The room and bathroom were modest in size and standard, but there was a separate sitting room with television and fridge. There is no air conditioning but the standing fan was fine. The pool is nice and the food good, which is just as well because there is nowhere else to eat! The wifi was patchy and unreliable. Be prepared to walk a long way with your cases up the slope from the car park to the rooms, as they are spread over a large area and you are not allowed to drive to the chalet where your room is located.
having visited a few years back we knew what to expect - super chalet type rooms, good food, lovely staff and superb surroundings. in our experience Gaviota hotels are rarely disappointing.We stayed for two nights. For us its worth the journey as the area is great for nature lovers. We make an especial study of butterflies and moths but look at everything. All documented on butterfliesofcuba Loved the swimming pool and the grounds generally. Thanks for a super stay
While visiting the Playa Esmeraldo area, we booked a Sunwing excursion to Pinares de Mayari, a trip not taken by me since 2013. The ‘Mountain Adventure and History’ tour gets one a jeep with driver and guide, and visits to the Castro museum in Biran, Pinares de Mayari, and Salto de Guayabo, with a pit stop to a country home for refreshments, for $85.00 cuc. The excursion goes by way of Tacajo with the first stop being the ‘farm’ house where a spread of fresh fruit, cheeses, and some sweets are served with coffee. (Interestingly, the exact same offerings are served in other ‘farm’ tours, which kind of dulls that home-spun feeling.) Your ride will then take you past fields of sugar cane and factories where it is harvested. The stop in Biran takes less than an hour which allows ample time to view the reproduction of the original Castro family home plus a view of other buildings, mostly reproductions, as well. Regardless, the architectural style is authentic and some artifacts are original. I enjoyed seeing the schoolhouse and whatever photos of the Castros were displayed. We were not accompanied by a site guide here and were reliant on the wealth of knowledge offered by our tour guide, Luiz, who never disappointed. After travelling south to Mella, the tour works its way up the desolate but wonderfully scenic west side of La Mensura to reach Pinares de Mayari from the south-west. The views you get of the Sierra Maestra countryside, when you pull over, are unique and, as my companion noted, the silence is powerful. The massive convention centre of Pinares rises out of the winding hillsides and is impressive. Our little group would be the only visitors that day adding to the sense of isolation. A wonderful, hot lunch was served and was a welcomed break to these road-weary travellers (and the roads here are bad. Really bad!). Since my last visit, the ceiling of the resort has been painted white, ..I guess to brighten up the room which previously had a noble cedar finish. After, I did a brief walk to where the rentable cabins sit. It was sad to see that the effects of Hurricane Irma are still visible, such as damage to the buildings and gaps in the forest. However a work crew also was on hand and it looks like renovations are underway. Our last stop was at the gorgeous Salto de Guayabo. There was little evidence of hurricane damage here, although it occurred. We were assigned a guide who led us through the interpretive centre - a work in progress as new look-out towers and repairs are added with time. The Salto still offers a great view of the falls, vast assortments of orchids and other plants, good bird-sighting opportunities, and a chance to hike down its boardwalk and wooded trails past its rust-red streams. Beauty abounds here but one should be aware that the excursion offers access to the falls from the top and not the bottom. We never saw anything that we’d consider swimming in unlike the ‘natural pool’ advertised, either. Still, a lot is packed into this long day and the rewards are plenty. Our driver, Espaldo was a competent navigator in this rough teraine and our guide, Luiz, was an entertaining and knowledgable companion, making this trip more than scenery and a drive. I truly recommend this excursion to anyone not afraid of a bumpy ride!…
We are a family of 4. We stayed 2 nights and in a kind of different way it was fine. Plus points: high up (so not hot); not crowded (we were the only guests one night); good food; cheap prices; refreshing pool. Not so good points: cabin could have been cleaner; wood was VERY dark so made it look gloomy inside cabin; parts of camp (not bits we used) were derelict and should be demolished or done up. Road is long and very uneven. We got a taxi from Gibara (140 CUC, 3.5 - 4 hours). Lonely Planet refers to trail but we could not find it and the receptionist did not know about it.
We weren't expecting a kind of Tahoe-like resort - not quite our style. But we really enjoyed staying there and rates were super reasonable. It's a fair drive along a bumpy road from the Salto de Guayabo (we initially thought it would be really close by). One highlight was the staff - David who worked the front desk was a delight. He's an English teacher and super efficient, professional, helpful, friendly... just overall really great. We also enjoyed interacting with Ruby at the restaurant. Take a walk around the area. We never found the little waterfall within walking distance. Walked by the mostly dried up lake. The whole place seemed a little deserted - like from a bygone era.