Difference between revisions of "Pinar del Rio (province)"
Revision as of 22:27, 29 June 2008
Pinar del Rio is a province in Western Cuba.
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.
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) Another national park with mountains and caves, but without many tourist facilities.
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.
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.
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.
Mojito. Lots of it. it is a cool Cuban drink.