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Known as the “garden of Cuba” and world-famous for its tobacco plantations, Pinar del Río celebrates its 150th anniversary in September.

Located at the western end of the island, Vueltabajo is the first link between Cubans and the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Yucatan Canal.

Recognized by numerous experts as the land of the best tobacco in the world, the province leads the manufacture of cigars in the country, exquisite to accompany a drink of the aromatic liquor Guayabita del Pinar.

Vueltabajo has three national parks: Viñales, Guanahacabibes and the San Felipe cays; at the same time it has the only living monument of the archipelago: the Microcyca calocoma, a living fossil plant from the Jurassic period.

The so-called “city of portals” is home to hospitable and simple people, and offers a wide range of cultural, gastronomic and recreational options. Constructions such as the Guasch Palace, Theatre Milanés and Hotel Vueltabajo are icons of Pinar del Río’s engineering, which integrates in perfect harmony the most varied architectural styles.

Just 163 kilometers from Havana, it has a special place in the Cuban art scene. Pedro Junco, Cirilo Villaverde, Enrique Jorrín, Carlos Acosta and other illustrious sons of this land have left their mark on the country’s cultural tradition.

The territory boasts one of the best seabed on the island: María la Gorda beach, where an International Diving Centre is located. Other areas of interest are the Jutía and Levisa Keys; the spas of San Vicente and San Diego; and the Santo Tomás cave system.

Rich in its natural and historical heritage, the province is a true oasis for lovers of cultural and nature tourism.

by: Victor Manuel Blanco