Archaeological Landscape of the First Coffee Plantations – UNESCO Heritage in Cuba



The remains of the 19th-century coffee plantations in the foothills of the Sierra Maestra are unique evidence of a pioneer form of agriculture in a difficult terrain. They throw considerable light on the economic, social, and technological history of the Caribbean and Latin American region.In 2000, listed in UNESCO Heritage list.


Located in the South-East of Cuba, in the foothills of the Sierra Maestra.

AboutArchaeological Landscape of the First Coffee Plantations

1. The First Coffee Plantations in the Southeast of Cuba is a cultural landscape illustrating colonial coffee production from the 19th to early 20th centuries. It includes not only the architectural and archaeological material evidence of 171 old coffee plantations or cafetales, but also the infrastructure for irrigation and water management, and the transportation network of mountain roads and bridges connecting the plantations internally and with coffee export points.

2. The inscribed property occupies a total area of 81,475 hectares within the two provinces of Guantanamo and Santiago de Cuba. The Sierra Maestra Grand National Park encompasses the area of the inscribed property located in Santiago de Cuba.

3. The remains of the 19th and early 20th century coffee plantations in eastern Cuba are unique and eloquent testimony to a form of agricultural exploitation of virgin forest, the traces of which have disappeared elsewhere in the world.

4. The production of coffee in eastern Cuba during the 19th and early 20th centuries resulted in the creation of a unique cultural landscape, illustrating a significant stage in the development of this form of agriculture.

5. The cafetales within the inscribed area illustrate a rich and complete history of an era of agricultural industry with significant material cultural. Surviving evidence includes examples of the ingenious system aqueducts and viaducts as well as of cisterns and mills used to pulp the berries required for the wet system of coffee production. Plantation owners typically were of French or Haitian origin and created a distinct regional culture in their music, dance and gastronomy which continues to survive.

Best Time to Visit

If you are planning a Travel to Cuba then the best time to visit is from December to May, when you can expect dry, sunny days and plenty of blue skies.


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