If you need to escape the beach and have a wonderful day away from your Cuba holiday rental, there are many stunningly beautiful national parks which offer you a whole new Cuban dimension. Each park has its own unique identity and offers a variety of activities for day trippers. Here are a few ideas of where you can visit – select the areas closest to your villa in Cuba so that you don’t have to spend all day on the road.
Parque Nacional Viñales
From soaring pine trees and jagged limestone cliffs, this national park is one of the most beautiful, natural settings in all of Cuba. Set in the Sierra de los Organos mountains, the park was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1999 due to its natural beauty and the architecture of the surrounding villages. It offers some of the best rock climbing, hiking and horseback trekking on the island, and you can explore the labyrinth of cave networks. The nearby town is not as tourist-focused as some of the other cities and coastal resorts in Cuba: You can wander around enjoying the architecture and cafes relatively hassle free.
Parque Nacional La Güira
If you would like to see where Che Guevara lived in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, this is the place to visit. Che’s house is still etched into the Cuevas de los Portales in the national park. This area is one of the most beautiful places on the island, as the river cuts through the mountain range and forms three joined caves which you can explore. Outside you discover a jungle wilderness: The road from La Güira to the Cuevas de los Portales is incredibly picturesque and would make a good walk or mountain bike ride.
Parque Nacional Cienaga de Zapata
Another place you can visit from your accommodation in Cuba is the Parque Nacional Cienaga de Zapata. Situated between Havana and Cienfuegos it is in the Matanzas province. The peninsula of Zapata was one of the poorest regions in Cuba prior to the revolution. It was also the first area which the communists developed with hospitals, schools and roads. The road to Playa Larga is strewn with communist propaganda billboards which are interesting to see. If you are interested in Cuban military history, the Bay of Pigs lies on the edge of the park. The area itself is renowned for being incredibly rich in birdlife, plus it has fabulous scuba diving and spectacular beaches for all the family to enjoy.
Wherever you decide to explore from your Caribbean vacation rental, the national parks of Cuba offer a plethora of fascinating Cuban history and an abundance of wildlife. Don’t miss out on the natural wonders of this beautiful island.
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