Known as the “Rainbow of Cuba,” Soroa is a refreshing gem often overlooked by most tourists. Nestled within the Sierra del Rosario biosphere reserve, this region offers a true paradise for nature enthusiasts.
With its status as a biosphere reserve, Soroa is home to a wealth of treasures, including numerous endemic species. If you’re seeking to explore the hidden gems of Cuba, Soroa is the perfect destination for you!
💡 Planning Your Trip to Cuba 💡
✈️ Flights: To find the best deals on flights, Captain Ulysses highly recommends using Skyscanner or Omio.
🇨🇺 Visa: Before you depart, be sure to apply for your tourist card (which is your visa for Cuba). You can easily order your tourist card online through CubaVisa.
🛏️ Accommodations: To book your accommodations in Cuba, the Captain recommends Expedia. In Soroa, the Captain especially recommends 3 casas particulares/B&Bs with very good value for money (Casa Dona Rosa, Casa Dunia & Casa Vivo).
🐴 Activities: Horseback-riding, hiking, day trips… there’s plenty to do in Cuba. To book your activities, the Captain highly recommends Civitatis.
Soroa in a Nutshell
Situated in the province of Artemisa, amidst the heart of the Sierra del Rosario biosphere reserve, lies Soroa.
The region benefits from an incredibly humid climate, fostering the growth of lush vegetation. Soroa is also a sanctuary for various endemic species, including the renowned tocororo bird, which has become an iconic symbol of Cuba.
Getting to Soroa
Soroa is approximately a hundred kilometers away / some 60 miles from Havana, towards Viñales.
The Viazul bus that operates between Havana and Viñales makes a stop at Las Terrazas, which is roughly 20 kilometers / 12 miles from Soroa, every morning. The ticket to Las Terrazas costs around 6 CUC. From there, you can rent bikes or take a taxi to complete the remainder of your journey (approximately 8 CUC).
Alternatively, there are several collective taxis that travel between Havana and Viñales, and some can make a stop in Soroa along the way (expect to pay around 15-20 CUC per person).
If you prefer a hassle-free experience without worrying about organizing transportation, you can opt for an organized excursion from Havana. Although it may not be the most economical choice, it offers the utmost convenience.
👉 Check prices and availability: Soroa excursion (includes round-trip hotel pickup + minibus transportation + English-speaking guide + lunch) OR Las Terrazas & Soroa excursion (includes round-trip hotel pickup + transportation + welcome cocktail + private tour)
What to See in Soroa
Orquideario de Soroa
The Orquideario de Soroa is a botanical garden that boasts the largest collection of orchids in Cuba. You can explore over 130 varieties of endemic orchids, along with approximately 700 species brought from around the world.
Established in 1943 by Tomas Felipe Camacho as a gift for his wife and daughter, the garden’s collections have expanded over time.
The entrance fee is 3 CUC per person, and an additional 2 CUC is required if you wish to use your camera.
El Castillo de las Nubes (Castle of the Clouds)
Perched on the heights of Soroa, El Castillo de las Nubes is a castle-like structure. While not extraordinary in itself, it offers a panoramic view of the Sierra del Rosario from its terrace, making the visit worthwhile.
Salto del Arco Iris (also known as Salto de Soroa)
Salto del Arco Iris is a natural paradise featuring a 22-meter/72-feet waterfall surrounded by tropical forest. At the base of the waterfall, there is a natural pool. Some claim that its sulfurous waters have therapeutic properties.
The place is particularly enchanting during the rainy season, although the waterfall’s flow significantly decreases during the dry season. Salto del Arco Iris is popular among Cubans, especially in July/August and on weekends when many people from Havana come to swim. It can get crowded, diminishing some of its charm.
The entrance fee is 3 CUC per person.
Les Baños romanos (Roman Baths)
The “baños romanos” or Roman baths can be found near the parking area of Salto del Arco Iris. For 5 CUC per hour, you can bathe in the cold sulfurous water pool. Massages are also available.
The Mirador (Lookout Point)
A 2 km / 1.25 mile trail leads to the Mirador, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding area. The walk through the lush vegetation to reach the summit is stunning. The forest comes alive, awakening all your senses. At the top, you can observe the red-headed vultures, an endemic species of Cuba, soaring above the Mirador as if standing guard. It’s impressive and slightly awe-inspiring!
Hiking and Horseback Riding
To arrange a hiking or horseback riding excursion, you can visit Hotel Soroa. They offer guided tours that will take you to explore the geological and natural wonders of the region, including the unique rock formation known as the Sierra Derrumbada labyrinth or the natural pool called Posa del Amor.
The Soroa area is a paradise for bird enthusiasts. Hotel Soroa organizes guided bird-watching tours (priced between 6 and 8 CUC per hour) where you can discover the local bird species. Keep an eye out for endemic species, such as the famous tocororo and the Cuban tody.
Located approximately 20 kilometers / 12 miles from Soroa, the eco-tourism village of Las Terrazas was established in the late 1960s. The project focused on reforesting the Sierra del Rosario, where Spanish settlers and coffee farmers had previously cleared many trees.
In 1968, the Cuban authorities replanted around 700 trees of 24 different species in the area. In 1985, the Las Terrazas Nature Reserve was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Today, the local community thrives on tourism, offering activities such as hiking, swimming, and zip-lining.
In short, Las Terrazas provides an excellent opportunity to experience a different side of Cuba, away from the usual tourist spots! If you have enough time during your stay in Cuba, we recommend spending a night in Soroa and another night in Las Terrazas to fully explore the region.
Las Terrazas has a hotel called Hotel Moka, which features amenities such as a swimming pool, tennis court, spa/relaxation area, and a restaurant.
The Captain’s Recommendations in Soroa
Casas Particulares in Soroa
For a great stay in Soroa, Captain Ulysses recommends 3 casas particulares:
👉 Book now:
Dasalpi_travel_and_photo | Serena_tang | Tony Tarry | Doug Greenberg | Melanie K Reed Photography
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