Jump to navigation Jump to search
Western Cuba (Spanish: Occidente de Cuba) is a region of Cuba. It includes the following provinces from west to east: Pinar del Rio province, Isla de la Juventud, Artemisa, Havana province, Mayabeque, and Matanzas province.
- 1 Havana — the vibrant, crumbling, historic capital and main city of the country welcomes visitors with history, architecture, music and nearby beaches
- 2 Artemisa — known to Cubans as the "Jardín de Cuba" (Garden of Cuba), its ferric red soil produces bananas, tobacco, sugar cane, and fruits
- 3 Guanabo — a typical seaside town
- 4 Las Terrazas — a small town in the Sierra del Rosario mountains, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
- 5 Maria la Gorda — known for its diving camp
- 6 Matanzas — an authentic Cuban town that can be visited from the tourist resorts in Varadero
- 7 Pinar del Rio — a clean, laid-back city with few few tourits
- 8 Soroa — a village near the Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra del Rosario National Park
- 9 Varadero — a resort area with private hotels, gorgeous white beaches and the country's only full golf course
- 10 Viñales — a town set in a lush valley surrounded by low mountains and karstic outcroppings
- 1 Cayo Jutías. This is one of the few beaches on Cuba's northwest coast. There's nothing wrong with the beach, but it isn't as nice as the beaches on Cuba's south coast. On the other hand it's quite secluded and there's a good chance you'll have 200 m of beach for yourself. There's a restaurant but no hotel - the guys sometimes walk down the beach and offer to prepare grilled fish, etc. The restaurant doesn't serve jutía (giant tree rat), so be sure to amuse your Cuban friends, especially the ones under twelve, by trying to order a fried jutía and then feigning indignation and saying that you're going to write to Raúl to complain that you went to Cayo Jutías, and didn't get your jutía.
- 2 Cayo Levisa. 2 km off Pinar del Rio’s northern coast, this 2.5-km² island is reached by a ferry which departs from Palma Rubia. In addition to a beautiful and completely isolated beach, the isle has first-class accommodations and facilities for scuba diving and snorkeling. You can make day-excursions from Viñales or stay in the hotel. There’s nothing else on the island.
- 3 Isla de la Juventud — the country's largest island is covered by pine forests, and surrounded by beautiful beaches
- 4 Maria la Gorda — popular scuba diving destination
- 5 Parque Nacional Ciénaga de Zapata (Ciénaga de Zapata National Park) — a national park similar to Florida's Everglades National Park, with vast swamps and world-famous birdwatching, scuba diving, and beaches. The national park is on the Bahia de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs), the site of the 1961 American invasion.
- 6 Parque Nacional de Viñales (Viñales National Park) — a national park with mountains and caves, tobacco farms and horse-riding. Perhaps Cuba's national park with the best-developed tourist facilities. The town Viñales serves as a good base to explore.
- 7 Parque Nacional La Güira (La Güira National Park) — another national park with mountains and caves, but without many tourist facilities.
- 8 Playa Giron — a beach and village on the east bank of the Bay of Pigs
- 9 Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra del Rosario — this is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Sierra del Rosario mountains. The principal sites are Soroa and Las Terrazas.
- San Diego de Los Baños — a spa town, 120 km west of Havana. There's a nice hotel, the Hotel El Mirador, and a beautiful swimming pool. The hotel is open to tourists and the swimming pool is popular with Cubans. The restaurant serves Cubans and tourists, or perhaps you wait so long for food that you qualify as landed immigrants.
- José Martí International Airport (HAV IATA) in Havana
- Juan Gualberto Gomez Airport (VRA IATA) in Varadero