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Santa Clara/Cuba

Introducing Santa Clara

While Varadero courts beach-lovers and Trinidad pulls in history geeks, gritty Santa Clara doesn’t stand on ceremony for anyone. Smack bang in the geographic center of Cuba, this is a city of new trends and insatiable creativity, where an edgy youth culture has been testing the boundaries of Cuba’s censorship police for almost a decade. Unique Santa Clara offerings include Cuba’s only official drag show (in Club Mejunje), and the best bona fide rock festival in the country (October’s Ciudad Metal). The city’s fiery personality has been shaped over time by the presence of the nation’s most prestigious university outside Havana, and a long association with Argentinian guerrilla Che Guevara, whose liberating of Santa Clara in December 1958 marked the end of the Batista regime.