Surrounded by rivers and cut off by the sea and mountains, Cuba’s oldest city of Baracoa has remained somewhat isolated since its founding in 1511. It is in part due to this isolation that Baracoa has managed to retain its own unique qualities that charm many passing visitors. The town itself is a picturesque setting, with small pastel-coloured colonial buildings lining the streets and an energetic cultural scene.
The countryside surrounding Baracoa is credited as being some of the most beautiful in Cuba. It is hard to argue with the fertile, mountainous landscape laced in cocoa and coconut trees, and threaded with pristine rivers. The Cuchillas del Toa biosphere reserve is a particular beauty, home to an assortment of flora and fauna and the majestic 17-metre high Saltadero Waterfall. The most impressive piece of Baracoa’s landscape, the magnificent, anvil-shaped mountain El Yunque, can easily be climbed in a day and is a perfect way to take in the scenic wonders.