Santiago de Cuba Province is the second most populated province in the island of Cuba. The largest city Santiago de Cuba is the main administrative centre. Other large cities include Palma Soriano, Contramaestre, San Luis and Songo-la Maya.
Santiago de Cuba province has been the site of many battles, both during the war for independence and the 1959 Cuban Revolution, where much of the guerrilla fighting took place in the mountainous province.
Before 1976, Cuba was divided into six historical provinces. One of these was Oriente province, which was, before 1905, known as Santiago de Cuba province. The present-day province comprises the south-central region of Oriente.
The province is rich in material resources such as iron and nickel. The economy, however, relies mostly on agriculture, with large plantations growing bananas, cacao, and coffee dotting the landscape. The industry is growing around the capital, as is tourism. The natural environment of the province attracts tourists from elsewhere in Cuba and from overseas.