The fishing village of Cojimar
In the little fishing-village Cojimar, ten kilometers in the east of Havana, plays the famous story “The Old Man and the Sea”. It’s still easy to find the bay of the fisherman and until a few years ago an old friend of Ernest Hemingway, Gregorio Fuentes, was still sitting there. A windswept monument reminds of the writer, who spent more than 20 years on the island and today the Cubans affectionately call him “Papá”.
The Old Man and the Sea
In the early 50s Ernest Hemingway wrote the story about the unhappy fisherman Santiago. 84 days long he returned from fishing without a single fish. When he finally caught a giant swordfish, a fight lasting for days begun. But Santiago could save nothing more than the bones of the swordfish, because on the way to the harbor sharks followed him, which also fought for the meat of the swordfish. The fight was borne by the faith of the fisherman. “You can be destroyed, but you must not give up”: the phrase is regarded as the bundling of Hemingway’s philosophy.
Guanabacoa is a rather run-down little town located a few kilometers in the east of Reglas. It is home to countless Santaria communities and a famous Santero. Interesting is the Museo Historico de Guanabacoa, which introduces to the various Afro-Cuban cultures. Furthermore there are exhibited the magic pots of the Regla Conga, the festive dresses of the Yonba-gods and everyday objects from the slaves in earlier times.
The tourist complex in the province of Pinar del Río is an hour away from Havana. After a big forest fire a reforestation program was decided by the government in 1971. It was built in a terraced settlement, where then the local farmers settled. In exchange they left the government their country. Today the village, which for Cuban standards is equipped with a very good infrastructure, is dependent on tourism. Above the settlement you will find Hotel Moka, which is wonderfully set into nature. On the 5000 -acre nature area, which is designated as a biosphere reserve, you will find the ruins of 20 former French coffee plantations. One of the plantations, the Cafetal Buena Vista, is restored and now a small restaurant is located there.
In the immediate vicinity the accommodations of the slaves and the drying areas for coffee have been reconstructed and can be visited. In the Río San Juan you can swim in the Banos de San Juan in shallow pools. For nature lovers, a number of hiking trails are at your disposal such as the Sendero Serafina and Rura de la Canada del Infierno.
Playas del Este
The beaches of Havana are about 17 kilometers in the east of Havana, and they are divided into the following sections: Santa María del Mar, Guanabano, Jbacoa and Arroyo Bermejo. The most beautiful beaches are located in Santa María and Guanabano. A lot of hotels, shops and nightclubs are located here and this place is also very attractive to the locals, so on the weekend it will be very crowded.
San Francisco de Paula
This small town is located 20 kilometers in the southeast of Havana and is made famous by the residence of Ernest Hemingway. The villa, where he had lived in from 1940-60, is a museum of a very special kind today. Unfortunately you are not able to enter the house, but when you look through the windows you will be able to picture the way Hemingway lived in there.
The spa and resort is located 80 km away from Havana and it does have some tourist attractions. From the observation point, Mirador de Venus, you are able to see both of the Cuban coasts. Just around the corner you will find an impressive waterfall and the Baños Romanos, and old bathhouse. But the Orchid Garden, founded by the Spaniard Tomás Felipe Camcho, is the real attraction of the small town. In the worldwide second largest orchid garden grow more than 350 different types, and on the area more than 11,000 ornamental plants exist.