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Alternatives for Tourism in Western Cuba

Cuba, the destination par excellence for tourism in the Caribbean, has special strengths in its nature in the western region.

It is precisely in that portion of the archipelago that Pinar del Río province is located, where nature programs that range from hiking to medicinal water spas gain prominence.

According to experts, as Cuba's colonization started in the east, this territory was one of the last options for the Spaniards, so most of the endemic flora and fauna was preserved.

Indeed, the footprint of the first settlers of Cuba is found in the Guanahacabibes peninsula, the island's westernmost point, which was named after the tribes that once settled in that area, which has become a biosphere reserve and safe haven for the most varied species of animals.

Pinar del Río has one of its greatest treasures in the natural environment, with attractions of singular beauty such as the Viñales Valley, which was designated a Cultural Landscape and was listed as a World Heritage Site.

Large pillars of capriciously shaped rocks called mogotes add a special touch to the valley and one of them, Dos Hermanas, holds the Mural of Prehistory, which was painted on one of its slopes and represents the evolution of living beings.

Cabo de San Antonio. View of the coast
Cabo de San Antonio. Coast
Cabo de San Antonio. Roncali Lighthouse

Likewise, buildings from past centuries still stand majestically in the provincial capital, such as the cathedral, which was built in 1883, or the José Jacinto Milanés Theater, a cultural center built entirely of timber in 1838.

At the same time, Pinar del Río holds the largest cave formations in Cuba, especially in Sierra de los Organos, where caves cross the mogotes from side to side.

The cavities in these hills contain large deposits of wealth from the paleontological point of view, with fossils of the extinct Pleistocene fauna, some of them unique.

Many of these caves are of fluvial origin, with overlapping routes that constitute truly impressive systems, as is the case of the Santo Tomas Cave, the largest in Cuba with some 45 kilometers of explored galleries.

Among the leaders in Cuba's underground world are two other colossi in the province: the Palmarito-Novillo (42 kilometers long) and the Majagua-Canteras (35 kilometers) groups.

Besides, in the Viñales Valley, tourists can visit the so-called Cueva del Indio (Indian's Cave), which was rediscovered in 1920 and was famous for the discovery of human remains and objects from the ancient inhabitants of the territory, in addition to being an option for excursions along the river that go through it to appreciate the rock formations inside.

In turn, the town of Soroa, also known as the Rainbow of Cuba, presents a unique image with a beautiful 22-meter-high waterfall that is an invitation to take a refreshing swim any time of the year.

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