Santa Clara

Pay Homage to Che Guevara

No matter how you feel about Argentinian revolutionary “El Che,” Santa Clara is the city to revisit his massive mark on history. In 1958, Che Guevara’s battle tactics in Santa Clara marked the end of the Batista regime; today, monuments, statues, and museums dedicated to the comandante dot the city. In addition to the big draws of Che Guevara Mausoleum, which houses his remains, and the Tren Blindado park exhibit, which details the battle of Santa Clara, keep an eye out for the smaller displays, too. The un-signposted “Che and Child” statue shown here stands four blocks from Tren Blindado. The right-hand image is another monument atop Loma del Capiro (Capiro’s Hill).

Hike to the Best Viewpoint in Town

View point in Santa Clara Cuba

Not only is Loma del Capiro the ideal spot to look out over Santa Clara, it also served as a crucial vantage point for Che Guevara’s guerilla army during the 1958 liberation. Climb the easy 579-foot peak to see a striking monument (see previous slide) and take a breather while you admire the city view.

Check Out Vibrant Parque Vidal

Parque Vidal Santa Clara - Cuba

Set right in the center of town, it’s impossible to miss Vidal Park, an open-air theater. (Think street performers, kids at play, frequent bands, and gossipy old ladies warming the benches, all crammed into one square block.) It doesn’t hurt that the park is surrounded by eye-catching examples of colonial, Art Deco, and neo-classical architecture. Snag a seat and watch the drama unfold in the most charming of settings.

Eat Traditional Food at a Local Paladar

Local Paladar Santa Clara - Cuba

Dining at paladares, small, family-run restaurants, is one of the best ways to discover local Cuban cuisine. The only trick is that many, like popular El Alba shown here, bill in national pesos rather than the convertible pesos (CUCs) most tourists carry. Cuba operates with two different currency systems, which can be incredibly confusing at times, but it’s well worth it to carry a bit of both types of cash. At El Alba, portions are huge, the peso payout tiny, and the food delicious. Order the pescado (fish)!