4 of the most amazing cuban towns
Cuban towns are the sum of a series of cultures, races and identities of the people, capable of surprising visitors with their stories and traditions.
Formed by the typical church in the central square, around which the most important administrative and commercial instances are gathered, Cuban settlements treasure values, legends and monuments that exalt the land and amaze the passing foreigners.
“Cuba” and “charm” are two words that are closely linked. Its paradisiac beaches and cities like Havana or Santiago de Cuba are not the unique attractiveness of the island; there is also a rich group of Cuban towns worthwhile to visit.
That is why on this occasion we present ten of these towns that have stories to tell and that we could visit during our Caribbean vacation. It is not easy to choose among these places; they are small but are full of charm as all of the country.
From west to east, following the narrow and elongated shape of the island, we will take an imaginary tour showing the most attractive places. Some of them you will have already read about in the tourist guides or in previous articles, but others are new in this proposal.
In this post we are going to do a briefly description about this 4 cuban towns: Baracoa (Guantánamo), Gibara (Holguín), Viñales (Pinar del Río) and Trinidad (Sancti Spiritus).
Baracoa, Havana´s farest cuban towns
Baracoa (also know as Ciudad Primada) is an idyllic city in eastern Cuba. Although it belongs to Guantánamo, it is very near Holguín.
It was the first villa that the Spaniards founded in the whole continent, by the Spanish conqueror Diego Velázquez in 1510. In fact, it was the first capital of the country and Hernán Cortés was the first mayor of Baracoa. It is said that a fragment of the vine cross, established by Columbus, is preserved from that period.
The town, which in the indigenous language means “existence of sea” is now an attractive tourist destination in Cuba.
Also called City of the Waters, City of the Mountains, City of the Rains, City of Landscape and City of the First. Baracoa was declared National Monument and among its natural attractions, we highlight Toa River with it spectacular cascades.
Its history and the beautiful green-blue contrast between the dense vegetation and the coasts full of life, make it an impressive site that we deserve to know.
Gibara, International Cinema Festival
It is believed that Christopher Columbus sighted Cuban mainland on the mountain now known as “Silla de Gibara” on October 27, 1492. The following day he arrived at Baray Bay and the following day, on 29 October, his ships reached the Gibara´s Bay, baptized as Rio de Mares by Columbus.
Gibara, also known as the Villa Blanca, would not be founded as such until 1817. Its squares, neoclassical buildings, museums, beaches and caves, as well as the fortresses of Cuartelón and the Battery of Fernando VII, turn Gibara into one of the loveliest towns of Cuba.
Gibara enamora al visitante por la exquisitez de sus paisajes. Quizás por eso el cineasta cubano Humberto Solás la inmortalizó en dos de sus filmes más paradigmáticos: «Lucía» y «Miel para Oshun».
It is located in the present province of Holguín, a little more than 30 kilometers from the city of the same name.
The beauty and commercial importance of its port triggered the controversy regarding the possible landing of Christopher Columbus during his first contact with that land, though recent historical research points out that he actually landed in the Bay of Bariay.
Viñales, cuban cigar towns
In the western province of Pinar del Río, the town of Viñales is home to the Valle de Viñales National Park and Cultural Landscape of Humanity, surrounded by mogotes that give it a dazzling beauty.
180 kilometers from Havana you can find Viñales, a small town in the province of Pinar del Río that stands out because of the natural landscape of the Viñales Valley, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, that surrounds it.
There, in addition to vegetation, you can contemplate the Mural of Prehistory, painted on a rocky formation, representing the natural evolution of life.
Although archaeological excavations reveal the presence of aborigines in several places in the Viñales Valley, the first recorded settlements date back to the early 19th century, when numerous families arrived there motivated by tobacco cultivation.
Trinidad most beautiful cuban town
If I were asked which is the most beautiful people in Cuba, I would answer without a doubt that it is Trinidad. Today, Trinidad remains one of America’s best-preserved colonial sites.
Its foundation dates back to 1514, when the advance of the Spanish Crown, Diego Velázquez, established the “Third Villa” on this land, which today belongs to the province of Sancti Spíritus.
UNESCO declared the historical center of Trinidad, one of the first Cuban villages founded by the Spanish, World Heritage Site in 1988.
Among its many points of interest are the History Museum, the Guamuhaya Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Colonial Architecture, the “Casa de la Trova”, the old sugar factories and the Romantic Museum in the Plaza Mayor.
A few kilometers away, we find Ancon beach and the Sugar Mills Valley, also of high patrimonial and anecdotal value, since the remains of the most important sugar mills in the area during the Cuban sugar boom are located there.