San Diego De Los Banos Travel Guide, Cuba
Being a country of great opportunities, Cuba has a lot to offer as far as tourism is concerned. It is mostly known for its beautiful beaches but the beauty of the place is only a side of its many faces. Tourists can also find here a rich culture and superb traditions, but probably one side that has been less known is that it can offer a lot to those who would like to combine relaxation with health treatments.
The tourist industry is beginning to expand and make public these opportunities for the tourists.
One of the places that can be put forward in this sense is San Diego de los Baños, a little settlement in the south western Pinar del Rio Province, about 74 mi from the City of Havana and west of the Sierra de los Rosario. The town has only 4,000 inhabitants, but its importance is not given by the number of the people who live in it, but by the most important mineral waters spas in the country.
Being close to the mountainous region between Havana and Pinar del Río, La Güira National Park and Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve, San Diego de los Baños location is perfect for all those interested in eco-tourism, a place where you can relax in the middle of nature and benefit from its treasures.
What made this little place so sought by both locals and foreigners are the sulfurous mineral springs and the different medical treatments they can benefit from. The spa has gained quite a reputation since the marvelous properties of its springs were discovered around 1632. It seems that people discovered them by chance and there is a legend going on that says that a slave was cured of serious skin disease by the wander waters of the springs. The word of the marvelous cure spread quickly and since then people with different skin diseases have come here to find cure. But you don’t have to be sick to come here, this is not a place destined for sick people only, it is a heaven for all those who seek beauty and anti stress treatments, hydrotherapy, hydro massages, acupuncture and physiotherapy, medicinal mud, apitherapy (use of bees to treat diseases) and traditional medicine.
Now the place has gained international reputation and is sought by foreigners, especially Americans.
Cubans come here by the thousands every year to enjoy the thermal waters with high contents of sulfur, calcium, and magnesium. They get great medical treatment. Cubans like it a lot, but you don’t have to imagine anything fancy or luxurious, the facility shows its age, after all it is more than 300 years old! You don’t have to be scared off either as it is clean and acceptable even in price.
One of the best places to stay in San Diego de los Banos is the Mirador Hotel. Here you can get all kinds of treatments from mud wrap to massage or bathing in the mineral pools. The public pools are the best option. Here you can have the rest you are looking for and the view from its top is magnificent comprising the whole area.
If you want to see the area 5km west of San Diego de los Baños is La Güira, a small park perfect for sightseeing and bird-watching. You can see some ruins, tended gardens, an abandoned mountain retreat called Las Cabañas de los Pinos and the Cueva de Los Portales caves.
If you’ll find out that great personalities like Alexander Humboldt and Francesco Antomache, have visited the place over the years you will have an idea of its recognized importance.
Coming here you will be surrounded by great scenery. Besides the place where the town is located that is quite lovely with a little river flowing on the edge of the town, there is the beautiful La Guira and its natural park and the Cueva de los Portales with a rich historical heritage. San Diego de los Baños is a perfect blend of natural beauty and miraculous waters healing both the body and the soul.
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