Santiago, The Cradle Of The Revolution
Learn, and see, the fascinating story of the beginning of the Revolution
In some ways, Santiago de Cuba is the wild west of the country, even though its location is east. It was here that the sound of historical destiny began, first with Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar making Santiago his second capital. Then Fidel Castro used it to launch the birth of his revolution. Don Facundo Bacardi based his first-ever rum factory here and nearly every Cuban music genre from salsa to son first emanated from these dusty, rhythmic, and sensuous streets.
So it is appropriate to begin looking at Santiago de Cuba as the birthplace of the revolution. One of the most important highlights here in this context is Granjita Siboney, one of the key spots in the assault to Moncada and the success of the Revolution. The Granjita Siboney Museum is located on the road to Playa Siboney Beach. It is the former encampment from where the youngsters that took the Moncada Headquarters, the largest military garrison on Cuba, on July 26th 1953 trained.
Nearby is Cuba's National Transportation Museum, from which you can get great insight into the progress of this industry in this country. In a country known for its classic car tours, this museum reinforces that theme. The museum houses old automobiles that were popular in their day or belonged to renowned figures. The museum boasts the flashy 1996 Volvo in which such personalities as actors Alain Delon and Jack Nicholson and supermodel Naomi Cambell were chauffeured during their stay in Cuba.
A 2,700-piece miniature collection which includes reproductions of means of transportation from different periods in history (from the first wheels to the most modern vehicles) is one of the museum’s treasures.
Bringing home the story of the revolution is your next stop at the Moncada Barracks. Learn the truth about this attack on July 26, 1953 when Cuba first exploded into a revolution when Fidel Castro and about 140 rebels attacked the federal Moncada garrison. Although the operation was well-planned and had the element of surprise, the greater numbers and weapons of the army soldiers, coupled with some remarkably bad luck afflicting the attackers, made the assault a near-total failure for the rebels. Many of the rebels were captured and executed, and Fidel and his brother Raúl were put on trial.
To give even more depth to the history of this area, you will stop at the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery. This is the resting place of José Martí and his mausoleum is guarded by the Cuban soldiers.
Wrapping up this exciting story is your final stop, the fascinating Clandestine Fight Museum, to discover the different aspects of the Revolution in Santiago de Cuba. The building was first a dwelling built at the beginning of the 19th century in a Pre-baroque style and inhabited by different families between 1865 and 1935. At one point during the decade of 1940, the building was used as high school, then a police station in 1951. After the assault, the whole wooden structure was burned leaving the masonry walls, among which the museum was set up.
During your day you will stop for a local lunch.
- Please dress according to the weather and wear comfortable shoes.
- Lunch with one beverage is included in your excursion.
- Admissions to Moncada, Villa Blanca, and Santa Ifigenia Cemetery are included.
- Sunscreen, camera with secure strap, perhaps a hat, will protect you from the sun.
- You are traveling under a general license, 31 CFR 515.574 - Support for the Cuban People. Travelers must keep a copy of their voucher for 5 years per OFAC regulations.
- We will make arrangements for meaningful dialogue with locals throughout your day! These memories and personal interactions will last a lifetime.
- This tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility. We must be notified in advance of any walking problems.
- Please note the availability of private guides in Santiago de Cuba is limited so please book in advance.
- It is unusual to have your ship tendered in this port. In the event it is necessary, your arrival on to land will be later than planned. Your guide will be waiting for you and will help you determine the best itinerary under the circumstance. This is so rare but, as your guide will be waiting for you, there will be no adjustment to the cost.
- You must alert us to any dietary restrictions or food allergies.
- At the conclusion of your tour you will have to return to your cruise ship. If you wish to shop or spend more time, we will extend your service by the hour after your tour. This must be done in advance as the guides commit their time.
- If you are part of a group, you will be split into groups of 10 people for a more enjoyable experience.
Days offered: 7 days a week