A less taxing alternative to the Pico Turquino trail is the trek to the Comandancia de La Plata, 3km west of Alto de Naranjo, where Fidel Castro based his rebel headquarters during the Revolution. The trail is well marked and you can complete the reasonably strenuous climb in around four hours return. The headquarters are spread over two or three sites, the first of which is the very basic hospital (it’s little more than a wooden hut) that Che Guevara founded and ran. The second site comprises the guard post, a small but worthy museum and the grave of a rebel who fell in battle. Most evocative are the wooden huts where the rebels lived and ate, which were covered with branches to protect them from enemy air strikes. Castro’s small quarters consist of a rudimentary bedroom with a simple camp bed, a kitchen, a fridge, a study and a secret trap door to escape through if he was under attack. Those wanting to take pictures of the rebel camp will need to pay an extra $5CUC at the Casa Medina rest stop, halfway along the walk.
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