Havana excursions

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Beaches 173
Nature 173
Spas 173
Journeys 173

Playas del Este
San Diego de los Baños
The Hershey Train
to Matanzas
Las Terrazas



de la Broa

The Cuban archipelago boasts over 300 beaches and the vast majority of them can be found
on the country’s north coast. Habana’s own idyllic tropical paradise lies 20km to the east
of the city at Playas del Este (p174), a colorful collection of popular beaches that stretch from
Bacuranao to Guanabo.



Mal Pais

Golfo de Batabanó



Recently heralded by the WWF as the world’s most sustainable country, Cuba is never short
of rustic environmental surprises. Nature enthusiasts will love Las Terrazas (p179), a model
ecovillage nestled picturesquely in the midst of a Unesco-protected nature reserve that is
rich in birdlife, indigenous plants and forward-thinking agricultural practices.


Cuba has a surprising number of health spas and thermal baths thanks to a relative abundance
of underground natural springs. One of the most celebrated bathhouses is the Balneario at
San Diego de los Baños (p176), a rural spa complex that has been popular with Cubans for over a
century but has only recently been discovered by a growing trickle of foreign visitors.

Cayos Los



Pinar del
Río Province



To San Diego de
los Baños (35km);
Pinar del Río (37km)

22º45'N Cristóbal


Havana Province

Habana lies at the epicenter of a verdant and agriculturally rich rural region, much of which is
well worth exploring in its own right. Bereft of the ugly urban sprawl of other Latin American
cities, the capital is surrounded on three sides by Habana province, a vast swathe of well-tilled
patchwork fields and palm-dotted colonial towns that is frequently ignored by travelers breezing through from Varadero or Pinar del Río. One of the reasons for this is the lack of decent
transportation in the area, meaning that travel without a car is often challenging, though by
no means impossible. Indeed one of the region’s highlights is a journey in itself – the legendary Hershey Train, a stop-at-all-stations electric locomotive that rattles its way sedately from
Casablanca to Matanzas in much the same way that it did almost 100 years ago.
Habana’s magnificent coastline splays out on both sides of the capital, holding a plethora
of bays and beaches. To the west lie the rocky ...
Beaches 173
Nature 173
Spas 173
Journeys 173
Playas del Este 174
San Diego de los Baños 176
The Hershey Train
to Matanzas 177
Las Terrazas 179
© Lonely Planet Publications
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