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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Soroa: Nature and Color in Cuba

Cuba's westernmost province, Pinar del Río, treasures a unique natural wealth, as a result of which plantations and farms were proliferated in the region centuries ago and whose remains still exist as a historic legacy.

Peculiar sites like the Viñales Valley, the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, the sustainable development project in Las Terrazas, and Soroa add lively colors to Cuban landscapes.

Soroa, which is 70 kilometers west of Havana, has a beautiful 22-meter waterfall that is an invitation for a refreshing swim all year around.

One of the hills near Soroa, which are called "mogotes" because of their round tops, is a lookout from where visitors can have a singular view of a breathtakingly beautiful landscape, in a region that is inhabited by many bird and plant species, many of which are endemic.

The area was named after two Spanish brothers, Lorenzo and Antonio Soroa Muñagorri, who arrived in the region in 1856 with the hope of making a fortune as coffee producers.

Tourism in the region, characterized by a pleasant microclimate and valuable natural and historic-cultural resources, especially its diverse flora and wildlife, is complemented by the services of the Hotel and Villas Soroa.

Soroa´s waterfall
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Soroa´s Orchid Garden.

Among Soroa's options for tourists are horse-riding tours and natural trails under the guidance of specialized personnel, as well as visits to the ruins of French coffee farms from the 19th century, and excursions to the Bayate River and the farmer community of El Brujito-La Comadre.

Soroa's natural environment also offers opportunities to practice cycling tourism and mountain climbing, as well as excursions on the banks of the Manantiales River and baths in the so-called Poza del Amor (Love Pool).

The region is the natural habitat of one of the smallest frogs in the world, in addition to 80 species of birds, many of which are endemic to Cuba, especially the tocororo (Cuban trogon), which is the national bird.

But the best known attraction in Soroa is the orchid garden, which is a required stop for all tourists visiting the province. The garden has orchids from all over the world.

Soroa's orchid garden is the largest of its kind in the country. It covers an area of 35,000 square meters and has more than 20,000 plants of 700 species. It also has thousands of ferns and trees that make it a singular place in Sierra del Rosario, which was declared a world biosphere reserve.

The first orchids arrive in Soroa in 1948. They were imported by the then owner of the place, the Spanish landowner Tomás Felipe Camacho, who at the time was the person in Cuba with the broadest knowledge of that fascinating world of colors and fragrances.

The orchid garden still has valuable specimens from the 19th and 20th centuries, which are relics of that amazing site visited by thousands of nature lovers who spend their vacations in Cuba every year.

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