Guantanamo – Famous for More than One Reason

by - 12:51:00 AM

There is an infamy to Guantanamo which for the purposes of this entry I won’t be touching upon – what I will be touching upon however is the incredible opportunities the region offers tourists. Cuba as a whole is without question one of the most beautiful, diverse and frankly surprising countries in the world and no two visits are ever the same. The country is divided into 14 provinces and each and every one of them serves up a good enough reason to come back. Travel between a few and you’ll experience a world of contrasts the likes of which cannot be replicated anywhere else on Earth at any price, and as for the locals…

Back to Guantanamo for now however – this is the most Easterly Cuban province and can be found approximately 1,000 km for the capital Havana. One of the most immediately striking visual features of Guantanamo is the way in which incredibly barren expanses of desert almost immediately transform into rich and lush mountain and hillside vegetation in the shortest distance imaginable. Guantanamo also has a global reputation for offering some remarkable examples of local gastronomy, which differ from those of the rest of the island and are not to be missed. 

Toward the far Western side of the island, history simply oozes from every inch of the uniquely stunning landscape and can be absorbed at its finest in Baracoa – also known as the first village of Cuba. 
The word “Baracoa” roughly translates from its aboriginal origins as “Sea Existence” which pays homage to the way in which the seas and rivers of the area carved both the landscape and the village itself. Along with incredible historical and cultural draws, Baracoa is a must-see for any Cuba holidaymaker for its unique stone zoo. 

One of the best things about this corner of Guantanamo is the way in which is doesn’t matter which way you set off or how far you want to venture – you’re guaranteed to strike pure gold. You can easily lose days just strolling aimlessly around the historical centre, along with the fortified towers at Caguase and Joa and Fort Matachin. Those with a head for heights can organise a hike up the 575 metre-high Yunque de Baracoa mountain, or perhaps take a more relaxed trip down the local rivers in a traditional regional cayuca boat. 
In addition to history, Guantanamo has a well-deserved reputation for boasting some of the finest beaches in the world, which include Duaba, Saratoga and Maguana to name just three. These are the places to find crystal blue waters, brilliant white sand and superb accommodation options. Guantanamo puts its own unique spin on traditional Creole cooking, so those on the looking for something they’ll taste nowhere else in the world will find themselves in heaven. 

And for anyone with more of a sweet tooth to tend to, Baracoa is famous the world over for producing some of the most exquisite quality cacao, which can be seen at all stages from the growing of the fruit to its final incarnation as the sweetest of sweet treats.

Guantanamo is a truly unforgettable island and well-deserved of a visit on any holidays to Cuba of any length.  

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