Places Known For

history landscape


to mingle with the Cubans and spread money in a nice even sugar-coating. Understand History Landscape Cuba was once covered by limestone ("karst"). Much of this limestone has eroded away, leaving mountains with steep sides and rounded, jungly tops. The mountains are called mogotes , which means "haystacks." Many mogotes have caves. Several caves are developed for tourists to visit. The red farmland and unique microclimate produce the best cigars in the world. Some tobacco farms are set up for tourist tours. Flora and fauna Climate People Start at a tourist office or your hotel or casa particular . Point out something in the guidebook you'd like to see or do, and offer to pay someone to take you there. Or offer to pay for a Spanish lesson or a salsa lesson. Hire a local guide for a few hours and you'll make a friend, and he or she will introduce you to his or her family, and they'll invite you to do more stuff, and you won't be bored the rest of your visit. But be aware of what's illegal to pay for. You can't pay someone to drive you somewhere, unless it's a licensed taxi. You can't pay for lodging, unless it's a licensed casa particulares (bed&breakfast). Get in '''Viazul''' runs buses twice a day from Havana and Pinar del Rio. They also run buses to Cienfuegos and Trinidad. Viazul ticket office, Salvador Cisneros, 63 A. (on main street opposite town square) Open daily and as well as booking your bus to Havana and Pinar del Rio, they also can organise transfers in smaller coaches to Soroa, Las Terrazas and other locations. There are 2 departures daily to Havana via Pinar del Rio at 8am and 2pm. (Price 12 CUC one way to Havana, 24 return) Fees Permits Get around A green minibus takes the tourists around the valley. For about 5 CUC you can ride all day, with stops at the tourist hotels, in the village, and at the caves and other sights. See The main street, Calle Salvador Cisneros, was named after Salvador Cisneros Betancourt, who was a leader in the war of independence (1868-1878) and later was President of Cuba from 1895 to 1897. In the central plaza, the Casa de la Cultura puts on events every day (or night), including music, fashion shows, and children's events. Also on the central plaza is an art gallery and the church. On Saturday mornings there's a farmer's market at the plaza. Town centre Relax and sit back in the town square, complete with Casa de Cultura, Art Gallery and Church. Further down the main street is the small museo municipal, former home of independence heroine Adela Azcuy. Mural de la Prehistoria Perhaps the worst tourist attraction in Cuba is the Mural de la Prehistoria. In 1961 Fidel Castro visited a beautiful valley a few kilometers west of Viñales. He commissioned that the cliff should be painted with snails, dinosaurs, and a family of cavepersons, in garish colors! There's a restaurant, bar, and gift shop. To be fair, the guidebook says that the food in the restaurant is excellent and the live music is good. Also there's horseback riding. So consider visiting the mural and doing something other than looking at the mural. Cueva del Indio An easy to visit cave complete with tourist focused boat ride through it. Best place to pick up not so tacky souvenirs and paintings. Food also served. (6km from Vinales) El Palenque de los Cimarrones Tiny museum as you walk through a smaller cave (Cueva de San Miguel) showing how slaves hid out in centuries past. Restaurant at back with slave show, mostly for bus tours. Cave is best known for its disco at the weekends where all the locals go to hang out. Food also served. (4km from Vinales) Casa del Veguero To learn about tobacco farming, visit this tourist oriented tobacco farm and drying shed. Food also served. (1 2 km from Vinales) Parque Nacional Vinales visitor centre The park covers 150 sq km and the visitor centre located close to the hotel Los Jazmines offers information, hiking and guides. (2km from Vinales). The visitor centre in itself does not have a lot to see, some wall charts with walking routes and a small model of the valley. It is the view that is stunning and from here you can organise your excursions into the valley. Do Birdwatching There's a bird-watching trail starting at the El Ranchón restaurant near the Cuevas del Indio. Cycling This is another good way to see the valley up close. As it is a valley, it can be hilly but it is worth it and one of the best places to cycle in Cuba. Bikes can be rented from a desk located in front of the restaurant, Casa Don Tomas. If not available, check with your casa particular and they may be able to loan you a bike. All cycling is on the road as there are no off road routes. Cycling tours can also be booked at the travel agents in town. Prices are 5 CUC for half day, morning or afternoon and 10 CUC for daily rental. Swimming There are day trips to the beaches Cayo Levisa, Cayo Jutias and Maria la Gorda. There are day passes available for the swimming pools at the hotels, Los Jazmines, La Ermita and El Rancho and you can also swim in the natural pools in the caves and in the local rivers. Best known are: Cueva de Palmarito (pool within a cave about 3km from Vinales) and river bathing in Los Resvalosos and La Jagua. Check with your casa particular for transfers. Sample prices '''Day trip to Cayo Jutias''': 22 CUC for transfer, entrance fee to beach and lunch available with travel agents. Departs 9am Cayo Jutias is about 60km from Vinales '''Day trip to Cayo Levisa''': Transfer by coach and boat to Cayo Levisa, 29 CUC to include lunch and 35 CUC for hot lunch. Departs at 8.30 to take boat at 10am from Palma Rubia. Cayo Levisa is about 50km from Vinales Entrance fee to pools is 7 CUC. For this you get a day pass and a voucher to spend 6 CUC at the poolside bar. No entrance fee to swimming in local rivers but you will have to pay your transport and the entrance fee to the Cueva del Palmarito is 2 CUC, payable to the farmer who owns the land. Rock Climbing The focus of rock climbing in Cuba is the Valle de Viñales in the western, mountainous province of Pinar del Río. Overhanging limestone faces on 1,000-foot freestanding crags called “mogotes” rise above traditional thatch-roofed Cuban houses, red-soiled farms, and verdant palms and pines. The climbing is superlative, cranking jugs and pockets in chiseled karst limestone on improbable lines through stunning overhangs of stalactites and tufa columns. * Wikipedia:Viñales

Dos Pilas

;SharerTraxler06p387" Late Classic Maya area: Uxmal, Toniná, Cobá, Waka', Pusilhá, Xultún, Dos Pilas, Cancuen, Aguateca; Central Mexico: Xochicalco, Cacaxtla, Cholula (Cholula (Mesoamerican site)); Gulf Coast: El Tajín and Classic Veracruz culture 600 CE (600 AD)–900 CE (900 AD) '''Dos Pilas''' is in Peten of Guatemala. Understand History Landscape Jungle

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Last modified: Tue Oct 10 05:56:30 EDT 2017