Helicopter Tour to Santiago
Duration: Full Day
Visit the historical city of Santiago in style as you descend by helicopter into these glorious grounds that comprise so much of Cuban history. This splendorous and mountainous city is together with Cartagena de Indias in Colombia the only city in Latin America that has proudly won The Golden Apple Award, an outstanding recognition of the quality and exceptional conditions of this place as a touristic destination.
Santiago de Cuba is a beautiful and unique place in Cuba that during the times of the Spanish colony became the first capital of the island and remained its most important city for many years. Nowadays known as the cradle of famous Cuban rums like Bacardi and Havana Club, this city holds a unique allure as one of the most vivacious cities in the Caribbean with its carnivals being the most famous in the island!
You will be heading to Santiago by taking a breathtaking 45 minute helicopter flight offering you some wonderful sightseeing of this zone's splendid mountainous region, an incredible landscape to admire at from the sky.
Once at Santiago you will continue this excursion by bus to begin the fantastic city tour that will take you to see amazing panoramic views of the city. On this tour you will be able to appreciate a unique colonial architecture with Andalusian and Moorish influences that is a reminder of the cultural roots of the Spanish founders of the city. But Spanish presence is not all you will see here; at Santiago you will also find some French-Haitian presence in the practice of "tumba francesa", the coffee plantations and the iconic Tivoli Theatre.
A unique experience and one of the highlights of this fabulous tour will be the visit to the castle of San Pedro de la Roca, the origins of which date back to the late 1500s, when the Spanish king Philip II ordered its construction. This massive fortress of grand proportions was part of the city's defensive system against pirates and intruders. With its maze of stairways and dungeons, this military masterpiece of architecture now houses the Museum of Piracy, featuring an incredible display of the colonial era, piracy and slavery.
Among other items you will find blunderbusses, muskets, cutlasses and Toledo blades, all part of the castle's exhibition, declared Heritage of Humankind by UNESCO in 1997.
Your next stopover will be at Antonio Maceo Revolution Square, named after a heroic rebel of the independence wars against the Spanish colonists. This is a popular meeting place and a landmark for parades and carnivals. It will be from here that you will then be heading towards the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, the most important feature of which is the incredible memorial dedicated to Cuban soldiers who died fighting in Angola.
This splendid cemetery is also the place where Cuba's national hero, revolutionary and writer Jose Marti is buried. His tomb is a magnificent piece of architecture in the form of a hexagonal tower with each side representing one of Cuba's six original provinces. This peculiar cemetery is also the home to a shrine dedicated to Cuba's patron saint; the Virgin of Charity. This little church is also said to be the scene of many miracles performed by the saint.
The trip will include a stop at Villa Gaviota for lunch and afterwards you will be heading to a historic site for some more historical sightseeing. This time you will be visiting the bullet-ridden barracks of the Moncada garrison, the place that was once attacked by a group led by Fidel Castro in 1953.
And for the final moments of your tour in Santiago you will be allowed some free time at the end. Enjoy your time at leisure at Central Park, a place just at the heart of Santiago surrounded by old buildings and monuments. The perfect place to take in the last views of this charming city before heading back in our fantastic chopper.
So don't think it twice and come along this fabulous helicopter tour to one of Cuba's most culturally enriching and diverse cities! Come to mingle with the locals at Santiago, the island's second most important city and a venue for the worldwide famous "Festival of the Caribbean". A true cultural and historical paradise of to discover only with us!
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