You can undertake excursions/daytrips and explore the Sierra Maestra, go to the beach or Parque Bacanao from Santiago.
I recommend a trip to 'El Cobre' a pilgrim's church just outside of town (by taxi), well worth seeing and for a Christian a very impressive experience.
As for beaches ... there are many around with different characteristics ... though none have white sand and/or a great deal of infrastructure. Try 'Siboney'- the beach most frequented by tourists. Expect some hussling, or 'Mar Verde' or 'El Frances' all about half an hour's taxi ride from town.
The music played in Santiago is mainly traditional Cuban music (Son, rumba, trova). Listen to it in the Casa de la Trova, which is open during the day or in the evening head to Patio de dos Abuelos, Cafe Cantante, El Rincon del Feeling or Casa de las Tradiciones.
You should be aware that personal space for a Cuban is very different from ours and you may perceive their close approach as threatening. A firm 'no' is usually sufficient to keep things at bay.
All women - note that Cuban men are very, very complimentary and open in their admiration and approach. This is not meant to be disrespectful and the power to take things further is entirely with the ladies! Don't get frightened, just enjoy !!
Homestay is THE way to go if you want to really get close to the Cuban people and culture. And my Spanish has come on really well with my trips to Cuba because the people are interested in talking to you and have the time to do so.
There is lots of help available these days with regard to investigating and even pre-booking homestays. Websites like www.cuba-junky.com provide lists of homestays and first information on the houses. And companies like www.takeyourtimetravel.com offer holidays in Cuba with homestay, pre-booked from the UK.
This venue hosts a show, live music (Son and salsa) and dancing to recorded music after. It is located in the basement of Teatro Heredia (weekends only).
Airconditioned and therefore a nice place to go to especially in the summer.
You need to get your tickets before 7.00 p.m. on the door and that way find out if the venue is open to the public that day.
Teatro Heredia, Plaza de la Revolucion, Santiago de Cuba
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com