Santa Clara: Where acceptance is the norm

The city rather resembles its Vidal Park, a physical and spiritual axis, where everyone meets and expresses the great cultural range that pulsates in Santa Clara. Irreverent to the rest of the country’s politics, Santa Clara was the first city to decide on policies of inclusion towards the gay community and create a place like El Mejunje - which you definitely shouldn’t miss - by the hand of its founder, old Silverio.  If you want to understand Santa Clara, start here.

Santa Clara is marked forever by the figure of the Argentine Ernesto Che Guevara, who won an important battle here that led to the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959. The adoration of this man has materialized in a Mausoleum that hold his remains, along with those of his guerrilla, which has become a place of pilgrimage for admirers from all over the world.

Not to miss

  • By your first night in Santa Clara, you will already have heard about El Mejunje.  This is probably one of the most gay-friendly clubs in Cuba.
  • Enjoy the view of this intriguing city from the hill of Capiro, one of the best lookout spots in Santa Clara. At the top there is also a statue of, you guessed it, Che Guevara, because for many people this was his city.
  • Walk through the place where there are remains of an armored train, which today is a monument.  You’ll learn the history while walking through what looks like the set of a movie.
  • Cathedral of the Holy Sisters of Santa Clara de Asís, where you can ask about the mysterious story of the statue of the Virgen de la Charca (as it is known off the record)
  • Che Sculpture Memorial (a complex of the three Ms: monument, mausoleum and museum). To get there, take the Avenida de los Desfiles. Even if you’re not a fan of Ernesto Guevara, for whom millions feel an almost religious adoration, you can still enjoy a beautiful work of art.
  • Constantino Pérez Carrodegua Tobacco Factory, where the best Montecristo and Romeo and Juliet cigars are made. You can get the tickets for a tour at the Santa Clara hotel.

How to get there

 

Leoncio Vidal Park is considered the central axis of the province. Located in the center of the island, it is 200 kilometers from Varadero and almost 600 kilometers from Santiago de Cuba. Both the National Highway and the Central Highway are connected to Ciudad Héroe (Hero City), where the remains of Che Guevara rest. The Abel Santamaría Airport is 17 kilometers from the center of the city.

 


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