Quote — Buddhist chant

Logo CubaCasas Baracoa

Baracoa panorama © Chuchi zoi org •]• Baracoa seen from Playa Miel, a black sand beach © sogestour
Not easy to reach by road, Baracoa is at the eastern end of the country on the north coast of Guantanamo province, some 5 hours from Santiago. What a drive on La Farola, the alpine-like carretera with 107 curves over 35 kilometers.

The town was established as the country's capital when
Diego Velazquez de Cuéllar arrived from Spain with 300 men in 1511. Isolated from the rest of the island for nearly 450 years, the town was to become the focal point of all the rebels in Cuba's history from the very first, Hatuey to the most famous, the Che to the most enduring, Fidel.

The town and its surrounding area (
El Yunque, Maguana, Nava, Toa, Humboldt, Yumuri, Duaba) are to the Cuban universe what Tibet is to the rest of the world and we're barely exaggerating. Most Cubans have never heard of these places. If you've ever been to some island in the South Pacific, you get the idea. If you really like it, don't tell anyone.

Biking down a backroad at night, we saw a tiny "community video room — sala comunitaria de video". On its roof, a solar panel : bright minds learning in pitch-black wilderness. Revolutionary. Indeed.

According to colleague Brendan Sainsbury of Lonely Planet, Baracoa is "The happiest and most magical place in Cuba."

Banes, 266
Bayamo, 413
Boca de Yumuri, 15
Cayo Saetia, 169
El Yunque, 8
Gibara, 262
Guantanamo, 116
Guardalavaca, 234
Holguin, 229 via Moa
La Habana, 1100
Moa, 76
Parque Alejandro Humboldt, 40
Playa Duaba, 5
Playa Maguana, 25
Playa Nava, 31
Rio Toa, 10
Santiago, 240

Map - Guantanamo to Baracoa — La Farola Road
Rising and downward tides - Baracoa
Map - Municipio of Baracoa and surroundings
Map - Our casas on map of town center
Map - The town, the bay and burroughs
Map - The town and sites
Map - The coast and area in relief
Massacre and mutilation of Tainos (illustration)
Photos - Our galeria of Baracoa and surroundings
Photos - Our galeria of Maguana
Panorama (Porto Santo) © Thomassin
Local weather forecast (Meteorologisk NRK)
Daily currency exchange rates
All that's natural on Guantanamo province
Island-wide bus connections (horariodebuses.com/)
360-photo from the bus terminal
Web site of Fuerte Matachin Municipal Museum
Cuba, the Landshells Paradise - pdf
Arrivals & departures at Baracoa airport

All the Web particuba.net

Calle Marti 114, corner Maravi. Tel (21) 64-1122 photos © sogestour

Taller Atabey where you will meet painter Mildo Matos Carcases [Pintor indigenista] in his workshop.

The man is a huge talent. His works are in private collections in Europe, mostly in Germany, as well as in the U.S.A. and Mexico.

His irresistible daughter does the « public relations » thing. Just go, you'll be charmed.
POPULATION 81,677 (2007) in the regional township including 56,000 in Baracoa per se

Plaza Cacique Hatuey (Parque Central or Independencia) where everybody meets. Saturday nights can be heady. In front of the Catedral the bust of Hatuey, first Cuban internationalist (named here the first Rebel of America, El Primero) who arrived from Hispaniola (Haiti/Dom Rep) like many Frenchmen to warn Cubans the Spaniards were killing anyone who did not believe in God. Before being burnt alive in 1512 for having fomented resistance, he asked if there were religious fanatics (Spaniards) in heaven. When he was told so, he replied he'd rather go to hell. Proof he did, his name is on beer bottles Museo archeológico Cueva del Paraiso, 300 m from El Castillo Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Asunción totally revamped and now as popular if not more than the ragtag pentecostal and adventist "churches" which popped up on the back street of town; inside, its Cruz de la Parra, the oldest European relic on the continent. In dire need of repairs, Italian funds are were rencently used to restore it Museo Municipal (Fuerte Matachin) with Taino exhibits and photos of La Rusa Fabrica de Tabaco (cigar factory) Monumento Antonio Maceo at the end of the airport runway. Majestically laid-out, it marks the beginnings of the revolutionnary forces and the meeting in Baracoa in 1895 of Marti, Maceo, Gomez, Garcia, Sanchez and Echevarria which eventually led to the overthrow of the Spanish colony three years later Hotel La Rusa (1953), once owned by Magdalena Rowenskaïa (photos at Museo Matachin), a princess during Nicolas II's reign. Che Guevara, Errol Flynn, Fidel Castro et al have slept there. She gave $25,000 to the Barbudos in 1959. They thanked her by building La Farola, the scenic zigzag road which leads here, freeing Baracoa from isolation in 1964. Spasibo, Magda. Her son, a painter, still lives and exhibits in town Fábrica de Cucurucho Fuerte de Seboruco (Hotel El Castillo)

