About cubatravel

cubatravel has been a member since February 27th 2014, and has created 20 posts from scratch.

cubatravel's Bio

cubatravel's Websites

This Author's Website is

cubatravel's Recent Articles

Che Guevara Mausoleum Santa Clara Cuba


Santa Clara is home to a mausoleum in which the remains of Che Guevara and six of his fellow combatants are located. The complete area features a 6.7 meter (22 foot) bronze statue of Che and is referred to locally as the Ernesto Guevara Sculptural Complex.


Che Guevara was buried with full military honors on 17 October 1997 after his exhumed remains were discovered in Bolivia and returned to the land in which he remains a national hero of almost cult status. At the mausoleum, there is an interesting museum dedicated to Che Guevara’s entire life featuring an eternal flame lit by Fidel Castro in Che’s memory.

Che-Guevara-Mausoleum-Santa Clara

Santa Clara was the natural choice for mausoleum as it is the site of the final battle in which Guevara’s troops triumphantly took this last city on December 31, 1958 in what is known as the Battle of Santa Clara. This final battle is beheld by the Cuban Revolution as the turning point in the countries future when the dictator Fulgencio Batista fled into exile.

Train Che Guevara Santa Clara

Nearby, in another part of the city, a Fulgencio Batista military supply train which was derailed by Guevara’s men during the battle remains in its original location, serving as reconstruction of Guevara’s heroic exploits.

In addition to the remains of Che Guevara the six other Cuban guerrillas are; Carlos Coello, Alberto Fernandez Montes de Oca, Orlando Pantoja Tamayo, René Martínez Tamayo, Juan Pablo Navarro-Lévano Chang, Simeon Cuba Sarabia. All lost their lives in the 1966-1967 Bolivian Insurgency and are also entombed in the mausoleum.

It is estimated that over 5 million people from over 100 countries have visited the memorial since 1997.

About the Cuban Province of Villa Clara

Cuba Caibarien Villa Clara

The province of Villa Clara covers a land area of 8,413.13 km2 (3,248.33 sq mi) and an immense stretch of Cuba’s popular northern coast incorporating the exotic Jardines del Rey islands of Cayo Las Brujas, Cayo Ensenachos and Cayo Santa Maria. Villa Clara is situated in the central region of the island flanking with the Atlantic Ocean at the north, Matanzas Province to the west, Sancti Spiritus Province to the east, and Cienfuegos Province on the South. With a population of approximately 860,000 the province is one of Cuba’s largest income per capita regions and an important center for both Beach Resort and Ecological Tourism.

Villa Clara Malecon Caibarien Cuba

Villa Clara shares along with Cienfuegos and Sancti Spiritus to the south the Escambray Mountain Range. Its main cities are the capital city of Santa Clara, Remedios, Sagua La Grande, Camajuani, Caibarien, Ranchuelo, Placetas, and Manicaragua.

Caibarien Villa Clara

Highlights of the province are the city of Remedios, historic center of Cuban history and the base of Cuba’s most popular festival held in December each year and Santa Clara’s Che Mausoleum. Outside from the famous beach resorts, Villa Clara also has an impressive ecotourism infrastructure. The people of Villa Clara are some of Cuba’s fastest adopters of the nascent self employment or “cuenta propista” sector, with Remedios being an often mentioned national model, featuring popular and well run Casa Particular Bed & Breakfast properties, together with private paladar restaurants on almost every corner offering good cheap quality meals at a tiny amount of the cost compared to Cuban government run restaurants.

Parque del Carmen Santa Clara Cuba


Parque del Carmen is a colonial era plaza hosting a small park centered by Saint Carmen’s Church, a colonial structure which originally also included the city’s first school. At the entrance, there is a gray marble monument surrounding a Tamarind tree indicating the foundation of Santa Clara. Each pillar supporting the bar represents the 7 families who moved to the site in 1689 from the town of Remedios near the north coast.

Next to the city’s historical foundation site is another monument which honors Captain Roberto Rodriguez, alias “El Vaquerito” or little cowboy who was a young soldier who died in the Battle of Santa Clara. It is said that when revolutionary leader Che Guevara learned of his death he proclaimed “Today it is like I have lost 300 men”.

