Sancti Spiritus - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Sancti Spiritus

Sancti Spiritus

The beautiful colonial city of Sancti Spiritus, with its gracious people, delightful architecture and maze of narrow, winding cobblestone streets remains almost completely unassuming and detached from tourism. Located in the centre of Cuba, 43 miles (70km) east of Trinidad, Sancti Spiritus lies on the banks of the Yayabo River, exuding charm, affability and authenticity. The old town has been declared a National Monument, filled with picturesque, colourful little houses with uneven red-tiled roofs and weathered colonial homes. Streets are crammed with horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, scooters and pedestrians licking at ice-creams flavoured with a fruit which grows along the banks of the river. Spanning the river is the Puente Yayabo, an arched brick bridge built by the Spanish in 1815, and the city's most famous sight.

Information & Facts

The official language is Spanish, but English is spoken in the main tourist spots.

The official currency is the Cuban Peso (CUP), divided into 100 centavos, but the 'tourist' currency is the Peso Convertible (CUC), which replaces the US Dollar as currency in tourist related establishments like hotels, restaurants and so called 'dollar shops'. US Dollars are no longer accepted as payment, and a 10% commission or more is charged to exchange them, therefore the best currency to bring along is Euros, the British Pound or Canadian Dollars. The CUC is almost equal in value to the US Dollar. Some places only accept Cuban pesos and others only Pesos Convertible (usually tourist related establishments). Money should only be changed at official exchange bureaux or banks to avoid scams confusing the two currencies. Visa and MasterCard are generally accepted only in major cities and hotels as long as they haven't been issued by a US bank; Diners Club has limited acceptance, and American Express is not accepted anywhere on the island. Travellers cheques are less readily accepted than credit cards, but all major currencies are acceptable, except for US bank issued cheques. No US-issued credit or debit cards will work in ATMs, but those holding other cards issued in other countries should be able to get pesos at most major tourist destinations. Euro or Sterling travellers cheques are accepted at Cuban banks and Bureaux de Change.

Local time is GMT -5 (GMT-4 from the second Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).
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