Bike rentals Robert Sanregre Terrero : good bikes; located by Yalina y Gustavo's casa at Flor Crombet 127-A Tel. (21) 64-2881 cel. 54 25 58 62 Gaviotatours run by Wilder Laffita, office in lobby of Hotel La Habanera Tel. (21) 64-4115 or cel. 53 40 06 35 @ wilderl65@nauta.cu Cubatur excursions (see below), calle Maceo 149 Tél. (21) 64-5306 Agencia Flora y Fauna and Havanatur are also agencies offering "safaris" in nearby nature with local treasures such as the Almiqui, beautiful Polymitas and the mysterious Manati Cubana de Aviacion, calle Marti # 181 (21) 64-2171 Gustavo Rizo Airport (21) 64-2171 Havanautos (21) 64-3606 Wi-Fi spots in the tiny central park, in front of the 1511 Hotel : 1,50cuc per hour with a card from the sala Internet (Etecsa, Nauta) Also wi-fi in all local hotels, including by th pool up at Hotel El Castillo and at Hotel Maguana by the sea : has to be the loveliest wifi setting in Cuba. Massages in the casa. Professional Miguel Cantillo has 25 years experience Tel. (21) 64-3351 Money exchange officially in two banks : calle Martí 166 and Maceo 99, always full, don't waste your time; best choice (when open) is CADECA, Calle Marti 241; if closed, look for street vendor living steps away : you can trust him, rate is the same Clinica internacional calle Marti 239 Tel. (21) 64-1038

Bus Viazul Leaves Santiago daily at 7:50am and arrives Baracoa 12:35; return Baracoa-Santiago leaves at 14h, arrives 19h45); terminal by the bay entrance at the end of Maceo Street Cubana de Aviacion, to/from La Habana (Saturdays, 145cuc).

Do not buy polimitas, these pretty and extraordinary colourful shells — the species is endangered. In Spring 2011, on la Farola, in one of the curve lookouts, we bought some polimita shells — before reading on the subject in the beautiful album "Cuba, the Landshells Paradise" [Cuba el paraíso de los moluscos terrestres] by Cuban author Adrian Gonzalez Guillen — in English and Spanish with many colorplates. A masterpiece of the genre.

The Sea and the Yara
The damages caused by Hurricane Matthew during his visit to eastern Cuba on October 5, 2016 is still visible in the surrounding nature but life is back to normal. All casas particulares work as before the turmoil. Road sign at the exit of Baracoa on the road to Maguana: "Growing with the effort of all" © sogestour, Feb. 18 2017

Going east, there are treasures ... in the basement. This cueva is in the Sierra de los Farallones of Gran Tierra de Moa © antonio danieli, panoramio

The now legendary La Farola mountain route zigzags over 35 kilometers
The now legendary La Farola mountain route zigzags over 35 kilometers
| Sailing on the (longest) of the Toa River, these two search for the current © partwish, picasaweb.google.com

© partwish sur picasa•|• Chicos sur le Malecon © sogestour
The Rio Toa stretches over 116 kilometers of bucolic beauty: enlarge © partwish on picasa | Chicos on the Malecon © sogestour

Entrée de la baie et l'aéropiste © partwish sur picasa
The old boat Duaba was sunk voluntarily at the entrance of the bay; the end of the village and the aeropist on the other side of the canal "seen by Cristoforo Colombus" | The Castillo hotel and its swimming pool dominate the surroundings © partwish on picasa

