Lake Hanabanilla, human creation for man
By Mercy Ramos
Located between the mountains of Manicaragua, a municipality in the central province of Villa Clara, Lake Hanabanilla is a mirror of water measuring 14.9 square kilometers and with a depth between 30 and 40 meters. Its construction dates back to the middle of the last century, when it was conceived to install a hydroelectric plant there to supply water to the cities of Cienfuegos and Santa Clara.
This reservoir has two main dams: Hanabanilla and Jibacoa; two auxiliaries and the spillway, where the Hanabanilla, Negro and Guanayara rivers pour their waters, and El Trinitario, El Junco, Economía, El Solitario and El Cacao streams.
At present, Hanabanilla is very popular among tourists, in particular nature lovers, for the possibilities it offers for fishing and hiking, among other activities. In that area, you can enjoy six trails with varied characteristics, even for lovers of heights, as you can see beautiful landscapes from a viewpoint. Among these trails is El Nicho, a river trail along the Río Negro or a visit to the Amor waterfall, excursions that allow visitors to appreciate the wonders of these places. In the surroundings of the lake, bird watchers can contemplate the beauty of birds’ plumage and the life of several endemic specimens, including tocororos (Cuba's national bird), parrots, royal woodpeckers and flowery ducks.
Something very peculiar is the Hanabanilla Toad, a species that only inhabits that place. To complete, the Hanabanilla has, on its margins, a comfortable hotel, of the same name, which has 125 rooms with all the necessary amenities, including recreation rooms and a swimming pool, all of which can provide you with a first-class stay in direct contact with nature.