Soroa and Las Terrazas

Known for its exquisite orchid and botanical garden and its 22.5-meter (75-feet) waterfall, El Salto, Soroa has been dubbed "El Arco de Cuba" for the rainbow that sometimes hovers over the falls. The area is a good place to take a walk in the woods or a tour of the agricultural community of Las Terrazas, 17 km (11 miles) east of Soroa and part of a biosphere reserve established by UNESCO in 1985. You can have lunch in the community or spend a night at the ecological retreat Hotel Moka. The area is named for the terraces that were originally carved into the forested slopes by French coffee planters who came from Haiti at the end of the 18th century. The terrazas are now tiers of workers' and artisans' living quarters, along with craft shops and restaurants.

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