La boca del rio Yumuri © partwish picasa
At the mouth (Boca) of the Yumuri River, beach strollers see the silhouette of the Yunque, ascending to the horizon © partwish picasa | Parque Marti, facing the Marilyn casa © sogestour

Carte régionale : cliquer pour agrandir
The rivers of Baracoa flow from sources: Yumuri, Miel, Duaba. Here, on the Toa, this guy offers rowboat rides © sogestour On click: the map of the region

Baracoa vu d'en haut
The city, its cathedral dominating in the center and at the bottom, Mount Yara © sogestour

Sur la baie, coucher de soleil derrière El Yunque
Beautiful, this arbol, facing the bank and you may admire it during the eternity the service at the bank usually takes © sogestour | The city, the bay, the track and the coast seen from the air ©

Playa Boca de Miel : agrandir © partwish sur picasa.com
Playa Boca de Miel : enlarge © partwish on picasa.com

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Town seen from El Castillo hotel - in March 2017

Playa Boca de Miel, at the mouth of the rio of the same name. They say who bathes in it will... Ask someone to tell you the legend.

Playa Cruz de Colon (Hotel Porto Santo) Playa Duaba (5 km) Playa La Punta and not least Playa Maguana (25 km) Playa Nava (31 km).

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Casa de la Trova always crowded, overflow on street : where tourist women get asked to dance; Casa de la Cultura with Afro-Cuban folk costume dancing; Cine-Teatro Encanto, the large Galeria de Arte on main plaza, Circulo Social, Disco Noche de Praga, the noisy El Ranchon (up the hill in reparto Paraiso : 146 steps up, swings after midnight), La Terraza de Cultura facing Casa del Chocolate; same for El Patio de Artex from 10 to midnight. El Paraiso (20 pesos cubanos per couple to try karaoke). Live music and dancing at Hotel Porto Santo and Hotel El Castillo hotels. On the first weekend in April, it is fiesta time during the Carnaval de Baracoa. See what the Terrace of Hotel La Habanera has become, day or night a great watch as watch can spot, without cars to fumigate you but with Burgs or sandwiches to fill you and pretty nice coffee from the real big espresso coffee machine as in Italy, per che ? SNACK BARS : Costa Norte - three along the Malecon; El Picopo (fast fool); the new hot dog (Perro Caliente) counter on Parque Marti; Pizzeria La Baracoesa (cheap, in pesos); Casa del Chocolate (cakes, cups of cocoa, snacks) PALADARES & RESTAURANTS Sabor Taino on Maravi, e/Maceo y Marti run by painter Mildo Carcases' wife Mercy cel. 54 81 26 22 La Colonial on Marti 123 has many seafood and fish dishes; There's La Musa de Piedra also on Maceo at 127; Paladar El Colonial Calle Marti (21) 64-3161; Paladar La Terraza Flor Crombet 143 (21) 64-3123; El Boulevard Maceo 131 (21) 64-5908; La Musa de Piedra Maceo 127 (21) 64-1830; Williams Marti 287 (21) 64-1917 or 64-2798 ALSO Caracol, El Parque, Cafeteria La Punta on Maceo 142 HOTEL DINING ROOMS Hostal Gaviota La Habanera, 10-room, 46cuc/day Cubanacan hotel in town centre (21) 64-5273; Hotel Gaviota Porto Santo, 80 rooms across the bay (21) 64-5106; Hotel Gaviota El Castillo, 34 rooms - sitting atop town (21) 64-5165; Hotel Gaviota La Rusa, on the seaside Malecon (21) 64-3011

