Cuba / Destinations / Baracoa

Baracoa

  • — Baracoa Bay
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  • — Rio Toa
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  • — Rio Miel
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  • — Rio Miel
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  • — Quiet road
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  • — Main square
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  • — Majong
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  • — Lizard
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  • — Alejandro De Humboldt National Park
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  • — Hiking
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  • — Fishing boats
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  • — El Yunque
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  • — Colourful building
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  • — Baracoa town
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  • — Baracoa Cathedral
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  • — Playa Maguana
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  • — Baracoa street
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  • — Baracoa street
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  • — Baracoa countryside
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  • — River, Baracoa
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The oldest town in the Americas

Founded in 1511, Baracoa is not only the first Spanish settlement in Cuba, but also the oldest colonial town anywhere in the Americas.

However, it’s not history, museums or grand colonial architecture that draw visitors to Baracoa today, but rather its remoteness, beautiful setting, unspoiled surrounding countryside, near deserted beaches and incredibly laid back atmosphere.

For the vast majority of its long history, Baracoa has been a virtual island with access only possible by sea. It wasn’t until the 1960s that a road was built from Santiago de Cuba to Baracoa, winding its way through the steep mountain ranges of the Sierra del Purial. Known as La Farola, this stretch of road is perhaps the most scenic drive anywhere in Cuba and not to be missed.

The countryside surrounding Baracoa is some of the most scenic, and verdant, anywhere in Cuba. The most famous natural feature, easily visible from town, is El Yunque, a long, flat mountain that rises to 575 metres but which is almost 1000 metres across at the top. Slightly further north is Parque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt, perhaps the most important wilderness area in the entire Caribbean and, since 2001, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Numerous trips can be arranged while in Baracoa, including a wide range of trekking opportunities and visits to the nearby cocoa farms, home to the region’s most famous export. For those who want to relax for a day or two, there are beautiful, largely empty beaches some 30 minutes’ drive north along the coast at Playa Maguana and Playa Nibujon.

Today, Baracoa is linked to Havana by twice weekly flights and by road to both the east and north. The drive to Santiago takes approximately 3 hours while the coastal route north to Guardalavaca takes up to 5 hours along roads that are often in very poor condition.

Accommodation in Baracoa

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Trips including Baracoa

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