We traveled to Baracoa from Santiago de Cuba by car, driving on La Farola, a concrete highway, that rises near the Caribbean sea in Guantánamo province. The road, licked by the sea on one side and trimmed by the mountains on the other, was quarried through the mountains in the early seventies, as one of Fidel Castro’s infrastructure projects. Before then Baracoa was isolated from the rest of the country, reached only by boat. Even the road trip itself was a great experience, as the scenery was stunning. With almost no traffic and an easy access to the sea, it would be great to ride a bike there. After a 120 km long bumpy ride, we arrived in Baracoa, a shabby, yet vibrant provincial town. Baracoa has a lot to offer, from climbing El Yunque mountain, exploring the somewhat unique flora and fauna, swimming in rivers and waterfalls laguna and taste amazing local chocolate, coconut and grapefruit and enjoying the hospitality and good spirit of locals. We arrived at the time of an annual carnival celebrating the harvest, and we found ourselves in the middle of a festival of food, drink and music taking place on the Malecon and on the streets of Baracoa. As Columbus once has written into his diary: “The small birds and the greenness of the fields made me want to stay there forever…”, we too long to go back one day.
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