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Santiago de Cuba Province

Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city of Cuba, located east of the island. It was the first capital of Cuba, counting with exceptional geographical conditions, and it is now the capital of the province of the same name. It was founded in 1515 by the Spanish conqueror Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, among the first seven villages of Cuba. The conqueror Hernán Cortés was the first mayor of the city and from there he departed for the conquest of Mexico. From Santiago also left the conqueror and explorer Panfilo de Narvaez towards the coasts of Florida in an exploratory trip, a trip that ended in failure and cost the lives of Narvaez.

By its bay entered the first black slaves to Cuba and with them strong African and Spanish roots.

In the city match multiple architectural styles, from the baroque to the more refined neoclassical. Of special interest are its parks, graded streets, colonial buildings with huge windows and crowded balconies. In Santiago are preserved historical treasures as the first American home, the first cathedral in Cuba, the first open pit copper mine throughout the Americas, the first museum in Cuba. But beyond the very charms that result from urban environments, Santiago de Cuba distinguishes for its spontaneous, happy, and natural people.

Santiago de Cuba is the birthplace of a lot of Cuban music genres like son and bolero; and there were born great Cuban musicians. Traditional trova and choral expression have also deep roots.
It truly is a unique city, which combines multiple values that allow the visitor to contact the idiosyncrasies of its people, culture and history of the place, while enjoying the exotic nature.
The most important festivals are "Carnival Santiaguero" the best in the country and "La Fiesta del Fuego."