The East Cuba Vacations
Holguín, Baracoa, Santiago de Cuba
Enjoy The East Cuba Vacations Packages. Is a unique area where you will find parks and nature reserves. Innumerable virgin beaches lined with cheerful palm trees. Where the line that marks the past and the present is almost invisible.
Arrival at the Frank País International Airport in Holguin. Pick up and transfer to hotels or houses. In addition to the private houses in holguin you can stay at Hotel Pernik. It is only 15 km from the airport and 2 km from the historic city of Holguín. Another option is the Mirador de Mayabe Hotel, located in a beautiful rural setting. A little further away from the airport (25 km) and from the center (20 km).
Holguin is a serene city of provinces, also known as the City of Parks. Throughout Cuba, the parks of the city play a broad social significance. The Calixto García Park is the meeting place of all “Holguineros”. It is surrounded by the main historic buildings that now serve as cinemas, theaters, museums, galleries, art centers and more. The park is also a backdrop for all kinds of local events. Such as fairs, festivals, carnivals and meetings of students and workers. Tour of the city and continue to Pinares de Mayarí.
You will wake up with the woodpeckers and pine aromas in Pinares de Mayarí. Enjoy breakfast and prepare for the trip to Baracoa. Drive to the city of Mayarí to take the Central street 123 towards Moa. The route through Moa to Baracoa offers some of the most beautiful and picturesque views of Cuba. It is worth the trip by car. However, parts of the road have been in poor condition for quite some time, particularly near Moa. There are also sections that are gravel. The trip is certainly feasible but requires a punctual departure because you have to reduce your speed.
You will need a car that does not touch the asphalt. Moa is very much an industrial area. Despite its proximity to beautiful natural parks, mining and nickel processing has a great impact on the local environment. Keep your eyes on because after Moa you will find the beautiful Baracoa! The distance from Moa to Baracoa is still about 73 km on a scenic road that extends near the coast and through the Alejandro de Humboldt National Park. The park was recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve in 2001. Its size, heights, rocks, diverse scenic forms stand out, and most importantly, due to the richness of the endemic flora and fauna.
Consider staying one more day in this beautiful natural environment. Relax before diving into the next cities. There are many rivers in this area, such as Toa, Duaba, Miel and Báez, which are very close. You can drive there by car or book an organized tour to Rancho Toa, 8 km from the city of Baracoa. This tour will give you a look at the local world, as well as the life of the farmers in Toa. You will see examples of local traditions, such as how houses are built, how they manage transportation on the river, additional dishes, and maybe try some of the typical agricultural products, such as cocoa and coconut.
In addition, the local restaurant serves a Creole lunch. You can take boat trips on the impressive Toa River that crosses the Biosphere Reserve, Cuchillas del Toa. The ranch, Finca Duaba, is located 6 km from Baracoa and is surrounded mainly by cocoa plantations. Cocoa is a key product in the region and Baracoa is the place for chocolate addicts with numerous unique recipes for processing cocoa. Follow the “Cocoa Trail”; a path of about 45 minutes that goes through the plantations and shows how the farmers prepare the chocolate.
Baracoa, like every city located on the edge of the water and embraced by the mountains in the back. It has a magnetic magic, typical of places with such a landscape. The sea offers a wide view of the horizon, while the rugged mountains at the back provide a sense of protection. ‘Baracoa’ is a native word that means “there is the sea”, which for centuries had a literal meaning, because until 1964 the place could only be reached by sea.
Approximately four and a half centuries earlier, Columbus also came to this bay through the water. Shortly after Velázquez founded the first city in Cuba and gave it the long name: Our Lady of the Assumption of Baracoa (1511). Due to the remoteness of Baracoa with the rest of Cuba, for centuries its inhabitants had little contact with the rest of the population. A distinctive culture emerged from the rest of Cuba. Especially reflected in the cuisine, strongly influenced by local nature and the Spanish, African and Haitian flavors.
The viaduct, La Farola, is one of the wonders of Cuban engineering. The highest point of this road is 600 meters above sea level and has nine bridges that hang over cliffs. The route offers a spectacular view over a wide natural area, dotted with small towns and with Guantanameros and Guantameras along the road that sell homemade Cucuruchos.
At a distance of approximately 16 km, sharp curves and steep slopes are frequent, which requires a concentrated and unhurried driving. You should rest well and early, as there may be more rainfall in the mountains than in other areas, even during the day. Following the road, it will take you directly south to Playita Cajobabo (national monument). The provincial coastal highway continues towards Imias, a semi-desert area.
We already mentioned the social importance of the parks and plazas in the towns and cities of Cuba. The Céspedes Park, where the Hotel Casagranda is located, is probably the most popular and photographed. Although the Plaza de Marte is also very popular. However, Plaza de Dolores is dynamic, lively and perhaps the most authentic of all. Visitors here seem to get lost in the activities of the park. Here, the daily life of the Santiaguero passes at a leisurely pace, whether playing dominoes, reading a newspaper or fanatically discussing the last game of baseball. There are good places to have a coffee, for example, in La Isabelica, or have a beer. You can also have lunch at El Bodegon.
There are also other historical sites that should not be missed. The Fortress El Moro, the Emilio Bacardi Museum (not to be confused with Casa Bacardi), the Ron Museum and the Santa Ifigenia cemetery. Consider a guided tour of the city that will cover these places and many others, illustrating Santiago de Cuba as the Heroic City. In what part of the world would you find a whole street closed weekly to facilitate a carnival? Every weekend (and not only in July, when the official Carnival celebration is scheduled) meals and drinks are served in several restaurants and bars. All types of live music are performed on the street (they are, trova, Latin jazz, traditional jazz).
Book a trip and trip to the heart of the Sierra Maestra. The highest mountain range in Cuba and cradle of the Cuban Revolution. You will pass through the provincial cities of Contramaestre and Bayamo. You will pass through small rural towns before reaching the municipality of Bartolome Masó. Once in the Flora & Fauna Information Center, the excursion will depart towards Alto del Naranjo. From here, the walk towards Comandancia La Plata begins.
The General Command of La Plata (General Command of the Rebel Army in La Plata) has been declared a National Monument. In 1958, Fidel Castro and his men established their headquarters here. It provided the shelter and facilities necessary for the guerrilla. The guerrilla hospital (Che Guevara was a doctor) and a radio base “Radio Rebelde”. The majestic nature and unique history here increase the genuine sense of rebellious life during the revolution. Traveling deep in the mountains on less traveled roads, with the treasures of Mother Nature around you, is an unforgettable experience.
Visitors who have an international flight departing from Havana. You can book a national flight from Santiago de Cuba. Not matching the day, so it is better to have your last night in Havana to avoid delays in your combination. You can also book a transfer to take you to the airport from your hotel. Maybe you have booked a charter flight from Holguin to your home. Maybe you want to spend a few more days in one of the luxurious and pleasant hotels in Playa Esmeralda, Costa Verde or Guardalavaca.