Cuba, which benefits from an excellent geographic location at the entrance of the Caribbean Sea, strongly bets on tourism, based on its natural attractions, with unique options for nature lovers.
One of the main destinations for nature tourism is western Pinar del Río province, where a project combines sustainable development and tourism in the mountainous Las Terrazas Community.
Its importance and interest is stressed by the fact that Las Terrazas is situated in Sierra del Rosario, one of Cuba's natural strongholds, which was designated a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1985.
This experience was initially aimed at developing tourism in a beautiful mountainous area of high natural and historic values, as a major way to reanimate the zone's economy and improve the people's standard of living.
Las Terrazas Community was conceived as a miniature city, with basic facilities for its urban functioning and an architectural style based on the harmonization of buildings with the landscape and the relief.
The center of the leisure industry in the area is at the Moka Hotel, built in the San Juan Valley, at the foot of Loma del Salón, or Salon Hill, and featuring an architectural style that respects the local flora, which also contributes to embellishing that cozy establishment of 26 rooms (22 standard rooms and one suite).
The complement to leisure lies in an infrastructure that aims to integrate tourism into the community, like in the case of "Fonda de las Mercedes", which was conceived as an attraction that facilitates visitors' interaction with a local family and the rescue of Cuban culinary traditions.
In addition, "Rancho Curujey", one of the most attractive and relaxing restaurants due to its location by a lake and near a mountain, stands out, serving exquisite dishes from Cuban cuisine.
Visitors can enjoy those gastronomic peculiarities in a cozy setting, surrounded by the natural beauty of nearly 800 plant species and more than 70 species of birds, many of which are endemic.
The history of coffee cultivation, which started in the region in the 19th century, is one of the major attractions for customers at the Buenavista Restaurant, which was built on the ruins of the coffee farm of same name, founded by French immigrants.
Cuban cuisine can also be tasted at "Casa del Campesino", where customers will be in direct contact with rural habits, in a setting built with natural materials. In the restaurant's yard, visitors will see domestic animals, fruit trees and gardens.
Travelers' direct contact with mountain dwellers is another option in Las Terrazas.
The local people treasure centuries-old traditions and customs linked to agriculture, as well as deeply-rooted artistic expressions such as controversies by popular poets, serenades and parties, which truly represent their way of living.
Las Terrazas Community, with its beautiful white houses with colorful roofs, surrounded by ponds and gardens, adds a peculiar touch to Cuba's rural landscape.