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Río Toa, 10 km — One of the country's longest rivers, the Toa runs wide and deep with quite a strong current in season. Superb greens, freshwater swimming, memories to last a lifetime El Yunque, 8 km The famous, mysterious, daunting and irresistible mountaintop can be reached on foot in 2 and a half hours. Stupendous and well-deserved views of the area. The Campismo El Yunque with its wooden cabins is reserved for Cubans. Best is to book a day tour including transportation from Baracoa, leaves at 9h15, returns at 16h for 16cuc, including the trek with guide up the Yunque and 90 mins. swimming in a freshwater laguna. Check with Cubatur in town. Tel. (21) 64-5306 Finca Duaba, some 5 km on the way to Playa Maguana A typical waterside farm with all you can imagine, even a boat ride up the river and a typical meal. Boca de Yumuri, 15 km on the way to La Farola Freshwater river, small beach, canyon for trekking and kids selling you escargots. Catch a boat to the village where a local guide will take you up to El Balcón,narrow caves the length of the cliff face : 30 metres above the palm trees with lovely views across the ocean; bathe in a sub-terrain pool and bring a flashlight. Only Cuban place left where a few descendants (with facial features) of its aboriginal Tainos still live. Their hero was Guamá, who set fire to Spanish outposts in 1512, answering Hatuey's call. He was never captured and died of natural causes 20 years later Playa Maguana and Playa Nava, 28 and 34 km Best, quasi-deserted beaches of the region. Get there for the day or spend a night at Villa Maguana. (See bottom of page.) Boca de rio Miel this you can reach from town by walking on the black sand beach, beyond the beisbol stadium.

Located 40 km west of town, this is a World Heritage Site since 2001. An ecosystem with some 905 endemic (only found in Cuba) varieties of flora. Few of its 59,400 hectares are open to the public. A full-day excursion (9h-17h) including 4h30 mins in the mountains, 1h30 mins to the El Maja waterfall. English-Español guide on hand. 24cuc per person; min. 4 passengers, including transportation from Baracoa by minibus or jeep. Boat ride on the bay of Taco is available on request. Book through Gaviotatours in hotel La Habanera lobby or with Cubatur in town by the art gallery. (21) 64-53-06 Go before BP causes another unpaid-for oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Pay attention, this video shows you how to do this at home, assuming you have a coconut tree in the backyard, eh ?
In the tiny mountain settlement of Cagüeibaje, 20km before Baracoa on La Farola, there is a lookout point and kiosk where a group of mountain villagers and cooking artesans headed by Sra. Eyder Laffita sell what some say is the best cucurucho in Cuba.

Served in a cone, the cucurucho is basically grated coconut sweetened with pineapple, grapefruit and guanábana, sometimes honey. Strictly natural, it's a sweet like no other.

The group also offers cremas de coco, turrones (nougats), empanadas, fresh juice, wine, vinegar and bocaditos. During the
Fiesta de La Farola (end of July), they sell out.

::: Make sure that in your first email or phone call you specify that you want to book a room in that particular casa and that you will reconfirm your booking on arrival in Cuba. Unless you only want a room in any house which may be of the same quality, not the specific casa you booked through photos on these websites ::: So as to not abandon expecting owners with empty rooms, reconfirm (or call ahead to cancel) your booking by phone as soon as you can after arriving in Cuba ::: Please write or phone a casa owner to cancel a booking. As late as it may seem, it allows them a chance to rebook. ::: Children under the age of 16 may share a bedroom with adults for free. Specify the child's age when booking. ::: Maximum bedroom capacity is not limited to two adults ::: Larger casas are not limited to renting only two bedrooms per night. ::: At the end of the casa name, the V signals the casa was suggested by travelers or owners but not verified by the website staff. If you try it and like it, write us about it. ::: Unless otherwise mentioned, the average room rates and service prices are : 20-25cuc per bedroom per night [up to 40+ for 4 in a room]; breakfasts 3-5cuc, dinners 7-10cuc. ::: Any casa particular anywhere in Cuba must have a hot water shower, otherwise it cannot have a permit to rent ::: Please share your Complaints, comments & suggestions webmaster [@]cubacasas.net

The town and its bay as seen from El Yunque © sogestour

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• From Canada and the USA : 011 53 (add phone # preceded by 21 for Baracoa) • From Europe, Great Britain, Scandinavia and Mexico : 00 53 (add phone # preceded by 21 for Baracoa) ••• HOW TO DIAL A CUBAN PHONE NUMBER HERE ••• CELL PHONE NUMBERS on our town lists and casa pages are preceded by 05 for calls originating Havana; from anywhere else in Cuba, dial 01 + the 8 digits of the cell.

