By Antonio Díaz Susavila / Photos by Julio A. González
With four thousand jumps, some of them from 4km up, Marisol Maldonado Castellanos qualifies as the Cuban woman with most jumps from planes. Born in the eastem province of Holgín, she is the national champion of her specialty and since she was 18 has never stopped risking her life while conquerin new sports victories. Rather than bragging about being the only Cuban woman working professionally as a commercial parachutist. she stresses the rigor required for all In her profession.
Standing at the Catalonian´s Hermitage (Ermita de los Catalanes), one can see the entire city of Matanzas. It sits beside a calm turquoise bay on undulating hills that are crossed by three rivers and wrapped in a bluish fog, especially at dawn. It is said that Matanzas is the least Cuban of the island’s cities, and certainly its architecture sets it apart.
By Wilfredo Alayón Photos by PUBLICITUR S.A. and Courtesy Aryamne Serrano
Las Salinas, a particularly beautiful area of some 2,000 square kilometres to the south of Matanzas Province, is considered by specialists a haven for Cuban birds.
The area's wetlands make the region an excellent refuge for more than 65 migrating species gathering during the winter season (October through March), when birds come to Las Salinas from North America looking for food and stay for their mating period.
For nature and beauty in the clean mountain air of western Cuba, there are two places that can’t be missed: Soroa, known as “Cuba’s Rainbow,” and the eco-village of Las Terrazas, both of them part of the Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve.
By Carmen Alfonso Photos: Courtesy PUBLICITUR S.A.
Originally inhabited 4,000 years ago by the Guanahatabey, no towns were founded in Cuba's westernmost Pinar del Rio during the first period of the Spanish conquest. The first settlement occurred in 1717 when tobacco growers moved from Havana, but it was not until 1867 that the town of Pinar del Rio became a city.
Although it is considered to be the most beautiful beach in Cuba and one of the most beautiful in the Caribbean, Varadero is a destination with an appeal that goes beyond just the sun and the sea; tourists are also attracted to its natural, cultural, historical and recreational beauty.
In his famed "Elegia camagüeyana" poem Nicolas Guillen called this city, 700 km east of the capital, a "soft land of shepherd s and sombreros." And indeed, when seen from the fifth floor of the Gran Hotel, which was for many years the tall est buildings in the city, the rambling vista of Camagüey's ancient church bell towers and red tiled roofs that slope in a single direction color the sober architecture, presenting more tranquil and smooth than other colonial cities.
As one of the main spots in the western area of the Cuban capital, stands proudly the Club Habana. The main building of this complex was built in 1928, and named the Havana Biltmore Yacht and Country Club. It turned into a symbol of architecture with classic styles merged in an eclectic code.
It became the meeting place of young members of the top Cuban bourgeoisie and a centre of amateur sports. In the main building you can find a photo gallery showing the elite members of the time at the club.
Encouraged by stories of other travelers, many vacationers come to this isolated area of Cuba to enjoy of the natural wonders of one of the best preserved locations in Sierra Maestra. It is a perfect place for those seeking refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, the entertainment resort destination with the highest standards for five-star all-inclusive vacations in Cancun, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres and Riviera Maya in Mexico, will present the critically acclaimed Broadway hit Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy this summer from June 29th to August 5th, 2012.