Santa Clara, Cuba – City Guide for Nomads and Expats

Located in the centre of Cuba, about 300 km east of Havana.

A university city that is dominated by young people. Cheaper than Havana and, shockingly, you’ll hardly get anyone trying to swindle you. People are actually cool and normal here. Try some 10-cent burgers in the cafeteria on the corner of Parque Vidal. The city is located about halfway between Havana and Camaguey. You’ll need a visa to visit Cuba, so reminder to get a Green or Pink Tourist Card before you go.

POPULATION: 200,000

 

WEATHER

Nice and warm (18-32 °C). Gets pretty hot from June to September.

 

SAFETY IN SANTA CLARA, CUBA

 Santa Clara is safe. You should have no problems here. It is a student town, and alcoholism isn’t as rampant as it is in some other mid-sized Cuban cities. It is fine to walk around here at all hours of the night without much concern.

 

THINGS TO DO IN SANTA CLARA, CUBA

Revolution Mausoleum. Che’s remains are here.

 

RENT AN APARTMENT IN SANTA CLARA, CUBA

$500.00-$600.00 for a month in a casa particular.

 

BEST BARS & NIGHTLIFE IN SANTA CLARA, CUBA

5.75/10 

Lacking. Every weekend there is a party in Parque Vidal with music and food vendors, but the crowd is mostly young kids (12-17 years old) alone or with their parents. There are few bars/clubs around, and they will all try to gauge you as soon as they find out you’re a foreigner.

I recommend: Club MejunjeA pretty edgy-looking bar with friendly and interesting folk. Mostly students. Hosts a huge LGBT bash every Saturday night. The waitstaff tried to to charge me $4.00 for a beer and a coffee. Such is life as a foreigner in Cuba…still better than being a local in Cuba though!


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TAXIS IN SANTA CLARA, CUBA

Basically however much they can get out of you as a tourist. But I wouldn’t pay more than about $3.00 to go anywhere here.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

My favorite Cuban city aside from Havana. Cheap, an insane number of amazing women and the food is actually good here! Santa Clara is practically only place that I felt was normal and where people weren’t afraid to hang out with foreigners . I’d say the ideal stay in Santa Clara is anywhere from three days to one week. This will give you enough time to feel out the city and hopefully find better bars than I could. You could easily spend three days here just people watching.

Still need your Cuban visa? MyLatinLife recommends EasyTouristCard.com for getting your Green or Pink Tourist Card. 

OVERALL RATING: 7.25/10

 

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