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It is one of the best kept secrets of Cuba! Baracoa is a small colonial city bordered on one side by the sea, on the other by the mountains, and surrounded by rivers.
Far from the usual tourist circuits, Baracoa will delight visitors eager for authenticity and nature lovers!

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Baracoa in a few words

With its 80,000 inhabitants, Baracoa is a small city in the Province of Guantánamo, in the Oriente, in the extreme west of Cuba.

Its off-center position, far from the main tourist points of interest of the country, has protected it from mass tourism for the time being.

However, Baracoa has the perfect recipe to seduce visitors: sea, mountain and chocolate!

Baracoa in Figures

  • 250 km (155 miles) northeast of Santiago.
  • Population 82,000
  • Foundation : August 15, 1511
  • Altitude : 5 m
  • Surface area: 977 km2
  • Weather : 30°c, 68% humidity
  • Phone number : 21

A bit of history

In 1492, Christopher Columbus landed in Cuba and set foot on the city’s current location.
A few years later, in 1511, the conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar founded Baracoa: it is the first Cuban city.

Velázquez was a productive conquistador: he later established the cities of Trinidad and Bayamo.

Surprisingly, if Baracoa is the oldest Spanish colony on the island, it is also the only place in Cuba where the indigenous people, the Tainos, would have survived the Spanish settlers.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Baracoa’s privileged location attracted pirates and smugglers.

They made the city a hub for smuggling in the Caribbean.

At the time of Haiti’s independence, some French settlers also found refuge in Baracoa, bringing with them chocolate and coffee.

Since that time, the region has remained a major producer of chocolate.
Easily accessible by sea, Baracoa remained inaccessible by land for a long time.

Indeed, the city was cut off from the rest of the island until the creation in the 1960s of the Carretera Central which crosses Cuba from east to west.

Practical information
Banks & Exchange Offices
-Banco de Crédito y Comercio : Antonio Maceo No.
99 -Banco Popular de Ahorro : José Martí No.
166 -Cadeca : José Martí No.
Bus station (+ Viazul agency)
at the corner of Avenida Los Mártires and José Martí
Travel / Excursion agencies
-Cubatur : Antonio Maceo No.
181 -Infotur: Maceo No.
129, at the corner between Frank País and Maraví
Etecsa Telepunto: at the corner between Antonio Maceo Rafael Trejo
Post Office: Antonio Maceo No.

10 Reasons to visit Baracoa

  1. Baracoa is the first city founded in Cuba: it is here that Christopher Columbus and his crew landed in Cuba.
  2. The beauty of its Colonial architecture.
  3. Its cuisine is the most refined in the country, based on Cocoa, Coconut, honey and other flavors.
  4. Its beaches are the most quiet and among the most beautiful of the island
  5. Its exuberant nature and its nature hikes
  6. Its archaeological wealth, and pre-Columbian statues.
  7. Fiefdom of the insurrection against the Spaniards with, among others, the hero Hatuey
  8. His musical culture, including the birth of the Son Cubano
  9. Isolated behind the mountain range, Baracoa is one of the quietest and most authentic cities on the island.
  10. Its diving spots

Getting around Baracoa

From the airport

The best way to get to and from the airport is by cab (8-10 Cuc), or bici-taxi (5 Cuc) if you are traveling light.

Bici Taxi

Taxi-bicycles around Baracoa charge foreigners from 2 to 5 Cuc

Bicycle rental

Most casas particulares will be able to provide you with a bicycle (5 Cuc / day).

The highlight of the bike ride is the 20 km ride to Playa Maguana, one of the most scenic roads in Cuba.

Car Rental

There is a car rental office through the Gaviota agency at the airport.

There is a Servi-Cupet gas station at the entrance of the city, 4 km from the center, on the road to Guantánamo.

If you plan to cross the island by car, you should know that the northern road, which passes by Moa and Holguin, is the most direct, but the road is in bad condition after Playa Maguana

Scout Rental

You can also rent mopeds for 25 Cuc in Gaviota or at Hotel El Castillo.

Now Your Turn

Now I would like to know, do you have any question ?

Or maybe do you have some information to add ?

Either way, let me know in the comments below

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