Santa Clara Journals

Santa Clara - A Monumental Place

A November 2004 trip to Santa Clara by fizzytom

Travel Photo by IgoUgo memberMore Photos
Quote: How to spend a couple of days exploring this fascinating city, which is quite unlike anywhere else in Cuba. A fascinating blend of culture, industry, and history, which may compel the visitor to stay longer than planned.

Hotel Santa Clara Libre

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Hotel | "Santa Clara Libre - Some Gloom and a View"

Quote:
Santa Clara’s pistachio-coloured Hotel Libre still bears the bullet marks from the battle that ultimately saw Castro and his rebels seize power from the American-backed Fulciago Batista in 1959. It towers over the city, offering the best view of Santa Clara that money can buy but the plain truth is that the city’s most famous hotel leaves a lot to be desired. I’m reviewing it here under nightlife as I haven’t stayed in the hotel (fortunately we stayed in a lovely casa particular with a wonderful lady) but I’ve visited both the roof top terrace bar and the restaurant. By reading what I think about the bar and restaurant, readers can probably make a judgment about whether to risk the hotel.T...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 29, 2009

Santa Clara - a monumental place

Overview

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
See the enormous monument to Che Guevara and the underground memorial to the heroes of the Revolution, in particular, those involved in the battle for Santa Clara. Have a mojito at the roof-top bar of the Hotel Santa Clara Libre and see for miles. Enjoy an ice cream at the Coppelia café, or have one while sitting in the city's very European Parque Vidal, a square with a bandstand! Walk the short distance the treno blindado to commemorate the site where the rebel soldiers derailed a good’s train carrying government troops. Go shopping Cuban-style! Santa Clara was the best place for shopping, even if it’s not quite as we know it! Quick Tips: Best Way To Get Aro...Read More

El Tren Blindado

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Attraction

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Neither of the two guidebooks we had with us really helped us locate El Tren Blindado (The Derailed Train), but with the help of the locals, it was easily found within a 5- to 10-minute walk from the centre of Santa Clara. Be aware that while the guidebooks all say this sight is free, you will be approached and asked to pay 1 convertible peso, which, given what is here, does not seem unreasonable. The carriages you see are supposed to be the very ones making up the train that was carrying Batista's troops when it was derailed thanks to a plan masterminded by Che Guevara in 1958. However, they just don't look old enough - I reckon they are purpose-built ones made to look like the orig...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 12, 2005

El Tren Blindado
Santa Clara
Santa Clara

Memorial Che & Plaza de la Revolucion

Attraction | "Memorial Ernesto "

Quote:
The Che Guevara memorial is the must-see of Santa Clara - an impressive monument bearing a statue of Che in classic military pose atop a series of huge plinths, set in a huge plaza. Opposite the memorial are a series of hoardings, each one bears a typical slogan of the revolution - these ones celebrating the life and ideal of Ernesto Guevara. In front of these is a paved parade ground (marches are held every year here to commemorate the revolution and the death of Guevara) and then - bizarrely - two lanes of traffic cut across the plaza (though the traffic is usually light) and you come to the memorial. What is great is that you can climb all over the memorial (the steps are high though) a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 20, 2006

Memorial Che & Plaza de la Revolucion
Santa Clara
Santa Clara