The tourism guides comment in the eastern Cuban city of Baracoa that the island’s rivers have not much flow, but in their surroundings you can enjoy a particular beauty. That is an ever present feature in this country’s region, extremely typical and traditional territory.
This statement was corroborated by hundreds of visitors, mainly European that already proved the especial charm of a boat tour by this landscape. And one of the ways to go up the rivers in Baracoa is by means of cayucas, a typical boat of the most Cuban archipelago’s eastern region. This denomination was introduced by the native, currently extinct, who made them using tree trunks.
But this way to call to certain wooden boats stays up to now, as many other traditions. Therefore, the rural people not only offer tours to the foreign visitors in cayucas, but also such means of transportation is uses in all their activities.
The original cayucas were of different shapes, cut and made from the tree trunks with a procedure similar to those used in several Latin America countries, and the current ones practically are boats, but they are known with the same name nowadays, with flat bottom, without keel.
And a very special place in that sense is the Toa river where there is a tour base operated by the Gaviota Tourism group.
The Toa is considered the largest flow river in Cuba, with 31 cubic meters of water per second, it is located in Guantanamo province, in the proximities of Baracoa city.
Its name comes from an indigenous voice that means Frog. The river is 130 kilometers long, it has its source in Nipe-Sagua Baracoa's mountains and flow into the Cuchillas del Toa (Toa range of hills) in the north coast of the province.
The river runs through an area declared biosphere reserve by the UNESCO and where the National Park Alejandro de Humboldt was created. Its basin has approximately 1060 square kilometers, and the rain annual average is 2800 millimeters, the highest of Cuba.
The river is one of the most beautifully retained in the country because of its relative isolation of the location area, highly protected.
Surrounded by the best conserved tropical forests of the Caribbean island, it is a significant ecological region.
There is an accommodation facility, Gaviota Baracoa Villa, which is part of the city’s tourist product depending on the tourism development.
Likewise, this area has hotel infrastructure and extra hotel facilities, with more than 210 rooms, and hotels like El Castillo (the Castle), Porto Santo, Villa Maguana, Hostal la Rusa (the Russian guesthouse), Hostal la Habanera (the habanera guesthouse) and the 1511.
The panorama is complemented with extremely interesting landscapes as the Río Miel (Honey river) or the Yumurí river canyon, and the boats and cayucas tours are also a permanent attractive for the tourists that visit this beautiful place.