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Hanabanilla Lake Areas of Natural Interest, Villa Clara. Cuba

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  • Villa Clara, Cuba
  • Destination: Villa Clara
  • Open: Daily
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Lake Hanabanilla, one of the biggest artificial water reservoirs in the country, built right next to the mountainous region of Escambray where you will find a reserve of flora and fauna, and the resort of Elguea which treasures mineral-medicinal and thermal waters.

In a place of contrasts, shaped by the green shades of the hills and the highlights of Hanabanilla Lake — the unique among mountains in Cuba—, there is a hotel, that 33 years ago, took his name from the water mirror. Located at the Guamuhaya mountain range, in the central province of Villa Clara, about 300 kilometres at the East of Havana, the building is 400 metres over the sea level.

The amazing nature has turned the facility in an island, due to the fact that the reservoir is pouring water over the highway, thus the adventure starts just arriving at the place, when a ship welcome visitors. Trout fishing is exciting; a taxidermy process is carried out for its conservation, the largest individual of the specie, 16 and half pounds, was caught in January 2001, by the Italian tourist Daniele Regattieri. For lover of lake sports, 50 meter depth and about 300 millions cubic water meters is an unique attraction, also favoured by the nautical facilities of the hotel.

Excursions included are highlighted by a lunch in Río Negro, a beautifulsite to satisfy the expectations of visitors. To reach the place is necessary to travel several miles by the lake and to climb to a typical restaurant in the middle of a hill. A typical Cuban food is waiting for tourists: roast pork, congrí and yuca, together with traditional musical groups from the hill, to make your stay more pleasant.

Visitors may go to the farmer’s houses, or hiking for nature watchers. Lover of climbing might enjoy almost virgin places with waterfalls, walking a humid and fresh forest where a wide variety of ferns are present. Bars, swimming pools, grilled, cafeteria, restaurant, games hall and a hundred rooms are part of the services offered in Hanabanilla, a hotel inaugurated by Fidel Castro, in 1975.

Mapa de Hanabanilla Lake

Hanabanilla Lake is located in Villa Clara


To the north it limits with the Atlantic Ocean; to the west with Matanzas; to the south with Cienfuegos, and to the east with Sancti Spíritus provinces. This is Villa Clara, a destination with more than 800 000 inhabitants in a territorial surface of 7 943 , Km². You can reach it by plane through the airport of the provincial capital and the one in Cayo Las Brujas, both for medium and small size airplanes.

By road you can get here through the National Freeway and the Central Highway. The city of Villa Clara opens up to tourism with a solid proposal supported by the virginity of its keys, more than 17 , Km of paradisiacal beaches and its historical-cultural patrimony that enhances all the natural attractiveness of the territory.

Among the main exponents we have Ernesto Che Guevara Memorial where the Heroic Guerrilla fighter's remains rest next to those of his comrades from Bolivia. The monument depicting the derailing of the Armoured Train, a place linked to the Cuban recent history, is another of the places related to the figure of Che.

Places such as La Caridad Theatre, National Monument and a symbol of Cuban neoclassical architecture, the existence and permanency of one of the oldest universities in Cuba, Leoncio Vidal Park, the boulevard, José Martí Library and the Museum of Decorative Art, are cultural emblematic places of the city. Next to it, we have the city of Remedios, the eighth village founded by the Spaniards in the Island and where the Parrandas de Remedios, one of the oldest popular festivities in Cuba, are originated. In this city there is also located the biggest Parochial Church (16th century) with its Baroque altars laminated in gold, it is the most valuable exponent in the city, where the famous musician Alejandro García Caturla was born.

On the north coast of the province, Santa María, Las Brujas and Ensenachos keys are located, well-known as La Rosa Blanca de Jardines del Rey, deal for the practice of diving. A travel around the spa of mineral-medicinal waters of Elguea and a boat ride on the great artificial lake, a stay in Villa La Granjita, and a typical Cuban lunch Black River at Villa Clara's Escambray, are options to keep in mind for those who arrive to the most central province in Cuba.

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Review about Areas of Natural Interest: Hanabanilla Lake
Very good George3105

“the Lago ”
Embalse Hanabanilla is a huge lake between the mountains in the Escambray. It measure up to 600 meters depth. You can make a boat trip on the lake, the lake is a natural habitat of sweet water turtles and you will see them drying in the sun on a drifting piece of wood.

Very good RonWamberal

“A pleasant drive with wonderful scenery ”
Worth looking at if you were driving between Trinidad and Santa Clara as we were to see the Che memorial - otherwise not worth a special trip. The drive itself over the mountains is beautiful and there are spots where you can look right across to the sea. Lovely scenery and the drive over the mountains is more scenic than... More 

Very good PtKrr

“Fresh Water beauty ”
We loved the fresh water reservoir/lake and visiting the waterfall. The hotel is large and seems underused. The food was a la carte (rooms very inexpensive and I think included a breakfast restaurant style) - very reasonably priced. Seems to be popular with bicyclists on their way through and fishermen. Boats are available to take you out and a group... More 

Excellent Diana M

“Great nature ”
Great nature! I went there with a guide and a driver. They know where to go and how to drive. Roads are steep and bad, you need 4 wheel drive and experience. Had dinner at a fisherman's place, never ever had better fish in my life.

Excellent 161Gerry161

“An excursion in a boat is what you do there ”
It's a beautiful lake and tou can eat at home with the Cubans if you like

Excellent Betty-Anne C

“Beautiful ”
The Hanabanilla lake is lovely at this time of year. A lush green countryside and beautiful views.

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