Pinar Del Rio, Cuba

Pinar del Río (map) is a city on the western part of Cuba. The provincial capital of Pinar del Río Province, it covers 708 sq km (273.4 sq mi) and has a population of 191,000 people (2011 estimate).

More on Pinar del Río

Pinar del Río was one of the last major cities founded by the Spanish in Cuba. It was originally called Nueva Filipinas, or New Philippines, because its earliers inhabitants were settlers from the Philippines who came on the Manila Galleons. They introduced tamarind and congee (called

arroz caldo in Spanish) to the area.

The Filipino immigrants worked in the big tobacco plantations around Pinar del Río. This is where the tobacco plants for the renowned La Flor de Isabela cigars were first cultivated. Eventually the Filipino assimilated themselves into Cuban society, breaking the ties with their homeland.

Nuevo Filipinas was renamed Pinar del Río in 1774, after the pine grove along the Guamá river. Today it continues to be the heart of the tobacco producing region and center of the tobacco industry.

Visiting Pinar del Río

Take the bus from Havana to Viñales. It makes a stop at Pinar del Río/

Places of Interest in Pinar del Río

  1. Calle Martí
    Main street in , after the pine grove along the Guamá river with many interesting buildings.

  2. Casa de la Cultura
    Building where cultural performances are staged in the evening.

  3. Casa Garay
    Producer of Guayabila del Pinar, a famous local liqueur since 1892. Visitors can join the house tour finishing with a sampling of the liqueur.

  4. Fábrica de Tabacos Francisco Donatién
    This is a small cigar factory occupying a 19th century jailhouse where visitors can observe how cigars are hand made.

  5. Museo Provincial de Historia
    Museum that showcases the history of the province from pre-Columbian period to present day.

  6. Palacio de Guasch
    A historic building that blends Moorish arches with Gothic spires and Baroque elements, the palace was the home of a wealthy physician who wanted to bring back elements of architecture that has impressed him in his travels. Today it houses the museo of natural history (Museo de Ciencias Naturales).

  7. Teatro Milanés
    A Neo-Classical theater built in 1845. It seats an audience of 500.

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