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Difference between revisions of "Pinar del Rio (province)"

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Pinar del Rio (province)

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[[Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra del Rosario]] This is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, covering 25,000 hectares (61,775 acres) of the Sierra del Rosario mountains. The village of Soroa, 87 kilometers west of Havana, is in the Biosphere Reserve. The most famous attraction here is the Orquideario Soroa, which 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. Another attraction is the Mirador de Venus, a mountaintop viewpoint. The hike took about two hours at an easy pace. Afterwards you can swim below the Cascadas El Salto waterfall. The restaurant is excellent. There's also a six-hour hike to the ruins of the Cafetal Independencia coffee plantation. Soroa has a tourist hotel and many <i>casas particulares</i> along the road.
 
[[Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra del Rosario]] This is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, covering 25,000 hectares (61,775 acres) of the Sierra del Rosario mountains. The village of Soroa, 87 kilometers west of Havana, is in the Biosphere Reserve. The most famous attraction here is the Orquideario Soroa, which 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. Another attraction is the Mirador de Venus, a mountaintop viewpoint. The hike took about two hours at an easy pace. Afterwards you can swim below the Cascadas El Salto waterfall. The restaurant is excellent. There's also a six-hour hike to the ruins of the Cafetal Independencia coffee plantation. Soroa has a tourist hotel and many <i>casas particulares</i> along the road.
 
 
  
 
===San Diego de Los Baños===
 
===San Diego de Los Baños===
 
This was a spa town, 120 kilometers west of Havana. There's a nice hotel, the Hotel El Mirador, and a beautiful swimming pool. The hotel is open to tourists and the swimming pool is popular with Cubans. The restaurant serves both Cubans and tourists, or perhaps you wait so long for food that you qualify as landed immigrants.  
 
This was a spa town, 120 kilometers west of Havana. There's a nice hotel, the Hotel El Mirador, and a beautiful swimming pool. The hotel is open to tourists and the swimming pool is popular with Cubans. The restaurant serves both Cubans and tourists, or perhaps you wait so long for food that you qualify as landed immigrants.  
 
===Cuevas de los Portales===
 
 
[[Image:Portales2.jpg|thumb|200px|Cuevas de los Portales]]
 
 
[[Image:Portales1.jpg|thumb|200px|Cuevas de los Portales]]
 
 
[[Image:Portales3.jpg|thumb|200px|Che's house in the Cuevas de los Portales]]
 
 
This is the most beautiful place I saw in Cuba. A river cuts through a mountain, forming not one, not two, but three caves. The caves are big and open so you don't need flashlights or a guide. The jungle outside the caves is wilderness. Getting there is a long drive on the way to nowhere. No other tourists were there when we visited.
 
 
Che Guevara lived in the cave in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Apparently he figured that if the Americans bombed the rest of Cuba, he'd be ready to lead the fight against the invaders. In and around the cave are plaques explaining that he played chess on this bench, wrote letters on this table, fired his rifle at that tree for practice, etc.
 
 
The government built a nice <i>campismo</i> or campground for Cubans to vacation. The cabins looked nice, if spartan. No one was camping there, just the caretaker. The bar and restaurant were closed.
 
  
 
===Cayo Jutías===
 
===Cayo Jutías===

Revision as of 22:25, 29 June 2008

Pinar del Rio is a province in Western Cuba.

Regions

This is the name of the provice (state) as well as the name of the Capital city. Apart from car rental, the best way to get there is Viazul Bus. In feb 2006, the ticket was $12 CUC from havana and there are three buses going there in a day starting from early in the morning. The buses are comfortable safe and very tourist friendly. Make sure you book for the ticket, otherwise you will have to be lucky enough to get a seat in the reservation. Taxi costs $200CUC.

Cities

Other destinations

Parks

Parque Nacional de Viñales (Viñales National Park). A national park with mountains and caves. Perhaps Cuba's national park with the best-developed tourist facilities.

Parque Nacional La Güira (La Güira National Park) A national park with mountains and caves, but not many tourist facilities.

An orchid in the Orquideario Soroa
File:SoroaView.JPG
Soroa valley, from above the Orquideario
File:SoroaFruitStand.JPG
Roadside fruit seller, Soroa
File:SoroaHike.JPG
Mirador de Venus trail, Soroa
Cascadas El Salto waterfall, Soroa

Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra del Rosario This is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, covering 25,000 hectares (61,775 acres) of the Sierra del Rosario mountains. The village of Soroa, 87 kilometers west of Havana, is in the Biosphere Reserve. The most famous attraction here is the Orquideario Soroa, which 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. Another attraction is the Mirador de Venus, a mountaintop viewpoint. The hike took about two hours at an easy pace. Afterwards you can swim below the Cascadas El Salto waterfall. The restaurant is excellent. There's also a six-hour hike to the ruins of the Cafetal Independencia coffee plantation. Soroa has a tourist hotel and many casas particulares along the road.

San Diego de Los Baños

This was a spa town, 120 kilometers west of Havana. There's a nice hotel, the Hotel El Mirador, and a beautiful swimming pool. The hotel is open to tourists and the swimming pool is popular with Cubans. The restaurant serves both Cubans and tourists, or perhaps you wait so long for food that you qualify as landed immigrants.

Cayo Jutías

This is one of the few beaches on Cuba's northwest coast. There's nothing wrong with the beach, but IMHO it wasn't as nice as the beaches on the south coast. There's a restaurant but no hotel. I found a beautiful conch shell in the water. One more point: you can amuse your Cuban friends, especially those under twelve, if you go to the restaurant and order a jutía (giant tree rat). The restaurant doesn't serve jutía. For the rest of your trip you can feign indignation and say that you're going to write to Raúl to complain that you went to Cayo Jutías, paid your 5 CUC at the gate, and didn't get your jutía.

Understand

Talk

Get in

The best and most widely used way to get it in is going there on a bus from Havana. Prior reservation is important which is possible online.

Get around

See

Itineraries

Do

Eat

Drink

Mojito. Lots of it. it is a cool Cuban drink.

Stay safe

Get out


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