Beach, City, History, Nature
Trip to Baracoa, the first city in Cuba. Offers an invaluable treasure in its history, culture and traditions. It belongs to the easternmost province of Cuba. Its inhabitants still have aboriginal features. The city is accessed through a serpentine road through the mountains, La Farola. It has 11 suspension bridges and its highest point is Altos de Cotilla. This is 600 m above sea level. On this road, is held annually a marathon race.
Easy Booking Cuba offers you a small travel guide to guide you in Baracoa. The city is bathed by the Miel river and surrounded by mountains. It is known as: “city landscape” and “the city of rain”. Others name it are “city of mountains”, “the city of waters” and “the city of chocolate“. But referring to the term arawaco Baracoa means “presence of the sea”. If you travel by rental car you can visit with more time each place of interest.
Its mountains are one of the nuclei of the flora and fauna of the Caribbean. The Territory included among the 34 “hot” biodiversity points of the planet. The waters of the Toa River (the largest in Cuba) and its 70 tributaries run through its lands.
French and Haitians settled in the area between the late eighteenth century and until 1804. They promoted the production of honey and coconut oil. They developed in addition the harvest of cocoa, banana and coffee. Leaving his printing press in agriculture and customs.
The Alejandro de Humboldt National Park, includes part of the province of Holguín and Guantánamo. It is one of the most important parks in the Caribbean. It owes its name to the German scientist Alejandro de Humboldt, who visited the island twice.
The park has a high degree of conservation. It is considered one of the highest density of vegetation and endemic species in the world. In this place are the 2% of the world flora. Constitutes the basic nucleus of the Toa’s Blades, Biosphere Reserve. It was declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site in 2001.
The French Tumba, the plantations and ruins of the Cafetal La Indiana, in Yateras; they were also declared a World Heritage.
The historic center of Baracoa, El Yunque (symbol of the city) received the title of National Monument.
Our Lady of the Assumption of Baracoa, was the oldest of the villas. It was founded by Diego Velázquez on August 15, 1511. It was the first capital until 1515, when the capital was moved to Santiago de Cuba. In 1518 he received the appointment of city and was designated his local church headquarters of the Cuban Bishopric.
Like other villas, it was the object of constant attacks by corsairs and pirates. For this reason the conquerors built several fortresses, such as: Matachín, La Punta and Castillo Seboruco. Preserved until today and being one of the main attractions.
This region is known for its musical genres. Changüí, nengón and quiribá. Legendary roots are Cuban. La Tumba Francesa is a folkloric dance brought by Haitian immigrants, declared a World Heritage.
Guantánamo people are recognized throughout the world, by the famous song Guantanamera. Composed in 1928 by Joseíto Fernández.
Baracoa is famous for its particular dishes, such as: the bacán (a type of green banana tamale). The ajiaco is also recognized, the fish cooked in milk. You can find the cone (grated coconut candy and pineapple, packed in a cone made of yagua).
The symbol of the fauna of Baracoa is undoubtedly the Polymita picta. A kind of snail recognized for its extraordinary variations and combinations of colors of its shell. Six different species have been found. According to legend, an aboriginal chief wanted to give a gift to a beautiful woman. He went out to take the color of the sun, the green of the mountains. And even the pink of the flowers and the white foam of the sea. But when taking the blue of the sky, he was surprised by the darkness, he had to take the black of the night
Northwest of the city, crossing the inlet of the Miel River. Right in front of the old Majana fortress, stands the Matachin Fortress. Built in 1802, it was the second construction by Royal Decree. It is known as Matachin since the early ninth century. Because each day two bulls were slaughtered to feed the Spanish troops.
On October 18, 1981 it was inaugurated as Municipal Museum. Since then it serves to narrate the history of Cuba. There are examples of aboriginal culture, history of Russian women and dissected collections of native flora and fauna. But the best thing is the collection of the multicolored snails polymitas and the Cuban solenodon, endemic species.
The current church, located across the Plaza Mayor, on Antonio Maceo Street No. 152, was built in 1807. On August 14, 1833 a meteorite collapsed and partially destroyed it. After a long repair in 1886 at the beginning of the 20th century, two towers were added, in the form of narrow pyramids.
Its most famous object and considered National Treasure, is the Cross of the Vine. Is the oldest historical relic of the meeting of the two cultures. It was made by the men of Christopher Columbus, with wood from the forests of Baracoa. Christopher Columbus himself buried it in these lands on December 1, 1492. It is the only one of its kind of the 29 placed in Cuba. Also the only one in the Caribbean.
It is located in the northwest part of the city. On one side of the hill more than 100 m above sea level. Was the third, highest and most important fortress of the city in the thirteenth century. It was started by the Spanish in 1739 and completed by the Americans in 1900. In the 1970s, it was converted into a hotel and renovated in 1992. The Castillo hotel is part of the tourist’s routine. From it you can appreciate a magnificent and complete view of the city.
In the 1920s Magdalena Menasses, later known as La Russa, arrived in Baracoa. Many speculate the reasons that the daughter of a former Czar adviser could have taken refuge in this place. Some say that she came fleeing from the Russian revolution. Others tell that she was attracted by the economic advantages and time of the region. But whatever the reason, she became a celebrity.
The Russian was the model for the character of Vera, from the novel The Consecration of Spring. Written by the Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentier. Currently, the old house of La Rusa, was transformed into a small hotel. It shows photos and belongings of this mysterious woman.
The museum consists of several caves, which were cemeteries of the aborigines. It has almost 2000 legitimate native pieces, among which stand out. Ceramics, skeletons and petroglyphs of 3000 years old. In addition to a replica of the Tobacco Idol, which was found in 1903 in Maisí. Aboriginal piece highly prized in the Caribbean.
In Baracoa, the chocolate city in Cuba, the cultivation of cocoa can not be absent. Chocolate is made in a local factory. In this café-museum its history and importance are remembered. Its charming interior cafe you can enjoy a tasty chocolate served in cups or black chocolate bars.
Visit the particular places of this site, choose the ones of your preference. In our excursions link you will find the best ones:
Feel tempted to stay in the primate city. Click on our Hotel and Private Houses link and choose according to your wishes:
Address: Fortaleza La Punta, Telephone: 21641480
It is located northwest of the city. The place where it is located was a fortress of the 20th century, being part of the defense system. Its main objective was to guard the entrance of the port. In a pleasant and fresh atmosphere, it offers well-prepared and presented dishes, the beautiful and historic surroundings, with musical accompaniment.
Address: Calixto García No. 134, altos, Telephone: 21641400
It is located on a busy terrace at the top. It offers a cordial service, meals that contain salads, soups and side dishes. Invites you to taste typical dishes from Baracoa. Swordfish in coconut sauce, bacán and chocolate desserts.
Address: Flor Crombet No. 143, between Ciro Frías and Pelayo Cuervo, Telephone: 21643123
On the terrace of this peculiar Baracoense, delicious meals characteristic of the place are served. You cannot miss the exquisite fish with coconut milk, the tasty octopus in its ink with basil. You can also taste homemade stewed patacón.
Address: Martí No. 171, Telephone: 52385316
This simple but pleasant private cafe has on its menu pizzas, snacks and other snacks, as well as refreshing drinks.
If you are looking for small works of art, you can find them at Mirarte workshop. Artex sells souvenirs and gifts.