Caribbean Tourism

Sancti Spíritus

Sancti Spíritus, (pop: 100,000) the provincial capital, is about 80 km northeast of Trinidad and 90 km southeast of Santa Clara. Like Trinidad, the town was founded by Diego Velázquez in 1514 and is one of Cuba’s seven original Spanish towns and has a wealth of buildings from the colonial period.


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The Iglesia Parroquial Mayor del Espíritu Santo, on Plaza Honorato, dates from 1522 when it was a wooden construction. Fray Bartolomé de las Casas gave his famous sermon here, marking the start of his campaign to help the indigenous people. The present building, of stone, replaced the earlier one in 1680, but it is acknowledged as the oldest church in Cuba because it still stands on its original foundations. The church has been declared a National Monument, but it is not always open so you may not be able to look inside.

The Puente Yayabo is considered a particular feature of Sancti Spíritus and is the only one of its type left on the island. The bridge was built in 1815 with five arches made of lime, sand and bricks. It is now also a National Monument. The river itself has given its name to the guayaba, or guava, which grows along its banks, and also to the guayabera, a loose man’s shirt without a tail worn outside the trousers and without a tie. The former Teatro Principal next to the bridge was built in 1839 and was the scene of all the major cultural, social and political events of the city.

Calle Llano is a twisty street, with cobblestones right to the edge of the Yayabo River. Parque Serafín Sánchez is the centre of activity in the city where all major roads converge.

Embalse Zaza is a popular excursion for hiking, birdwatching, shooting and fishing, or just to go to the hotel (see Accomodation - Sancti Spiritus) and laze around the pool. The hotel can get busy at weekends.

Additional resources could be found at : http://www.cuba-junky.com/sancti-spiritus/sancti-spiritus-city-home.htm


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