We arrived on a direct flight from Miami in Santa Clara, Cuba. The flight—a mere 45 minutes.
Matt (detourswithmatt) and our driver picked us up at the airport and we drove the half hour into Santa Clara, the city of Che, a pretty town with a main square or Parque Vidal. Santa Clara is in the center of Cuba and was an important city during the revolution. President Fulgencio Batista fled 12 hours after Che and Camilo Cienfuegos captured Santa Clara.
A short ride on a motorcycle taxi brought us to the Che Guevara mausoleum. Che died leading an insurgency in Bolivia in 1967 and his remains (along with 29 of his guerillas’) were discovered and returned to Cuba in 1997. The expansive park features a huge statue of Che and several sculptural monument complexes that depicted the final battles of the Cuban revolution.
Sue went into the mausoleum and sighted the everlasting flame that burns in honor of Che Guevara. The mausoleum has a museum that showcases Che’s guns, uniforms, personal items and photographs telling the story of the revolution.
Be prepared to wait to enter the museum. It is small and people are let in at regular time slots. Since it is a frequent stop for larger tour groups, one group can take up the entire time interval.
There was a cemetery at the back of the monument which honors heroes of the revolution.