After Vinales, we went to Las Terrazas, still in Pinar del Rio province, but in the hills. This is another beautiful region, but it wasn't always like this! Back in the 1960's the whole area had been ruined by forest fires and shortsighted agricultural techniques. But in the early 70's a reservoir was created in Las Terrazas and thousands of trees were planted to prevent further erosion. The project was so successful that in 1985 this area was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, known as Sierra del Rosario. Today it's a fine example of nature preserved and you would never know that it had been anything other than verdant forest.
At the heart of the hillside community is a hotel - La Moka (above) - where we spent several nights. It's perched among the canopy of trees overlooking the reservoir and valley below and is one of the finest hotels we stayed in during our two-week trip to Cuba. We loved it here and I include it in my blog because the whole area is one great big garden - everywhere you look there are green vistas, tropical plants and many birds.