The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
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Parque Vidal © eyanex, panoramio.com •]• Que Sean como el Che © sogestour - CLICK TO ENLARGE
OUR SUGGESTED CASAS
Colonials & neo-colonials
8
Modernas & apartments
13

The city holds a special place in the heart of the descendants of barbubos (the bearded ones) as it was here that the famous attack on Batista's armoured train sealed the fate of the Revolución in the last days of 1958.

One can find here all of the mementos of this passage in the
recent Cuban history (Monument to Martyrs, Memorial to the Che, Museum of the Tren blindado).

Today, the peaceful city's
stable economy with its many light industries in the area is maintaining a high job quota and gives a sense of comfort, to visitors and foreign students joigning Cubans who have chosen one of the 22 Faculties of Universidad Marta Abreu to make up the local student population of 27,000 estudiantes. Recent proof : opening on main square of a huge (by Cuban standards) Home Depot-like appliance and construction material store.

The pedestrian
bulevar shows off many hard-to-find products in its renovated tiendas. Its large fruit & vegetable market by the estadio de beisbol estadio also bears proof of a refreshing livelyhood.

The large and welcoming
Parque Vidal will soon boast the largest store in Cuba along with a soon to be renovated Teatro de la Caridad and one of the loveliest museums on the island, Museo de Artes Decorativas.

Culture is expressed seemingly more freely, daily, publicly (and "gaily"), away from the habitual self-censorship in places like
El Mejunje, La Marquesina and El Carishow unique show venues. Carpe Diem !

A mere 63 kilometers north by way of Remedios and Caibarien is the Cayeria Norte (the northern keys) with Cayo Santa Maria and some great beaches and all-inclusive resorts.
DISTANCES
Caibarien & the Cayos, 59
Camaguey, 269
Camajuani, 30
Cayo Ensenachos, 106
Cayo Las Brujas, 99
Cayo Santa Maria, 109
Cienfuegos, 61
Elguea, 111
Hanabanilla, 56
Holguin, 477
La Habana, 258
Manicaragua, 35
Pinar del Rio, 399
Remedios, 53
Sagua la Grande, 54
Santiago, 600
Sancti Spiritus, 85
Topes de Collantes, 60
Trinidad, 122

carte prov villa clara

MAPS & LINKS
Map - City centro, around Parque Vidal + casas
Map - Cuba's three center provinces
All that's natural in Villa Clara province

POPULATION 238,028 (2007)

SEE • DO • KNOW
Parque Leoncio Vidal (heart of the ciudad, Biblioteca, Teatro, Ciné, Museos)
Plaza del Carmen (a few blocks in straight line from Vidal Park : first mass in its Iglesia in 1689)
Museo de Artes Decorativas (one of best run in Cuba : Empire, Baccarat, Art nouveau, Art déco)
Teatro de la Caridad (marvel built in 1885, ceilings, history, stage instruments) reopened after major overhaul in July 2009
Facing the city's only Casa del Tabaco — House of Cigars —, is the Fabrica de Tabacos Constantino Perez Carrodegua (Montecristo no 2, Partagas Grande, etc. Visits 9-11, 13h-15h, 2cuc, Spanish only spoken.)
Galeria de Arte on Maximo Gomez by the Parque Vidal (showings by famous artists, one of must-see galeries of Cuba)
Monumento a la Toma del Tren Blindado (5 mins. on foot from Parque Vidal : four train cars and the famous bulldozer)
Loma del Capiro (Capiro Hill for views of thae valley like the Che had in 58)
About 1,5 km from town centre, the vast museum plaza including Mausoleo de los Martires de la Revolucion as part of Plaza de la Revolucion which includes Memorial Ernesto Che (Cubano, Hermano, Ejemplo) Guevara a small museum with well documented and presented artefacts of the barbudo.

RESTAURANTS
1878 (superb patio, creole cuisine), El Dorado (cheap chicken, shows at night; right by : Pizzeria Pullman in pesos), Le Bulevar (multiple choices, student hangout), Los Tainos, Sabor Latino de Alfonso y Familia (10-12cuc, full meals : excellent)

SERVICES
Swimming pool at Villa La Granjita, on Carretera de Maleza, towards the airport 2,5km from center. 5cuc per person including a 3cuc drink. Havanautos 20-89-28, Medical 27-12-34, Transautos 20-58-95

TRANSPORTATION
Viazul Bus (see link above and below and Circuito Norte below) Trains Best Bet (as of Nov 2010) is Train #29 which leaves Havana Central Estacion daily at 17h40 - arrives here at 21h10 [stops in Matanzas at 19h47] Air-con Canadian Budd Railcar. Return (#30) leaves here at about 03h30 arriving Havana at 08h00.

