Santiago de Cuba City Guide
OVERVIEW: The second-largest city in Cuba and the birthplace of the revolution. Many Haitians and Jamaicans settled here before Fidel took power, so there is a noticeable black population. The city is older than Havana, and its age is reflected in its deteriorating buildings and rustic dwellings.
WEATHER: Tropical savannah (20-30 °C). Rarely dips below 20 °C
SAFETY: A bit sketchy, but only by Cuban standards. Petty theft occurs here more often than in other Cuban cities, so keep an eye on your goods. Violent crime is rare but not unheard of.
MUST DO: Vista Alegre. Take a stroll through the formally posh pre-revolution neighbourhood.
RENT AN APARTMENT IN SANTIAGO DE CUBA: $500.00 - $600.00 for a month in a casa particular.
HOSTEL DORM BED/NIGHT $15.00-$20.00
NIGHTLIFE IN SANTIAGO DE CUBA: 6.25/10
As is the case for all of Cuba, going out for a local is much different than going out for a tourist like yourself. For a local here, I imagine it would be quite good, but you will have to deal with higher prices, and not feeling welcomed in certain Cuban-oriented establishments.
CAN OF BEER: $1.00
CHANCE OF HOOKING-UP IN SANTIAGO DE CUBA: 5.75/10
Many prostitutes (especially in Club 300), and basically no girls who will give it up without expecting something in return (money, usually). You can hook-up here, but you're going to have to pay for it in some way. Many normal girls here are quasi-prozzies.
ARE GIRLS HOT IN SANTIAGO DE CUBA?: 7.25/10.
Not quite up to the standards of Havana or Santa Clara. However, if you like black girls this would be good Cuban destination for you. Similar quality and racial mix as Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
If you want to meet women in Cuba, you will need to speak some Spanish. The Pickup Spanish Program is the only course of its kind, designed specifically to teach you Spanish for meeting Latinas in Latin America.
GROCERIES: Milk (1L)= $1.25 Loaf of Bread= $0.35 Eggs= $0.70 Water (1.5L)= $1.00 Cigarettes= $1.00
JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Not.
TAXI: Tourist taxis will run you $1.00-$2.00, but bicycle taxis for short distances more better options. For these you'll pay under $1.00.
NOTES: Santiago is a lively city with a lot of character and a good vibe. It's not my favourite Cuban city, but I'd recommend it over Cienfuegos or touristy Trinidad. Like Santa Clara, it is best to spend a few days here to really get a feel for things. I don't doubt that you'll have a good time.
OVERALL RATING: 7/10
*More city guides from Cuba here!