Indulge in the memories of travelling the winding roads by horse drawn carriages, and drink in the enchanting wonder of one of Cuba’s oldest cities. This important city played a vital role in Cuban independence and continues to flourish with pride and pizazz. From eclectic galleries to architecture that withstood the sands of time, and battle - Bayamo is undeniably a city with age old charm and character. Take a step into a world where Cuban culture all but began, and find a piece of history in this magnificent region.
Bayamo was founded in 1513 and was only the second village to be established by Spanish Governor Diego Velàzquez. Not only was this village amongst the first to be founded, but it was also the capital of the First Republic in Arms during the Cuban War of Independence in the 19th century. During this time, the people of San Salvador de Bayamo were deeply invested in the struggle for independence, and instead of surrendering their village to the colonialists, they decided to burn it to the ground. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes demanded equality and independency, he freed the slaves and occupied the town. This day, the 10th of October 1868 is a National Holiday today, named "Grito de Yara". The hymn of victory "La Bayamesa" is now the Cuban anthem. Just shortly after this victory the Spanish Colonial Army wanted to reconquer the city. The people of Bayamo burnt down the city to avoid a defeat. Since then Bayamo carries the name "La Heróica" - the heroic.
Things to see and to do in Bayamo
History enthusiasts will find themselves amidst a treasure chest of landmarks, museums and story tellers, eager to share the tales that shaped Bayamo. La Catedral de Bayamo and the smaller chapel to the side of this quintessential landmark both boast exquisite baroque alters and a spectacular spiritual history that will leave even the most sceptical visitors in awe.
If you are intrigued by the Cuban history then be sure to visit the birthplace of Cuba’s “father” - Carlos Manuel de Cèspedes. This casa is the only building miraculously unaffected by the fire but it has been transformed into a museum which not only signifies the life of the nation but also the life of the man behind the nation.
Along with this museum, there is also the Museo de Provincial which showcases documents and artefacts from the fire as well as other awe inspiring gems of Cuba’s history.
While the history of the region is truly inspiring you will also have ample opportunity to simply absorb the beauty of the region and the simplicity of the local lifestyle. Visit the peaceful Parque Cèspedes or indulge in a tour of the town on a horse drawn, handcrafted cart - this enticing means of transport will have you feeling like you just stepped back in time!
Jardín Botánico Cubaynicu
If you have enough of the vibrant city and like the nature, you can go to the Jardín Botánico Cubaynicu. It's located 16 km south of Bayamo and you can discover more than 2300 different plants. There are cactuses, palm trees, orchids and some endangered plants. You can also find the most extensive collection of medical plants in Cuba.
More information about the country and the people of Cuba, you can find here.