This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Bayamo. To help you make friends with Bayamo before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
The beautiful colonial city of Bayamo in the southwest of Cuba is well off the traditional tourist trail and, for that reason alone, an excellent spot to visit to get a real sense of day-to-day Cuban life. It is a city steeped in history and the birthplace of national hero Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, whose birth house is now a museum. As with so many Cuban towns, the chief attraction is the main square where locals pass the time sitting in the shade of huge trees and where you can find a variety of cafes and bars to drink in the vibrant atmosphere.
The city also has a distinctive artistic vibe. The houses and churches are decorated in pastel colours, which makes it even more photogenic than other similar cities. The main shopping area is a long, pedestrianized street decorated with artworks, murals, and surrealist statues and sculptures. Whilst the music at the Casa de la Trova might be a bit more tourist-oriented than in some other establishments, the warm welcome and friendly atmosphere make it an excellent place to pass the time and absorb the rhythms of salsa or the rumba with a Cuba Libre!
Bayamo is also an excellent place to base yourself if you want to visit the magnificent Sierra Maestra mountains. In addition to the beautifully forested slopes, it is possible to visit the site of Fidel Casto's jungle hideout, from which he launched the revolution against Batista. Given the significant role Castro has played in world history over the past fifty years, this is a site not to be missed.
Hostels in Bayamo -- and Cuba on the whole -- aren't quite the same as in the UK or most Western nations. Beds are usually in private houses and taken on a bed-and-breakfast basis. These establishments are excellent places to interact with Cubans and examine firsthand how they live. Additionally they are also excellent resources for finding out about authentic local experiences and off-the-beaten-track attractions that don't appear in the guide books!
Written by local enthusiast for Bayamo hostelsHowellsey