The home of Afro-Cuban music, dance and magic is said to come from the area amid the east Cuban mountain range Sierra Maestra. From here the rhythm of the Son spread, probably around the time that the large estate owner of this region, Facundo Bacardi, started his rum factory. Santiago joined in a while later when a lawyer's son called Fidel Castro stared a revolution taking command of Havana in 1959.
Once can still sense the aura of the past and the composure of the people of Santiago in relationship to the bustle of Havana. Santiago is the perfect point from which to make day trips or excursions. One of the closest destinations is the pilgrimage chapel Virgen del Cobre, where the Pope visited during his Cuban tour - spelling out a new chapter in the long history of Santiago.