A total of 14 Viazul busses per day stop in Santa Clara
La Habana - Santiago 3 x day via Santa Clara, Sancti Spiritus, Ciego de Avila, Camaguey, Las Tunas, Holguin, Bayamo — Ruta 24 Same for Ruta 16 (2 x day) and Ruta 26 (2 x day)

Museo de Artes Decorativos © sogestour
Parque Vidal, as seen from Museo de Artes Decorativos © sogestour } Facade of El Mejunje, where lads, trans & gents gather on Saturday nights © sogestour — see Evenings below or read more here.

Parque Vidal © Ellie Pritchard
The glorieta, smack in center of Cuba's most enjoyable city park,
Parque Vidal © Ellie Pritchard } On el bulevar, an old hotel used for no-cost public housing © sogestour

El Boulevard © sogestour
Holding Cuba's best-selling cigar,
Partagas Seria D No 4 which goes for 173CUC per box of 25, here is Marilín Morales Bauta, one of few women "cigar sommelier" in the country. She works in the Casa del Tabaco on calle Maceo 176 : a bar, café, smoke room and boutique facing the Fabrica de Tabacos the "visitable" cigar factory across the street © sogestour }• El Bulevar (pedestrian) shows off an unusual — for Cuba — variety of products © lezum, panoramio

Universidad Marta Abreu
Universidad Marta Abreu founded in 1952 : 27,000 students of Science, whether Human, Agricultural, Computer or otherwise taught by 1,100 teachers (more than 50% Masters or Doctors), 22 Faculties and muchos estudiantes from abroad. Site. © MissMass, flickr.com } Dictator Batista's Tren blindado after Che and his men blew up the track on 28 Dec 1958 sealing the triumph of the Revolucion.

Que sean como  © sogestour
The pedestrian street,
El bulevar brings together the comercial and artisan, ancient and modern, peso or cuc © sogestour }• Que sean como el Che. Enlarge. © sogestour

Pelea de gallos •]• Tren Blindado
Pelea de Gallos translates to Cockfight as painted by Cuban artista Yakira Gonzalez }• Tren blindado attack by Che and his guerrilleros became legend when turned into a comic-book like album with collectible stamps. © sogestour


Plaza del Carmen where these sculptures intrigue pedestrians. Nearby casa owners Zaida, Olga and José Ramon offer good lodging © hommel flickr


There are still trains running through here.
Estacion de Tren in front of Parque de los Martires at one end of calle Luis Estevez. The horse cart might be an alternative, knowing the (un) reliability of the service ... ; ( © GJ Dutman

If ever — in or around Santa Clara — you see this Sony RX100 camera, ask Yunieski if it was found in his taxi (a blue Peugeot) on May 21, 2014 arriving in Matanzas after taking three passengers from a well-known casa on Maestra Nicolasa street in Santa Clara.

The driver claims that Marcos el webmaestro did not have a camera [after having spent 6 weeks in Cuba taking 2,700 photos and 350 videos].

Marcos claims that Yunieski is a thief.
EVENINGS
La casa de la ciudad esquina (corner) Independencia y Zayas at one end of Parque Vidal : Noches del Danzon (dance nights), pick up music bands, film museum, anything goes... Art meets with artists who meet with students from abroad who meet with travellers. Unique in Cuba, really. Teatro de la Caridad On July 15 2009 with the city's 320th anniversary, it has finally re-opened; dance, theater, ballet, opera, classical music, trovadores El Mejunje at 12, calle Marta Abreu, in ruins of Hotel Oriental was founded in 1984 by Ramón Silverio and it is a unique place in Cuba with its graffiti-covered facade, relaxed staff and atmosphere sometimes deep and delicious, sometimes wild and scrumptious. Mueve te at El Mejunje. Watch a 1-min. clip of a drag queen on youtube here. Weekly fare : Tuesdays, Rockoteca, rock concerts; Wednesdays, theatre; Thursdays, Trovuntivitis; Fridays, Good Luck; Saturday nights are for gays and transexuals; Sunday afternoons for children; evenings : music. La Marquesina (artist and intellectual hangout) Piano Bar El Dorado (piano and songs) El Carishow standup comic shows at 22h, then disco : 5cuc per couple.

EXCURSIONS
Presa Hanabanilla Dam, 50k away. Its namesake lake is considered by some as "the most beautiful in the world" with a hotel on-the-lake boasting a swimming pool, rooms at 24-30cuc with views, cruises to a nearby waterfall. Bass fishing is equal to none. Lake photo here. The town of Remedios a nice 53 km ride north : two churches and a half-dozen museums, a casa de la Cultura, a lovely Teatro. See here The Cayeria Norte with some nice beaches spread all the way to Cayo Santa Maria : take the 2-cuc pedraplen (3 km passed Caibarien) and drive over Buena Vista bay and its Cayo Cobos, Cayo Las Brujas, Cayo Borracho, Cayo Ensenachos and the last and largest, Cayo Santa Maria (beaches, resorts and fauna and flora refuges) Maps here.


