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Guanabacoa, Cuba

Discover Guanabacoa and its attractions, in Havana, Cuba, and learn about British influence in Cuba

Guanabacoa, Cuba
Guanabacoa, Cuba
© Byron Howes

Guanabacoa is a municipality and small town in the region of Havana, Cuba. This municipality is one of the oldest in the region, and the first references to it date back to the 16th century. This historic town still boasts the atmosphere of old towns in Cuba. Its historical centre has been declared a National Heritage Site and is truly worth the visit. There, you can see many quite different and impressive buildings, and intriguing monuments.
Guanabacoa also features ancient buildings that have seen the town through many periods, such as the Liceo Artístico, Santo Domingo Convent, San Francisco Convent, or the Ermita del Potosí Hermit, which is believed to be one of the oldest buildings in Cuba.

The main street of Guanabacoa is the Parque Martí, which still preserves much of its rural feel and atmosphere characteristic of a small town. It is known as “Pueblo Embrujado” (Enchanted Town) by locals due to its strong roots in Santería and indigenous connections.

It is impossible to talk about this historic town without explaining some of its history: in 1540, Spanish conquistadores gathered the few remaining Taíno people here, making it one of the few official Indian settlements of Cuba. This town was occupied by the British in 1762, despite resistance from its mayor José Antonio Gómez Bolones (better known as Pepe Antonio), who attained a legendary status for leading a group of guerrillas behind British lines.

Nowadays, Guanabacoa is a small and colourful town worth visiting while on a trip from Regla, and is easily accessed by ferry. Some of the most important places are: Guanabacoa Church, Guanabacoa Municipal Museum, and the Martyrs Museum.

How to get to Guanabacoa:

If you wish to use public transport, bus line P-15 departing from Capitolio Nacional (Central Havana) stops here. It is also possible to walk from Regla along Colina Lenin, which takes around 45 minutes.

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