Pinar del Río, Cuba's westernmost province, is a stronghold for nature tourism in the Caribbean Island, with unique options for thousands of vacationers who visit the country to enjoy its many natural attractions.
In that territory, with unique sites such as the Viñales Valley, the Guanahacabibes Peninsula or Las Terrazas Project for Sustainable Development, Soroa, also known as Cuba's rainbow, is a very important destination.
Soroa, which is 70 kilometers west of the Cuban capital, is a site of breathtaking natural beauty, with a 22-meter waterfall that invites visitors to take a refreshing swim any time of the year.
One of the mountains surrounding Soroa, who are known as "mogotes" because of their rounded tops, is a lookout that overlooks a breathtakingly beautiful area that is full of birds and plants, many of which are endemic of the region.
Tourism in the region relies on the services of the Soroa Hotel and Villas, which are complemented by a pleasant microclimate and valuable natural, historical and cultural resources, especially its exuberant flora and wildlife.
Horse-riding excursions and different modalities of trekking with specialized guides form part of Soroa's large tourist offer, which includes tours of ruins of French coffee plantations from the 19th century, the Bayate River and El Brujillo-La Comadre countryside community.
The region's natural environment is also open to initiatives such as cycle-tourism and mountain climbing, with excursions on the banks of the Manatiales River and unique baths at the so-called "Poza del Amor" (Pond of Love).
Lodging options include 49 double cabins and 10 houses, all of which are equipped with air conditioning, satellite TV and a minibar. Some of the houses have their own private swimming pool.
In addition, vacationers have access to a varied gastronomical offer at the restaurants of the tourist complex, along with a special offer of mineral-medicinal baths in thermal waters in collective swimming pools.
However, the best-known attraction in Soroa is the Orchid Garden, a must for all tourists visiting the province, where they can watch species of orchids from all over the world.
Soroa's Orchid Garden is the largest in the country. It covers an area of 35,000 square meters and holds more than 20,000 plants of 700 species. It also has thousands of specimens of ferns and trees that turn this place into a unique site in Sierra del Rosario, which was declared a World Biosphere Reserve.
The first species of orchids were brought to Soroa in 1948 by the rich Spanish owner of the place, Tomás Felipe Camacho, who was considered the person with the deepest knowledge in Cuba about the world of colors and fragrances.
This beautiful place still keeps valuable specimens from the 19th and 20th centuries, relics of that amazing region, which is a first-line destination for nature lovers in western Cuba.