Click on logo to open a message addressed to that casa in your email application; or right-click to copy address. Spanish vocabulary here. Google translate here.
Click photos to see each casa's page and description. Locate most casas on this map..
See the casas in sequence.
See all casas in sequence.
Move to next casa by clicking this logo.
Six ac bedrooms, ensuites, terrace, mirador
Flor Crombet 125, e/ Frank Pais y Pelayo Cuervo, steps from town center. Tel. (21) 64-5809 cell 52 81 35 79

Two a-c bedrooms, ensuites, roof terrace
Felix Reúnes 29, e/ Coroneles Galano y Céspedes, one block from Casa de la Trova. Tel. (21) 64-3441 cell 53 10 49 84

Baracoa Rafael y Adis

Two ac bedrooms with ensuites, roof terrace
Frank Pais 6, e/ Maximo Gomez y Flor Crombet, steps from Malecon. Tel (21) 64-53-57

Three a-c br's, ensuites, roof terrace, wifi
Ciro Frias 18, e/ Martí y Maceo, opening on to Parque Marti in town center. Tel. (21) 64-3427

Baracoa Casa Elvira

Five a-c bedrooms, ensuites, rooftop terrace
Flor Crombet 112 & 115, e/ Frank Pais y Pelayo Cuervo, on a calm stretch of street in town center. Tél. (21) 64-2536 cell 52 45 36 46

Upstairs, two a-c bedrooms, ensuite, terraces
Pelayo Cuervo 17, e/ Marti y Maceo, 50 m from the cathedral in town center. Tel. (21) 64-5481 cel 52 71 85 64 or 53 07 10 01 Yixel

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One large ac bedroom, garden-patio
Calle Cespedes 44, e/Calixto Garcio y Ruber Lopez, three blocks from the Cathedral (Parque Central). Tél. (21) 64-2392

Four a-c bedrooms, ensuites, two terraces
Frank País 19, e/ Martí y Maceo, some 50m from Plaza Central Tel. (21) 64-5869 cel. 53 10 49 01

Two a-c bedrooms, ensuites, patio
Céspedes 28, e/ Rubert Lopez y Maceo in centro ciudad. Tel. (21) 64-1443 or cell 52 91 74 03

Upstairs, six br's, ensuites, roof dining
Marti 81, e/ 24 de Febrero y Coliseo, two blocks from the Malecon . Tel. (21) 64-1253 cel. 52 91 13 14

Two ac br's (one upstairs), ensuites; sea view
Maceo 168A, e/ Cespédes y Ciro Frias, one block from the cathedral. Tél: (21) 64-3881 cel. 53 48 61 82

One a-c bedroom, ensuite bathroom
Calixto Garcia 162, e/ Cespedes y Coroneles Galano, close to Hotel Castillo. Tel. (21) 64-2754 cel. 52 91 57 12

Carte de ville - Casa Ana Elbys

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Four a-c bedrooms, ensuites, patio, parking
Mariana Grajales 35, e/ Calixto Garcia y Emiliano Corrales, under Hotel Castillo promontory down the hill in Reparto Playa. Tel. (21) 64-2267 cel. 53 55 36 34

Two a-c bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms
Maceo 86, e/ 24 de Febrero y 10 de Octubre, a block from Parque Independencia. Tel. (21) 64-2647

Two ac br's upstairs, ensuites, terrace
Moncada 18-B, e/ Martí y República, 150 meters from beach and 5 blocks from Plaza Central. Tel. (21) 64-1910 cell 52 93 98 57

Two a-c bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms
Maceo 92, e/ 24 de Febrero y 10 de Octubre, one block from Parque Independencia. Tél. (21) 64-3124

Two a-c bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms
Céspedes 29, e/ Rubert Lopez y Maceo in town center. Tel. (21) 64-3548

Two ac bedrooms, ensuites, patio
Maceo 166, e/ Ciro Frias y Cespedes in town centre. Tel. (21) 64-2466 cel. 53 95 63 16


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Two a-c bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms
Marti 287, e/ Abel Diaz y G. Blanco, near the Museo Municipal and the Malecon . Tel. (21) 64-1917 cel. 52 89 46 89

One upstairs bedroom, ensuite, balcony
Flor Crombet 236-A, entre Limbano Sánchez y Roberto Reyes, steps from the Malecon. Tel. (21) 64-4398 cel. 54 18 70 31

