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Hotels in Cayo Granma, Cuba

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Best hotels in Cayo Granma

Far-flung Granma may be balanced on the southeastern tip of Cuba, but it’s rich in history. It was here, in 1956, that Fidel Castro alighted from a yacht (named “Granma”) to start his revolution. This part of Cuba has always been at the forefront of rebellion, being a hotbed for independence in the 19th century, back when it was still part of Oriente province. It’s also a place of physical drama, with towering mountains, remote coves, and verdant cloud forests. Many hikers come to Granma to walk its mountain trails, and follow in the footsteps of Che Guevara and Castro.

Things to see in Granma

Bayamo, the capital of Granma, is proudly stubborn and independent, with a strong Creole culture. Its step-back-in-time vibe is given away by its nickname—ciudad de los coches, or city of carriages. And there is indeed a charmingly ubiquitous presence of horse-drawn taxis and carts on its streets. Away from the plains that Bayamo sits on rise the imposing Sierra Maestra mountains. While somewhat remote, several historic sites in the mountains are open to visitors, including the Comandancia de la Plata. This ridge-top camp served as Fidel Castro’s refuge while waging his guerilla war. The camp has been restored, and a museum at the site explains its historic significance. In coastal Niquero, meanwhile, the Desembarco del Granma (Landing of the Granma) National Park provides an intriguing insight into Cuba’s aboriginal communities.

Hotels in Granma

The very remoteness and independence that make Granma such a fascinating province also mean that its accommodation sector is a little underdeveloped. There are luxury hotels in Granma’s coastal areas, and a handful of 3-star accommodation options in the larger cities. These offer visitors splendidly atmospheric colonial venues, as well as more modern hotels with amenities like air-con, saunas, and restaurants. The cities are also the best place to look for B&B-style accommodation, which offers eminently affordable Granma hotel rates. Be aware, though, that these aren’t as common as in the northern areas of Cuba around Havana.

Where to stay in Granma

The provincial capital of Bayamo is a great base for exploring the province, and is home to some of the better hotels in Granma. As a city that’s been an intrinsic part of Cuba’s history, there’s much to see and do here. For those looking to explore the Sierra Maestra, the town of Bartolome Mas is a good starting point. From here, it’s a short drive up into the mountains, to trek to sites like the Comandancia de la Plata. On the coast, look out for Granma hotels in towns like Manzillo or Niquero.

How to get to Granma

The quickest way to travel to Granma is to fly in. After all, this remote province is nearly 500 miles from the capital, and there are no direct international flights. You’ll need to catch a flight from Havana Playa Baracoa Airport to Bayamo’s Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Airport. If you’re interested in turning the journey into a road trip, then the drive from Havana could theoretically be done in a day, but it’s best to take several. Hit the Autopista Nacional and then keep heading south. If you want to tour Granma’s diverse and dramatic sights, then a car is a must.