Guantánamo is a city in the southeast of Cuba, famous for the nearby permanently leased US military base, on the territory of which the so-called Guantanamo prison for those accused of various crimes is located.
Guantanamo was founded in 1820 by the Catalans and the French, and the bulk of the city’s population was made up of slaves and free people. There are sugar plantations in the Guantanamo area, and the main sectors of the economy are the production of sugar cane and cotton wool.
How to get to Guantanamo
There are regular flights to Guantanamo from two airports – Fort Lauderdale in Florida and Kingston in Jamaica. Lynxair operates 4 flights a week from Fort Lauderdale, while Air Sunshine operates 4 flights from Fort Lauderdale and two flights from Kingston.
You can rent a car at the TRANSTUR office located at the Guantanamo Hotel.
Local cuisine can be sampled at La Bodeguita de Paseo, while Ensueños, Hanoi and La Avellaneda serve both traditional local and international cuisine.
There are several beaches near Guantanamo, which can be reached via the Baracoa Higway:
- Yateritas Beach 33 km from the city;
- Dona Yuya at 34 km;
- Tortugilla Beach in 35 km;
- Sabanalamar Beach in 66 km;
- Yacabo Beach в 80 км;
- Imias Beach в 88 км;
Entertainment and attractions Guantanamo
Among the streets with square blocks of houses, several impressive buildings stand out – this is the Palacio Salcines palace, the market square and the house of culture of Rubén López Sabariego.
In 1919, hydraulic engineer José Leticio Salcines Morlote realized his idea of building a palace in the heart of the city – the majestic Palacio Salcines building in the eclectic style. The dome of the palace, made in neoclassical style, is crowned by the sculpture La Fama, which since 1992 has been the coat of arms of the city.
The building of the former Spanish casino, now occupied by the house of culture Rubén López Sabariego, served as a meeting and entertainment place for Spanish immigrants in the early 20th century. The main facade of the building is designed in the eclectic style, and the columns are made according to the classical canons.
In Guantanamo there is a church, Saint Catalina De Ricci, whose construction began in 1837, but then stopped for two whole years. The last intervention in the architectural appearance of the church was made in 1959-1960, but the church building was not transferred anywhere and did not change its original size.
Notable neighborhoods of Guantanmo
To the north of Guantanamo Bay are the Sagua-Baracoa and Toa (Cuchillas del Toa) mountain ranges, which are home to some of the world’s last intact rainforests with many endangered animal and plant species. In 1996, the combined areas formed the Alexander von Humboldt National Park, one of the most important biosphere reserves located in the Caribbean. In 2001, the reserve was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The reserve includes pine and mangrove forests and coral reefs. The cueva de Cabeza de Moa karst caves are considered one of the five natural monuments of the country and one of the largest cave systems in the east of Cuba. Toa is home to Cuban woodpeckers, hawks, and flinttooths, as well as over 900 endemics.
To the south is the Cuban semi-desert, where the huge stone sculptures called Monitongos are remarkable. From above, it looks like a big train plows the hills.
To the south is the Cuban semi-desert, where huge stone sculptures called Monitongos are remarkable, since 1990 they have been included in the list of natural monuments of Cuba. From above it looks like a big train is plowing the hills; and the stones also look like giant mushrooms, turtles, iguanas, frogs or a model of the Great Wall of China. Scientists have established that in ancient times this chain of hills, several hundred meters long, was a sea basin and appeared due to tectonic processes, the effects of rain and the whim of the wind.
Another interesting attraction is the Zoologico de Piedra zoo, where animals are carved out of stone. In the zoo’s forest, sculptural farmer Angel Inigo Blanco carved about 300 life-size images of animals from all over the world. The zoo is located in the village of Boqueron, 15 km from Guantanamo and in 1977 was declared a cultural heritage of Cuba.
Weather in Guantanamo Bay
The average temperature in Guantanamo is maintained at 30 degrees throughout the year. At night, the temperature drops to 18-20 degrees. Precipitation is negligible and most of it falls between May and October. See Citypopulationreview for weather in the capital of Cuba.