In the Cuban popular imagination, Baracoa really is the end of line – which is fair enough when one considers that there wasn’t actually a road to there till 1964. Isolated for so many years, it has a strong life of its own, and is one of the few places in the country where it is still possible to trace Taíno genes in locals’ faces.
The bustling village sits where the Cuchillas del Toa hills meet the Caribbean at the Bay of Baracoa, at the cusp of the Alejandro de Humboldt National Park, one of the most important biospheres in the Caribbean basin. Its endless rivers and palms are best admired from the vast, flat summit of the local ‘rock’ El Yunque. This is Cuba’s Garden of Eden.