Baracoa

In the farthest West of the island, almost 1000 kilometers from Havana, the prodigious hands of nature drew one of the most attractive and best-preserved landscapes in the Cuban geography. In this very place, the Spanish conquerors founded the first Cuban villa: Our Lady of La Asuncion of Baracoa, back in 1512. Baracoa is an aboriginal word meaning "sea existence". In fact this term refers, to the existence of the sea and rivers everywhere in this area. We can also find mountains of exuberant vegetation. These natural features, conjugated with cultural and historical elements make Baracoa a very attractive tourist destination to the visitor. The city invites you to stroll in all directions: in the urban area, the historical center is one of the tours we recommend. It's been declared National Monument. You can visit Forts Matachin, La Punta, and the fortified towers of Joa and Caguase. Other interesting activities are the visit to Yunque de Baracoa, a mountain 575 meters high; the sail down the stream in a cayuca (typical boat in the region) along rivers Miel, Duaba, Yumuri, and Toa; the beaches in Maguana, Saratoga and Duaba beaches; the visit to the plantation of cacao in Duaba and the stone zoo located in Boqueron Hill. One of the distinctive features of Baracoa is the delicious chocolate of an internationally acknowledged quality, which is obtained from the processing of cacao. The hotels in the city offer, for the Creole food lovers, specialized restaurants as well as lots of recreational activities.

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Tips

The Botanical Gardens, founded in 1763, is the oldest such gardens in the Western Hemisphere.