Yesterday (29th November) the 'Caravan of Freedom’ left Havana in the direction of Santiago where it will end its journey on 3rd December. The route travels in the opposite direction to the original 'Caravan of Freedom’ which, in January 1959, celebrated the overthrowing of the Batista government, the rebel victory and the revolutionary takeover. A mass will take place in Santiago and the internment of Fidel’s ashes will take place at the famous Santa Ifigenia cemetery where Cuban hero Jose Marti is buried alongside more modest tombs for Cuban soldiers who fought in the Angolan war.
We look at the highlights that mark Fidel’s Cuban history with our Self-drive Eastern Cuba: Havana to Sierra Maestra
trip which includes the best of Havana and Santiago.
There are many ways to visit the historical highlights of Castro’s Cuba but we’ve found that travelling at your own pace in a hired car and using local guides in conjunction with a good guidebook makes for an authentic Cuban experience.
Old Havana and Plaza de la Revolución
- The famous plaza where Fidel made many a lengthy speech to the nation.
- In 1969 and 1970 Soviet naval vessels carrying missiles appeared to be heading to Cienfuegos convening the Kennedy-Khrushchev agreement of 1962 - the mission was aborted. You could add a day and visit the Bay of Pigs and the Revolution Museum at Playa Girón.
There is the option of visiting the Che Mausoleum in Santa Clara
en route from Sancti Spiritus to Camagüey
Visit the revolutionary hide out of Comandancia de la Plata
in the beautiful hills of Sierra Maestra where the revolution gained pace and a call-to-arms was broadcast through a clandestine radio announcement.
Santiago de Cuba
– Visit Moncada Barracks
where 120 revolutionaries plus other volunteers attacked an army garrison thus sparking a wider belief in the cause.