Baconao Park, Santiago de Cuba - Stein Travel
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Baconao Park

The large park region, which is a World Heritage Biosphere Reserve, is filled with attractions other than wildlife refuges and coffee plantations. It is possible to climb 459 stone steps to the summit of the huge rock, La Gran Piedra, and stand 4,049ft (1,234m) above sea level for a beautiful view. It is said that on a dark night, one can see the lights of Jamaica in the distance. In the Valle de la Prehistoria visitors are awed by dozens of life-size model dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures lurking in lush vegetation. There is also a magnificent 45-hectare (111-acre) garden, the Jardin Ave de Paraiso, dating from 1860, that was laid out on a former coffee plantation, and features a series of colour-coded gardens with unique scents and displays in each. An artist community consisting of 10 families have formed a fieldstone hamlet, offering artwork of a high standard at Comunidad Artistas Oasis. There is also an Auto Museum featuring gleaming old model cars.

Information & Facts

Address

Poblado de Siboney

Language

The official language is Spanish, but English is spoken in the main tourist spots.

Money

The official currency is the Cuban Peso (CUP), divided into 100 centavos, but the 'tourist' currency is the Peso Convertible (CUC), which replaces the US Dollar as currency in tourist related establishments like hotels, restaurants and so called 'dollar shops'. US Dollars are no longer accepted as payment, and a 10% commission or more is charged to exchange them, therefore the best currency to bring along is Euros, the British Pound or Canadian Dollars. The CUC is almost equal in value to the US Dollar. Some places only accept Cuban pesos and others only Pesos Convertible (usually tourist related establishments). Money should only be changed at official exchange bureaux or banks to avoid scams confusing the two currencies. Visa and MasterCard are generally accepted only in major cities and hotels as long as they haven't been issued by a US bank; Diners Club has limited acceptance, and American Express is not accepted anywhere on the island. Travellers cheques are less readily accepted than credit cards, but all major currencies are acceptable, except for US bank issued cheques. No US-issued credit or debit cards will work in ATMs, but those holding other cards issued in other countries should be able to get pesos at most major tourist destinations. Euro or Sterling travellers cheques are accepted at Cuban banks and Bureaux de Change.

Time

Local time is GMT -5 (GMT-4 from the second Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).

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