- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
The capital of Villa Clara Province is a pleasant city of 200,000, with a busy center where cobbled streets are lined with historic buildings and a periphery of factories and modern apartment buildings. Santa Clara was the site of a decisive battle during the last days of 1958, and the remains of the quintessential revolutionary, Che Guevara, rest in a monument at the edge of town. But you need merely visit the central plaza of this provincial capital to discover that its history stretches back centuries and that it has a good bit going on today.
Settled in 1689 by a group of landowners from nearby Remedios, Santa Clara's rich agricultural land and fortuitous location between Havana and eastern Cuba have made it a relatively affluent provincial center. It has Cuba's third-largest university, whose students are probably responsible for the city's reputation for being liberal (it's one of the few Cuban towns with a very visible gay presence). But Santa Clara also appears to be a historically secular city, judging from the absence of a church on its central plaza.
Santa Clara at a Glance
Elsewhere in Central Cuba
- Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo
- Cayo Las Brujas
- Ciego de Ávila
- El Valle de los Ingenios
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $2999 -- Cuba: 8-Night Vacation w/Airfare, Hotel and Tours Friendly Planet Travel