Traveling to Santiago, Cuba, the island nation’s second largest city, is like stepping back in time but with far fewer tourists.
Founded in 1515, the city has much of the historical charm of Havana but less of the development and tourism growth compared to Old Havana.
CasaCuba is a family-owned B&B that offers more than just a great place to sleep. According to Elsa, “The house is over 100 years old and four of my grandfather’s children were born and raised there. One of my mother’s fondest memories was when my grandmother would plug the drain located in the back patio and turn the entire space into a wading pool for her and her siblings to play.”
CasasCuba offers three types of themed, educational tours: salsa, historical and beach. They can be combined according to travelers’ desires. All of the tours include bed and breakfast stay in Santiago de Cuba – as well as in other cities in Cuba.
Breakfasts include local fruits like Santiago’s delicious mangoes (bizcochuelo and senora mango) as well as smoothies made of guava, mamey and guanabana (soursop). The B&B features ice creams and an incredible variety of breads not found in hotels.
The salsa tours include morning lessons (or any type of traditional Cuban dance class) and evening outings with the instructor as well as a cabaret performance. Historical tours may include trips to San Pedro de la Roca del Morro Castle, Santa Ifigenia Cemetery (final resting place of Fidel Castro) and La Gran Piedra in a classic car.
Visiting beaches in a jeep will take our travelers to places like the Cradle of the Revolution, Cascada de Nima Nima (Cascada de Juan Gonzalez), Poseta del Porvenir. This includes picnics on the beach and cocktails at sunset.
Elsa adds, “I was born in Santiago de Cuba and raised in the states. I have visited my hometown quite often and my connection with Cuba runs deep in my veins. When I stay in the home, I can feel my grandparents’ love and affection throughout the house.”
CasaCuba offers travel assistance for U.S. travelers who are required to conform with current travel restrictions. Packages include all local travel and tour planning needs. You can even get measured for a custom-made Guayabera shirt (men and women).