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Nature and Leisure in Pinar del Río

Cuba, which boasts a wide range of natural attractions, offers unique options in its westernmost province, Pinar del Río.

That region, also known as the land of the world's best tobacco, offers breathtakingly beautiful sites such as the Viñales Valley, which was designated a Cultural Landscape and Humankind's Heritage.

Large round-top mountains called "mogotes" give the valley a special touch. One of those hills, known as Dos Hermanas, shows the region's animal evolution painted on one of its slopes. That painting is the Mural of Prehistory.

Tourists are also attracted to Pinar del Río's caves, considered to be the largest in the country and among which stands out the Santo Tomás cave, which is 45 kilometers long and is the third largest cave in Latin America.

According to experts, since the colonization of the Cuban archipelago began in the eastern part of the country, this region was one of the last options for the Spanish conquistadors, so it has preserved its endemic flora and fauna.

Cuba's first inhabitants left their imprint in the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, on the island's westernmost tip. The region, which is a biosphere reserve and a safe haven for several animal species, was named after the aboriginal tribes that lived there.

Viñales Valley
Soroa´s waterfall
Soroa´s Orchid Garden.

For those looking for beautiful beaches, Pinar del Río offers Cayo Jutía, a heavenly place of white sand and crystal-clear water that can be accessed through a causeway over the sea.

Closer to the capital is Soroa, also known as Cuba's rainbow, whose beautiful 22-meter waterfall invites tourists to take a refreshing swim all year around.

One of the hills surrounding Soroa is a lookout from where the breathtakingly beautiful landscape, birds and plants, many of which are endemic to this region, can be seen.

However, the most famous attraction in Soroa is the orchid garden, where orchids from all regions of the world are cultivated.

Soroa's 35,000-square-meter orchid garden is the largest in Cuba and holds more than 20,000 plants of 700 species, in addition to ferns and trees. It is a singular site on Sierra del Rosario, which was designated a world biosphere reserve.

In addition, the Guanahacabibes Peninsula is an excellent place for ecotourism, due to its unique natural wealth in perfect state of preservation.

The Guanahacabibes National Park is Cuba's largest forestry reserve and is separated from the rest of the island by an isthmus of white-sand plains. It is also Cuba's largest lakeside area.

Guanahacabibes, which was designated a Biosphere Reserve in 1987 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), was also the last refuge of Cuban aboriginal people to escape from the onslaught of the Spanish conquistadors.

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