In Steven Soderberg's Che El Argentino, a scene filmed on the streets of Santa Clara •]• Website graphics
Memorial Ernesto Che (Cubano, Hermano, Ejemplo) Guevara
About 1,5 km from town centre, the vast museum plaza including Mausoleo de los Martires de la Revolucion as part of Plaza de la Revolucion which includes Memorial Ernesto Che (Cubano, Hermano, Ejemplo) Guevara an air-conditioned museum (free entrance, no cameras allowed) with well documented and presented artefacts of Cuba's second most famous barbudo. Above, in March 2013, a group of blind people were being led through the facilities © sogestour

On click, link with Cuban site detailing the Che's personal notes on the last days of his life.
On October 7 1967, he wrote « Today a new milestone is beginning. »

In October 2011, OR Books published Who Killed Che ?
HOW THE CIA GOT AWAY WITH MURDER Page > OR Books <

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COLONIALS & NEO-COLONIALS
BOOK BY PHONE
• From Canada and the USA : 011 53 (add phone # preceded by 42 for Santa Clara) • From Europe, Great Britain, Scandinavia and Mexico : 00 53 (add phone # preceded by 42 for Santa Clara)
••• HOW TO DIAL A CUBAN PHONE NUMBER HERE ••• CELL PHONE NUMBERS on our town lists and casa pages are preceded by 05 for calls originating Havana; from anywhere else in Cuba, dial 015 + the 7 digits of the cell.

BOOK BY EMAIL :
Click on logo to open a message addressed to that casa in your email application; or right-click to copy address. Spanish vocabulary here.

Click photo to see casa page.
Map of town center here.
See colonial casas in sequence.

Click logo to move to next casa.
FLORIDA CENTER + PALADAR
Two aircon bedrooms, ensuites, patio
Calle Maestra Nicolasa (Candelaria) # 56, entre Colon y Maceo, 200 meters from Parque Vidal. Tel. (42) 20-81-61

FLORIDA CENTER © sogestour

ALBA
Two aircon bedrooms, ensuites, patio
Calle E. Machado (San Cristobal) 7, entre Cuba y Colon, two blocks from Parque Vidal, one from Florida Center. Tel. (42) 29-41-08

Hostal Alba © sogestour

HECTOR
One aircon bedroom, ensuite bathroom
Calle Rolando Pardo (Buen Viaje) No. 8 entre Parque Vidal y Maceo, 20m from Parque Vidal Tel. (42) 21-74-63

HECTOR MARTINEZ © sogestour

LA PERGOLA + PALADAR
Two air-con bedrooms, each with ensuite
Luis Estévez # 61 between Independencia (pedestrian street) and Martí, steps from Parque Vidal. Tel. (42) 20-86-86

La Pergola

LUCY y RAMSÉS
One large bedroom with fan, ensuite bathroom
Calle Placido no. 54 entre Independencia and Marti, only 20 m from pedestrian Independencia. Tel. (42) 22-56-86

LUCY Y RAMSÉS © sogestour

OLGA
Two air-con bedrooms, each with ensuite
Evangelista Yanes (Padre Tuduri) #20, e/Maximo Gomez y Carolina Rodriguez facing the iglesia on Plaza del Carmen. Tel. (42) 21-17-11

OLGA RIVERA GOMEZ © sogestour

ZAIDA
One aircon bedroom, ensuite bathroom
Calle Berenguer (San Mateo) 11 entre Maceo y Carolina Rodriguez, one block from Plaza del Carmen. Tel. (42) 29-48-44

ZAIDA BARRETO GARCÍA  © sogestour

EL PATIO
One aircon bedroom, ensuite bathroom
Calle Maceo no. 102 entre Gloria y Domingo Mujica, two blocks from Parque Vidal. Tel. (42) 20-70-54

HOSTAL EL PATIO © sogestour

HEED THE HINTS IN THIS FINE PRINT
::: Make sure that in your first email or phone call you specify that you want to book a room in that particular casa and that you will reconfirm your booking on arrival in Cuba. Unless you only want a room in any house which may be of the same quality, not the specific casa you booked through photos on these websites ::: So as to not abandon expecting owners with empty rooms, reconfirm (or call ahead to cancel) your booking by phone as soon as you can after arriving in Cuba ::: Please write or phone a casa owner to cancel a booking. As late as it may seem, it allows them a chance to rebook. ::: Children under the age of 16 may share a bedroom with adults for free. Specify the child's age when booking. ::: Since October 2010, maximum bedroom capacity is not limited to two adults ::: Also, large casas are not limited to renting only two bedrooms per night. ::: At the end of the casa name, the V signals the casa was suggested by travelers or owners but not verified by the website staff. If you try it and like it, write us about it. ::: Unless otherwise mentioned, the average room rates and service prices are : 20-25cuc per bedroom per night [up to 40+ for 4 in a room]; breakfasts 3-5cuc, dinners 7-10cuc ::: Any casa particular anywhere in Cuba must have a hot water shower, otherwise it cannot have a permit to rent. Please share your Complaints, comments & suggestions webmaster [@]cubacasas.net

