Casa Particular / B&B Baracoa
Rodney Coutín #100
e/ Juracion y Raul C. Bonilla
Telf. +53 (52) 33 29 16
Cel. +53 (52) 71 85 26
Note: The house of Adrian is situated near the beach of the city (only two blocks) and seven minutes on foot from the Cathedral of Baracoa. Adrian rents two double rooms with air conditioning and fan. Each has an independent bathroom with hot and cold water. The house has two terraces and a beautiful green backyard, with vegetation and hammock under mango trees where you can relax and rest. Adrian´s mother is a great cook. Here one can enjoy several typical dishes of Baracoa such as the flavorful meat, fish or vegetables. An abundant and tasty breakfast is also prepared which may be eaten outdoor when the climate allows. You´ll enjoy it! Adrian is one of the founders of local TV station in Baracoa, Primada Visión. He works as a cameraman so he knows Baracoa, its neighborhood and people. One of his last works, La Balsa y el Toa won a national prize as the best documentary. I´m glad to offer you the exclusive possibility of seeing three of his last documentaries. Enjoy and breathe the atmosphere of Baracoa with:
- La Balsa y el Toa (National award 2012).
- Pancholo el Don Juan (my favorite)
- Paisajes de Baracoa (images of Cuba that motivate a travel to Baracoa).
Reservation: Also possible by e-Mail (Spanish and English).
Baracoa was the first village founded inn Cuba by Spaniards around 1511. The small city is located in one of the most beautiful landscapes of Cuba. A lot of palms, coffee, cacao and coconut plantations with exuberant and green vegetation make this a special and unique region of the Cuban island. As to me this is one of the places I most like and where I may spend a whole week without boring a minute. I strongly suggest you take some time to visit Baracoa. You´ll enjoy it a lot!
In the city of Baracoa
- I advise you to go to Hotel Castillo (my favorite) or El Ranchón, where you can have a beautiful view above the city.
- If you are thinking of going to a near beach while avoiding a long walk, riding a bike or a taxi then you may go to the local beach, close to the baseball stadium. Due to strong and fast streams (which will never take you to Florida) around this zone it is advisable toswim close to the shore.
- At night El Rumbos is a good option for Cuban and tourists, a place where traditional music (Son) will be played by a local group. You may go to Casa de la Trova where local minstrels play autochthonous rhythms. During day time payment is not required to enter here and at night foreigners should pay one CUC (one peso for natives). It´s better to leave this place not too late so you can enjoy next show that will begin at 21:00 in La Terraza, sort of discotheque under the stars where you will enjoy a nice nocturnal view of the city. To access this place one CUC is charged to tourists (ten Cuban pesos for locals). Good cocktails such as daiquiri, mojitos may be enjoyed at El Yaíma, just in front of El Parque Central and near Casa de la Trova. From here you´ll have a good perspective of street life, which will let you interact among some other foreigners and Cubans as well.
- On Saturday nights La Noche Baracoesa is held along the street that resembles a big opened discotheque where rum, pork sandwiches and a little more is found. It´s worth to spend a night there!
Excursions around Baracoa
- Playa Blanca, is a small white sand beach with a very particular pool of clean drinking water that is naturally shaped in the cliffs going to the east of Baracoa. To get there you´ll have to walk for an hour and a half from the city. It´s better to depart early! The best idea is to walk along Baracoa beach (in front of the stadium) till you reach the small village called Boca de Miel where somebody surely will be ready (for a small tip) to lead you the rest of the way to avoid passing trough a military zone (not always opened to public) while choosing one of two possible ways to get there, Playa Blanca. It´s good having at hand two CUC per person to pay the entrance to this beach.
- Rio Toa, considered by many the mighty river of Cuba, is located ten kilometers to the west on the road going to Moa. One can swing through its clear waters; enjoy nature while meeting people who usually wash their clothes in the river. You can easily ride on bike till the bridge over the river and once there locate a beautiful and peaceful place. The road to that river is pretty good.
