Top places in Santa Clara, Cuba

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    Mausoleo del Che

    Mausoleo del Che

    Visited so far by 2.5 million people, the resting place for Che and 16 of his men killed in action in 1967 in Bolivia is a memorial complex featuring an large square used for parades and large rallies, a monument now emblematic of Santa Clara, and a mausoleum crypt with an exhibit displaying artifacts, photos and memorabilia of Che, an extensive view of his life and work. Is where the bodies of Che and his troops, who died in battle in Bolivia, are buried.

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    Monumento al Tren Blindado

    Monumento al Tren Blindado

    Monument at the site where guerrilla forces commanded by Che Guevara defeated reinforcements sent in an armoured train (tren blindado) by Batista's army in 1958. The monument include original armoured boxcars with displays of photos, armaments and artifacts inside, and a bulldozer used by the rebels to derail the train. This monument is situated at the en of the pedestrian zone called El Boulevard. It is easy to get there walking from downtown.

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    Centro El Mejunje

    Centro El Mejunje

    One of the most popular places for visitors and locals alike in Santa Clara. Mejunje is Spanish for 'concoction' and in this is a concoction of styles, tastes and people: the weekly program have days for traditional Cuban music (son) and dancing, trova, salsa, theater, poem reading, local rock bands, and drag shows. The bohemian-style courtyard in the middle of the ruins of a former hotel is a performing space with a bar. Admission fee is low, so lots of locals are in attendance to enjoy their favourite shows and have a good time. El Mejunje mainly promotes local talents, although performers and bands from Havana and Santiago often show up since the place is well known. Address: Calle Marta Abreu #12.

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    Parque Vidal y Casa de la Cultura

    Parque Vidal y Casa de la Cultura

    Just 3 blocks away from our house, a large square circled by some of the most interesting buildings in town. Always busy with locals going about their lives, since there's a movie theater, a library, cafeterias and offices around the square. In the evenings, a favourite hangout for people of all ages looking to meet and chat enjoying the breeze, and families to bring their children for a ride in goat-drawn little carts. On weekend nights the municipal orchestra plays from the bandstand at the center of the square. In a beautiful house from 1927 facing Parque Vidal, a cultural intitution that promotes local artists, hosts art galleries and artisan crafts exhibits, and schedules a variety of music and dance concerts.

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    Teatro La Caridad

    Teatro La Caridad

    At a corner of Parque Vidal, La Caridad Theater was built in 1885 and stands as one of the few remaining colonial theaters. Remarkable for its design and decoration, the many arched doors around the building allowed for a good natural ventilation of the hall. Features the original iron grillwork on balconies, and beautiful fresco paintings by Melero and Zelaya covering the ceiling and sides of the stage.

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    Museo de Artes Decorativas

    Museo de Artes Decorativas

    At a corner of Parque Vidal, a museum recreating the ambiance of the homes of the wealthy during the colonial era. The house itself is from the 18th. Century, with a beautiful central courtyard featuring stained glass windows (vitrales) and brick paving, a space often used for concerts. The museum displays art, furniture, porcelain, glass ware and pottery from the colonial period. Near to Parque Vidal.

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    Cayo Santa María | Day Trip

    Cayo Santa María

    90 min. drive from Santa Clara, this is a great day excursion to enjoy unspoiled beaches with powder-like white sands and crystal clear waters. On the way to the coast, enjoy the scenery of beautiful rural areas and drive through the towns of Camajuani, Remedios and Caibarien. Then, take a 'pedraplen' or causeway in Spanish that crosses over shallow sea straits and connects a string of islands declared a reserve of the biosphere by UNESCO. The islands of Ensenachos, Las Brujas and Santa Maria are un-inhabited, but recently built resorts managed by hotel chains Sol Melia and Barcelo allow day access to their beach facilities for a fee. There are all-day catamaran excursions that stop at two good snorkelling spots: a sunken ship and a coral reef. Scuba equipment can be rented at the hotels. Fishing expeditions to catch snapper and grouper can also be booked. Easy Day Trip.

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    Remedios | Day Trip

    Remedios

    Fifty minutes to the Northwest of Santa Clara, out of the beaten path and forgotten by tour operators, Remedios is one of the oldest towns in Cuba, and the colonial architecture dominates this peaceful town. Remedios was declared a National Monument town, where you can find 17th. Century buidings still intact. Plaza Mayor square is surrounded by colonial buildings, beautiful monuments, trees, palms and a gazebo, following the Spanish urban standard. The main attraction of the square is the colonial grand church "Iglesia Mayor" of San Juan Bautista containing 13 beautifully decorated gold altars. Remedios is distinguished for its Christmas festival, "Las Parrandas de Remedios", a popular event of the region that takes place in December every year, when the town splits in two to compete for the most lavish fireworks and floats display possible. A convenient way to visit Remedios is as a stop-over on the way to the beach places in the Northern coast, although it is well worth visiting as a day excursion, to have the time to visit the grand church, spend time in the square, walk around the cobblestone streets in the surrounding areas and perhaps visit the Caturla Museum, the house of one of the finest Cuban composers from the 20th Century, with beautiful period furniture, colonial architecture and original music sheets with Caturla's compositions. Easy Day Trip.