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Artemisa, a Young Actor in Cuban Tourism

The western province of Artemisa is one of the youngest actors in Cuba's tourism industry, with several attractions for both domestic and foreign vacationers.

Made up of eight municipalities from Havana and three from Pinar del Río, Artemisa is Cuba's third largest province and the 11th in terms of population, with centuries-old towns such as Alquízar, founded in 1616, and Guanajay (San Hilarión de Guanajay, in 1650).

The province's main port is Mariel, one of the most important in the country, with prospects of investments and growth in the framework of a special economic development zone.

Artemisa has several tourist attractions, like the Yagrumas Hotel, which is 22 kilometers from the City of Havana and amid a rich forest, and through which the Ariguanabo River runs.

The environment invites tourists to visit the area to enjoy the pleasures of Cuban nature, with a wide range of autochthonous plant and animal species.

Nature enthusiasts can walk along the trail Las Yagrumas, which runs for two kilometers from the hotel to the so-called Cueva del Cordero (Lamb's Cave).

Soroa´s waterfall

Several very old stone fences go through the trail, possibly built in the 18th and 19th centuries to limit ranches and farms. There are also some mounds whose origin has not been determined but which might be archeologically interesting.

Sierra del Rosario, the largest mountain range in western Cuba, with its highest peak being the so-called Pan de Guajaibón (699 meters) in its westernmost tip, in Bahía Honda municipality, runs through Artemisa from east to west.

Artemisa also holds Cuba's narrow zone (31kilometers), which runs between the Bay of Mariel and the Cove of Majana.

In the field of culture, Artemisa is the birthplace of prominent intellectuals like Cirilo Villaverde, who was Cuba's first great novelist and wrote "Cecilia Valdés", and singer songwriters such as María Teresa Vera and Silvio Rodríguez, in addition to the fact that the singular Museum of Humor is located in the municipality of San Antonio de los Baños.

Artemisa holds Soroa, which known as Cuba's rainbow and has a beautiful 22-meter waterfall that invites visitors to refresh themselves all year around.

The Hotel and Villas Soroa is complemented by a pleasant microclimate and valuable natural, historic and cultural resources, especially its wild flora and fauna.

Rides on horseback and different modalities of trekking with a trained guide are among several tourist options in Soroa, including tours of the ruins of French coffee farms from the 19th century, the Bayate River and the rural community El Brujillo-La Comadre.

Soroa's most widely-known attraction is the orchid garden, which is a required stop for all tourists who visit the province and contains plant species from all over the world.

It is considered the largest orchid garden in the country, with 35,000 square meters and more than 20,000 plants of 700 species, including thousands of specimens of ferns and trees.

In that beautiful landscape, there are still valuable plants from the 19th and 20th centuries, relics of that amazing place in western Cuba for nature enthusiasts.

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