Archaeological treasures in El Guafe

Archaeological treasures in El Guafe

Attractions & Excursions

Alina Gómez

The eastern Cuban region treasures diverse traces of the aboriginal presence in these lands, centuries before the arrival of the Spanish, many of which are in the archaeological site of El Guafe, with appreciable historical, cultural and natural values.

Belonging to the municipality of Niquero, in the heart of the Desembarco del Granma National Park, a World Natural Heritage of Humanity, the area is located in an area of ​​elevated marine terraces that emerge from the southern coast of the Caribbean Sea.

The El Guafe Natural Archaeological Trail created there allows to know, along two kilometers, vestiges of the customs of the agro-pottery and pre-agro-pottery communities settled in these lands, where pre-Columbian objects and skeletons have been found in explorations since the 1940s.

There is a series of ceremonial and funeral caves in the territory, among the most interesting that of the Water Idol and the Funeral Home. The first contains a representation of Atabeira carved in the rocks; for the Tainos, mother of all gods and deity of water, which every December 21 is illuminated directly by the sun's rays, offering a beautiful image.

It is said that if visitors who go down to the cavity take crystal clear water with their hands and wet their faces, they can make three wishes which, it is assured, will be promptly fulfilled.

In the Funerary cave, there are six idols carved in stalagmites, which scholars presume were considered guardians of those buried in the grotto. The transit along the path also has the attraction of enjoying the  exuberant nature of the eastern region, one of the richest and varied on the island, where you can see trees such as almácigo, jagüey and carolina, and beautiful wild flowers such as curujey.

Its fauna includes birds such as the tocororo, the negrito, the zunzún, the churroso, the jabado woodpecker and many others, and among the reptiles, the archaic litter lizard, with a small cylindrical body covered with scales, a curious presence in the Caribbean.