Cafetal La Isabelica

Top choice in Santiago de Cuba Province

The hub of the Unesco World Heritage site bestowed in 2000 upon the First Coffee Plantations in the Southeast of Cuba is this impressive two-story stone mansion, with its three large coffee-drying platforms, built in the early 19th century by French émigrés from Haiti. It's a 2km hike beyond La Gran Piedra on a rough road.

The complex includes a workshop filled with period tools, the sobering quarters of enslaved people and antique coffee-processing machinery. If available, it's well worth using a guide (be sure to tip) to show you around as there are no explanatory signs. There were once more than 60 such cafetales in the area.

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