|Santo Domingo (Sierra Maestra)
Santo Domingo (Sierra Maestra)
Heidi y Lukas
Carretera la Plata km19
Celphone +53 54 42 25 97 (Heidi)
Celphone +53 58 57 81 74 (Lukas)
Price: 15 CUC room #1,
20-25 CUC room #2 / #3- the price is including the breakfast.
Note: Deep in the mountains there is a small village called Santo Domingo where you will find some rent houses for tourists. The charming family of Heidy and Lukas rents two rooms near Hotel Santo Domingo. Heidy and Lukas were born in Santo Domingo. They went away for studies but afterwards they returned to the home village. Nowadays they are working toward a renting house business because this is the place they want to live in and bring up their daughter. Both rooms are nice though a little small and without luxury. There is much more than luxury in this house and that is the special hospitality of Heidy and Lukas. Sure you are going to feel at home!
Room No. 1 is the smallest, suitable for one person. If you want you can connect room #1 with room #2 rooms by an intermediate door; in this case the bathroom is in between. When both rooms are not connected bathroom of room No.1 is left out. Few steps from the bedroom there is a bathroom with hot and cold water. This room has also fan, air conditioning and a double bed. Just in front of the door there is a table and chairs for guests.
Room No.2 has a double bed, fan, air conditioning and a bathroom with hot and cold water. Next to this room there is a small porch with table and chairs. Since some days Lukas finished the room #3. This room has two single beds, fan and air conditioning. It has his own bathroom, too - also with hot and cold water. Also in front of room #3 you have your own place with a table and some chairs.
Of course, one may also use the family space such as the porch, the salon and dining room of the house.
Very diligently Heidy will prepare a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner for you. In brief, this is a very appropriate house in a spectacular site.
Reservation: Booking may be done in advance by email. There is no phone and no celphone red at Santo Domingo, so Heidy has to walk to the top of a hill where she connects her cell phone to internet for email sending. That´s her daily exercise!
Another advisable house is the one of Arcadia and Ernesto. They currently offer three bedrooms. Given the fact that they don't have phone or email, one should get there to see if there is a vacancy, or when Heidy and Lukas are occupied you can ask them for the favor to book Arcadias and Ernesto's place.
Santo Domingo is a small community in the mountains of Sierra Maestra where one may enjoy the tranquility and great natural hospitality of its inhabitants. There is, so far, no cell net in the town but it may change for good in the near future since Cuba is rapidly developing telecommunications. From Santo Domingo you may walk to La Comandancia de la Plata or El Pico Turquino, the highest mountain of Cuba. You may walk as well by the river while talking to villagers who live, sometimes, far away. One always enjoys the pristine nature and peace of this site, suitable for a long rest.
Excursions around Santo Domingo (Sierra Maestra)
- Sierra Maestra: Comandancia de la Plata. That is, of course, the most common excursion for tourists visiting Santo Domingo. During this journey you visit the Headquarter of the Ejercito Rebelde (Cuban revolutionaries such as Fidel Castro, Che and Raul). You will have a three hours hike through a mountain trail. So you should have strong shoes. You will also need to be physically fit because there are many ascents and descents on the way. Most houses in La Comandancia are rebuilt. Fidel´s house is in original condition. Usually one can see just one of the many houses because they are far away and some of the houses are always in repair. Apart from the visit to this historical site, the route is beautiful due to the nature of Cuban mountains. Reaching El Alto del Naranjo is another adventure given its amazing way full of big mountains. Getting to El Alto de Naranjo is only posible by special cars. The excursion starts in Hotel Santo Domingo. The office of ECOTUR is here; the company that offers the tour. The excursion costs 35 CUC per person what includes the entry to the National Park, a guide, transport to El Alto del Naranjo in round-trip from Hotel Santo Domingo as well as a light snack (a sandwich and a 500ml bottle of water).
- Sierra Maestra: Pico Turquino. Climbing the highest Cuban mountain is not an easy task. For years it has been said that every Cuban should climb El Pico Turquino once in his lifetime. Guides tell that there are always groups arriving but only a couple or none of them succeed in reaching the top of this mountain. First stage is from El Alto del Naranjo to the dormitory, what should take around five hours of walk. Distance is only 8 kilometers. Here one sleeps and next day continues to the top; it´s 5 km. There is not, unfortunately, a clear sight from the top due to a dense vegetation. So you should enjoy the going up and going down on the way. When coming down you pass again the dormitory to El Alto del Naranjo. In the second day one walks about 10 to 12 hours. Depending on time some occasions one gets to the top in the first day and then stays that night in the camp when coming back. Another possibility is going to the coast by your own since the guides always return to El Alto del Naranjo. Once at the coast it is quite difficult to find a transport for return. This must be arranged in advance. Excursion costs 75 CUC per person, including the entry to the National Park, the guide, sleeping in the camp, dinner, breakfast and a transport from Hotel Santo Domingo to El Alto del Naranjo in round-trip. You should bear in mind that this is a very tough journey, not a dominical walk. You´ll need strong shoes!
Santo Domingo (Sierra Maestra) - arrival and departure
- EFew people live in Santo Domingo so there is almost no transport to go to or come from this site. If you like travelling as the villagers, you better take a collective taxi in Bayamo or a catarata (bus on the railtrack) to Bartolome Maso. From here on you continue in any transport that shows up: a ride with tourists, in a truck, tractor or whatever. Authentic but you need lot of time and endurance. Faster and more comfortable is a taxi from Bayamo. This way the journey takes an hour and a half and costs around 40 CUC. This is perfect when sharing with other persons.