The Cuban capital, the major tourist destination in the largest Antillean island, complements its tourist offers with natural attractions in the territories surrounding the city, among which a place known as the Escaleras de Jaruco (Jaruco's Stairs) stands out.
The Escaleras de Jaruco is located in the eastern region of the Havana Province, and is surrounded by hills forming rocky terraces and flat landscapes. This area has several caves, such as the Aguirre Cave, and visitors can watch both migratory and endemic birds.
The main attraction of that region is ecological tourism, designed for those who like to enjoy a countryside tour and learn about local traditions and how Cubans live, as a complement to traditional tourist offers.
Protected areas, biosphere reserves, swamps and endemic flora and fauna, which can be enjoyed in their entire magnitude, are at everyone's reach in specialized tours for those who come to Cuba bearing that specific goal in mind.
In the largest Antillean island, with a huge environmental and often unexplored wealth, ecological tourism is gaining grounds, as in the specific case of the Escaleras de Jaruco.
Caverns and vegetable fossils - the latter supported by the existence of about 6,300 plant species on the island - are at the disposal of visitors, in an environment that is refreshed by the proximity of the coast and rivers that meet the sea at a region called Boca de Jaruco (Jaruco's Mouth).
It is precisely there, where the town after which this place was named is located, with a centennial history and close links with life in the sea, especially fishing activities, and with a typical cuisine that anyone visiting the region will never forget.
The atmosphere at the Escaleras de Jaruco makes an excellent environment for camping, for which purpose, several camping sites have been created to allow tourists to be in direct contact with an almost virgin nature, typical of a Caribbean country.
The direct contact with local people is another option in this western Cuban region, where the tranquil environment is also marked by typical rural houses, boasting a genuine image of Cuba's countryside.
On the horizon, in a frank link with the landscape's richness, signs of industrialization come hand in hand with huge oil-drilling towers, located in one of the country's major fields of the so-called black gold.
The development of areas such as the Escaleras de Jaruco for the tourist industry is an unbreakable part of the Havana Province's strategy to develop tourism, based on an offer that complements the actions taken in first-line destinations such as the City of Havana and Varadero.