Baracoa celebrates its 505th founding anniversary and 1511 Hotel is opened

Posted: 18-Aug-16 09:30

Situated in Cuba's easternmost province of Guantanamo, Baracoa was the first Cuban city to be founded by Spanish conquerors in 1511. On 15th August, the beautiful Baracoa celebrated its 505th founding anniversary with the opening of a new hotel, book presentations and other activities.

Baracoa celebrates its 505th founding anniversary and 1511 Hotel is opened

Once the most important establishment in the Cuban island, Baracoa proves it has not yet lost its magic and charm, as it celebrates its 505th founding anniversary. Discovered by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage, this is one of the most stunning regions in the country filled with awe-inspiring natural beauty and wondrous heritage.

On 15th August, Baracoa celebrated one more year of its founding more than half a millennium ago. In order to commemorate this significant date, local authorities planned a series of activities including book presentations, tours, meetings and parties. Perhaps the most exciting event came in the form of a brand new hotel in Baracoa that opened its doors on that exact date, named 1511, the year Diego Velazquez founded the city.

Alejandro Hartmann, Baracoa’s historian, declared that this territory casts every visitor under its spell due to its interesting history, unique traditions and its untouched paradise-like nature. Alain Lioigier, French botanist who dedicated his life to studying Caribbean flora, also coincided with this point of view and stated that Baracoa keeps many secrets hidden within its beauty and sights that any visitor would love to discover.

Baracoa is the oldest Spanish settlement in Cuba and was its first capital. It is thought that the name stems from the indigenous Arauaca language word meaning "the presence of the sea". The city lies on the Bahia de Miel (Bay of Honey) and is surrounded by a wide mountain range (including the Sierra del Purial), which causes it to be quite isolated, apart from a single mountain road built in the 1960s.

Due to its distance from the current capital, the easternmost region was neglected for years. However, the enchanting flora and fauna that brings Baracoa alive has made it rise today as an important tourist destination. Tourist visits to the area have grown by 9% to 14%, with 389 hotel rooms between Baracoa and Guantanamo city and 200 private inns ("casas particulares") within Baracoa itself. At present, most foreign travellers to the city come from France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK and the province of Guantanamo in general is mostly visited by Americans, Mexicans and Italians.

Baracoa features beautiful hotels including La Rusa and El Castillito and boasts amazing and unique traditions within the Cuban island. Some of the most popular activities, aside from exploring natural surroundings, comprise trying local delicacies and products like coconut and cocoa cones as well as travelling through Baracoa’s impressive cocoa route.


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