Río Toa

Guantánamo Province

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 important bird and plant habitat. Cacao trees and ubiquitous coconut palms grow in the Valle de Toa.

A vast hydroelectric project on the Río Toa was abandoned after a persuasive campaign led by the Fundación de la Naturaleza y El Hombre convinced authorities it would do irreparable ecological damage; engineering and economic reasons also played a part.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Guantánamo Province attractions

1. Finca Duaba

1.28 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. Playa Duaba

1.59 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…

3. Fuerte de la Punta

3.17 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…

4. El Yunque

3.53 MILES

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…

5. Castillo de Seboruco

3.53 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…

6. Casa del Cacao

3.55 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…

7. Poder Popular

3.59 MILES

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

8. Bust of Hatuey

3.63 MILES

Facing the cathedral is the Bust of Hatuey, a Taíno cacique (chief) who was burned at the stake near Baracoa in 1512 after resisting Spanish colonization…