The Eco Drive - more about Las Terrazas and what you can do

Are you interested in the Eco Drive? Here you can read more about wonderful Las Terrazas, what you can do and what it costs.

In 2006, Cuba was the only country in the world that met the definition of sustainable development of the World Wildlife Fund. The country with the lowest ecological footprint per capita.

Admittedly, these are figures from 2006. There was scarcity and industry was restricted due to the US embargo, that hardly any CO2 could be emitted, but still! A coincidence? Not quite. Already in 1971, when the words ecology and sustainability were still a well-kept secret, Las Terrazas arose. At that time (a part of) the Sierra Rosario, a mountainous area at an hour's drive west of Havana, was reforested. 5000 Hectares forest were created in terraces to prevent erosion. After completing that job many workers stayed and build their home in this serene environment.

Las Terrazas, a typical Cuban community project, was established...

...a model village in harmony with the environment. Others joined and nowadays the village has about 1000 inhabitants. The residents themselves call their community an eco-museum. They are largely self-sufficient, thanks to tourism and small-scale ecological agriculture. Teachers settled down, a baker, a doctor. The village also attracted many artists, whose workshops are regularly open to the public. Open house as well at the residence of the popular folk singer Polo Montañez, who died too young.

There are a relatively large number of restaurants, including El Romero and La Casa del Campesino. The village hotel, Hotel Moka, is one of the oldest examples of how the Cuban government thought to captivate the (eco) tourist. It pleasantly harmonizes with the varied nature.

Las Terrazas is a small paradise for bird spotters and nature photographers...

...but also a green playground for the sporty traveler. There are hiking trails (including to the old French coffee plantations), rivers, waterfalls and beautiful places to swim, such as in the river San Juan. Adventurous is the Canopy (ZIP-line). Firmly anchored you’ll float over Las Terrazas and the landscape around it.

Keep in mind that for most of these outdoor activities you’ll have to pay in local currency. Count on 10 to 15 CUC for a nature walk with a guide, 10 to 25 CUC for the Canopy tour depending on the number of stops.

For CUC 6 you’ll get more explanation from a local guide about the project (including coffee and cocktail) during a walk through the village, and for swimming in the San Juan, highly recommended, count 10 CUC, but includes consumption of CUC 8 to be spent in the restaurant there.

We also do understand that there is something contradictory about it, driving with a car to a nature reserve, but how else to get there? Think of it as a guilty pleasure. After this Drive you better understand why.

In 1985 Las Terrazas and the surrounding Sierra del Rosario National Park were declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

If you want to return to the page of the Eco Drive, just click here.

The Eco Drive


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