Due to its geographic isolation, Baracoa, Cuba, is just beginning to be discovered by tourists. Those who venture to this remote northeastern corner of the island will discover an almost unspoiled colonial village surrounded by secluded beaches and virgin rainforest. On the horizon looms the most recognizable local landmark, a table-topped hill called El Yunque.
Baracoa’s cobblestone streets are lined with one-story buildings whose peeling, carnival coloured paint jobs and weathered tile roofs add, rather than detract, from their charm. Local people watch you curiously from wide verandas. Some may approach you to sell sweets, but they are not as mercenary as the vendors in Havana. Baracoa, where cocoa trees grow in abundance, is famous for its white chocolate sold in round, flat cakes encased in palm bark. Also try the cucurucho, an ambrosia of honey, coconut, nuts and fresh seasonal fruit served in cones of palm bark.
Music lovers will appreciate Baracoa’s unique changüí music, which can be heard echoing through the streets of nearby villages Virginia and Yateras. Baracoa is also the home of the Tumba Francesa, a Creole dance inspired by the French minuet.