely transformed every year on Christmas Eve during the noisy party complete with fireworks called Las Parrandas. According to some historical sources, the city would be the second settlement founded in Cuba (1513), but officially it is only the eighth, after Santiago, and in 2015 the five hundredth anniversary was proudly celebrated. The celebrations transformed Remedios from a scruffy stop on the road to Cayo Santa María into a mini-Trinidad, full of lovely boutique hotels and small restaurants where you can eat typical, genuine cuisine. Come now, before it's too late.

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