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MODERNAS & APARTAMENTOS

BOOK BY PHONE
• From Canada and the USA : 011 53 (add phone # preceded by 42 for Santa Clara) • From Europe, Great Britain, Scandinavia and Mexico : 00 53 (add phone # preceded by 42 for Santa Clara) ••• HOW TO DIAL A CUBAN PHONE NUMBER HERE ••• CELL PHONE NUMBERS on our town lists and casa pages are preceded by 05 for calls originating Havana; from anywhere else in Cuba, dial 015 + the 7 digits of the cell.

BOOK BY EMAIL :
Click on logo to open a message addressed to that casa in your email application; or right-click to copy address. Spanish vocabulary here.

Click photo to see casa page.
Map of town center here.
See modern casas in sequence.

Click logo to move to next casa.

SARMIENTO
Two aircon bedrooms, ensuite baths, wi-fi
Calle Lorda 61 apto 1 e/Independencia y Martí. In the town centre, one block from Parque Vidal. Tel. (42) 20-35-10 cell 05-283-4721

Carlos Manuel Sarmiento © sogestour

MARILIN & FAMILIA
Two air-con bedrooms, each with ensuite
Maestra Nicolasa (Candelaria) 116, entre J.B. Zayas y Aleman, three blocks from Parque Vidal. Tél. (42) 20-7655 cell 52 95 25 68




NELSON
Two air-con bedrooms, each with ensuite
Independencia 265 (Este), Apto. 1 on ground floor, e/Union (Pedro Estévez) y San Isidro, four blocks from Parque Vidal. Tel. (42) 20-20-64 or 20-29-44

ConsueloRamos © ext212.com


JOSE RAMON
One ac bedroom, independent floor w/kitchen
Calle Maximo Gomez 208, entre Berenguer (San Mateo) y Evangelista Yanes (Padre Tuduri) near Plaza del Carmen Tel. (42) 20-7239 cell 05-281-4972

Hostal Jose Ramon © sogestour

EVA y ERNESTO
Independent apart with one or two bedrooms
Calle J. B. Zayas No. 253-A, entre Berenguer (San Mateo) y Padre Tuduri (E. Yanes), couple o'blocks from Parque Vidal. Tel. (42) 20-40-76

ERNESTO Y EVA © sogestour

MERCY
Two air-con bedrooms, each with ensuite
Calle E. Machado (San Cristobal) # 4, entre Colon y Cuba, about 100m from Parque Vidal. Tel. (42) 21-69-41

HOSTAL CASA MERCY © sogestour

ISIDRO y MARTA
Two air-con bedrooms, each with ensuite
Calle Maestra Nicolasa (Candelaria) # 74, entre Colon y Maceo, some 200m from Parque Vidal. Tél. (42) 20-38-13

ISIDRO Y MARTA © sogestour

D'CORDERO
Two air-con bedrooms, each with ensuite
Calle Leoncio Vidal (Calle Gloria) 61, entre Union y Maceo Tél. (42) 20-64-56 cell (5) 290-8036

HOSTAL D'CORDERO  © SOGESTOUR

ERNESTO y MIREYA V
Aircon bedrooms, shared bath
Calle Cuba 227 (upstairs), entre Sindico y Pastora facing Parque Pastora. Tel. (42) 27-35-01



ANA V
Modern two-bedroom apartment, ensuites
Calle Serafin Garcia (Nazareno) 74 e/ B. Martinez y Maceo, three blocks from Parque Pastora Tel. (42) 29-27-52 Cell 05-334-7470



JAVIER y KATIA V
Independent one-bedroom apartment, ensuite
Calle Colón # 225 e/ Síndico y Nazareno (Serafin Garcia), two blocks from Parque Pastora. Tel. (42) 21-72-97 cell 05-247-4782

HOSTAL JAVIER y KATIA


LA TERR AZA V
Two aircon bedrooms, each withensuite
Calle 1ra del Sandino No.172, entre Perimetral (Via del Papa) y San Cristobal, near Mercado Sandino. Tel (42) 21-63-81 Cellular 05-283-8796

Hostal La Terraza © yoiel diaz



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Content & photos © sogestour

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Updated 12.07.2014