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Sancti Spíritus

In any other country, this attractive colonial city would be a cultural tour de force. But cocooned inside illustrious Sancti Spíritus Province, second fiddle to Trinidad, visitors barely give it a glance. For many therein lies the attraction. Sancti Spíritus is Trinidad without the touts. You can dine, listen to boleros on the plaza or search for a casa particular without hassle.

Founded in 1514 as one of the seven original villas of Diego Velázquez, Sancti Spíritus was moved to its present site on the Río Yayabo in 1522. Yet audacious corsairs continued to loot the town until well into the 1660s.

Sancti Spíritus has made its contributions. It concocted the dapper guayabera, Latin America’s favorite men's shirt, cultivated guayaba (guava) fruit and built a quaint humpbacked bridge reminiscent of Yorkshire, England. The city underwent intense beautification in 2014 to celebrate its 500th anniversary.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Sancti Spíritus.