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Maria la Gorda

22 bytes added, 14:52, 6 November 2010
Diving is the main activity on offer. A range of options are available, and snorkelling snorkeling trips go out with every dive (though on one trip there was little to be seen by snorkellers snorkelers that couldn't be seen by snorkelling snorkeling from the jetty). There is also a volleyball pitch.
The hotel also advertises that it runs hiking excursions, and other entertainment, but I saw travelers report little evidence of any of that.
If you have your own transport it is possible to drive (with a paid guide) to the western end of mainland Cuba. This Wikitraveller was rather disappointed in this trip: it was a long dusty drive with little to see - there's a lighthouse and marina at the end, but we weren't taken round the former and were the only visitors to the latter (they provided sandwiches and beers, not included in the price). We did You may see a couple of some Iguanas from the road, but we'd already seen one or within the resort. The highlight was There is a deep swimming hole with an underground connection to the sea (and containing some tropic tropical fish). This wasn't far from the start of the tour, at the Ecological station, where the road meets the sea on the way in. It was unclear whether you could get there without paying the guide fee (you probably could on foot). Other trips (including hikes) are also available from the station. If you're interested in Cuban birdlife there are a few bits and pieces to be seen. Bee Hummingbirds (the smallest bird in the world) are said to be present on the peninsula but I didn't see any (found them and at Playa Larga instead, with the help of a guide). Royal Terns loafed loaf on the piles near the resort entrance and I found there are some Yellow-headed Warblers and a single Black-throated Green Warbler Warblers around a dump not far from the resort - follow a track into the scrubby woodland next to a roadside pool on the inland side of the road half a mile or so from the resort entrance. In spring large black, yellow and red land crabs swarm in their hundreds across the roads (especially after rain) and the inevitable casualties attract scavenging flocks of Turkey Vultures. Quite a sight.
The food at the hotel is pretty foul. The dinner buffet is no good and at 15CUC per person is very bad value. There is also a small a la carte restaurant which is marginally better. When booking the hotel dont don't take the dinner option - you can decide when you get there if you want to risk the buffet! (In March 2006 we found the food was found to be OK, though the restaurant was better than the buffet.Both were no better or worse than most of the meals in various parts of Cuba.) (In February 2010 buffet food was very good - not luxury, of course, but much much much better compared to anything we had in Cuba at all)
*'''Hotel Maria la Gorda''', CUC 66 for a room with 2 beds (hot water, TV, rich breakfast). This is the only hotel in entire area down from Guane. They have a complex of wooden cabins connected by walkways which were comfortable and pleasant.
==Stay safe==
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