Cuba // Ciego de Ávila and Camagüey //


Lying 36km north of Ciego de Ávila on the road to the cays, picturesque MORÓN is surrounded by flat farming countryside replete with glistening palm trees, banks of sugar cane and citrus trees. Fanning out from a cosy downtown nucleus, its few gaily painted colonial buildings and proximity to Cayo Guillermo and Cayo Coco ensure its popularity with day-trippers from the cays, and it’s certainly the best place to stay if you want to visit the cays but can’t afford a luxury hotel. For now, though, the area’s main tourist revenue comes from hunting and fishing, as enthusiasts from around the world converge on Laguna de la Leche and Laguna la Redonda, both 15km north of town, where several species of fish and flocks of migrating ducks are sitting targets.

The area surrounding Morón offers a welcome contrast to the unrelentingly flat land to the south, and holds a few surprises well worth venturing beyond the town limits to explore. Ten kilometres north of town, the large Laguna de la Leche is fringed by reeds and woodland that hide the Aguachales de Falla game reserve, while 7km further northeast the tranquil Laguna la Redonda is an idyllic spot for drifting about in a boat. Just north of the lakes is the peninsula La Isla de Turiguanó, home to the mock-Dutch village Pueblo Holandés de Turiguanó, its faux-timbered, red-roofed houses looking completely out of place beneath tropical palms. Towards the east, rising from the plains like the shell of a tortoise, is the gently rounded Loma de Cunagua, its dense tangle of woodland full of bright parakeets and parrots, and a favourite spot for day-trekkers and birdwatchers. West from Morón, in an area straddled by the tiny villages of Chambas and Florencia, is the Boquerón reserve campsite, where horseriding, river-swimming and rock-climbing are an irresistible draw for nature enthusiasts.

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