- Playa Duaba, is a beach near Baracoa where Duaba River gets into the sea. One may swing either in the river or in the beach which is a very long one, sometimes affected by strong surges since it is not protected by any coral barrier. It is also a good trip on bike from Baracoa city. Going up the river, little further you will get to the camping site El Yunque. The road is poor but it´s worthy reaching some beautiful places to take a bath in that river. A taxi from Baracoa city to Playa Duaba in round-trip is about 10 CUC and getting to El Yunque may cost even more due to the bad conditions of the way.
- Playa Maguana is a wonderful beach on the way to Moa, around 20 kilometers from Baracoa. This beach is a must for any tourist visiting Baracoa. It has a large extension of white fine sand. Because of its coral reefs this beach is always calm and low (excellent for children). Once there you may rent snorkels, diving masks, aquatic bikes and hammocks. There are a ranch and a small kiosk where food, soft drinks and beers are sold. Off the vacation months in Cuba (July and August) this beach is very silent and quiet. There are many ways to arrive at this beach. A tourist bus departs every morning (9:30) from El Parque Central in the city and returns from the beach at 17:00. The fare is 4 CUC per capita in a round-trip. This bus is not a guaranteed trip when there are not many tourists or when the vehicle is broken; so I suggest you get informed the day before the trip just to know whether the bus will be working or not. Another possibility for this journey is a taxi that usually costs 4 CUC and sometimes far more due to the poor state of the road, which is 20 kilometers long but it takes more than an hour to make it. A less advisable though cheaper trip is in a collective truck going to Moa. It costs 10 pcesos; however, most probably you´ll spend more time waiting for it than enjoying at the beach. I had recommended making this way on bike (for sport fans) or motorcycle which I do not advice any more because of the road´s bad state.
- Río Yumurí is one of the many rivers in this area located to the east, between Baracoa and Maisí. It is a quiet place surrounded by green nature. You may take a walk by the river, swim, and enjoy the green landscape and silence, only interrupted by the singing of birds. From the small village of Yumurí you take a cayuca, kind of boat (2 CUC per capita in round-trip) that will go up the river to a small island in the middle of it where-from you´ll have a paradisiacal view of high bluffs in the canyon of this wonderful river. From Baracoa to Yumurí one may travel in a cheap collective truck (10 pesos), in a taxi comfortably and fast (around 20 CUC round-trip), and sport fans may go on bike since the road is pretty good, with little traffic but many slopes.
- Playa Manglito is a beautiful beach between Jamal and Yumurí on the road to Maisí. Most of the time you´ll probably be the only person in this beach since Cubans only show up here during vacation, summer months of July and August. It will be fine if you are very hungry when arriving to Playa Manglito because there is a paladar (Creole restaurant) at the beach, where excellent food is found. Dishes are cooked on firewood which gives the fresh fish and meat a very special taste. All food is fresh, well prepared and at good prices. Playa Manglito is another place we should never forget during a stay in Baracoa. Similarly to Yumurí you may get there comfortably in a taxi (about 16 CUC round-trip), in a collective truck which sometimes you´ll be waiting long and costs 10 pesos; sport people may go on bike.
- Punta de Maisí is the east end of the Cuban island. Coffee and banana are produced in this region. There is a beautiful beach though sometimes dirty because of the garbage that is brought here by the sea. The Lighthouse of Punta de Maisí, one of the most important in the island, rises in this place. From here, in shining days, one can see the mountains of near Haiti The job at the lighthouse is always kept within a family and inherited by next generation. This lighthouse still works manually. The lamplighter must climb the tower at 18:00 to light it up, then at 24:00 to restart the mechanism that moves the light and eventually at 06:00 to turn it off. Tourists are not always allowed to go up this tower; for instance, in March 2013 it was possible but not in April 2013. Maybe you are lucky! To visit this lighthouse it´s better to rent a taxi or private car. This excursion may be well combined with the trip to Playa Manglito and Yumurí. The view of this landscape is worthy a journey. The round-trip in a day with stops in the above mentioned places might cost 50 CUC.
