When you think of traveling to Cuba for the first time, most likely you’ll go to the capital, Havana. This is where the old and new are blended, with the vintage cars and Spanish colonial architecture mixes with rooftop bars and booming nightlife.
But once you have visited Havana several times, you’ll want to explore more than just the Cuban capital. This time I have chosen to take a day trip to “Las Terrazas”, a rural tourist community, located West of the island. It sits on the edge of the San Juan River, within the Sierra del Rosario, in the province of Artemisa. Its population is 1000 inhabitants in an area of 5000 acres. Las Terrazas was designated by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve in 1985.
Just 45 minutes from the capital you can be in direct contact with nature and breathe fresh air. It used to be an important area for the Cuban economy since coffee and sugarcane were produced there.
This community was founded in 1971 where the area was populated mainly with royal palms and pine trees in the form of terraces, therefore the name of the site.
The excursion that I took includes:
- First stop at Rancho Crujel where you are welcomed with a cocktail. Once there you can enjoy wonderful views of the lake “El Palmar” Simply spectacular!
- The second stop is at the village. This is where the museum of the famous Cuban singer, Polo Montanez. (….) is located, including the house where he lived. A very humble house like the rest of the houses, which were handed over to the peasants as a basic means in 1971 to this day.
- After walking through the town, you’ll go to the tourist complex to taste a typical Cuban meal (includes a main course, dessert, coffee and a drink)
The rest of the day you can enjoy in the tourist complex with a refreshing swim in the river or a fun horse ride.
Las Terrazas has been a wonderful experience. Enjoying nature and a good refreshing swim in the river, in the hot month of August, brings you back to life! Believe me! I would definitely like to do other excursions on my next visit. What do you think?