Blogs from Baracoa, Este, Cuba, Central America Caribbean

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Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Baracoa December 16th 2022

Great little adventure I just took, I highly recommend going someday to Baracoa if you ever have the chance. Let me tell you a little bit about the journey. It's one of those places in the world, so evocative, after you go there it will become part of you forever. As always, I never quite know I'm going to have time to travel until I do. About a month ago, I saw a window open up in my schedule. Things fell into place in a great way and I made it happen. I grew up in South Florida, went to school with many Cuban American kids, but had never been to Cuba. I guess I avoided it in the past because I thought it would be difficult to travel there solo, which is what I love ... read more
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Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Baracoa July 15th 2018

Baracoa Sun-Mon 15-16 July Day 10 & 11 We had 2 full days to explore Baracoa and it’s surrounds. On the way we had 2 stops. The first was after we drove through Guantanamo town, about 15 kms we went to a lookout and saw the American Guantanamo Bay prison and township through binoculars!!!! Next was a beautiful Alto de Codillo Lookout that had a 360 degree view of the Baracoa district. It was lush green in places, but we could see many sections of stripped trees resulting from the hurricane of 12 month ago. It was a steep climb but worth it. A very poor village of about 100 people live next to the lookout and try to sell fruit, sweets and souvenirs. There was a bar there also and the locals were well on ... read more
Alto de Codillo Lookout (8)
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Baracoa (1)

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Baracoa February 28th 2018

Today we arranged to go on a tour of a cacao plantation and a coffee plantation. Coffee and chocolate, my two favourite things. Our tour took off around ten (scheduled start 9.30) and we made our way to the plantation. Now in my mind we were going to see two plantations, however, they grow the coffee and the cacao on the same plantation. As it turns our both plants prefer the shade, so to shield them from the Cuban sun they also grow palm and banana trees around them. The end result is the plantation looks like a thick tropical forest, which explains why the area around Baracoa looks so beautiful. Our guide, Benny, started talking us through the growing and harvesting of both plants. While he was talking I felt some pain in my stomach. ... read more
German Pass
Yumuri Gorge
Pretty snails

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Baracoa May 21st 2016

HATE. If I started off loving this country, it was beginning to test my patience now – literally, as our 12-hour, mosquito-infested bus to Santiago de Cuba stopped in Sancti Spiritus for an hour and a quarter, going back and forth between the city’s two bus terminals. Do you think they’d let the passengers know what was happening and apologise for the delay? Of course not, this is Cuba. And with only one bus ‘company’ you could take, who else were you going to go with? The lack of choice and options was beginning to frustrate me. Take shops selling snacks for example. In Cuba, these shops don’t seem to exist. Even in the cities you have to do some proper scouting to find them when even when you do, they probably don’t even have what ... read more
Eliades Ochoa
Dodgy Bridge, Baracoa
Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion, Santiago de Cuba

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Baracoa December 7th 2015

Lost my notes for this section. We booked an American car for the 5 hour trip to Baracoa but next day a small modern car arrived driven by a Venezuelan, new to the country & who had never been to Baracoa so numerous stops for directions required before we made it. Regardless in hindsight it was probably a good thing as the final third of the trip was through steep mountainous country with numerous turns & switchbacks which would have been difficult for an old banger. Before reaching the mountains we followed a picturesque Atlantic coastline near Guantanamo, site of the infamous gaol & port run by the Americans. No sign of the site apart from armed guards at key intersections around the town. The town was only accessible by sea until 1960 so it is ... read more
Tiny Baracoa runway
 El Yunque at sunset
Fishing village

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Baracoa July 1st 2015

Oops I've made an error. If you've followed a link to my Africa blog expecting to see writing and photography from Cuba please go to: https://www.travelblog.org/Central-America-Caribbean/Cuba/Este/Baracoa/blog-889407.html ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Baracoa October 25th 2014

A lovely homestay in Baracoa and a great restaurant with tasty local seafood in the specialty coconut sauce (very rarely is Cuban food cooked with sauce) and local music street club topped off a great introduction to the town. The next day we took a day trip to a cacao plantation to learn how chocolate is made - very interesting though a different flavor to what we’re accustomed to. Following our chocolate lesson we arrived at a small river town where a rowboat took us onto an island that felt as though we were entering Jurassic Park. Unfortunately the rain meant it wasn’t ideal for swimming but we explored and enjoyed local coconuts from a Cuban Adonis who’d swan up river with his machete held high to be of service to us. After lunch we went ... read more
Freshly rolled cigars
Sloppy Joe's bar in Havana

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Baracoa April 6th 2013

April 6 Happy birthday to me! Carmen our host gave me a Cuba key ring and there was a card from the Beatons, after breakfast it was off to Baracoa, our last day in the bus with Ivan. We stopped at Guantanamo for coffee then it was a scenic drive to Baracoa over a big mountain range, 5 hours drive all up. After checking into our casa with Miriam and family about 2, we set off on an orientation tour by local van, which turned out to be a surprise birthday BBQ for me!! Wow! The van arrived at a lovely river, where there was a roast suckling pig on a spit and a small group of musicians singing happy birthday! Lunch was amazing, pork, black bean dish, rice, salad, plantain chips and bread, served in ... read more
View of Yunque mountain Baracoa
Keen to learn
Christopher Columbus statue, Baracoa

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Baracoa January 12th 2011

The roads in Cuba are, well, interesting. They're not the worst roads in the world, but they're deceptive. From a distance the highways look very good, but up close you realise that there is a good reason no that many people in Cuba drive on them. This all made the bus trip a little longer than it should have been, but we made it. Coming down into Santiago de Cuba was very nice. The bus descended into the valley through the palm trees, past the tropical vegetation and the run down houses. Santiago de Cuba is Cuba's second city, and maybe just a bit nicer than Havana. We stayed at another homestay, this time the house of Iliya. She was very nice, although she spoke Spanish very fast and completely dropped the 's' from her words ... read more
Tony Mas making Canchanarras
Sierra Maestra, Cuba
Sierra Maestra

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Este » Baracoa November 7th 2009

Odd how one song can make up the soundtrack of your life? Soundgarden just happened to be playing as I peered down from the plane window to see the blackest sand beaches desperately trying to flee dense jungle. The song seemed weirdly appropriate. My seatmate asked, "There is going to be a runway some time soon, right?" We were only about two feet off the turquoise ocean when we suddenly hit pavement. Hola Baracoa. ....or should I say Holy Baracoa? Hurricane Ida came in right behind us, unleashing her torrential rain for days. Angry ocean blasted over the measly malecon seawall, and the Baracoanians went about their lives without batting an eyelash...they'd seen this all before. Me, a diehard Vancouverite*, for the first time in my life, was caught without an umbrella. *Vancouverite: proper noun (Vancouverites) ... read more
Street party Baracoa
and it rained...
take a slow ride




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