Coordinates: 20°08′12″N 75°12′50″W / 20.13667°N 75.21389°W / 20.13667; -75.21389
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Main street in front of post office
Main street in front of post office
Official seal of Guantánamo
Guantánamo municipality (red) within Guantánamo Province (yellow) and Cuba
Guantánamo municipality (red) within
Guantánamo Province (yellow) and Cuba
Coordinates: 20°08′12″N 75°12′50″W / 20.13667°N 75.21389°W / 20.13667; -75.21389
 • PresidentIdaliena Díaz Casamayor
 • City741.4 km2 (286.3 sq mi)
46 m (151 ft)
 • City222,781
 • Density300/km2 (780/sq mi)
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
Postal code
Area code+53 21

Guantánamo (UK: /ɡwænˈtænəm/,[4] US: /ɡwɑːnˈtɑːn-/,[5][6] Spanish: [ɡwanˈtanamo]) is a municipality and city in southeast Cuba and capital of Guantánamo Province.

Guantánamo is served by the Caimanera port near the site of a U.S. naval base. The area produces sugarcane and cotton wool. These are traditional parts of the economy.


The city was founded in 1797[1] in the area of a farm named Santa Catalina. The toponym "Guantánamo" means, in Taíno language, "land between the rivers".[citation needed]


The municipality is mountainous in the north, at Alejandro de Humboldt National Park, where it overlays the Sierra Maestra (mountains), and borders the Windward Passage of the Caribbean Sea in the south. It is crossed by the Bano, Guantánamo, Yateras, Guaso, San Andrés, and Sabanalamar rivers. The city is spread with a square plan and is crossed in the middle by the Carretera Central highway. Guantánamo Bay is a natural harbour south of it.

The municipality borders with El Salvador, Niceto Pérez, Caimanera, Yateras, Manuel Tames, and Sagua de Tánamo; this one in Holguín Province. It includes the villages of Argeo Martínez, Arroyo Hondo, Glorieta, Las Lajas, and Paraguay.

Prior to 1976 it was divided into the barrios and villages Arroyo Hondo, Baitiquirí, Bano, Bayate, Caimanera, Camarones, Caridad, Corralillo, Cuatro Caminos, Filipinas, Glorieta, Gobierno, Guaso, Hospital, Indios, Isleta, Jaibo Abajo, Las Lajas, Macurijes, Mercado, Ocujal, Parroquia, Palma de San Juan, Rastro, Tiguabos, and Vínculo.[1] After 1976 reform part of municipal territory was split in the municipalities of El Salvador, Niceto Pérez, Caimanera, and San Antonio del Sur.[citation needed]

United States Naval Base[edit]

About 15 km away from the city lies the Guantánamo Bay, a superior natural harbor which has been utilized by the United States since 1898, when it was captured from Spain in the Battle of Guantánamo Bay. Cuba leased it to the U.S. in 1903 in fulfillment of a commitment made in the 1903 Cuban–American Treaty of Relations, and remains the site of a US Navy base, as well as the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.


In 2022, the municipality of Guantánamo had a population of 222,781.[3] With a total area of 741 km2 (286 sq mi),[2] it has a population density of 300/km2 (780/sq mi).

Notable Guantanameros[edit]

Notable natives of Guantánamo include athletes Joel Casamayor, Erislandy Lara, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Yumileidi Cumbá, Jaime Jefferson, Yargelis Savigne, Dayron Robles, Luis Delís, gymnast Annia Hatch, Broadway and movie actress Olga Merediz, musician Diamela del Pozo, cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez, journalist Iliana Hernández and Major League Baseball player Luis Robert Jr. of the Chicago White Sox.



The city is served by the Carretera Central highway, and is the eastern terminus of the A1 motorway, that is mainly under construction and will link Guantánamo with Havana.


In July 2019, Cuba received its first new train cars in over four decades from China for the route between Havana and Guantanamo. The journey takes 15 hours. A round trip ticket from Havana to Guantanamo trip starts at 200 Cuban pesos ($8, €7).[7]


Guantanamo's commercial airport, the Mariana Grajales Airport, is served by one airline, Cubana. It is located near the villages of Las Lajas and Paraguay.

The song "Guantanamera"[edit]

"Guantanamera" (Spanish: "from Guantánamo [feminine]", thus "woman from Guantánamo") is perhaps the best known Cuban song and that country's most noted patriotic song. In 1966, a version by American vocal group The Sandpipers, based on an arrangement by Pete Seeger, became an international hit. The song was later also one of Cuban superstar singer Celia Cruz's biggest hits.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Guantánamo" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2007-10-05.
  2. ^ a b Statoids. "Municipios of Cuba". Retrieved 2007-10-05.
  3. ^ a b "Cuba: Administrative Division (Provinces and Municipalities) - Population Statistics, Charts and Map". Retrieved 2024-02-03.
  4. ^ "Guantánamo Bay". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 2022-08-26.
  5. ^ "Guantánamo". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). HarperCollins. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Guantánamo". Collins English Dictionary. HarperCollins. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Cuba's Chinese-made train starts its first run". 14 July 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Jonathan M. Hansen, Guantánamo: An American History. New York: Hill and Wang, 2011.

External links[edit]