- National Park Alejandro de Humbolt is the biggest national park of Cuba. Several endemic species of plants and animals are found only in this park. The best way to know this place is going by foot. There are clearly three trails to follow, only different in length. You may also do a trekking in this park for some days, but this should be arranged beforehand. It would be good having a guide to walk these trails which are not all well signaled to go by yourself; besides, this guide will show you some plants and animals you had not noticed. The two largest routes include a recess for bathing in a river. A stay of about an hour in the river is included in the time of the excursion. Then, the three hour excursion means two hours of walking and an hour of bathing and relaxing in the river waters. If one doesn´t want to walk but even likes to know a little of this park, it´s better to make the excursion on a boat around a bay called Bahía de Taco, and later arrive to a beautiful beach where one can enjoy the wonderful vegetation. The admission is 10 CUC per capita. If you want to go with a specialized guide you should arrange the reservation at the office of the Park in Baracoa city. A semiprofessional guide service is available at the Park among several people who will be willing to lead you and organize the trip including transportation. You may get to this Park in a taxi, preferably a jeep that takes you there and waits for your return, at a cost of 30 to 40 CUC. All the way from Baracoa to the Park is only 30 kilometers but the taxi delays around 90 minutes to reach the office of the Park… If you depart early in the morning for this excursion and don´t stay too long in the Park, then you probably may also enjoy a visit to Playa Maguana the same day.
- In fact, I strongly suggest you rent a bike (around 3 CUC daily), at least one day, to discover the rivers, beaches, landscapes: the unique and unforgettable nature of Baracoa.
Baracoa - arrival and departure
- Viazul has a bus that travels daily from Santiago de Cuba to Baracoa (round-trip) with a stop in Guantánamo at a price of 15 CUC. The ticket is bought the same day. Consult for more information the current schedule.
- Cubatur offers daily service of a minibus between Santiago de Cuba and Baracoa. Departure from Santiago is very early in the morning to arrive at Baracoa about 11:00. The bus leaves Parque Martí in Baracoa at 11:30 and gets to Santiago around 17:00. This trip is 15 CUC and the ticket must be bought at the offices of CUBATUR, which in Santiago are located in Hotel Casagrande while in Baracoa the offices are situated in front of Plaza de la Catedral (Parque Central).
- Cubana has a direct flight Havana-Baracoa (round-trip) on Sundays and Thursdays. The fare is around 160 CUC.
- Aerogaviota flies on Tuesdays from Havana to Baracoa with a stopover in Holguín. A straight travel is of course more comfortable; however I do prefer flying with Aerogaviota. This fly costs 145 CUC. This plane takes-off from a small airport located in the west end of Havana (not from José Martí airport), in a place called Playa Baracoa. Attention: This flight departs from Playa Baracoa in Habana to Baracoa, first village founded in Cuba in the east end of the island.
- There are also trucks and collective taxis from Moa or Guantánamo to Baracoa. It´s better to always plan carefully with plenty of time these trips since, unfortunately, foreigners are not charged the same prices as Cubans but more expensive instead. Often a tourist has to pay in CUC what a Cuban would pay in CUP. It becomes a very interesting Cuban journey but slow and too expensive.
- Private taxis are another option to get to or leave Baracoa. In a taxi trip one can choose the hour of travel, stop wherever you like to take photos and even ask how much air conditioning you want into the car, if there is any. When traveling four persons at a time the price may range between 80 to 100 CUC for a trip Santiago de Cuba-Baracoa; what I think is a very tempting option.
- Taxistas recomendables en Baracoa
Quizás no parece, pero el coche de Tito es muy fuerte y por esto una muy buena opción para excursiones desde Baracoa. Especialmente para llegar a Playa Maguana, Parque Humboldt y Holguín/Guardalavaca pues hay un tramo de esta calle que esta hace años en muy pessima condiciones. Por supuesto Tito también te recoge en el Aeropuerto, te lleva a Maisí o con mucho gusto también te lleva hasta Santiago de Cuba. Tito es un taxista muy agradable y con un buen humor - el siempre dice - el destino y la hora me dices tu, el precio pongo yo :-)
Celular +53 54 18 72 91