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Guantanamo city


Situated 90km east of Santiago and a few kilometers north of the bay of the same name. The city seems to have two rather unfortunate unofficial emblems. One is a depot crammed with rusting buses that have no fuel, the other is an apartment tower that was to be showcase of efficient, prefabricated architecture.

The main reason to stop in this city is to visit the lookout at the American naval base, which is the last colonial outpost remaining on the island. These days the base is the home to around 7,000 American servicemen. It is a self-sufficient entity with its own TV and radio station , water supply, medical, sports and general recreational facilities. And of course, loads of prisoners who have never been given a trial.

City life revolves around Parque Marti, a pleasant leafy square shaded by laburnum trees ( glorious in March), and with an attractive golden-colored church, the Iglesia Parroquial de Santa Catalina. You can't forget to visit the attractive old houses on Calles Perez and Calixto Garcia.
 

Baracoa


It is situated on a bay close to the eastern tip of the island of Cuba where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. Founded in 1512 by Diego Velazquez, this is Cuba's oldest European settlement, things are pretty laid back in this town and the abundance of palm trees along this coast give it a South Pacific feel.

The fact that this was an important Spanish outpost is evidenced by the three impressive forts: Fuerte Matachin, now housing the Museo municipal; Fuerte de la Punta, now refitted with a restaurant; and El Castillo de Seboruco, which is now a pleasant hotel. On Calle Antonio Maceo, you'll find people queuing for hot chocolate drinks in the baking tropical sun at the Casa del Chocolate, opposite is a lovely Casa de la Trova, holding rooftop performances and you can't forget to visit Plaza Independencia (it is the focal point for community life in the city), Yunque de Baracoa and The Stone Zoo, which comprises a multitude of stone animals. In recent years Baracoa has also become more popular with tourists that are looking to visit a less developed beach area.

 

Baracoa

    

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