Las Terrazas: Cuba’s Eco-Village Paradise

Las Terrazas is an enchanting eco-village located in the lush hills of the Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve in Cuba. This unique community, established in the 1960s as a reforestation project, has blossomed into a sustainable haven known for its vibrant biodiversity and commitment to environmental conservation. You are greeted by a serene landscape of terraced hillsides, cascading waterfalls, and a variety of flora and fauna. The village offers a blend of cultural heritage and natural beauty, with opportunities to explore artist studios, indulge in local organic cuisine, and enjoy eco-friendly accommodations.

Photo essay on the Las Terrazas eco-village in Cuba by Kav Dadfar
Las Terrazas

Above: Sustainable vegetarian food emphasises local ingredients and eco-friendly practices, reflecting a commitment to both culinary excellence and environmental stewardship. And of course, there’s always rum!

Above: Casa de Botes is a restaurant and cultural hub of the community. This quaint building serves as a gathering place where residents and visitors come together to appreciate art exhibitions, live music performances, and cultural events.

Above: Cascading through lush greenery and ancient forests, these waterfalls offer a serene escape into the heart of nature. Visitors can hike along scenic trails that wind through the reserve, leading to picturesque spots where the crystal-clear waters tumble down moss-covered rocks.

Need to know

Getting there:

Las Terrazas is located about 70 kilometres west of Havana, the eco-village is accessible by car, bus, or guided tour.

From Havana, the drive takes approximately an hour and a half along the Autopista Nacional (A4) and Carretera Central roads.

Alternatively, various tour operators offer day trips and extended visits that include transportation, often providing insightful commentary along the way.

Best time to go:

The best time to visit Las Terrazas in Cuba is during the dry season, which runs from November to April.

This period offers pleasant weather with mild temperatures and minimal rainfall, making it ideal for exploring the eco-village’s lush landscapes, hiking trails, and outdoor activities.

The cooler, drier months are perfect for bird-watching, swimming in natural pools, and enjoying the cultural offerings without the discomfort of heat and humidity.

Where to stay:

There is a range of unique and eco-friendly accommodations that blend seamlessly with its natural surroundings. Here are some top places to stay:

Hotel Moka: Nestled in the heart of Las Terrazas, Hotel Moka is a charming eco-lodge renowned for its integration with the surrounding forest. It features spacious rooms with balconies that offer stunning views of the lush landscape, along with amenities like a swimming pool and an on-site restaurant that serves local and international cuisine.

Casa Particulars (Private Homestays): For a more personal and authentic experience, consider staying in a “casa particular.” These private homes, often run by local families, provide a cosy and intimate glimpse into Cuban life. They offer comfortable accommodations with homemade meals, and hosts are typically very knowledgeable about the area.

Camping Options: For the more adventurous, there are also camping facilities that allow you to fully immerse yourself in the natural environment. There are designated camping areas that provide basic amenities while offering an up-close experience with the area’s rich biodiversity.

Must-pack items:

One essential item to pack for your trip is a sturdy pair of hiking shoes. Whether you’re exploring the eco-village’s lush trails, visiting waterfalls, or navigating the hilly terrain, comfortable and supportive footwear is crucial.

How to do it:

While independent travel is possible, most visitors will opt for a reputable tour operator to help plan their adventure in Las Terrazas.

Locally Sourced Cuba Tours offers both group tours and tailor-made trips to all over Cuba.

Anything else:

Hidden within the depths of this region is an ancient cave system, largely unexplored by tourists. These caves, believed to have served as shelters for indigenous tribes centuries ago, offer a glimpse into Cuba’s rich archaeological history.

Accessible through guided tours led by local experts, you can marvel at stalactites and stalagmites, and learn about the cultural significance of these underground chambers.

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