Difference between revisions of "Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra del Rosario"
Revision as of 23:11, 31 January 2010
The Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra del Rosario is in Pinar del Río province of Cuba. It's not a national park but is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It consists of 25,000 hectares (61,775 acres) of the Sierra del Rosario mountains. The principal sites in the reserve are Soroa and Las Terrazas.
Soroa is "off the beaten path" with fewer tourists than Viñales. If you come from Havana you'll welcome getting a full night's sleep in the quiet campo (countryside). Las Terrazas is more promoted as a tourist destination.
Flora and fauna
Las Terrazas is about 70 kilometers west of Havana. Viazul  has bus service from Havana, and on to Pinar del Río and Viñales.
Soroa is 87 kilometers west of Havana.
The Orquideario Soroa is the world's second-biggest orchid garden, with 700 species.
You can also hike up the road behind the Orquideario to a ruined mansion and a view of the valley.
Cascadas El Salto
The Cascadas El Salto is a beautiful 35-meter waterfall. You can swim in the pool below the falls.
Mirador de Venus
This mountaintop viewpoint is a two-hour hike at an easy pace. You can rent horses if you prefer not to hike. The start is at the El Salto parking lot.
The ruins of the Cafetal Independencia coffee plantation are a six-hour hike from Soroa.
There's an excellent restaurant and a snack bar at the Cascadas El Salto. If you're served by the waitress named "Pupy," pronounced "poopy," be sure to explain to your Cuban friends at the table, or at least the ones under twelve, what this means in English.
Soroa has a tourist hotel and many casa particulares along the road. The casa of Mietlel Cruz and Maite Delgado is lovely, quiet, and the food's good: telephone 5 227 0069; address Carretera Soroa Kilometer 7, Candalaria, Pinar del Río province.
"Los Pinos" ("The Pines"), at kilometer 5 on the Carretera Soroa, is a lovely casa with a beautiful garden. In March 2008 it wasn't licensed so only Cubans could stay there.