No other Caribbean island boasts the geographic diversity as Cuba. Incredible beaches, dense forests, huge mountain ranges, lush valleys. What makes this picture even more inviting is nature hasn't fallen victim to 20th century development. In fact, there is a very determined movement at hand in Cuba to "develop, but not disturb" (with the exception possibly of Varadero). The Hotel Moka is a perfect example of this philosophy:
Located just 45 minutes west of Havana in the Pinar del Rio Province, the 4-star Hotel Moka sits in a community called Las Terrazas. Just a few years old, Hotel Moka was built in a style that incorporates most of the natural surroundings, seeing them as design points rather than "things to bulldoze away." A massive tree grows up through an open-air atrium in the lobby, and a stream runs through the garden past the Concierge Desk. Some guest rooms have trees jutting through their floors and again through the roof -- never mind the nesting birds -- and glass always gives way to a solid wall, so views can be maximized. To say that the Moka is "one with nature" is an understatement. Tennis, horses, bird-watching, nature hikes, and much more is available.
Also in the Pinar del Rio Province, in the Vinales village, is Los Jasmines. This beautiful pink hotel sits in an even more beautiful setting. All types of nature-oriented activities are offered, including ecology tours. One of these tours, called the Pincushion Hills EcoTour, leaves the hotel in the morning and goes deep into the Vinales Valley. Here the first site is the Archaeological Mural, then the Cavern of Santo Tomas, and also to the Moncada Farmers' Community. All of their tours are designed for people of all ages, and don't require any particular physical prowess.
The hotel itself is lovely and well-equipped. 62 air conditioned rooms and 16 cabanas, all with private bathroom, telephone and satellite television. Other facilities include restaurant, bar, disco, pool, horseback riding, field volleyball, lawn bowling and archery.
Going coastal, Cayo Levisa is another resort with an emphasis on respect for the existing ecology. Cayo Levisa is essentially a deserted island except for the 20 or so cabanas that dot the island (all doubles with hot water & television, as well as a restaurant, bar, and good diving facilities). The natural surroundings are truly magnificent -- whitest of white sands, clear and warm seas, one of the largest black coral reefs in the world... Ferries operate daily at 11am and 4pm -- the charge is nominal.
Additional information on Hotel Moka, Los Jasmines and Cayo Levisa can be found in the Pinar Del Rio section on the 1Click2Cuba home page.