Two a-c bedrooms, ensuites, patio, roof terrace
Rodney Coutin #100, e/Juracion two blocks from the sea. Casa phone - cell 52 33 29 16 or Adrian's cell 52 71 85 26


Two a-c bedrooms, ensuites, patio
Calle 1ro (Primero) de Abril #55, e/Julio Antonio Mella y Libertad in reparto La Playa, in front of La Pesc. Tel. (21) 64-1091 cel. 53 95 60 44


Upstairs, three a-c bedrooms, ensuites
Ruber Lopez 91, e/Limbano Sanchez y Ramon Lopez Peña five blocks from the central park. Tel. (21) 64-2011 cel. 58 02 87 79


One a-c bedroom, ensuite, on beach
José Marti 393, corner (esquina) Coroneles Galardo, by the panaderia (bakery), facing Playa de Miel. Tel. (21) 54-5158 cel. 5
2 40 01 16


Footprint Handbook (FH), Géo Guide (GG), Le Routard (LR), Lonely Planet (LP), Moon Handbooks (MH), Gallimard (NG), Petit Futé (PF), Stefan-Loose (SL) and web site Trip Advisor (TA)
::: FH
: Andrés Cruzata Rigores, Casa Colonial Gustavo y Yalina, Lucy, César Labori Balga, La Colina - Alberto Matos, Yamilé Selva Bartelemy ::: GG : César Labori, Margarita, Abel, Colonial Andres, Walter, Edgar, Ana Elbis Torres Lobaina, Mery y Mery y Luis, Walner ::: LR : Casa Azul, Casa Colonial Gustavo y Yalina, Isabel Castro Vilato, La Terraza Yindra y Ruben, Yolanda Quintero, Ysabel Garrido, Yamilé y Ramon, Yennis y Igmar, El Paraiso, Rafael y Yainis, Casa Tropical, Soleluna, El Mirador, Walter, Nancy Borges Gallego, Elsa Figueroa Toirac ::: LP : Ykira Mahiquez, La Casona, Isabel Castro Vilato, Yamicel, Dorkis, Lucy, Nilson ::: MH : Fernando y Natasha, Josefina, El Mirador, Isabel Castro Vilato ::: NG : Andrés Cruzata Rigores, Lucy, Daniel Salomon Pajan ::: PF : Casa Colonial Gustavo y Yalina, La Moderna ::: SL : La Terraza de Baracoa (Rafael y Adis), La Catedral, Alejandro y Nancy, Casa Walter, Norge y Nelida Sevila, Sofi Lambert, El Mirador, Ykira Mahiquez, Yalina y Gustavo, Marilin Noa Hernandez ::: TA : Yamicel, La Terraza de Baracoa (Rafael y Adis), Cesar, Nelsy, Paradiso, Casa Colonial Gustavo y Yalina, Fernando y Natacha, Ykira, Edda y Alexis, Tony Mulet, Alejandro & Susana, BuenaVista, Adrian, Elvira, Yamilet Selva 18.02.18

manfredo19, tripad visor jan 2013
It had to happen : more people, more services, more hassles but the beach is still one of the best and as yet unspoilt in Cuba. (Albeit quasi totally destroyed by hurricane Matthew in October 2016. Those coconut trees have yet to grow back : in 30 years ?).

Playa Maguana now offers the opportunity to stay in a casa particular - at least four casas offered accommodation as of Spring 2017. Two are located across the main road and two more seaside.

Getting here is a 20CUC taxi ride, there is the famous Villa Maguana (below) hotel at one end, beyond a narrow rio.

Four or five paladars and bars have sprouted - there was NOTHING when we were here first in the late 90's... except the Villa, reserved for deserving govmint wokas ; - ). Yes, there are souvenir vendors. Each and every one will ask you once - after you've settled.

Can't lie down in the shade of a coconut tree anymore, 'cause theys wuz all blown down by Andrew, eh ?. If you turn sellers down, they will not bother you anymore.

So go with the flow and don't let it bother you. Chill and listen to the breaking sea. Reminder that Maguana is one of the most agitated beaches on the island - constant beeg waves. There's even a lifeguard and (believe it or not), wi-fi service in the state-run bar snack-bar.

