Soroa is "off the beaten path" with fewer tourists than Viñales. If you come from Havana you'll welcome getting a full night's sleep in the quiet campo (countryside). Las Terrazas is more promoted as a tourist destination.
Flora and fauna
See the Las Terrazas article for information how to get there.
There is no easy-to-use public transport to Soroa which is 87 km west of Havana, although buses and taxis going towards Viñales can drop you off at the highway junction and sometimes even stop there for a break.
Fees and permits
- Orquideario Soroa – The Orquideario Soroa is the world's second-biggest orchid garden, with 700 species. You can also hike up the road behind the Orquideario to a ruined mansion and a view of the valley.
- Cascadas El Salto – The Cascadas El Salto is a beautiful 35-m waterfall. You can swim in the pool below the falls.
- Mirador de Venus – This mountaintop viewpoint is a two-hour hike at an easy pace. You can rent horses if you prefer not to hike. The start is at the El Salto parking lot.
- Cafetal Independencia – The ruins of the Cafetal Independencia coffee plantation are a six-hour hike from Soroa.
There's an excellent restaurant and a snack bar at the Cascadas El Salto. If you're served by the waitress named "Pupy," pronounced "poopy," be sure to explain to your Cuban friends at the table, or at least the ones under twelve, what this means in English.
Soroa has a tourist hotel and many casa particulares along the road. The casa of Mietlel Cruz and Maite Delgado is lovely, quiet, and the food's good: telephone 5 227 0069; address Carretera Soroa Kilometer 7, Candalaria, Pinar del Río province.
"Los Pinos" ("The Pines"), at kilometer 5 on the Carretera Soroa, is a lovely casa with a beautiful garden. In March 2008 it was not licensed. So, only Cubans could stay there.