Tucked away in Cuba’s Southwest corner resides the incredibly beautiful municipality of Pilón, a place of natural and historical significance that is not included in most People-to-People tours. Yet, for the hiker or nature lover, Pilon presents an unparalleled experience. Close enough to Santiago de Cuba to enjoy the excitement of a big city and removed enough to be seemingly completely unspoiled, there is no place in the Caribbean that offers the tranquil excitement you can enjoy in a custom tour of Pilón.
Travelguidecube.com believes customized People-to-People tours to Pilon have many advantages. Working with special guides, travelers can experience the wonders of this region while interacting with locals and enjoying one of the most scenic and diverse environs in the country.
If diving is your fancy, the Marlin Dive center offers wondrous dives to the Cristobal Colon shipwreck that was sunk during the Spanish American War in 1898. The area also offers some of the finest deep sea fishing excursions in the Mediterranean with guides that have fantastic deep water angling stories to share.
Hiking and cycling in Pilon are popular experiences. Nature lovers enjoy the 20 km off road trek from the bridge at the village dam to a clear path that rises gently above the dam and offers amazing views of the lake. On the way back to the hotel, walk along the lake and witness fish rising, frogs diving, duck fishing for prey and an occasional osprey diving deep from the high sky for game fish. At Casa de Campesino , you can visit and interact with a beekeeper. Cross the Rio Cilantro and leisurely stroll home for a dinner and a swim.
The fantastic Hotel Club Amigo Farallon del Caribe will not disappoint. A luxurious pool, fun, intimate bars, good closed and open-air restaurants and a magnificent lakeside setting are magical. Other hotels in the area add diversity but one could easily spend their entire tour at this hotel and enjoy the surrounds with easy access.
A short distance away is the cozy town of Santa Domingo where a 950 meter lookout tower provides a panoramic view of the Granma plains and the Pico Turquino in the surrounding Sierra Maestra. The path from the Alto del Naranjo offers a steep vertical 2-hour walk to the tower.
Santo Domingo is a tiny village where Fidel and Che Guevera visited while prowling the shadowy mountains around the town. One of the region’s biggest tourist attractions is the Comandancia de la Plata which Castro’s most ardent rebels helped to create. Remote and well camouflaged, many tourist spend more than one day exploring the more than 70 escape trails form the hideout and training facility.
The Comandancia de la Plata is controlled by the Centro de Informacion de Flora u Fauna in Santa Domingo. Local guides are knowledgeable and eager to tell tales of the fantastic escapades that once took place here. The Radio Communications center of the base camp is high on the mountain known as Radio Rebelde. One can only wonder at the determination 82 men relied upon to create their safe haven fortress.
After a short trip to Las Coloradas, a fantastic nature and archaeological hike can be enjoyed. The underground river has 20 large caverns, the most famous of which is the Ldolo de Agua with stalagmites carved by pre-Columbian Indians. The park offers more than 170 species of birds, amazing butterflies, spectacular orchids and a 500-year old cactus.
The park offers many other trails including a 30 km trek to Alegria del Rio where Castro’s 82 rebels first landed in 1956. A local guide is required for this hike but it is an unforgettable historic journey.
How does a custom People-to-People tour to Pilon sound to you?
Interested in recommendations about customized travel and tour arrangements in Cuba? Please contact Dave or Yordi at Info@travelguidecuba.com. Travelguidcuba.com is not a licensed People-to-People tour provider but works closely with licensed providers. Complete Cuba People-to-People tour is licensed (CT-2013-299822-1) by the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to engage, organize and conduct authorized people-to-people travel to Cuba that engages participants in meaningful interactions with individuals in Cuba.