The life of the city of Baracoa is concentrated around the two main streets of the city, Maceo and Martí, where everything happens. It is in these streets that you can see the most charming colonial style houses.

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Independence Park

This park is the historical heart of Baracoa: the locals refer to this triangle-shaped park as “Parque Central”.

The nerve center of the city, it is always very busy.

Calle Antonio Maceo runs along the south side and is pedestrianized for a few blocks, where it is called the Boulevard.

On the east side is the Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción which was built in 1805 to replace the original destroyed by pirates in 1652.

Statue of Hatuey

On the park, there is the bust of Hatuey, proudly defying the cathedral.

Hatuay was a rebellious indigenous cacique (chief) who was burned at the stake near Baracoa in 1512 after he refused to convert to Catholicism.

The three forts of Baracoa

If Christopher Columbus set foot in the present location of Baracoa in 1492, it is because the city is ideally placed and offers a perfect gateway to Cuba.

Thus, the following centuries saw Baracoa become the hub of smuggling in the Caribbean.

To protect the city, three fortresses were built: the Fortress of Matachin, the Castle of Seboruco and the Fortress of La Punta.

You can still admire them today!

The Fortress of Matachín

Built in 1802 to protect the Bahía de Miel, the Fortress of Matachín now houses the Municipal Museum of Baracoa.

Located in the northwest of the city, the museum invites visitors to discover the history of Baracoa since the time of the Tainos, who inhabited the island before the Spanish colonization.
Count 1 CUC for the entrance to the museum.

The Castle of Seboruco de Santa Bárbara

Begun by the Spaniards in 1739, the construction was not completed until 1900 under the supervision of the Americans.

Located 100 meters above sea level, Seboruco Castle overlooks the entire city.
From its vantage point, it also offers a panoramic view of El Yunque.

Stairs located on Calle Frank País allow access to the top.

Today, the Castle has abandoned its military functions to become… a hotel! The decoration is certainly a bit outdated but the hotel has an unbeatable asset: a swimming pool with a view of the sea! To know more about it, it is here : Hotel El Castillo.

The Fortress of Punta de Maisí

Located 1 hour from Baracoa, at the westernmost point of the island, the lighthouse of the Fortress of Punta de Maisí overlooks the Caribbean Sea.
If the weather is clear, the lucky ones will even be able to see Haiti in the distance.
A white sandy beach stretches at the foot of the fortress.

The Cathedral Nuestra Senora de Asunción

The church was built in 1805, replacing the original, which was destroyed by pirates in 1652.

It was restored in 2011, and then again following the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 (thanks to mainly Italian funding)

The church is best known for preserving the Cruz de la Parra that Columbus is said to have used when he landed in 1492 to claim Cuba for Spain and Christianity.

La Casa del chocolate

If the Casa del chocolate (also called Casa del cacao) is presented in the tourist guides as a small museum dedicated to chocolate, don’t get too carried away! You will find a handful of explanatory panels.

It is in fact mostly a store where you can stock up on chocolate bars or sit at a table to enjoy a hot chocolate.

Things to do in the surroundings of Baracoa

El Yunque Natural Park

Located about ten kilometers from Baracoa (about 20 minutes by car), El Yunque is a 575 meter high mountain shaped like an anvil, hence its name (anvil is said “yunque” in Spanish).

Parque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt

A true gem of ecotourism, the park is an invitation to discover the incredible biodiversity of the island.

Boca de Yumurí and the Yumurí Canyon

At the mouth of the Yumurí River, in the Yumurí Canyon, Boca de Yumurí is a small fishing community located about 30 kilometers southeast of Baracoa.
On the agenda: hiking, boat rides and snorkeling!

The beaches of Baracoa

If this is not according to us the main interest of Baracoa, the region counts nevertheless some pretty beaches where you will be able to make a small splash.
That said, even if the tourists are not numerous in the surroundings, the summer, the beaches can be taken by storm by the Cubans on vacation.

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