Orchids and Waterfall in Soroa, Cuba

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.

Entry signs to waterfall Salto del Arco Iris; entry costs Cubans 10 CUP (US$0.40) and foreigners 3 CUC (US$3)

Entry signs to waterfall Salto del Arco Iris; cascada is Spanish for waterfall; entry costs Cubans 10 CUP (US$0.40) and foreigners 3 CUC (US$3)

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.

Soroa's waterfall Salto del Arco Iris

Visitors enjoying Soroa’s waterfall

Standing in front of waterfall Salto del Arco Iris

Standing in front of waterfall Salto del Arco Iris

From the waterfall base a path leads around and up stairs to the view at the top.

View from the top of waterfall Salto del Arco Iris

View from the top of the waterfall

Around Soroa including near the waterfall, the rubbish bins are ingeniously made from palm leaves, sticks and rope.

This rubbish bin is made using a palm leaf

This rubbish bin is made using 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.

This Orquideario Soroa sign is an impressive metal sculpture depicting orchids

This Orquideario Soroa sign is an impressive metal sculpture depicting orchids

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.

Orchid flower at Orquideario Soroa

Orchid flower in the Orquideario Soroa shadehouse

Orchid flower and bud at Orquideario Soroa

Orchid flower and bud at Orquideario Soroa

Rocío taking photos in front of an orchid display

Rocío photographing orchids in the display shadehouse

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.

Orquideario Soroa workers on a break

Orquideario Soroa workers on a break

The view from the top of Orquideario Soroa

The view from the top of Orquideario Soroa

In addition to the garden’s plants and flowers, we enjoyed observing birds and butterflies.

A woodpecker on a palm tree trunk

A woodpecker on a palm tree trunk

The path, wall and bromeliads all curve around

The path, wall and bromeliads all curve around like a boomerang

A less frequented part of the garden contains the orchid nursery where plants are bred and maintained while not flowering.

A tiny bromeliad on chicken wire protecting the orchid nursery

A tiny bromeliad on chicken wire protecting the orchid nursery

A cream hibiscus flower with crows blurred in the lower background

A cream hibiscus flower with two crows blurred in the lower background

Bromeliads and orchids growing on an Australian callistemon (bottlebrush) tree

Bromeliads and orchids growing on an Australian native callistemon (bottlebrush) tree

Purple-flowering orchids lining the Orquideario Soroa path

Purple-flowering orchids lining the Orquideario Soroa path

After two enjoyable hours and many photos we farewelled Orquideario Soroa and continued our journey.

Our Jeep transport between the highway intersection and Soroa

The Jeep we took to Soroa after dropping us off at the Soroa/Candelaria junction

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

  1. Viñales to Pinar del Río: colectivo (1 CUC/US$1 each)
  2. Pinar del Río to the Soroa/Candelaria highway junction: colectivo (5 CUC each)
  3. Soroa/Candelaria highway junction to Soroa and return including waiting time: Jeep (20 CUC total)
  4. Soroa/Candelaria highway junction to central Havana: hitch-hiked in private Fiat (10 CUC total)

2 thoughts on “Orchids and Waterfall in Soroa, Cuba

  1. Pingback: Enrique Iglesias' Old Havana Video Shoot | Where is Joe.in?

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