Located in the center of Cuban geography, Villa Clara has beautiful landscapes and numerous tourist attractions: prairies, mountains, colonial buildings, fishing villages and cozy hotel facilities.
Santa Clara, the provincial capital, was founded in 1689 by residents of a coastal town, who were escaping from the attacks of corsairs and pirates. Fortunately, this regular exodus provided a reason to expand the Village, and originated its architectural diversity and wide range of construction styles. There we will meet five centuries of artistic history, thanks to the side-by-side coexistence of pre-baroque, postmodern and contemporary buildings.
The Churches of Carmen and San Juan de los Remedios, the Cathedral of Santa Clara, the Church of Buen Viaje and the old Convent of the city, as well as some of the buildings around the Parque Vidal are clear examples of this magic that permeates the Cuban cities, and definitely Villa Clara has a lot of treasures to offer.
Hundreds of foreign visitors come every day to discover the Che Guevara Mausoleum, a sculptural complex located in the “Plaza de la Revolución” of the same name. This memorial is one of the greatest locations of the so called “City of Che”. It houses the remains of the revolutionary martyr and twenty-nine of his fellow comrades.
In the historic center, declared a National Monument, we can find one of the emblems of the Battle of Santa Clara: the military supply train derailed by Che, which is preserved in its original setting. These vestiges symbolize the fight for sovereignty and independence during the revolutionary period. Less than a kilometer away, on the same avenue, there’s the Guerrilla fighter with a child in his arms: a marvelous bronze statue that replicates the real life size of the hero.
Some places, such as the Mejunje, tell the story of a town that stands out for its cultural ajiaco made of different attitudes and thoughts. With more than three decades of existence, the Festival of Small Format Theater takes place here. It has a wonderful bohemian nightlife; making Santa Clara the most picturesque city in the country.
One of the particularities of Villa Clara is its proximity to the legendary city of San Juan de los Remedios, eighth village founded by the Spanish colonizers during the sixteenth century. It is famous for the traditional Parrandas that are celebrated every year in its streets, with the contribution of almost the whole town. This festivity encourages the development of the nation’s cultural identity.
On the other hand, in the southeast of the region of Villa Clara, the municipality of Manicaragua invites the visitor to explore the legendary coffee and tobacco tradition of the area. The cultivation and fabrication of both products provide high heritage values and draw the attention of numerous tourists.
Manicaragua also has an extensive mountain area that is part of the natural complex of Escambray. Due to its exclusive diversity of flora and fauna species, it is perfect for ecological tourism, trekking, specialized photography, bird watching and sport fishing in places such as the Valle Jibacoa and the Hanabanilla Protected Natural Landscape; the only lake in the whole country that runs between mountains.
A highway above the sea connects Villa Clara
with Santa Maria, Ensenachos and Las Brujas, jewels of the northern Cuban keys,
full of exotic beaches and sumptuous hotels. If you take into consideration that
there’s also an incredible health resort (“Elguea”), with medical and thermal
waters, this is indeed the perfect place to leave stress behind.
Many people come to
Cuba for its cultural and natural heritage. There are cities in our island that
will remain forever in your memory… and Villa Clara is one of those special
places. If you travel to Cuba, or are planning to do so, don’t skip this
opportunity. There are too many reasons to come, don’t let others spoil the
surprise for you, and discover this versatile city by your own!
 A hearty stew made from beef, pork, chicken, vegetables, and a variety of starchy roots and tubers classified as “viandas”.