El Yunque

Top choice in Guantánamo Province

Baracoa's rite of passage is the 8km (up and down) hike to the top of this moody, mysterious mountain. Views from the summit (575m) and the flora and birdlife along the way are stupendous. Bank on seeing tocororo (Cuba's national bird), zunzúncito (the world's smallest bird), butterflies and polymitas (colorful endangered snails). The hike is hot (bring 2L of water) and usually muddy. It starts from the campismo 3km past the Finca Duaba (4km from the Baracoa–Moa road).

All visits must be guided. Cubatur offers this tour almost daily (CUC$16 person, minimum four people). The fee covers admission, guide, transport and a sandwich. If you're not up to bagging the peak itself, ask Ecotur about the 7km Sendero Juncal-Rencontra that bisects fruit plantations and rain forest between the Duaba and Toa rivers.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Guantánamo Province attractions

1. Finca Duaba

2.36 MILES

Five kilometers out of Baracoa on the road to Moa and then 1km inland, Finca Duaba offers a fleeting taste of the Baracoan countryside. It's a verdant…

2. Río Toa

3.53 MILES

Ten kilometers northwest of Baracoa, the Toa is the third-longest river on the north coast of Cuba and the country's most voluminous. It's also an…

3. Playa Duaba

3.95 MILES

Heading north on the Moa road, take the Hotel Porto Santo/airport turnoff and continue for 2km past the airport runway to a black-sand beach at the river…

4. Fuerte de la Punta

4.63 MILES

This Spanish fort has watched over the harbor entrance at the northwestern end of town since 1803. The super thick, hurricane-resistant walls now hide a…

6. Castillo de Seboruco

4.78 MILES

Baracoa's highest fort was begun by the Spanish in 1739 and finished by the Americans in 1900. Barely recognizable as a fort these days, it serves as…

7. Casa del Cacao

4.86 MILES

Baracoa, you will quickly ascertain (via your nose), is the center of Cuba's chocolate industry; cacao is grown hereabouts and subsequently chocolate-ized…

8. Poder Popular

4.88 MILES

On triangular Plaza Independencia (this being Baracoa, they couldn't have a square plaza) is the neoclassical Poder Popular, a municipal government…