Cruising Cuba

El Nicho mountain backdrop

After a 2-hour drive through rural mountain villages in a decommissioned Russian army truck, we arrived at El Nicho conservation area, a nature lover’s dream with hiking trails and a panoramic backdrop of the Escambray mountains.

El Nicho waterfalls

We hiked a steep rugged trail passing dozens of waterfalls. Anxious to cool off, we stopped to swim at the base of one, the water invitingly clear, aqua green , but I yelped at the surprisingly freezing temperature.

On our way back, we stopped at a roadside fruit stand to buy several enormous local fruits called Mamay that take twenty five years to grow. Tearing them apart with our fingers, juices dripping down our faces, they tasted deliciously like a cross between a sweet potato and mango.

Cuban cowboy action

Tourists are a rare sight in the villages. Locals ran out of their houses, waving, trying out their English, shouting the carefully enunciated “How are you?” The few vehicles were primarily horse drawn carts, farmers plowed fields with horses and I was surprised to see a number of cowboys on horseback.

Rural Cuba taxi

I had arrived in rural Cuba by way of “Cuba Cruise”, a Greek Louis Crystal Ship that circumnavigates the island during the Winter season taking passengers places they wouldn’t normally visit. Most tourists go to the resort side of Cuba, approximately a 12 hour drive from Cienfuegos city center where we had docked.

cuban cowboy smiling

About The blog of travel & lifestyle journalist Melody Wren

Melody is a freelance writer because she believes that work and fun should not be mutually exclusive. She writes about travel, food, lifestyle and green living. Melody loves staying in a place long enough to get acquainted. Local customs, markets and traditional cultures are magnets for this writer. When not writing she’s either on the road, in the air, or savoring something tasty. Most of her travels feature outdoor adventures of some sort, although she typically avoids sleeping on the ground. She is an ordinary person that enjoys challenging and pushing herself, facing fears with an eye on experiential travel. She needs to do it, feel it and see it so she can write about it. Her hope is that her stories encourage readers to get out there and do the same.
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1 Response to Cruising Cuba

  1. Looks like a great, off the beaten track place to visit!

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