As a defence against marauding pirates in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, the Captain of Baracoa, one Pedro Oviedo, ordered the fortifications of three forts in Baracoa between 1739 and 1742. Castillo Seburuco, which overlooks the town and El Yunque from the northern hills, has been converted into a hotel, while the Malecón is sealed by La Punta, now a restaurant, a door in its western wall that leads down a flight of stairs to the tiny Playa La Punta, a good spot for a quiet dip. East of the centre, past the shops and the triangular Parque Maceo – complete with bust – is Fuerte Matachín, a well-preserved structure with the original cannons ranged along its walls. The cool interior now houses the town museum, with a good collection of delicately striped polymitas snail shells, some Amerindian relics and a history of the town’s most celebrated characters.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Cuba features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

12 tips for backpacking Cuba

12 tips for backpacking Cuba

Cuba’s captivating, colourful streets and carnaval­ feel make it appealing for travellers year­-round. The country's popularity is skyrocketing, and visit…

10 May 2016 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
Delving into the Daiquiri: Havana’s favourite drink

Delving into the Daiquiri: Havana’s favourite drink

Cuba’s cocktails chart the country’s ambivalent relationship with its neighbour to the north, America. This is most obviously demonstrated by the Cuba Libre…

24 Feb 2016 • Henry Jeffreys insert_drive_file Article
What's new for Cuba in 2016? 10 developments to watch out for this year

What's new for Cuba in 2016? 10 developments to watch out for this year

Record numbers of visitors have been racing to get to Cuba ‘before it changes forever’ since President Obama’s historic announcement in December 2014 that…

18 Jan 2016 • Matt Norman insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month