Everybody knows Havana, Trinidad, Varadero and so on.. But I wanted to write about Baracoa, my favorite place in Cuba. Baracoa is the first established town in Cuba, where Christopher Columbus once landed on his trips. You can still visit the cross by the little beach that is set as a mark of where he landed. Baracoa has lots of history of the taino -indians and colonial era. The town looks very different than more modern Santiago, Holguin or Havana. The town is very small and relaxed, it has all you need in a small scale, some hotels that have restaurants and great views, one built on a hill and used to serve as a prison. Baracoa also has its art galleries, some places for dancing and listening live music, the malecon, and plenty of natural areas to visit as day trips, here are few:
A natural park that is reachable by boat or by hiking along the beach and crossing some not so well maintained bridges.
The river Yumury is a very nice hidden place to visit, take a boat for a ride along the river and you can land and walk around a bit.
The box shaped mountain that can bee seen behind the city. The trail follows a river that is refreshing for a swim on a hot day.
Baracoa is the chocolate capital of Cuba. When driving by the factory you can smell the fresh chocolate and most locals will provide you hot chocolate. It is something between Spanish and a “regular” hot chocolate, not super thick but not all fluid either.
Baracoa after Hurricane Matthew
The eastern tip got destroyed by a Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, it was category 4 when it first hit Haiti and then continued to Cuba and later towards Bahamas and US east coast. Due to Cuban governmental efficient (or strict) evacuation program nobody got killed due to the hurricane, but lots of property was lost and nature had some bad damage too. Some pictures are from Radio Baracoa.