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“Surprising cattle ranch and modest village”

Rancho King Touristic Farm
Ranked #6 of 23 things to do in Camaguey
Attraction details
Reviewed June 14, 2014

It's a surprise to find a remnant of Texas at Rancho King. The tour includes a fun rodeo, and introduction by Vicente, an amusing and talkative host (excellent English). The lunch with BBQ roast pork on a spit is mouthwatering. Don't miss seeing the main bedroom where the Kings slept, and ironically where Fidel Castro used to come to get away from it all after the ranch was expropriated. It's awesome to utilize the same WC used by Fidel! Hopefully you will also visit the modest village. If you have school or household supplies, they will be gratefully received by the residents.

1  Thank mmbcross
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"cowboy"
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Reviewed March 1, 2014

Since we booked our vacation through Hola Sun, one of the perks we got (in addition to staying in the Hola Sun section, getting a free bottle of rum and not having to pay for the room safe) was a free trip to Rancho King (I believe it normally costs about 35 pesos per person). After a bus ride we arrived at the ranch, where we were welcomed by 5 horse-riding cowboys and then were taken to a small herb garden and given a very informative presentation on various herbs and its healing properties. During the ‘special period’ (‘periodo especial’) after the fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba faced severe shortages of everything, including medicines and thus herbal and natural remedies became quite important and widely used. Hallelujah for that!

As we wondered around near the dining hall, we saw an old man hand-turning the stick on which a whole pig was mounted and it was being roasted over the open fire; some Canadian guests kindly bought him a can of cold beer for which he was grateful. Then we watched a rodeo which was my first. A few people, including Catherine, did not like it as they thought the animals were terrified for our entertainment, but I enjoyed it.

Next we proceeded on foot to the nearby village, followed by a bunch of locals, reaping gifts from tourists who supplied treats and school supplies. We stopped at a Cuban house (Fidel Castro had supposedly spent a night in one of its rooms once) where we were given another illuminating presentation on the history of the ranch and demonstration on extracting water from sugar cane as well as offered coffee and fruits. There was a group of American tourists, taking part in one of those legal ‘educational’ tours in Cuba; we briefly spoke to them and they were quite surprised at how little we paid for our vacation — theirs cost almost $5,000 for one week (per person)! A small school was located just across from the house and people were able to distribute directly to schoolchildren whatever gifts they brought. We headed back to the dining room for lunch; of course, the main dish was the roasted pig! Overall, it was an enjoyable and instructive trip.

1  Thank Canadian_Guy1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2014

Finding a remnant of the Texas King Ranch in Camaguey (I live in Texas) was a complete surprise. It seems the Cuban government took it over after the revolution in 1959. The people were friendly and as we were part of a tour they had pre-arranged a small rodeo for us - very real and a lot of fun to watch. We had an outdoor BBQ and a band played Cuban music. A fun day.

1  Thank czep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2013 via mobile

I've been here twice. The show is great and the roast pig is one of the best meals. Vicente has trained roosters which is cool to see and the cowboys are very easy on the eyes. You can ride their horses in or out of the village. Take school supplies for the children when you go. They greatly appreciate it. And try all the different fruits they have in season. As long as I book with Hola Sun and this trip is included, I will always go if for nothing else but the pig roast... Yum

2  Thank lisaragoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 9, 2013

If you book with Hola Sun, this excursion is free and is included in your package. Normally they leave Tuesday mornings and return mid afternoon. The excursion takes you by bus to a ranch in a small village about 30 minutes away from Santa Lucia. You are greeted by the guide Vince, who is so friendly and is very funny.

You will get to see real cowboys perform lassoing of bulls etc. Then you get to learn about natural plant medicine and uses. These people do not have enough Western medicine (due to the 50 year US embargo), so they try to use as much natural medicines as they can. Then you can walk, take a horse and buggy to the local village and meet some of the people. You can visit a small primary school and local coffee is made in a Cuban house, where you can go in. They also show you how they extract sugar from the cane, which you can try. You then are escorted back to the ranch house and restaurant where local musicians play while a traditional Cuban lunch is served. Fedal Castro stayed in the house once, and you can see the bedrooms openly. This is a good time to take gifts for the school children and local people.

5  Thank Cubansalsalover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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