Guantanamo Province

This easternmost province on the island of Cuba is also the most markedly distinct from the rest of the country.  Although there was a Spanish settlement in Guantanamo in the 16th Century, it was settled by French immigrants in the 18th century and mostly developed during the 19th and 10th Centuries. Its topography is marked by heavy contrasts with the only semi-desert area south of the only rainforest in Cuba. It is precisely here where Baracoa city is located, indubitably the main tourist destination in the province since it was the first out of the seven villages founded by Spanish Conquistador Diego Velazquez de Cuellar on the island of Cuba in the early 1510´s, making it the oldest city in Cuba. A spectacular road stretch called “La Farola” separates the barren south coast from the luxuriantly beautiful northern coast vegetation, a road that seems to overlap and languish in the air, a magnificent work of Cuban engineering. Coconut, cocoa and banana plantations cohabit with lush tropical forests while the landmark mountain formation commonly known as “El Yunque” or “The Anvil” because of its unmistakable outline, is home to Cuchillas del Toa UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.