Activities in Baracoa
Southeast of town in the Parque Natural Majayara are a couple of magical hikes that can only be done on foot. Passing the Fuerte Matachín, hike southeast past the baseball stadium and along the dark-sand beach for about 20 minutes to a rickety wooden bridge over the Río Miel. After crossing the bridge turn left, and follow a track up through a cluster of rustic houses to another junction. A guard-post here is sometimes staffed by a park official who will collect CUC$1. Turn left again and continue along the vehicle track until the houses clear and you see a fainter single-track path leading off left to Playa Blanca, an idyllic spot for a picnic.
Staying straight on the…
Baracoa’s rite of passage is the 8km (up and down) hike to El Yunque. At 575m it’s not Kilimanjaro, but the views from the summit and the flora and birdlife along the way are stupendous. Cubatur offers this tour almost daily (CUC$18 per person, minimum two people). The fee covers admission, guide, transport and a sandwich. The hike is hot (bring sufficient water) and usually muddy. It starts from a campismo 3km past the Finca Duaba (4km from the Baracoa–Moa road). Bank on seeing tocororo (Cuba’s national bird), zunzún (the world’s smallest bird), butterflies and polymitas.