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Giselle Rodríguez

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Soroa is the right place for nature lovers, for those who prefer peaceful vacations, far from the noises of the city; or for those who enjoy the long walks with the family in exuberant surroundings as those that the province of Pinar del Río has to offer.

The French Jean-Pierre Soroa, owner of a coffee plantation, gave name to this Cuban locality, and one of its descendants, Ignacio Soroa, designed the park in the decade of 1920. The beauty of its vegetation, the calm of its environment invites to relaxation and meditation, the unusual combination of species of orchids from all parts of the world, and its refreshing waterfall of 22 meters of height, makes of Soroa a tourist destiny that is gaining popularity between the visitors of this province of the Cuban West.

Also known as the Cuban rainbow, Soroa is a locality which is 70 kilometres west of Havana. It’s a site of breathtaking natural beauty, with a waterfall that invites visitors to take a refreshing swim any time of the year, and a great number of hilly elevations that allow the tourists to obtain a surprising view of the place during their excursions. The camera is a necessary complement for these expeditions because the visitor can stare at landscapes of an extraordinary beauty, with a great diversity of birds and plants, many of which are endemic of the region..

For many people, Soroa represents a natural refuge, that’s why I advise to bring a good book along with you to enjoy its reading in the middle of that peaceful atmosphere, or some music to listen, and the yoga lovers will have a perfect background to make their exercises. However, sometimes the noise of birds singing can disturb a little the sleep, mainly in the first hours in the morning. It is a romantic place, where you can be in touch with the nature, although it can be very humid and warm for some tourists. Also I recommend bringing repellent products for the mosquitoes, because it can be annoying during the fall of the day.

A lot of that tranquillity could bore to the most adventurous, that’s why I recommend them to undertake long walks by the footpaths guided by the specialized personnel and to take a refreshing bath in the river after the excursions. Although the waters are very cold, the visitor will obtain a genuine sensation of joy by being under Soroa’s waterfall, a beautiful place to photograph. It’s necessary to have precaution because the rocks are covered with mould and one can slip and fall. According to locals, the most interesting footpaths to cross are “the green route of the French coffee plantations “and “the green route hill El Mogote-Poza del Amor".".

Also tourists can make horse-riding excursions, visit the countryside Community El Brujito-La Comadre or take a tour by the ruins of the coffee plantations Independencia, La Esperanza and La Merced, founded by French colonists that escaped of Haiti as a result of the Haitian Revolution. In addition, there are several artificial swimming pools in the Bayate river and Manantiales river where the visitors can enjoy a pleasant bath, as well as unique baths in the Poza del Amor (Pond of Love).Furthermore Soroa has mineral-medicinal baths in thermal waters that can be a pleasant experience for the vacationers.

However, one of the best attractions of Soroa is the Orchid Garden, constructed between 1943 and 1953 by Spanish lawyer Tomas Felipe Camacho in memory from its wife and daughter. This place is a must-see attraction in every tourist itinerary. The Orchid Garden of Soroa is the largest one in Cuba and has in its 35 thousand square meters more than 20 thousand plants of 700 species, which mostly bloom between December and March; as well as it counts with thousands of ferns, ornamental plants and several greenhouses. For those who are interested in orchids it is possible to investigate, as well as guided visits are organized.

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