Pinar del Rio - Interesting Places

Guayabita del Pinar Rum Factory Casa Garay, Calle Isabel Rubio 189, Pinar del Río

On a narrow side street south of the city center, this small distillery occupies a former rum factory. This factory produce a very popular local beverage, the Guayabita del Pinar, which has received several awards in Cuba and abroad in some of the most important. Just about every process is done by hand, from pouring the tiny guayabita berries into huge, wooden fermenting barrels, to bottle washing, to tapping corks into the bottles, to affixing the old-fashioned labels. Visitors can taste the finished product in the shop.

Francisco Donatien Cigar Factory Calle Antonio Maceo 157, Pinar del Río

The Francisco Donatien Cigar Factory offers a more intimate visit than some of the major Havana cigar factories. Nowadays, the authentic cigars are made, through manual procedures with some centuries of tradition. In a long, high-ceilinged hall, mostly young men—sporting trendy, shaved hair-dos—sit at old-fashioned, wooden tables, carefully destemming aged tobacco leaves, which look like thin strips of leather, then slowly rolling layers of different tobacco. You can watch a Montecristo in the making, as a guide explains the process. This factory is one of the emblematic buildings of the XIX century's architecture in Pinar del Río. In the entrance of this building, there is a shop in which the visitor may buy a great variety of cigar bands of the most known brands.

Jardín Botanico de las Hermanas Caridad y Carmen Miranda Extremo norte de la calle Salvador Cisneros, Valle de Viñales, Pinar del Río

This slightly oddball, 100-year-old garden surrounds a farmhouse on the northern edge of town. It was started by a man, whose daughters both lived here into their nineties and created an idiosyncratic world for themselves. Billows of bougainvillea blossoms, flowering shrubs, and fruit trees are populated by dolls and toys, mostly threadbare now and even a little macabre in places. It's not terribly tidy but it is interesting, with chickens clucking around and gardeners at work. After a stroll through the shady garden, you can sit on wicker chairs and sample some fruits. The house is full of antique furniture and photos, which a grand-niece of the sisters will happily show you. 

Mural of Prehistory Valle de Viñales, Pinar del Río

Across the massive rock face of Mogote Dos Hermanas, Diego Rivera disciple Leovigildo González (or the 25 farmers he directed) painted this immense—200 x 300 meters (660 x 990 feet)—luridly colored mural of prehistoric men and creatures, between 1959 and 1962. In this Mural, Cuban artists have portrayed pre-historical moments of the territory, where archeologists and some other researchers have found evidences of the geological development along millions of years. As part of the comfortable environment amidst the countryside it boasts an assorted cafeteria and a restaurant, plus the charming camping Dos Hermanas. 

Las Terrazas - La Moka Las Terrazas, Pinar del Rio

Las Terrazas, located at Sierra del Rosario, is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The flora and fauna in this area are remarkable. The best part of Las Terrazas is the Rio San Juan, a clear mountain stream that runs down a gentle hillside in a series of small waterfalls and deep pools. In the village beside a large lake, you can hire boats, eat lunch at a Cuba's best vegetarian restaurant, horse ride through hidden paths to visit the orchid garden and the waterfall at Soroa. Anyone curious about the coffee production process would enjoy a guided tour around the ruins of the Buenavista Coffee Plantation

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