Located between Santiago de Cuba and the Baconao River, the Parque Nacional de Baconao covers nearly 80,000 hectares!
Unusual: this is the first word that comes to mind to describe the Baconao Park!
Declared a biosphere reserve by Unesco, the park has, among other things, an open-air automobile museum and life-size dinosaur statues… Incredible but true!
Getting to the Parque Nacional de Baconao
The Parque Nacional de Baconao stretches for about 20 kilometers between Siboney, about 20 kilometers from Santiago de Cuba, and the Baconao River.
Tourist agencies in Santiago (Cubanacan, Ecotur, etc.) offer organized excursions to Baconao Park.
You can also book a private cab (about 0.50 CUC per kilometer).
Alternatively, the more adventurous can rent a moped from Cubacar (25 CUC for the day).
What to do in the Parque Nacional de Baconao?
La Gran Piedra
La Gran Piedra is a mountain range located in the Parque Nacional de Baconao.
It is one of the most popular excursions for tourists visiting Santiago de Cuba.
The beaches of the Parque Nacional de Baconao
Although the region of Santiago de Cuba is not particularly known for its beaches, it does have a few nice places to take a dip.
The beaches of Sigua, Baconao and Cazonal, located in the Parque Nacional de Baconao, are popular with fishing and snorkeling enthusiasts.
A shipwreck, the Guarico, can be reached south of Sigua beach.
La Valle de la Prehistoria
This is one of the most amazing attractions in the Parque Nacional de Baconao! The 11 hectares of the Valle de la Prehistoria (1 CUC per person) invite visitors to discover 200 life-size statues of dinosaurs, mammoths and prehistoric men.
For the record, the statues were built by inmates of a nearby prison.
The Museo Nacional del Transporte
Located in the Parque Nacional de Baconao, the Museo Nacional del Tansporte will delight car lovers.
44 models of American cars are exhibited, as well as 2,500 scale models.
Count 1 CUC for the entrance in the museum.
La Finca del Porvenir
About 20 kilometers from Santiago de Cuba, La Finca del Porvenir is a small tourist complex in the heart of the Baconao Park.
You will find a restaurant and a nice swimming pool where you can take a dip in the middle of nature.
You can also explore the surroundings on horseback.
The Baconao Lagoon
About 50km from Santiago de Cuba, the Baconao Lagoon is a 4km2 lagoon with the lush sierra as a backdrop.
A Taino village – one of the ethnic groups that inhabited Cuba before the arrival of the Spanish – has been reconstructed around the lagoon.
You can also rent a boat (2 CUC) to explore the area at your own pace.
Keep your eyes open for wild crocodiles and dolphins in the waters of Laguna Bacanao.
If you can’t see them, you can always go to the crocodile farm near the lagoon, but we don’t recommend it.
The animals don’t seem to be treated properly.
There are also hiking trails in the area.
If you want to explore them, you must be accompanied by a guide (2 CUC).
For the record, the American base of Guantanamo is located just on the other side of the mountains.
After dinosaurs and crocodiles, it’s time for fish! The Baconao Aquarium has a beautiful collection of colorful fish, as well as a section specially dedicated to sharks.
Twice a day, visitors can also watch dolphin shows… and even swim with them! The entrance ticket to the aquarium costs 7 CUC… and you’ll have to pay an extra 50 CUC if you want to see the show!
Granjita Siboney is the farm where Fidel Castro and his troops planned the attack on the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba in 1953.
Granjita Siboney is now a museum that tells the story of the offensive through photographs and personal effects that belonged to the fighters.
Baconao Park is home to two artists’ communities: El Oasis and the Communidad Artistica Verraco.
Artists’ studios are open to the public: ceramists, painters and sculptors exhibit and sell their work.
1800 species of endemic flowers
Baconao Park is surprising for its attractions, each more abracadabra than the other! But it is first and foremost for its incredible natural diversity that it was declared a “biosphere reserve” by Unesco in 1987.
The park has about 1800 species of endemic flowers, as well as a remarkable fauna.
Many of the species of bats and spiders of Baconao Park are indeed endangered.