Baracoa Tour

2 days

Arrival to the city.

Lodging, MAC recommends two hotels.

Hotel El Castillo, located in an old military fortress, has as its main attraction its enviable geographical situation for its location within the historic center of Baracoa on a hill 100 m high. It offers a magnificent view of the whole city and its surroundings.

Hotel Porto Santo, built in the site of the landing of Columbus in Baracoa, is a cozy, comfortable and beautiful seafront hotel.

City tour. Places of interest that you can visit while wandering around the streets of this charming city:

The Municipal Museum Fuerte de Matachín is housed in one of the three fortifications that during the 18th and 19th centuries protected the City of Baracoa from the attacks corsairs and pirates. The exhibits include aboriginal archeological collections and offers a tour through the history of the Cuban first village. It also displays samples of local flora and fauna.

The Iglesia Parroquial, Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Asunción houses The Sacred Cross of Parra which is believed to be the only one to have survived of the 29 crosses planted by Christopher Columbus in the New World.

In the evening the dinner at a restaurant suggested by MAC to taste an exquisite creole menu; “El Buen Sabor” or “La Roca” (at your choice).

DAY 1 • Hiking in El Yunque

The city was founded on August 15, 1511 under the name of Our Lady of the Assumption of Baracoa. It is the oldest settlement in Cuba after the arrival of the Spanish colonizers and was at that time the first capital of the Island. Declared a national monument, Baracoa is also a site of stunning natural beauty. The Toa River and the Yunque mountains stand out among its attractions.

9.00 am

Departure for El Yunque, the highest elevation of the entire mountainous massif of the region that stands 575 m above sea level. This is an Ecological Reserve and a National Monument for being a work of art of nature due to erosion, which has sculpted, as an artist, the peculiar shape of this mountain. It is 10 km from Baracoa, and a site of extraordinary natural attractions. In the immediate vicinity there is a wide variety of trees, among which are coconut trees and cocoa trees. This mountain is inhabited by numerous species of fauna, such as the Cuban Trogon (Tocororo), the island’s national bird, the laurel pigeon, the woodpecker, the Cuban Tody, beautiful butterflies, lizards, etc. It is a wonderful place for the visitor who loves nature and enjoys hiking, you cannot miss the chance of bathing in the Toa, the largest river on the island.

5.00 pm

Return to the hotel.

7.00

Dinner at a restaurant suggested by MAC “El Buen Sabor” and “La Roca”.

DAY 2 • The Cacao Route

Baracoa has been known throughout history as the land of chocolate in Cuba. It is currently the Cuban largest producer in the cacao massif of the Jamal region, Mosquitero, Güirito and Sabanilla. The promotion of cacao plantations on the island was carried out by the French emigrants who left Haiti, before the revolutionary wave of 1791, to settle in the places of the eastern mountains, among them those of Baracoa, the best place for growing, harvesting and exporting cacao. With this program we propose the visitor to know the cacao culture and tradition in the city of Baracoa, through the process from cacao plantations to the production of cacao powder and chocolate.

9.00 am

Visit to the Casa Museo del Cacao. This museum chronicles the history of cacao and its connection with tradition. You will have the chance to purchase themed souvenirs and handmade products made with chocolate.

10.00 am

Visit to the Cacao Research Center. The tour begins with a talk to give general information about the growing season and its importance in the farming and production of cacao. You can visit the seed areas and the germplasm bank with plantations of cacao varieties brought from different latitudes. Then, we visit the area of the Sociocultural Project “Hands of Woman” in charge of the process of “Micro-grafting of Cacao buds”.

During the visit to the Center, you will be able of contacting cacao experts such as Mr. Urbano Rodríguez Gaínza, considered the Cuban expert the most knowledgeable on this topic of cacao in the country.

11.00 am

Tour to the cacao massif of the Jamal area: the cacao capital in Cuba. In this tour through the cacao massifs you will visit the Alto de la Cuchilla and the Collection Center. There will be a momentary stop at the Alto de San Luis Agrometeorological Station to appreciate the views towards the plantations and have the opportunity to take photographs. Also you will visit the Jamal Benefit Center where you can see the infrastructure of the processes of the fermentation platform, the dryers and the final treatment in the circular and rectangular trays.

12.30 pm

Departure for the community El Güirito, another of the most important areas of the cacao massif. Sociocultural meeting with settlers in the Ranchón Nengón and Kiribá. Enjoy the music and the typical dances.

1.30 pm

Arrival at Finca Duaba. Lunch time. Later, a walk through the Cacao Trail.

3.00 pm

Visit to the Mabujabo Chocolate Factory. First, a brief talk about the Industry and its foundation on April 1st, 1963 by Commander Ernesto Che Guevara. Finally, an exhibition will be held on the different productions of cacao and chocolate products.

4.00 pm

Visit to Fábrica de Arte (FAC), created by the musician and composer X-Alfonso. This is an integrating cultural space where all the artistic manifestations coexist harmonically showing the best of Cuban contemporary art.

4.00 pm

Return to the hotel.

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