Review - Article by Steve Tiveron
Remedios is one of the oldest cities in Cuba and history dates its origin back to the early 1500's .When my partner and I visit Cuba we always take a day trip to visit different cities in Cuba and to our delight Remedios was a spectacular city to immerse ourselves in the history, culture and sights of a historic and timeless place.
If you stay at any of the near by resorts you have the option of taking a tour with a guide or you can opt to do it yourself by ordering a taxi for the day. My partner and I prefer to tour on our own only because we can spend as long as we wish without time restraints of a guided tour. From the Cayo Santa Maria area you are looking at roughly $80 pesos for the day by taxi and the ride is about half an hour.
When we first arrived in Remedios the first thing we noticed is it's age, not unlike other Cuban cities it seems to have stood still in time and has not been touched except for some paint here and there for hundreds of years.
Our driver dropped us off at the local bar in the city square and off we went on our adventure through the streets and allies like explorers in a new land. On our walks through the city we were quickly aware of the architecture and wonderful colours adoring the homes and public buildings. Each turn we took was a surprise and I could not help myself from looking into the dark doorways of the homes we past just to get a sense of how the residents live. I did notice beautiful marble tiles on the floors that would probably cost a fortune if you had to buy it yourself back home.
Walking around Remedios I felt like a kid in a candy store and was delighted with everything I saw. Remedios is the only town in Cuba with two churches on its main square, one called Iglesia del Buen Viaje which is in the process of being repaired and The "Iglesia Mayor" The Iglesia Mayor contains 13 beautifully decorated gold altars. The city was under constant siege by pirates of the Caribbean and therefore the gold was hidden under white paint. There is even a grave of someone buried inside the church but I forget who it is.
Even though I knew what a Casa particular was I had never been in one until we visited Remedios. We were walking around the square and decided to visit this little art gallery that had the most amazing little paintings of the local area. Beside it was this beautiful doorway with a sign that said Casa Particular and I just had to visit. I knocked on the door and these two woman came to the door and allowed us to go in and look around. From the outside this place looked run down but once you entered the front door your jaw drops at the beauty of this place. Marble everywhere, old dark colonial furniture in every corner, antiques that you would die to have in your possession. From the outside this place looked small but again I was pleasantly surprised by the size of this home. Beyond the living room yet still inside the home is a garden area that is wide open with no roof. I have seen this style in magazines but never experienced it first hand. This was a two bedroom home and was completely adorned with beautiful artifacts and old world charm. Cost per week $100 pesos.
I recommend visiting Remedios not only to help support this wonderful city but take in its historical culture and the wonderful hospitality of its people. You will leave with an appreciation of architecture, history and the Cuban lifestyle. Cities like Havana are visited all the time but Remedios is one city that you will undoubtedly feel like first time explorers. Don't pass up the chance to visit when in the Cayo Santa Maria area, you will not regret it.
Steve's Remedios Photo Gallery