Peter K from Toronto wrote on tripad visor in August 2015 : "Gold sand and clear water : the best time to go are week days, weekends are very busy with locals, go to the end of beach (opposite side from the Villa), it's very private and romantic."

Here's what Canadian Photog (and long-time traveler to Cuba) Renald Laurin sent us in March 2016 :

"Hidiolvis began his career in tourism by offering food to Maguana beachgoers. He then invested in the construction of a B & B, and so, since mid 2014 has been welcoming travelers with his lovely family : wife Anya, teenager Juan and baby Diego.

"The bedroom is independent - at the rear of the main house. It is adjacent to the family patio and ranchon, where a wood-fired barbecue allows for fish, chicken and seafood meals. No luxury here, only the essential : a double bed, a single bed, shelves and hooks for clothes, a desk and two chairs. Air conditioning, two nice size windows, hot water in the shower. Everything is new and very clean, beautiful ceilings and doors of exotic wood.

Maguana-Hidolvis - Renald Laurin
Hidiolvis and spouse Anya await © renald laurin

Independent bedroom © renald laurin

Dining area © renald laurin

"Hidiolvis had the excellent idea of €‹building two palapas to enjoy home cooking.

Located twenty paces in the back of the house, into the wooded area, forming a natural patio, topped with a palm roof : a beautiful natural setting and super quiet for meals. Hibiscus, banana and passion fruits trees complete the decor, plus a hammock, dogs, cats and chickens.

"Home cooked food is very fresh. I was there in full season of avocados and maracujas, both with unsurpassed flavor.

The maracuya fresh juice (passion fruit) is a true magical drink for the Nordic I am! I ate langostinas, smaller than lobsters, a delicacy of impeccable freshness, prepared to perfection. There is now a second bedroom upstairs available since the end of 2016.

A view from the bed © Renald Laurin

Maguana Casa Hidiolvis
If you contact Hidiolvis or spouse Anya, you can always mention "renaldo el fotografo canadiense". Phone cel. 53 10 48 75

Renald had the pleasure of going up the Maguana river with Anya and children to enjoy a fresh water swim in the natural pools of the river." End of message. Muchas Gracias, Renaldo !

The casa's e-mail is hidiolvis[at]nauta.cu - msges land on their cell phone

Glorious Maguana : go before the Elvis Grattons of this world invade it © Odessite, tripad visor

On Maguana beach, some 20 km west of Baracoa over the bridge of the Toa river (Cuba's largest), on the way to Moa.

This is a less well-kept secret since Cuba Handbook and Fodor's started writing about it (after reading our web pages?) in the first years of the third millenium.

If you come for the day at the beach next door, do take the time to walk up to its seaside and beach (tiny horseshoe playa) bar and grill to enjoy drinks and lunch. It is a most lovely spot, like the British Virgin Islands were lovely in the 1950's

Villa Maguana © sogestour
the bar & grill © lazara46, tripad

Gaviota, after a few months of renovations, reopened it on Nov. 15 2006, having added three two-storey buildings to the four bedrooms in the original building.

Each new building boasts 4 luxurious double bedrooms on two floors and an enlarged dining room for a total of 16 double bedrooms with modern bathrooms, a/c, fridge, hot water of course and satellite TV reception in each room.

The new room rates in High Season are 75cuc per bedroom including breakfast (or 37,50cuc per person); single occupancy, 60cuc. (5cuc less per room in low season). Meals seem reasonably priced at 7 to 9cuc. No sports activity offered although they may still have swim fins and masks available, we forgot to ask.

So, enjoy this pretty well-done expansion for the moment : it's still a great value for the dollar for those who want to be away from it all.

the new buildings © sogestour

The main 2-km beach next door may have been slated for an all-inclusive resort with an international airport being planned for Moa but Gaviota does not plan anything major in the near future, as this area is still officially part of the Alejandro de Humboldt UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The beach's coconut trees were all felled by hurricane Matthew in October 2016.

a view from the bar © splong, tripad

Tel. (21) 64-1204 Visa and Mastercard accepted. Main res office is in the Porto Santo Hotel of Baracoa (21) 64-5339 castillo @enet.cu

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Content & photos © sogestour

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Updated 23.12.2017