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9 Amazing Things to Do in Baracoa, Cuba

Ishwari Pamu Sep 24, 2019
With a rich and a rather fascinating history, it’s referred to as the Ciudad Primada (Cuba’s first city). A town with dramatic landscapes, sandy beaches and lovely people, pretty much everything here, even the cuisine, is decidedly different from the rest of the country. It truly is the “authentic” Cuba.

Did You Know?

Baracoa was discovered by Christopher Columbus during his first voyage, on 27th November 1492.

El Yunque

A 575-meter table-top mountain, El Yunque, translates to “The Anvil” and is an excellent ground for hiking.
Take in the splendid views of the entire city and the bay while you make your way to the top of the mountain, and look out for the unique flora and fauna of Baracoa some of which are exclusive to the mountain.

Maguana Beach

Situated around 20 km north of Baracoa, it’s a postcard beach with turquoise blue waters, palm trees hemming the entire area and super-friendly locals.
A perfect spot to relax and do nothing although the waters are excellent for swimming and snorkeling.

Playa Blanca

Two kilometers away from the city, you’ll have to cross the Miel River and walk through a village to get to this beauty but, it’s so worth it! An uncrowded secluded beach with calm crystalline waters and swaying palm trees.

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Hiking

Baracoa has several hiking trails ranging from easy to demanding. Apart from the El Yunque, Parque Natural Majayara encompasses some of the most scenic off-the-beaten-path hiking trails.
Located southwest of the town, it also has wonderful swimming spots perfect for a dip after hiking. As you hike, you’ll come across the family selling fresh fruits and coffee from their farm.

Explore the Streets of Baracoa

Take to the streets to explore and understand the culture, history, food and people of this wonderful town.
It is here, in the narrow lanes and among the people, where you’ll discover the true essence, identity and the beauty of this place. Look out for vintage cars on the streets if you fancy cars.

Watch the Sunset

After a busy day exploring the town, this is what to you need, to sit back and watch the sun paint the sky in shades of red, blue and violet while it slowly sets over the horizon. The sunsets at the Baracoa Bay are absolutely magical.

Yumuri River

Swim in the natural pools of Yumuri River surrounded by cliffs carpeted in lush greenery, trees, birds and rock formations which you can dive from. The hike here is pretty easy.

Food

It’s an understatement to say that Cuban food is anything less than a sensory/taste explosion in your mouth, but Baracoa takes Cuban food to a whole new level. A medley of spices, the oh-so-delicious lechita (coconut sauce), fruits usually served with fish, it’s inconceivably good.
You don’t want to leave Baracoa without trying the Cucurucho (usually wrapped in palm leaf), El Tetí and the El Bacán.

Chocolate

Thanks to the ubiquity of cocoa plantations, Baracoan chocolate is well-known and sold all over Cuba. You can sample the locally-produced chocolate at the Casa del Cacao. The chorote (the local hot-chocolate) is exceptional.