As the saying goes, “There is no road without a first step”, and many of the wars for freedom on the Island of Cuba were first won on these lands of Bayamo. Bayamo is the second village founded by Diego Velázquez in 1513 and during the course of the years, it also turned into the center for conspiracy and rebellion. Cuba’s first nationalist freedom fighter, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes was born in this City (a national monument honoring him can be found in the city).
As capital of the fertile and mountainous province of Granma, Bayamo has a lot to offer in both history and attractions. Bayamo is also known as the cradle of the Cuban nationality due to its tradition and history. Great landmarks in our history took place here: Bayamo was proclaimed capital of the newborn Republic at Arms on October 20, 1868, when Cubans first rose together against the colonial Rule. Here, between warmth and fire the Cuban National Anthem was composed on January 12, 1869 when its inhabitants decided to set the city ablaze instead of surrendering it to the advancing Spaniard soldiers. Known as our homeland and a place of great national heroes, such as (the father of our mother country) Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, initiator of the first war for independence started on October 10th, 1868 and first Cuban who released his slaves from his own farm La Demajagua, recently declared a national Historic Monument due to its human, cultural and historic values.
To reach Bayamo you must descend southward from Holguin and beautifully picturesque highway, exactly 73 km by car, through plains and pasturelands that cover the fields of one of the most important cattle breeding centers of the East. The big historical attraction to our visitors sets are the colonial architecture reflected throughout in most buildings and in the numerous Museums that still stand, despite the passing of years.
Tradition increases the popularity of the City and many tourists that visit it are stimulated by the lyrics of a song by Luis Bonet: “Todo me ata a Bayamo”. from the eighties where he sings about the tradition to travel by horse-drawn carts through the narrow and winding streets Bayamo.
Bayamese residents, faithful to this habit, continue to use old colonial horse-drawn carts still designed and built today thanks to a group of artisans that keep up the tradition and art of manufacturing this historic means of transport. More than 5 Centuries of existence hold important cultural facets, which make visiting Bayamo a spiritual affair for those who come.
Many Cuban rhythms can find their roots in Bayamo, especially those associated with modern salsa music. Visit La Trova to hear the best exponents of this musical art right in Bayamo. Furthermore, the attractions of the Historical Center are numerous: Céspedes home, The Anthem Square and the Cathedral are to name but a few.
Bayamo offers to the leisure industry things missing in many destinations, history being top of the list. We feel that Bayamo makes Cuba much more than just Sun and Beaches. Sample its History, Traditions and Culture and you’ll definitely learn more about our island than most visitors do.