Soroa, 7 kilometres north of the Havana-Pinar del Río Freeway is a village known for both its waterfall and orchid garden. As fans of orchids the latter attracted Rocío and me and we made a detour to Soroa between Viñales and Havana.
Getting to Soroa from Viñales without private transport took two colectivos and then a Jeep organised by a tout from the mechanic near the Candelaria/Soroa junction. The travel logistics and costs are listed below this post.
Soroa Waterfall (Salto del Arco Iris)
The Soroa Waterfall has two entrances. The Jeep dropped us off adjacent the lower, southern one where we paid the 3 CUC (US$3) entry fee.
January is well outside the May to October wet season so the waterfall was a relative trickle. Despite this, the overhang and surrounding greenery still made a beautiful setting.
From the waterfall base a path leads around and up stairs to the view at the top.
Around Soroa including near the waterfall, the rubbish bins are ingeniously made from palm leaves, sticks and rope.
Orquideario Soroa Botanic Garden (Jardín botánico Orquideario Soroa)
Orquideario Soroa is a botanic garden focused on orchids. With hundreds of species and thousands of plants, it is worth the detour, especially for garden lovers.
Botanic garden entry cost 3 CUC (US$3) plus 1 CUC each for the photography fee. Near the entrance is the primary orchid display, a shadehouse exhibiting beautiful flowers of various colours and shapes.
Spread out over 35,000 square metres of hilly land, Orquideario Soroa’s path leads up to a higher section with views of the surrounding countryside.
In addition to the garden’s plants and flowers, we enjoyed observing birds and butterflies.
A less frequented part of the garden contains the orchid nursery where plants are bred and maintained while not flowering.
After two enjoyable hours and many photos we farewelled Orquideario Soroa and continued our journey.
Back at the junction we waited for a ride to Havana, eventually hitch-hiking a lift in a small private Fiat sedan.
Our Transport from Viñales to Havana via Soroa
- Viñales to Pinar del Río: colectivo (1 CUC/US$1 each)
- Pinar del Río to the Soroa/Candelaria highway junction: colectivo (5 CUC each)
- Soroa/Candelaria highway junction to Soroa and return including waiting time: Jeep (20 CUC total)
- Soroa/Candelaria highway junction to central Havana: hitch-hiked in private Fiat (10 CUC total)