Marta Abreu Train Station Santa Clara Cuba


A true visual delight in Santa Clara city center is the fully functioning Marta Abreu Train Station. Operated by the Cuban state company Ferrocarriles de Cuba (FFCC) it is located in front of Parque de los Mártires. Due to its geographically central location in Cuba, it is one of the most important railway stations on the island and, along with Havana Central Station, Santiago and Camaguey it is the rail network’s main divisional headquarter.


Inaugurated in 1860 as part of the Cienfuegos-Villa Clara railroad service it was initially named Paradero Villa Clara. The rickety old station building which incorporated a large wooden structure burned to the ground in 1895.

The current station built on the exact same spot was rebuilt by Marta Abreu so the city hall decided to rename that building after her. This second building, a beautiful Colonial structure with brick walls and red tiled roof was once again remodeled in 1925.

The Santa Clara train station has a large one-floor building featuring period Spanish Colonial architecture. It features 6 rail tracks, number 6 being the terminal, and number 5 not being served by any platform. The main train shed is located just after the level crossing with a second shed at 100 m to the north, on the line to Camajuaní and the University. Close to the main depot and just side the line to Camagüey you’ll find the famous Tren Blindado (armored train) Che Guevara Memorial of the Battle of Santa Clara.


All the lines serving the station, including the main one of Havana – Camaguey – Santiago de Cuba, are not electrified and have a single track.

If you are traveling around Cuba by Train it’s a given you will visit the Marta Abreu Train Station. The station is served by numerous long-distance trains linking almost the whole island as the flagship Tren Francés or French Train Service covering Havana-Camagüey-Santiago. Other long-distance trains, principally departing/ending at Havana Central, link Santa Clara to Holguin, Guantanamo, Bayamo, Manzanillo, Matanzas, Ciego de Ávila, Las Tunas and other cities of Cuba.

Tren Frances Cuba

Parque Vidal Santa Clara Cuba


A perfect place to visit if you enjoy live music is Santa Clara’s Parque Vidal but, make sure you ask for the specific day because it varies (but it is weekly) when the City’s Philharmonic Band plays in the center of it, at the Glorieta (gazebo) which was erected in 1911 and is still serving for public concerts.

Glorieta-Parque-Vidal-Santa Clara

Parque Vidal is a park located in the geographical center of Santa Clara, Cuba, and covers an entire square block of the city. A true delight, the entire adjoining elements are conformed by eclectic, neo classic and beautiful colonial buildings as well as numerous monuments erected during different historic periods. The Parque Vidal is so historic and important in Cuba that it was elevated to the category of National Monument in 1998. Santa Clara locals still call Parque Vidal by one of its old names of either Plaza Central or Plaza Mayor.

In the center just off the Glorieta there is a standing bust honoring Leoncio Vidal, the hero who died fighting in this very location against Spanish forces, and for which the Park takes its name. The first monument ever erected in the park is an obelisk dedicated to the priest who migrated from the coastal town of Remedios with the other families who founded the city. Between these monuments, you’ll find the now iconic statue of “el niño de la bota” or Child with a boot. In the same way Havana is known by the statue of “La Giraldilla” as its city symbol, Santa Clara has her symbol which is the “el niño de la bota”. The impressive bronze statue depicts a boy with a boot in his hand from which a water fountain emerges. The original base of the statue was changed for a more contemporary red granite in the 1960s and it remained that way until the 1990s when, in an effort to recover the original design, the city rebuilt it in its original form.


South of that statue we find another one: a 1924 bronze statue of Marta Abreu. She was a much loved resident of Santa Clara. The base of her statue is said to be a time capsule, since it has inside some papers, a magazine and other objects collected during the construction which have been left inside it for future generations.


Bordering the park, you’ll see the tall Santa Clara Libre Hotel which was formerly the Santa Clara Hilton, considered by critics and the general population as an ugly modernist structure drowning the colonial flair of the city. Still, the Hotel building is rich in history. Interestingly, the walls of the hotel still show multiple machine gun bullet marks from the attack of the rebel forces led by Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos during the 1959 Cuban Revolution.