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Discover the best things to do in Baracoa

Fri 13 Jan 2017

Bandbcuba, Bed and Breakfast in Cuba invites you to discover the best things to do in Baracoa. This town is rich in history and natural beauties. With its amazing landscapes, mountains, rivers, caves and waterfalls, it is the ideal place for nature lovers. Join us in this adventure around one of the best secrets at this Caribbean island.

History of Baracoa

This town, with a population which barely exceeds 80 thousand inhabitants. Was the first city founded in Cuba. And was also the first capital of the island. When Christopher Columbus first arrived to Cuba he landed in this area.

What today is Baracoa conquered Columbus. He wrote about it in his notes, calling it the most beautiful place in the world. We wouldn’t dare to say the opposite. It has everything to be considered a paradise.


This place has seen the history of Cuba since the European conquer. You will notice the historical inheritance from the moment you arrive. Its cobbled streets and the wooden architecture are protagonist at the center of the city. And around it, it contrasts with the mountains, the sea, the rivers and the entire natural environment.

Baracoa it’s placed at the northeastern coast of Cuba, at the province of Guantanamo. It has more than 500 years old and still you can see the Cruz de Parra. One of the 29 crosses that Columbus took with him to America on his first trip as a symbol of Christianity.

The cultural and culinary manifestations are considered unique. This is because they are a mixture of Spanish, French, Afrikaan and Tainan heritage. Its conservation has been possible thanks to how difficult it is to reach the city. It's seen for this reason like one of the purest places in Cuba.

If you want to visit Baracoa, you may have to take La Farola. A hard road in the mountains. Another point of access it’s from the west, taking the route Holguín-Mayarí-Moa-Baracoa. It also has a small airport just for national flights. But even these are not so frequents.

Facts you need to know about Baracoa

  • Founded on august 15th. In 1511 by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar.
  • Its official name is Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Baracoa (Our Lady of the Assumption of Baracoa).
  • The land is home to beautiful rivers like Macaguanigua, Miel, Yumuri, Duaba and Toa.
  • Was the first Spanish settlement at the Caribbean island.
  • It’s known as the capital of cocoa and coconut, two of the principal products of this place. The third one is coffee.
  • Baracoa is one of the wettest places in the island. And it’s home of one of the best preserved mountains ecosystems in the Caribbean.
  • The Toa is also the largest river in Cuba.
  • The Cathedral of Baracoa was founded in 1807 and reconstructed in 1886. There you’ll find the Cruz de Parra.
  • Ecotourism has became one of the main economic activities.
  • The highest waterfall at the Caribbean it´s placed at Salto Fino, one of the subfluents of Toa river.

 Best things to do in Baracoa: Places to visit

In @Bandbcuba we want you to know this paradise town, it history and the amazing landscapes. There you can see how the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet. If you are planning to go, these are the places you must visit in Barbacoa.

Cueva del Paraíso museum

The Taino people come from Baracoa. Even today we can see the heritage of this culture in the region. The museum is based on a series of caves located at a cliff. It’s a small place with almost 2000 Taíno pieces.

You will need an hour or less to see the hole place, and the entrance is cheap. But there’s a lot of knowledge in every corner of this former burial chambers. There’s also a wonderful view of the city from cliff.

Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

This is the oldest church built in Cuba. Located at the center of the city and in front of Plaza Independencia. It’s a simple but beautiful place. The temple keeps the Cruz de Parra inside. This cross is known for being the only survivor of the 29 crosses Columbus brought to America on his trips.

Visiting the church won’t take take you too much time. So, you can stop there a few minutes and then keep going to another place.

Park Independencia

If you are at the cathedral, you might visit Parque Independencia too. Just in front of the church. There you’ll see a bust of Hatuey. According to the history, he was a cacique who refused to convert to Catholicism and was burned in 1.512.

Enjoy the local music, interact with local people. Take a few minutes to rest at the park and then you can continue with the tour around the city. It’s a place to enjoy at day or night.

Fuerte Matachín

Fuerte Matachín is one of the three Spanish fortresses in Baracoa. It was built to protect the city from pirates. Today is a museum where you can know about a history of the city.

The exhibits include the history of indigenous people, economy, music, chocolate and recent events of Cuba and the city.

Fuerte de La Punta

Another fort built by the Spanish in 1803. Placed at the northwestern of the city, it was converted into a touristic attraction. Today is known as Restaurante La Punta. You can enjoy the food, while learn about the history of the place.

Castillo de Serobuco

The most important of the three forts is named Castillo de Seboruco de Santa Bárbara. It was built between 1739 and 1741. While the other two house a museum and a restaurant, this one was converted in a hotel.

From the top you will have a wonderful view of the city, and you can even take some pictures of El Yunque; a famous mountain that you also have to visit.

Casa del Chocolate

This is a restaurant and a museum at the same time. Casa del Chocolate honors the relevance of cacao as one of the principal products in Baracoa. You can buy some samples of the chocolate produced in the city.

While you taste it, you can also enjoy the work of craftsmen and learn about the cacao cultivation in this country.

Casa de la Trova

At nigth there is a place where you can hear authentic Cuban music. Hit the road to Casa de la Trova Victorino Rodríguez. This place is located at the center of the city. It’s a small place, so they take some tables outside.

The party at Casa de la Trova is inside, but also at the street, where there’s people dancing with the rhythms of musicians. Order some mojitos and enjoy more of the traditional Cuba.

Ecotourism in Baracoa

As said before, Baracoa is a paradise for those who love to explore the nature. There are some places you don’t want to miss if ecotourism is your thing. Here we listed the most important stops to complete your itinerary.

Alejandro de Humboldt National Park

This amazing park is recognized as “the best preserved mountainous ecosystem in the Caribbean”. It’s part of Cuchillas de Toa, an UNESCO biosphere reserve.

One of the wonder that tourist can see at this place is Salto Fino, the 20th highest waterfall in the world and the first at the insular Caribbean. It is 305 meters high. Most of Cuban endangered species are at this park.

El Yunque

What dominates the landscape of Baracoa is the flat top of The Anvil. This mountain rises 575 above sea level. Take a guide to walk there. You’ll find fruit plants on the way such as cocoa, banana, pineapple, coconuts, mango…

Don’t forget to take water with you because the way will need some effort. But when you are there, you’ll get the best view. The weather in Cuba is friendly, but if it is raining, is better no to take the tour to the top of El Yunque.

Cueva del Agua

Take the road to Majayara National Park. On the way you can a local guide to take you to Cueva el Agua. Take some time to swim at this lagoon. And after that, continue the tour to the archaeological trail.

Tour on Toa River

Being the biggest river in Cuba, it hides a few secrets you don’t want to miss. Take a tour around Toa river with a local guide. One of the most famous activities to do here is bird watching.

Discover the best things to do in Baracoa-2

Save some time to the beach

Cuba is known for its wonderful beaches. In Baracoa you’ll find some of these. Playa Managua is a quite place, with not so many people around, local or tourists. It still has some virgin environments.

Another one is Playa Blanca. After a walk through Parque Majayara, you’ll arrive to this white sand beach. It’s a small place, but still you can enjoy it.

What do you think about this list of the best things to do in Baracoa? Would you like to take a trip. If you need more information about it, don’t forget to contact us.


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