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Casa particular Casa Adrian

Baracoa, Guantanamo, Cuba

 

 

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Baracoa, Guantanamo province, Cuba

El Yunque Baracoa CubaMuseum Baracoa Cubabaraco Cuba beachStreet Baracoa Cuba
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Set on the island's southeastern tip and protected by a deep curve of mountains, its isolation has so far managed to protect it from some of the more pernicious effects of tourism creeping into other areas of the island. Surrounded by awe-inspiring countryside – whose abundance of cacao trees makes it the nation's chocolate manufacturer – Baracoa is fast becoming an absolute must on' the travellers' circuit.

On a spot christened Porto Santo by Christopher Columbus, who arrived here in 1492 and, as legend has it, planted a cross Columbus cross Baracoa Cubain the soil, Baracoa was the first town to be established in Cuba, founded by Diego de Velázquez in 1511. The early conquistadors never quite succeeded in exterminating the indigenous population and direct descendants of the Taíno population are alive today, with Baracoa the only place in Cuba where they survive. Their legacy is also present in several myths and legends that are habitually told to visitors.

Half the fun of a visit to Baracoa is getting there. Before the revolution, the town was only accessible by sea, but the opening of La Farola, a road through the mountains that provides a direct link with Guantánamo, 120km away, changed all that and a flood of cars poured into town. Considered to be one of the triumphs of the revolution, the road was actually started during Batista's regime but was temporarily abandoned when he refused to pay a fair wage to the workers, and work was only resumed in the 1960s. Today, it makes for an amazing trip through the knife-sharp peaks of the Cuchillas de Baracoa mountains.

Alexander von Humboldt National Park.

The park owes its name to the eminent German naturalist, known as the second discoverer of Cuba due the numerous andAlexander von Humboldt National Parl Baracoa important studies which he made of the country.  The Alexander von Humboldt National Park has historically been an area of land little used by man, with only one archaeological site from the pre-Columbian period being known; this is located in the coastal zone of Aguas Verdes.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries some peripheral places were used as refuges or camps by maroons.

It was not until the beginning and middle of the twentieth century that the land was used for the cultivation of coconut palms and cacao.  In the zone of La Melba mining of chromium and for the mineral industry in general was developed.
The park began to be laid out in the 1960s, with the declaration of the Jaguani and Cupeyal del Norte nature reserves.  This continued into the 80s with the proposal of the Ojito del Agua Refuge, associated with the last sighting of the Royal Woodpecker, a last remnant of this species which was already extinct in its other habitats in the United States and Mexico.
In this unique ecosystem there are unique flora and fauna which have the highest indexes of endemicity in the archipelago.
In 1996 these protected areas were united to found the Alexander von Humboldt National Park, the most important biosphere reserve in the Caribbean basin, which with Cuchillas de Toa, in 2001 was declared a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.

 


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