However, it is also known for its cultural life, traditional dances, Carnival in July featuring traditional Congo music and surrounding natural beauty. The city offers the opportunity to explore castles, palaces, landmarks, parks, gardens, cemeteries, museums, and religious sites. For the more adventurous, there are tremendous hiking and mountaineering opportunities on the tallest mountain peak in the Sierra Maestra mountain range, "La Gran Piedra."
Santiago de Cuba offers a vibrant nightlife and good number of dining options featuring traditional Cuban fare as well as international cuisine. A truly unique and special opportunity exists allowing for a truly authentic Cuban experience by dining at one of the Santiago de Cuba "paladares" restaurants operated out of private homes.
The Santiago de Cuba coast is wild, warm, and seems relatively untouched, dotted with enticing coves and lined with beaches of pebbles and sand. The beaches are set against the stunning backdrop of lush mountain peaks. There is a multitude of scuba diving centers numbering over 70 and the diving experience is excellent due to crystal clear waters and over 70 sunken ships to explore. The beaches are just a few minutes drive from the city providing a plethora of water activities, sports and relaxing on the beach. Enjoy a visit to this culturally and historically rich city that has so much to see and experience it will require a repeat visit.