The eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, second in importance in the largest of the Antilles, has the privilege of enjoying its status as capital of the Caribbean, favored by its geographical position and its millenary history. Founded in 1515 by Diego Velasquez and next to fulfill the half century of life, served as the capital of the island until 1607, at one stage during which suffered countless disasters, from an earthquake that struck in 1675 until the predatory action of privateers and pirates.
In its central environment highlights an extraordinary variety of museums, in addition to the old Plaza de Armas, the heart of the city and known as the Cespedes Park in tribute to also called the father of the Homeland cubana, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes. In its surroundings visitors encounter countless samples of colonial architectural art, with works such as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Asunción, built in the XVI century and that it stores in its rooms a painting in slat, to which many experts say as the oldest of Cuba. In addition, is the oldest house in the archipelago, Diego Velázquez, which was also home of recruitment and casting of the Crown, built in blocks of stone.
The protection of the city led to the Spanish monarchy toward the end of the XVI century to the construction of the fortress of San Pedro de la Roca del Morro. Heritage of Humanity since 1997, was called to integrate that defensive system of the middle, although the military impact was minimal because of a delay of several tens of years in its termination. Its main designer and architect was the famous Italian military engineer Juan Bautista Antonelli, responsible in previous years of the work of the fortification of San Cristobal de La Habana. The fortress is built next to the Socapa, advanced and the star in the defensive system of the bay, and all of this is considered the largest and most complete example of Renaissance military engineering union applied under the conditions of the Caribbean. With a minimal utility from the military point of view due to delays in their construction, the Morro de Santiago encloses the main exponents of the museum of piracy, a sample of that activity for whose confrontation was conceived of the fortress.
Outside the limits of the city is the Great Stone - registered as the largest in the world in the book - which stands majestic and imposing with its near 70 thousand tons located a few thousand 220 meters above the sea level. The ascent to the top of the Great Stone is done through 452 steps, where the visitor is facing the adventure surrounded by abundant vegetation of ferns, orchids and other species that inhabit the area. Several hundreds of categories vegetables, of them 222 of ferns, and with 22 per cent of them endemic complement the offer of the site for the adventure tourism, to which is added a fauna with 926 species where it emphasizes the tocororo, Cuban national bird.
Also, you arrive at the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity, the patroness of the island, where each year attract thousands of people in search of hope to realize their dreams.