Mountains and nature
By Tino Manuel / Photos: Publicitur and courtesy of the author
Travelers who come to Cuba are very keen to explore the landscape and have an active vacation, for which the mountains provide an ideal space.
Nature and adventure tourism captures the attention of many people in the world, and although Cuba does not have very high mountains, its landscapes are well-preserved spaces.
Hence, these mountain landscapes provide a pure and righteous way to enjoy heights with trails and various options, such as nature photography or bird watching. In particular, it is worth bearing in mind that there are some mountain chains in Cuba, such as the Sierra del Rosario, the Escambray or the Sierra Maestra, located throughout the country and with an indisputable link to adventure and nature tourism.
Let us mention some examples, such as El Yunque de Baracoa, in Guantánamo province, which is base for variety of scenarios in the eastern region such as Boca de Yumurí in the Humboldt National Park, Duaba beach, Toa river and El Saltadero - Incredible, extremely picturesque sites.
Another significant place is the Gran Piedra (Great Stone). Located in eastern Santiago de Cuba, it is one of the most striking sites, especially for those travelers who have good legs to climb up to this mountainous setting in the Sierra Maestra.
This rock of 70,000 tons rises to 1,225 meters high and is considered the third largest in the world of its type, according to the Guinness Book of Records. But the most impressive thing is the landscape that can be seen from its viewpoint.
We must also note the uniqueness of the Sierra Maestra and its camping places and climbing spots. In the Sierra Maestra, mountaineers seeking adventure during their visit to Cuba find a perfect setting to try their luck and strength, while enjoying a well-preserved natural landscape on the way to Turquino Peak.
This peak, the Pico Real del Turquino, constitutes the highest point of this archipelago at 1,974 meters above sea level. The surroundings impact travelers for its nature and the traditions of the muleteers and farmers in the area.
Indeed there is a resting point between mountains known as the Aguada de Joaquín, with many anecdotes from walkers on their ascents, and also has surroundings steeped in history.
And the Aguada itself is what its name (watery) indicates, a kind of oasis in a place where water is scarce, while on that farm you can enjoy water from a spring.
There is also the Silla de Gibara, located 35 kilometers north of Holguín, with a peculiar landscape, similar to a horse saddle. That is an extremely attractive city, one of the most important for Cuban tourism, with excellent nearby beaches such as Guardalavaca. Another impressive landscape is the Escambray. This mountain range in the center of the country is also among the attractions for mountaineers. Topes de Collantes stands out here, a perfect place for medical treatments, especially for respiratory problems.
In fact, there is a sanatorium and a hotel complex with good facilities. And if it is about walking, the route through the vegetation leads to the Salto de Caburní, where you arrive exhausted but with a smile due to the beauty of the place.
The Escalera de Jaruco are also distinguished, a recreational park that had its boom with Cubans in the 80s of the last century, and now it has a second chance, and while still not much visited by foreign travelers, the landscape is wonderful. It is a tourist complex in the southeast region of Havana with various facilities and a height of approximately 300 meters, with viewpoints and proximity to beaches such as Santa María del Mar and Guanabo, about a 20-minute drive from the Cuban capital.
Experts also mention Soroa, a place baptized at the time as El Arcoíris de Cuba, an amazing landscape with several places that can serve as support for mountain walks.
These include the orchid farm, the recreational center, the lookout point, and a mansion named El Castillo de las Nubes (The Castle in the Clouds), which as its name indicates is a dream of architecture and landscape, facing the Sierra del Rosario Reserve.
And there is also the Pan de Guajaibón, which at 692 meters high is the highest peak in western Cuba, mogotes, caves, strongholds of the native inhabitants, landscape, destination for walkers, all in a very popular place.
Much more could be said of the Cuban mountainous areas that draw the attention of many people on their holidays from all continents.