Soroa and Environs
Known for its orchid garden and its 30-m (99-ft) waterfall, El Salto, Soroa has been dubbed "the Rainbow of 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 mi) east of Soroa and part of a biosphere reserve established by UNESCO in 1985. You can have lunch or spend a night at the ecological retreat Hotel Moka in Las Terrazas. Named for the terraced forests that were originally carved into the slopes as a coffee plantation, the terrazas are now tiers of workers' living quarters. Coming from Havana, you will reach Las Terrazas and the Hotel Moka first, just over the border in Pinar del Río Province. After leaving the Autopista Nacional at the well-marked turnoff at Km 51, pass through the toll gate 4 km (2½ mi) north and continue into the park, which originally was used as coffee plantations by French settlers who had come from Haiti at the end of the 18th century. Soroa can be reached via the mountain road through the reserve or from the autopista turnoff at Km 80.