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Santa Clara

Travel Guide Caribbean Cuba Santa Clara

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Introduction

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Santa Clara is the capital city of the Cuban province of Villa Clara. It is located in the central part of the country and has about 250,000 inhabitants. The main reason visitors come to Santa Clara, is the mausoleum of Che Guevara, but there are many more interesting landmarks and the city is full of colonial architecture, making it a great place to just wander around and soak up the atmosphere.

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Neighbourhoods

The municipality is divided into the barrios of Báez, Carmen, Egidos, Hoyo, Loma Cruz, Manajanabo, Manicaragua, Mata, Parroquia, Pastora, Provincial, Puente, Quemado Hilario, Raúl Sancho, San Gil and Seibabo.

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Sights and Activities

  • Parque Vidal and the Marta Abreau Statue
  • Teatro de la Caridad
  • Che Guavara Mausoleum
  • Parque del Carmen
  • Catedral de Santa Clara de Asis
  • Parque de los Martires

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Weather

Santa Clara has a tropical climate, but with slightly more variation in temperature as it's near the northern end of the tropics. The warmer and wetter period is from May to October, when temperatures frequently soar above 30 °C. Rains and thunderstorms are common and humidity is high. Sometimes, a hurricane can also hit inland Santa Clara though years can go by without any. November to March is the driest time of the year with pleasantly warm weather and generally clear and sunny conditions.

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Getting There

By Plane

Abel Santamaría Airport (SNU) is an international airport. Services include flights with Air Canada to Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa, Air Transat to Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City, CanJet to Toronto, Quebec City, Montreal and Halifax, Cubana de Aviacion to Havana, Montreal, Santiago de Cuba and Toronto, Livingston to Milan, Sunwing Airlines to Winnipeg and Thomas Cook Airlines to Manchester.

By Train

Santa Clara is along the main train line that runs between Havana and Santiago de Cuba. There are several trains to/from Havana each day. Camaguey and Santiago de Cuba are served by a daily overnight train and two trains a week also travel during the day in each direction: west on Thursdays and Sundays and east on Mondays and Fridays.

By Bus

Viazul has regular buses to Camaguey, Havana, Sancti Spiritus, and Santiago de Cuba. There is also daily service to Varadero, Cienfuegos and Trinidad.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Casa MercyEduardo Machado # 4 e/Cuba Colón. Santa Clara. Villa Claguesthouse-
Hostal Autentica PergolaLuis Estévez # 61 entre Independencia [Boulevard y Martí, Villa ClaraGuesthouse-
La Casona JoverColón# 167 / San Miguel and Nazarenoguesthouse-

Santa Clara Marriott
2700 Mission College Boulevardhotel-
Casa Particular Santa ClaraCalle Cuba #227(altos) entre Sindico y PastoraGuesthouse-
ApartHostal Eva y ErnestoJ.B.Zayas # 253A Btwn Berenguer y Padre TuduriGuesthouse-
Hostal Javier y Katia.calle: colón # 225 e/ sindico y nazareno.Guesthouse-
La CaridadCalle San Pablo (R.G.Garofalo) numero 19,entre las calles: Maximo Gomes y Luis EstevesGuesthouse-
La Casa de AnaNueva (Street) #6Apartment-
Hostal Vista Park1 Leoncio VidalHostel-
Hostal Jose RamonHostel-
Hostal Simón7ma 619 e/ 6ta and 8vaGuesthouse-
Hostal Oshun58 B.Martinez, Between street E.P.Morales and Gral Roloff Reparto CentroHostel-
Hostal Jose RamonMaximo Gomez st No208Hostel-

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Keep Connected

Internet

In many cities the only way for tourists to access the internet is through the government's communications centers. Look for buildings bearing the name "ETECSA", which stands for Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A. ETECSA also has internet stations in some of the larger government hotels and resorts. The connection speed is comparable to analog dial-up speed in Havana or slower in smaller locations, at a cost of 6 CUC/hour. This is payable by purchasing a prepaid scratch card with a PIN code granting you access for one hour. The same card can be used throughout the country at any ETECSA terminal, allowing you to disconnect after your session and use the remaining time on the card further at the next hotel/city you go to.

WI-FI in hotels and restaurants is certainly uncommon if not non-existent and tourists should not rely on this being available when planning their means of communication.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Cuba is 53. To make an international call from Cuba, the code is 119. The emergency number is 116 and information number 113.

GSM cell phones will work in Cuba (900 MHz). Cuba is one of the most expensive countries in which to communicate. When bringing your own cellphone, incoming phonecalls to Cuba cost about $1/minute. Outgoing calls from Cuba are similarly expensive, and can be as high as $5 per minute for making international when roaming with your cellphone from overseas.

A better way is to rent cellphones, which is possible at several stores in Havana, including one in the airport. The rates are 9 CUC per day (6 CUC for the phone and 3 CUC for the SIM card), plus about 36 cents a minute for prepaid cards. If you bring an unlocked GSM phone operating at 900 MHz (or quad-band world phone) you can buy a SIM card for 111 CUC, plus your prepaid minutes. If you're staying two weeks or more it makes sense to bring a cheap phone, buy a SIM card and prepaid minutes, then give the phone to a Cuban friend when you leave. Cellphones are among the most desired items for Cubans (bring a case for the phone too, Cubans are very fussy about keeping their phones scratch-free). You will have to go to a cellphone store with your friend and sign a paper to give the phone to your friend.

Post

Correos de Cuba operates the Cuban postal service. They are generally quite slow, and delivery is never guaranteed. Mail is read by Cuba’s censors; avoid politically sensitive comments. Also, never send cash! Post offices (correos) usually are open weekdays 8:00am to 6:00pm and on Saturday 8:00am to 3:00pm, but hours can vary widely. Most tourist hotels accept mail for delivery as well, which might be a better option. International airmail (correo aereo) averages from at least 2 weeks to over one month, and even domestic posts might take 1-2 weeks. When mailing from Cuba, write at least the country destination in Spanish (as well). International postcards, cost CUC 0.50 to all destinations; letters cost CUC 0.80. Within Cuba, letters cost from 15 centavos (20 grams or less) to 2.05 pesos (up to 500 grams); postcards cost 10 centavos. Stamps are available in US dollars as well (if buying at hotels, this is actually your only option) and can be bought at hotels and blue and white kiosks labelled Correos de Cuba. Parcels from Cuba must be unwrapped for inspection. It is far better to send packages through an express courier service, like DHL or the Cuban local one (called EMS), although the same regulation applies.

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This is version 10. Last edited at 7:20 on May 23, 14 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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