The Semana de la Cultura is a week-long cultural festival kicked off on April 1 to celebrate Antonio Maceo’s landing at nearby Duaba in 1895.
Every Saturday night, a street party—fiesta callejera—is set up on Calle Maceo, which is cordoned off and lit with Christmas lights, while the boom-box music reverberates until well past midnight, and only the dead can sleep.
The Casa de la Trova (Maceo #149, e/ Ciro Frías y Pelayo Cuervo, no tel., daily 9 p.m.–2 a.m., 10 pesos) is one of the liveliest and most intimate venues in Cuba for savoring traditional music, such as local adaptations of Cuban son known as el nengen and el kiriba.
Likewise, Casa de la Cultura (Maceo, e/ Frank País y Maraví, tel. 021/64-2364) and Fondo de Bienes Culturales (Mon.–Sat. 5 p.m.–12:30 a.m. and Sun. 8:30 p.m.–12:30 a.m.), 50 meters west.
For a quiet sip, relax at the open-air bar in the Hotel El Castillo (Calle Calixto García, Loma del Paraíso). For boy-meets-girl, it all happens at the open-air Café El Parque (24 hours) on the south side of Plaza Independencia, where live music is offered.
Foreigners who don’t pick up a Cuban partner here can surely do so at the hilltop El Ranchón (no tel., 9 p.m.–2 a.m., CUC1), 800 meters east of the Hotel El Castillo (you can also ascend the dark staircase at the south end of Coroneles Gajano); music videos draw everyone onto the dance floor.
The rooftop La Terraza (Maceo, e/ Maraví y Frank País) has a middling cabaret espectáculo featuring saucy showgirls (Tues.–Sun. at 11 p.m., CUC1).
Estadio Manuel Fuentes Borges, east of town, hosts baseball games October–May.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Cuba, 5th Edition