Pinar del Rio and cuba holidays
At about 150 Km West of Havana City the colourful province of Pinar del Rio, is located.It is a land with plenty of fertile soils, water springs, rivers and rain forest areas in which there is an exclusive flora and fauna and there are multiple possibilities of exploring caverns and caves or hike in valleys and mountains.
Pinar del Rio city, the capital of the province, was the first settlement established in the region, near the Guama river and originally surrounded by extensive pine woods. Its architecture is distinctive and its XIX century eclecticism is significant. Samples can be admired in the City Hall, the Cathedral and the House of Cavaruiz. Francisco Guash's Mansion is very peculiar, its design incorporated influences that go from Egyptian to Gothic, this house is today the Museum of Natural Sciences.
There are other cultural institutions like the Jose Jacinto Milanes Theatre (1838) and the Provincial History Museum (1874).
From mountain sceneries like the Vinales Valley, unique in America and declared a World Heritage site by Unesco in 1999, to the Cordillera de Guaniguanico range of mountains, where the Sierra del Rosario can be found, this Sierra is considered a Reserve of the Biosphere, and has the highest point in the west of Cuba, Pan de Guajaibon with 669 Mt over the sea level.
Soroa, considered Cuba's rainbow, invites to enjoy its waterfall and its Orchids gardens with more than 700 species.
Nature and humans have managed to mix in the Complejo Las Terrazas, a place without comparison in Cuba, where the arts and the artisans, have found the perfect scenery. From this place there are paths that guide the visitors through the forest to the old French coffee plantations the historical sites.
Cannot describe Pinar del Rio without writing about it unique sea bottoms and the wonderful offshore islets. Places like Cayo Levisa, Cayo Jutia and Cayo Paraiso, that allow the visitor to get in touch with the virgin nature, white sands and coral reefs, ideal for the practice of snorkelling and diving or the Maria La Gorda International Diving Centre with warm and transparent waters and 54 diving sites, ideal for the practice of any nautical activity from diving to submarine photographing.
The nature of this territory is privileged with many contrasts. Mountains with an exuberant vegetation that alternate with the fertile soils of Vueltabajo .Its amazing to admire them whilst the plantations of the best tobacco if the world grow.
To visit this province and share a tradition, that has left the plantations to become an art, from the selection of the leaves, until the final elaboration of the Habanos, make Pinar del Rio the soul of a culture of colour and aroma.
This valley is one of the most attractive natural areas in Cuba, and it was declared National Natural Monument for its remarkable values. Its is know to have the oldest geological formations in Cuba.
It is 132 km2 long and is part of the Sierra de los Organos, in Pinar del Rio. Vinales is the most representative valley of all in Cuba and its mogotes along with its height, rounded peaks and the verticality of its slopes contrast harmonically.
In one of these peculiar hills, known as "Dos Hermanas" (Two Sisters) is where visitors can enjoy one of the world's biggest outdoors natural paintings, the Mural of Prehistory.
The painting on this huge beauty, on one of the slopes of a mogote with 120 meters high and 180 meters wide, is a singular representation of the biological evolution of the Sierra de los Organos.
According to experts, the vegetal layer on the slope had to be removed to paint the mural, while a score of local residents participated in the dangerous artistic work under the guidance of Cuban Professor Leovigildo Gonzalez (deceased).
The flora in the region is closely linked to its ancient past, since it boasts 17 endemic varieties including the cork palm (Microcycas calocoma), considered a living fossil from the Jurassic period.
Vinales Valley has numerous caverns, like the Cueva del Indio crossed by the San Vicente River, the Cueva de San Miguel and the Cueva de Santo Tomas .The latter has been classified among the largest caverns in Latin America, with more than 45 kilometers of galleries.
Vinales Valley, declared World Heritage by UNESCO, is also Cuba's true Natural Monument, and receives thousands of visitors eager to enjoy nature in its entire splendor.