Swimming in the crystal clear water at the base of the Sierra Escambray Mountains was an experience I’ll never forget.
A fluvial environment defines the landscape of these mountains, where the Río Hanabanilla has carved beautiful waterfalls and clear blue pools into the nonresistant limestone rocks.
Only 1.5 hours from both Cienfuegos and Trinidad, Parque El Nicho is the prefect place to go with kids. If you like spending time in nature, hiking amongst the trees and swimming in pristine pools, this place is for you.
Getting to El Nicho from Cienfuegos was easy. We hired a taxi for $60 roundtrip – a little pricey, but well worth it.
Sharing the taxi with other travelers, which is very common in Cuba, helped us to lessen the cost.
The ride was fun, the road was curvy and we saw movie-like scenes from a bygone era.
This remote area of Cuba is something you don’t want to miss. The people and the culture are beautifully and completely authentic.
The natural environment is unique to this area as well – water flows all year long in the Sierra Escambray Mountains, even during the dry season.
There are numerous waterfalls, and at the base of the falls are deep, natural pools, perfect for swimming and splashing around in when it’s hot.
At Parque El Nicho, there are well-maintained hiking trails through the jungle, and a Cuban-style restaurant that serves soups, sandwiches and cold beverages for a fair price.
We paid the entrance fee of USD$10 and then walked a short distance to the restaurant. There, we ordered a bite to eat and listened to a live Cuban band while we ate. The bathrooms were nice and clean.
From the restaurant, the trail continued through lush, tropical forests, full of birds, lizards and other critters. We had to cross small foot bridges spanning across shallow gorges.
We passed two smaller pools before arriving at the Upper Falls, where the largest swimming hole was.
Many people admired Upper Falls that day as it was so serenely beautiful. However, we couldn’t resist jumping in and getting away from the crowd!
This is an excellent outdoor adventure for kids who like swimming, splashing and exploring in nature, and I highly recommend it as a day trip if you’re in the Cienfuegos or Trinidad area.
Beverly is single mom to Bella, traveling and living abroad. Native to Sweet Home Alabama, her southern roots run deep and she naturally spreads seeds of hospitality. Visiting over 14 countries since 2010, the idea of Single Moms Adventure grew when she realized the need for community for adventurous single moms like herself. In her blog, she discusses how to earn money while traveling and living abroad as a single mom, provides resources on how to get started, reviews travel destinations and compiles them into nifty Travel Guides & designs easy-to-read, kid-friendly itineraries. Ready to go?