Las Terrazas, Cuba
 
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Las Terrazas

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Las Terrazas
Cuba Destinations - Las Terrazas This ecotourism center only 73km west of Havana (in Artemisa* province) is part of a 5,000 hectare area where an ongoing tourism project aims to provide sustainable economic development based on the rational use of natural resources. It dates backs to 1968 when the Cuban government launched a massive reforestation project on the terraced hills ringing the area.

The project, which included the creation of a village where approximately 1200 people maintain a largely self-contained community, became an internationally-recognized success. The buildings in the village were designed to blend in with their natural surroundings - the fabulous Hotel Moka is a prime example. In 1985 Las Terrazas, and the surrounding Sierra del Rosario national park, were named a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

Natural swimming pools, cycling paths, nature walks around ruins of 19th Century coffee plantations, and guided mountain hikes are some of the area’s most popular attractions. There’s a wide variety of flora and fauna here, including the Tocororo, (Cuba’s national bird), the zunzún (or hummingbird) and dozens of orchid species. Las Terrazas also offers an 800-meter long Canopy ("Zipline") tour.

Other attractions include the open studios of local artists, El Romero, (one of Cuba’s best vegetarian restaurants), and the home of singer Polo Montañez. The meteoric popularity of this folk singer meant his lyrics were heard everywhere, with Cubans enthusiastically singing along. After his tragic death in 2002, his house became a kind of museum.
*Las Terrazas belongs to Artemisa province, created in 2011. For tourism, purposes, however and since it’s adjacent to the Sierra Rosario mountain range, it is listed under Pinar del Río province.
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