Ingrid, strolling around the beaches of Baracoa, our favourite place in Cuba - eastern part
and not easy to reach by road - better take a plane - it is faster and relativaly cheaper.
Once there - enjoy the kindness of the locals.
A drive out of town in a westerly direction will promise you some nice adventure.....a chocolate factory, a large river (Toa) with women doing the laundry, in the Taino Indian style, stands of the elegant royal palms, a full view of the bay and of El Yunque mountain, written about by Christopher Columbus. Twelve miles along the coast will bring you to Playa Maguana, known for its beach and fishermen. A lot of the people you see along the way are descendants of the pre Columbus Taino Indians.
To the east of Baracoa is another large river, the Yumuri, which you can cross by boat. On the other side, children will offer you brightly coloured snails (polimitas)
Virgin and Eugenio invited us in their private rooms.Eugenio is a performer of Cuban music and was leader of the band.His wife accompanied him many times as dancer. She showed us her colorful dress she was wearing.
Ocean, sun and beaches !! Watching local fishermen - getting contact with them - getting refreshing cocos and eating for free - getting invited for a local fish lunch for a few dollars - what do you need more to get relaxed !
Visiting the small town itself - cultural shock or not - it is the place i want to be because the locals are so nice - some small restaurants - some music temples and trovas
all near to our Hotel Porto Santo.
And definatly the local children going home from school.Their uniforms symbolizes the grade of school - basic,high school etc.
Finca's like this one - Finca Rancho where i met the cook himself preparing food for some tourists .I met him last year but he recognized me and offered a speciality of the region.Chocolates!! Famous in this eastern area of Cuba.
Panoramic view on the River Yumuri.
In fact in this area of Baracoa you have three rivers - The Duadab, the Yumuri and the Toa - this last one is the most impressive.
Also impressive are the several national parks - places where the locals went on Holiday ! The are damned right.
The way they can come to this kind of holiday "camps" is another story - more political spiced - but ok? !
May 24 and 25th in Baracoa. Gathering of archeologists and anthropologists, both cuban and extranjeros. along with a delegation from sister city San Augustin, Florida.
If you are in the region, join us, we will be at the Museo de la cueva de Paraiso, a short walk from Hotel Castillo. and also a climb up to Ranchon and a nice walk along the barrio of Paraiso
amidst the ruins of the old spanish fort that houses la punta restaurant.. you could descend a few steps down and be in the tranquil atmosphere of a cove...very seldom any body is there and even swim if you wish..
Take a boat and float around on the river Toa.
You will enter some smaller "canyons" the the view and athmosphere is just great !
It is nearly like traveling in Phuket /Thailand-
but this is different - less touristic !
Why not eat at the beach of Yumiri after a hike in the area. We eat there very well. The locals bring food out of their garden and freshly caught fish and crab. A very delicious meal in a beautiful surrounding.
We did this after our hike in the Yumiri region.
For more information see my travelogue: With 10 people in a small army jeep towards Yumiri.
An hike to YUMURI and EL JUNCI.
Just rent an car or jeep to bring you to YUMURI and you can find there an local guide (ask for Alberto or Eladio).
For going to El Junci, you need an guide otherwhise you can't find the road to the top.
See the traveloques for more pictures and the story behind our hike With 10 people in a small army jeep towards Yumiri and Stranding in sight of the top from El Junci.
During January 30. 31 and February 1st, the new Archeological Museum of the Caves of Paraiso under the direction of Dr Roberto Ordunez and with collaboration of the San Augustin Baracoa Friendship Society will hold an international conference on Archeology Anthropology Ecology of the region.
Since this is an educational activity, US Citizens would be allowed to travel to Cuba to attend this conference.
There would be canoeing, treks along the hills, beach party and also a cooking exhibition of baracoan foods of various origins. please get in touch with me through email if you need more information
THIS EVENT WAS A SUCCESS, A GOOD EXAMPLE OF HOW A RICH COUNTRY, USA COULD HELP THE PEOPLE OF A SMALL TOWN IN A POOR COUNTRY, CUBA. when you are in Baracoa, please visit this museum and also get to know the people who work there especially Sr Ordunez
This beach Playa Blanca is very seldom visited by tourists. Most tourists, sadly enough, just limit themselves to the well trodden roads and do not get to see the real beauty of Baracoa. Perhaps it is due to the lack of transport since you need to have a jeep to get to most of these places
Eugenios family - he and his son gave us a private performance of great Cuban music.
In the picture - his grandchild asking :
"Who is this strange fellow ?"