La Güira Park, Where Nature and Culture Converge
Text & Photos: Lourdes Pérez
Lush vegetation and birds trilling accompany the visitor while walking through La Güira National Park, which is located in the Sierra de los Órganos mountain range in Pinar del Río, Cuba’s westernmost province.
Covering 22,000 hectares, the park features a great diversity of flora and fauna species. You can either find ferns, palm trees, or a large variety of fruit trees such as guava, plum, and mangosteen (edible berries native to the Moluccas Islands).
The park is home to thousands of birds that belong to some 135 species, of which 85 are native to the region. It comprises the area of what was the former Cortina Estate owned by lawyer José Manuel Cortina, who had built a mansion featuring a medieval-style entrance.
Visitors are captivated by gardens, paths, shelters, benches, and sculptures made of bronze, Carrara marble or other materials, as well as traces of buildings of different styles, mostly influenced by Asian culture.
The River San Diego flows into an artificial lake surrounded by paths and arbors, with bridges crossing over it and a jetty that years ago welcomed small vessels.
La Güira Park is a beautiful place where nature and culture converge