Many of the attractions surrounding Santiago are east of the city, and you’ll need at least a couple of days to do them justice. Cool and fresh, the mountains of the Sierra de la Gran Piedra make an excellent break from the harsh Santiago heat, and the giant Gran Piedra is an extraordinary lookout point. Nearby, there’s the atmospheric, little-visited Museo Isabelica, set on one of several colonial coffee plantations in the mountains; and the formerly lovely Jardín Botánico, totally wrecked by Hurricane Sandy and closed to the public for the foreseeable future. Spanning the east coast is the Gran Parque Natural Baconao, not so much a park as a vast (and still hurricane-raddled) collection of beaches and other tourist attractions, among them a vintage car collection and the Comunidad Artística Verraco – home, gallery and workplace for several local artists.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Cuba features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are th…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
15 of the most romantic places in Cuba

15 of the most romantic places in Cuba

Cuba and romance go hand-in-hand. The isolated island's whitewashed beaches and balmy climate make for a romantic escape in the traditional sense of the word - …

14 Dec 2016 • Greg Dickinson camera_alt Gallery
18 brilliant pictures of life in Cuba

18 brilliant pictures of life in Cuba

It has been a big year for Cuba. After US-Cuba relations were improved in summer 2015, an influx of tourists started to head to the country – the first half …

09 Dec 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month