CubaPLUS Magazine

Myths and reality in Baconao Lagoon

By: Amanda Bedia, photos: Miguel Ribiera Jústiz, Gerardo Ecotur and CubaPLUS
Sep 19, 2023
Myths and reality in Baconao Lagoon

Located on a flat surface in the province of Santiago de Cuba, lavish in mountains, hills and valleys of the Sierra Maestra, Baconao Lagoon extends its water mirror with serenity and beauty, inviting contemplation and solace.

Myths and reality in Baconao LagoonBaconao is a geographical point that includes a beautiful beach, a rich natural ecosystem and the comfortable facilities of a complex tourist hotel, of national renown, in a seductive area of the Cuban Caribbean where proper exploitation is also managed, for the purposes of conservation and protection of nature.

Many legends and myths that talk about the oldest inhabitants of Cuba, especially the aboriginals of the Taíno agro-pottery culture, add interest to the visits that can make foreigners travel to that beautiful enclave.

The origin of the word Baconao is one of those myths... At the southeastern end of the big island, this lagoon has the peculiarity of being separated from the coast by a kind of cord partially created by the coral reefs established there in its majesty and color. According to scientists, it is a formation of exceptional biological wealth, however very fragile, as it is vulnerable especially to droughts and alterations in salinity and temperature of the waters, very warm in those parts.

Myths and reality in Baconao LagoonThanks to their existence, however, these types of gaps serve as fundamental way stations for migratory birds, as well as habitats of plant and animal endemisms such as amphibians, fish, reptiles and small mammals. Being young components, on a geological scale, it may be that ephemeral ecosystems, lagoons and most lakes may exist for only a few weeks or months, or up to several hundred years, the most durable.

The interaction of the Baconao Lagoon with its environment produces an area of notable landscape beauty, dominated by the contrast of water and mountains. For hikers there are offers of boat rides, aquatic bicycles and conditions for practicing sweet water sport fishing.

For those interested in history and ethnology it is of interest to visit the recreation of an old Taíno village, where elements of the way of life of the aborigines of South American origin (Arawaks), inhabitants of the archipelago since before the arrival of Christopher Columbus.

The Cuban flora displays its finery around the water mirror, with the tree masses typical of tropical mountain forests and coastal, rich in pine forests and dry bushes. In the Reserve of Baconao, 1,800 identified plant species have been reported, which have a high potential for use in medicine, in food, industries and religious ceremonies.

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