Hotels: CIB Maria la Gorda, Pinar del Rio. Cuba
- PROVINCE: Pinar del Rio Cuba
- TYPE: Hotels
Description Hotels: CIB Maria la Gorda, Pinar del Rio. Cuba
Designed especially for divers, but is a wonderful option for echo-tourists and vacationers looking for a quiet and isolated place, the Centro Internacional de Buceo Gaviota (CIB, International Diving Center Seagull) "Maria la Gorda" is located at the westernmost tip of Cuba, the Guanahacabibes peninsula, near Corrientes Cape. It’s a true opportunity to discover the intricate places of this biosphere reserve and experience a paradise inhabited by many species of animals and endangered endemic species and where there remain still untouched small and sheltered beaches wrapped in pirates and hidden treasures stories. It is not known with certainty the identity of the person who gave name to it, if it was a Venezuelan indigenous brought into force on a pirate ship and then abandoned to their fate, or the daughter of a Spanish sailor who shipwrecked in the area, but Maria la Gorda (the fat Mary) settled down at the edge of the inlet streams, 143 km southwest of the city of Pinar del Rio and to survive, she began to provide food and fun to any ship which ventured that corner of Cuba, where it is assumed that over 100 sunken Spanish galleons lie, and where there is talk of fabulous hidden treasures such as the Mexican city of Merida. Private, quiet and known for its clear sea beds, ranked among the top in the world and for many the best for diving in Cuba, the Canto del Veril marine platform is about 300m from the coast and its 50 dive sites are always nearby; here you can enjoy a marine flora of indescribable colors by the gorgonian varieties that inhabit them, as well as the contemplation of walls which are covered by black coral colonies, which constitute the largest reserve on the island. The marine life is abundant and surprising, mostly in August by the presence of whale sharks. More than 20 corals species, different sizes fishes, lobsters, crabs and eels can be seen frequently in these sea beds. The villa is located in a mixed environment, where the lush forest and diverse wildlife are considered a natural refuge. Birds abound, more than a hundred native species nest in the place (especially the green woodpecker, the parrot and the tocororo) as well as numerous temporary residents. There are also a lot of live reptiles, amphibians and mammals (mainly iguanas, frogs, deer and jutías). Extremely abundant are invertebrates and a special attraction is the speleology-fauna, to which belong the hot caves, its main biotype. This region’s vegetation is endowed with diverse formations such as evergreen semidesíduos forests, coastal thickets, rocky coast and sandy coast vegetation, of lagoons, mangrove swamps and grasslands. Its flora reaches about 70 species of which 17 are endemic of district itself, among them is the smaller plant with flowers and fruits in the world which does not exceed 0.3 mm., demonstrating the varied landscape, one of the main attractions of the place. RESERVATION FORM
Hotels CIB Maria la Gorda Map
Pinar del Rio
CIB Maria la Gorda it is located in the province of Pinar del Rio.
Pinar del Río is the province with the highest number of protected areas in Cuba, as it contains two UNESCO-DECLARED Biosphere Reservations, the Guanahacabibes Peninsula and part of the Sierra del Rosario Mountain Range; declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Viñales Valley and several natural areas are full of excellently-preserved flora and fauna. Furthermore, it is one of the best places in the world to cultivate tobacco, therefore it has an ideal landscape for fertile red crops, plowed by oxen and with houses for drying it, usually invigilated by guajiros (Cuban people living in the countryside); as would be expected, it has its own tobacco factory (open to visitors).
The most idyllic beaches of this province are found at Jutías Cay and Levisa Cay, and on Playa María la Gorda Beach, (located on the western end of the island) there are more than fifty diving spots.
An excellent time to visit Pinar del Río would be between the months of May and August, since this is when it is possible to catch sight of unique animals such as the Guanahacabibes Turtles, but from October to March, it is best for for lovers of ornithology. Although, if you wish to enjoy a few days on the beach, the best weather is to be found between December and May. If possible, try to avoid going here between August and the beginning of October, as this region is famous for its strong hurricanes at this time of year.
As regards the city, we would like to highlight its art scene and seeming overabundance of colonial buildings which includes two fascinating museums, the Sandalio de Noda Natural Sciences Museum and the History Provincial Museum. You’ll also find a wonderful and recently renovated theater, the José Jacinto Milanés Theater.
We recommend visiting the city at the beginning of July, since Carnival, with colorful parades full of floats, is celebrated at this time.
The Pinar del Río province is Cuba's westernmost province and contains one of Cuba's three main mountain ranges, the Cordillera de Guaniguanico, divided into the easterly Sierra del Rosario and the westerly Sierra de los Órganos. These form a landscape characterised by steep sided limestone hills (called mogotes) and flat, fertile valleys. One such topographic feature, the Viñales Valley, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The northern coast opens to the great Gulf of Mexico, and is lined by the Colorados Archipelago, a string of cays and isles developed on a reef barrier. The westernmost point of Cuba, Cabo San Antonio, is located on the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, which is a National Park and a Biosphere Reserve.The province relies on tobacco farming, with Pinar del Río producing 70% of Cuba's crop, use to make the cigars that are so prized overseas. The best tobacco, used for more expensive cigar brands, is grown in the flat lands of San Juan y Martínez.
Tourism is also an important part of the province's economy. Though the town of Pinar del Río (the provincial capital) has some places of cultural and historical interest (such as the Cathedral of San Rosendo, a 19th-century construction), most attractions are to be found in rural or natural settings. A major destination is the Viñales Valley, a karstic depression located in the Sierra de los Organos, north of the town of Viñales. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999 because of its natural beauty and the traditional agricultural techniques which continue to be used in the cultivation of tobacco and other crops there, the valley is a popular hiking and rock climbing location.
Many of the valley's surrounding hills are dotted with caves which may be explored by visitors and spelunking has become another popular activity in the province (a particularly interesting cave is the Cueva de los Portales, beside the Río Caiguanabo, where Che Guevara set up his staff headquarters and dormitory as commander of the Western Army during the Cuban Missile Crisis).
Accommodations in and near Viñales have also grown in number in response to growing tourism in the region. In addition to casas particulares (licensed bed and breakfasts in private residences), there a number of hotels some kilometers from the town, such as "La Ermita" and Rancho Horizontes San Vicente.
Another major tourist destination in the province was Las Terrazas, a unique model village located 20 kilometer northeast of Soroa and, from 2011, part of the new Artemisa Province. Surrounded by mountains, the village was founded in 1971 as part of rural development and reforestation project which spans 5,000 ha (12,355 acres). As in other parts of the province, there are several hiking trails which weave through the surrounding mountains. Some companies offer guided hiking tours on a daily basis (in some areas, in fact, a guide is mandatory).
With around 30 diving sites, Pinar del Río is also considered one of Cuba's premier scuba diving destinations. Cayo Levisa,about two kilometers offshore, is known for its copious black coral and excursions to this cay are afforded by tour agencies based in the province. Another hugely popular location is María la Gorda beach,which boasts many nearby dive sites (as close as 200 m (220 yd) from the beach).
An increasing number of tourists also visit the San Diego hot springs, in search of the health benefits reportedly afforded by the warm sulfur-rich waters there. An additional spectrum of health-related services has also become available at this spa, including massages and mud baths.