Baconao Park is a large park region, located about 20 kilometers away from the city of Santiago de Cuba, with a total surface of 923.6 km² (356.6 sq mi). In 1987, it was declared a World Heritage Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO.
Origin of Name
Origin of Name.
The name Baconao is related to the name of a little native that lived in the south of Cuba during the pre-Columbian period. Legend mentions a magical tree, called bacona, that allowed the kid to play music from the lagoon's snails.
This little Cuban was known for his fishing and swimming skills, as well as playing Batos (Cuban original baseball game).
The kid used to sit under the bacona tree to play music from his snail. Everybody in the village was fascinated, and thought that the ability to play the music was a gift from the magical tree. Therefore, they began to call the kid Baconao.
One day, the young boy left the village for a trip, and never came back. The villagers believed that the kid's magic returned back to the trees, and as time passed, the whole area got the name Baconao.
The park contains a variety of attractions beside wildlife refuges and coffee plantations.
The Great Rock is a large rock of volcanic origin, measuring 51 m (167 ft) long, 25
Great Rock (Gran Piedra)
m (82 ft) high, and 30 m (98 ft) wide. Its estimated weight is more than 63 thousand tons.
It is possible to climb 459 stone steps to the summit of the rock, and stand 1,234 meters above sea level for a panoramic view. It is said that on a dark night one can see the lights of Jamaica.
In the Valle de la Prehistoria visitors encounter dozens of
life-size model dinosaurs sculpted in stone and other prehistoric creatures lurking in lush vegetation.
Farm (Granjita Siboney)
The farm is the place where the
attackers of the Moncada
Barracks (Cuartel Moncada) led by Fidel Castro, spent the
night prior to the attack on July 26, 1953.
There is also a 0.45 km² (0.17 sq mi) garden, called Jardin
Ave de Paraiso, dating from 1860, that was laid out on a
former coffee plantation and features a series of colour-coded
gardens with unique scents and displays in each.
Museum of History of Terrestrial Transport
The museum displays over 2,500 small-scale car replicas.
The aquarium is 30 m (98 ft) deep, and has a submarine
tunnel, and a Dolphinarium.
The lagoon has an area of 4 km² (1.5 sq mi). There is also
a reproduction of a Taíno Village, and a restaurant
specialized in seafood.