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5 Destinations to enjoy adventure tourism in Cuba
Live on the edge with adventure tourism in Cuba, where the island’s rich culture and diverse landscapes become the backdrop for your daring escapades. The Cuban archipelago is not only wonderful beaches with turquoise waters. Cuba is full of incredible natural landscapes in which its endemic flora and fauna stand out; impressive cave and mountain systems; rivers, cenotes, beaches, lagoons and crystal clear and refreshing waterfalls.
When you consider a trip to Cuba, the first thing that comes to mind are the beaches, the music, the rum,… But Cuba offers the traveler much more!! Apart from its beautiful colonial cities, fine sandy beaches and jungle hills, the best thing the island has to offer is undoubtedly its people. Cubans are tremendously hospitable and cheerful and the best way to discover it is to lose yourself in an alternative trip through Cuba, on a journey from east to west, verifying this reality first hand, fleeing from the tourist circuits and all-inclusive resorts and getting to know Cuba from within, traveling accompanied by its people while having a mojito and dancing to the sound of their music.
TUNGASUK FARM: AGRICULTURE, NATURE AND HAUTE CUISINE
Just 37km from Havana, in the province of Artemisa, we love this farm. It is a family project that allows you to learn about the most innovative trends in agroecology on the island. These link agriculture and sustainable consumption to tourism. The host couple –Alfredo and Annabelle, he a Peruvian and she a Nicaraguan chef, trained at the prestigious French gastronomy school Ferrandi Paris– have designed experiences that allow visitors to get involved with the work of the land and take advantage of its fruits.
“From the garden to the table” experience: visit to the farm and Creole lunch with appetizer, entree, main course, dessert and coffee; Or if you are interested in collaborating as a volunteer with the planting and maintenance of the crops, in the “volunteering visit” you will be received with a delicious natural breakfast. After work on the farm under the hot Caribbean sun, you will enjoy a hearty peasant-style lunch.
LAS TERRAZAS: NATURE, HISTORY, AND COMMUNITY
Since 1862, dozens of French coffee plantations were established in this area of the Sierra del Rosario. It is the area that Las Terrazas occupies today, also in the Artemisa province. Just 52km from the capital, today this complex is much more than a rural experiment in sustainable forestry development. We propose this destination because we like the perfect symbiosis that is achieved between nature-history-community. For you to experience the nature of the Sierra del Rosario in a special way, a local guide will receive you.
An incredible adventure, Bird watching
This one will give you first hand information and will take you through the less explored routes of this area. You have to get up early to live this experience, as it begins with the observation of endemic Cuban birds along a wonderful path. The guide will provide the binoculars! After the walk, the next stop will be at a natural pool that also has a small waterfall. Well secluded and almost inaccessible to those who do not know the area, with this refreshing bath you will recharge your batteries to continue enjoying the rest of the tour.
The most adventurous can challenge their own limits doing canopy. They will have a route through aerial steel cables of 1.6 km in length, from where you can enjoy the beautiful landscape.
Walking you will reach the Casa del Campesino, a ranch-style restaurant where you will taste excellent Creole food prepared “a la campesina”; the specialty is roast pork and congrí (Moorish rice). Then it is worth approaching the community. There, you will be surprised by the creativity and talent for art (painting, crafts) that these inhabitants have developed living between rivers and mountains.
We close with a flourish: a tour of the ruins of the Buenavista coffee plantation. After learning about the interesting history of the production of this grain during the 19th century, you can enjoy the tasty coffee that is prepared there. If you decide, a night at the Moka eco-hotel, –which was built respecting the vegetation and natural features existing in the place– with excellent service, atmosphere and views, would complete this unique experience.
VIÑALES: HIKING, CLIMBING, CAVING AND RAPPELING IN A MOGOTE!
Every year, lovers of caving and hiking choose Viñales as a destination. The color of this small town in the Pinar del Río province, the friendliness of its people and its exceptional valleys make it the place par excellence for lovers of nature tourism. In Viñales there are very interesting excursions such as touring the tobacco fields on foot, by bicycle or on horseback in contact with local peasants, but if you are adventurous we propose a very exclusive activity in the Viñales relief, so that you add adrenaline to your stay in this paradise of vegas of tobacco and mogotes.
A group of local experts will guide you on this adventure. They are young people with a lot of experience when it comes to adventure tourism and they all hold the category of instructors; they will provide you with both the instruction and the necessary material for this activity.
A unique ecosystem
The experience consists of mixing hiking, climbing, caving and rappelling, entering the unique ecosystem of an imposing mogote. As it will take place in a practically virgin site, you will feel like a true discoverer. Right in the middle of a vertical rock wall of a mogote is the cavern that you are going to visit. To get to it, you will first do a fairly steep and intense hike (with a medium level of difficulty) of approximately 12m. Then you will do a very easy climb of another 12m to reach the cavern.
MARÍA LA GORDA: SNORKELING, DIVING AND RELAXING
For all those fans of snorkeling, contemplative diving or underwater photography is this experience in María la Gorda. This place is considered a paradise in western Cuba due to its beautiful beaches, its colorful coral reefs and its reefs. This destination is located to the west of the Pinar del Río province, on the Guanahacabibes peninsula. Once you have arrived here we recommend you to stay for 2 or 3 nights in one of the hotels that CubaUnique can reserve for you. We also organize day trips passing through Cabo de San Antonio and sleeping one night in María la Gorda.
The plan that we propose is very simple: relax on the shore of the beach, practice snorkeling. In case you have certification, you can dive in one of the 10 best diving areas in all of Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition to being able to appreciate the Coral Negro Valley, the largest black coral reef in Cuba, you will taste a delicious Cuban seafood meal and witness enchanting sunsets. As this enclave is part of a Biosphere Reserve, we encourage you to discover the exuberant wild and endemic fauna that inhabits its intricate settings.
BACUNAYAGUA, TEST YOUR LIMITS BEFORE THE UNEXPLORED
To the east of Havana is the small town of Bacunayagua, just 85 kilometers from the capital. Located in the province of Mayabeque and surrounded by exuberant, almost virgin nature, here you will find landscapes that will take your breath away. And since we love that you live new adventures, we offer you this exclusive and personalized experience in this charming little fishing village.
With a specialized guide, a local friend of CubaUnique, you will be able to discover the charms of this area of the Cuban north coast, which include crystal clear waters, rivers, caves, wild animals and much more!
You will be received by your guide at the Bacunayagua Viewpoint, a place of exceptional beauty for its view of the Yumurí Valley. About 100 meters from the viewpoint, the horses are waiting for you to walk a 1.5km path in which your guide will tell you all the secrets that this little-explored area hides. You will arrive at Playa del Muerto (they say that a body washed ashore many years ago), the place where the guide keeps all the equipment and where you can refresh yourself with a natural juice on its small terrace overlooking the sea before continuing with the rest of the adventures.
An incredible adventure
The tropical, humid and semi-continental climate provides the Cuban archipelago with a natural diversity that is reflected in its regions. The nature of Cuba is made up of coastal, mountainous, semi-desert or typical swamp ecosystems; plains and mogotes, rivers, caves and valleys, draw the Cuban geography in multiple colors. National parks, community complexes such as Las Terrazas botanical gardens, heritage sites, protected reserves, are populated by a flora and fauna full of nuances with a rich evolutionary history in its species.
Bird watching, hiking, diving, sport fishing, horseback riding in the open air, speleotourism, cycling or rural tourism, are some of the many options that tourist destinations in Cuba offer, depending on their potential. to the visitor who seeks direct contact with nature.