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Pinar del Río: Tourism in Western Cuba

Cuba's westernmost province, Pinar del Río, has the conditions necessary to develop tourism, making emphasis on nature programs that include trekking and medicinal baths.

The imprint of the first inhabitants of Cuba is present in the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, in Cuba's westernmost tip, called that way by the aboriginal tribes that settled there centuries ago, and turned into a biosphere reserved and a haven for a wide range of animal species.

In the capital city is the Hotel Pinar del Río, which offers more than 130 rooms equipped with modern amenities to guarantee a pleasant stay, in addition to providing access to a network of museums, among other attractions.

Centuries-old buildings are well preserved and majestic in the provincial capital. That is the case of the cathedral, built in 1883, or the José Jacinto Milanés Theater, a cultural center constructed mainly of timber in 1838.

From the Hotel Pinar del Río, tourists can access natural sites of unique beauty, like the Vegas de Vueltabajo (Vueltabajo Tobacco Crops) and the Guayabita del Pinar liquor factory.

That beverage was created in the 19th century and is made with a wild fruit that only grows in Pinar del Río and is processed to produce the dry and sweet variants of the liquor.

Town of Cabañas

In addition, Cuba's largest cavern systems are in Pinar del Rio, where sites like Sierra de los Organos hold caves that go through the "mogotes" (round-top hills).

The cavities of those hills contain a rich paleontological wealth with fossils from the Pleistocene, some of which are unique.

Many of those caves are of fluvial origin and contain routes that create truly-impressive systems, like the Cave of Santo Tomás, the largest in Cuba, with some 45 kilometers of explored galleries.

There are two other colossuses among the leaders of Cuba's underground world in Pinar del Río: the groups Palmarito-Novillo, which is 42 kilometers long, and Majagua-Canteras, which is 35 kilometers long.

In the Viñales Valley, tourists can visit Cueva del Indio (Indian's Cave), which was rediscovered in 1920 and is famous for the finding of human remains and artifacts that belonged to the ancient residents in the region, in addition to being an excellent option to go on an excursion in the river that goes through the cave and enjoy its interior.

Closer to Havana, Soroa, also known as Cuba's Rainbow, offers a one-of-a-kind image with its beautiful 22-meter-tall waterfall that invites tourists to take a refreshing swim all year around.

The most famous attraction in Soroa is the Orchid Garden, which is a required visit for all tourists who visit the province. The garden holds about 1,800 species of orchids from all over the world.

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