Quote — Picasso

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Laguna de la Leche © Wampy60 panoramio.com •]• El gallo ... © Elieser, panoramio
Laguna de la Leche, an attractive lake 5 km from town and its restaurant, La Atarraya.
The lake is the largest freshwater reservoir in Cuba and one of its favorite fishing haunts.
OUR CASA LIST BEGINS HERE REGIONAL MAP HERE
In the province of Ciego de Avila, the first settlers coming from Andalucia in the middle of th 16th century gave the city its cock-a-doodle-doo symbol. They nick-named "Town of the young rooster". The gallo (guy-yo) still sings twice daily from atop a monument at Hotel Moron. The word moron either means a nice view or a mound or is a reminder of a namesake village near Sevilla in Spain. First bullfights in 1851, first public school and first newspaper in 1855, first firefighters in 1868.

In 1871 started the building of a huge defense line (
la Trocha) made of low wood-built towers which crossed the island from the south coast at Jucaro to here in Moron on the north coast, the idea being to block the separatists' troops from going west to La Havana. Also plying the same route were military locomotives turned into killing machines which bore names like La Júcaro, La Ciego, La Amparo, La Chiva, La Cuenca and the most famous, El Almirante. One was named la Carneceria, the butcher.

Ernest Hemingway lauded the numerous cayos of the Cuban tourist area called
Jardines del Rey, (Gardens of the King) half a century ago describing with knowledge and affection both Coco and Guillermo keys (cayos) in Islands in the Stream.

Today, although it remains a popular hunting and fishing location for Cubans besides having many colonial and cultural sites of interest, most tourists just pass through (morons...) on their way to the keys or cayos.

These keys cover some 500 sq km
, a kind of nirvana of scuba divers (in cayos Media Luna and Los Felipes : four centres with 22 dive sites), of beachcombers (21 km of white sand), as well as bird watchers looking for some of its 158 species, which, surprisingly enough have not left following the building boom which saw rise some 3,000 hotel rooms.

Cayo Coco, Cayo Paredon Grande and Cayo Romano make up the 785 sq km Buenavista protected reserve where hunting is a no-no : iguanas, stags and some 30,000 pink roseate flamingos live there in relative peace.

The keys are reached by a causeway or
pedraplen (a huge three-year long project completed in 1980) on the bay of Perros (dogs) and extending some 90 km, a 50-minute drive to the end. More on (Moron, get it ? ; ) this below.

DISTANCES
Bolivia, 33
Campismo Boquéron, 35
Camaguey, 146
Cayo Coco, 58
Cayo Guillermo, 65
Ciego de Avila, 37
Florencia, 40
Laguna de la Leche, 5
Laguna La Redonda, 12
La Habana, 417
Pueblo Holandes, 22
Punta Alegre (Ferry > Cayo Guillermo), 90
Playa Pilar, 106
Pueblo Holandés, 25
Sancti Spiritus, 114
Trinidad, 187
Turiguano, 13


Pio Leyva, Buena Vista Social Club 1915-2006
Pio Leyva of Buena Vista Social Club was born here in 1915
Geo-Eco Info on province

MAPS & LINKS
Map - Jucaro, Ciego, Moron, Guillermo
Map of town with suggested casas
Map - City North- South perspective
Road map from Moron to the cayos
Map - Cayos : Coco, Guillermo and other cayos
Map - Ciego de Avila province and Cuba's centro
Bus schedule — Viazul to Ciego de Avila
Island-wide bus skeds (horariodebuses.com/)
Costa Norte Train Schedule
Coche Motor Schedule - Moron - La Habana
Pierre Bannon's birds of Cayo Coco on pbase.com
Daily currency exchange rates.
Jardines del Rey Info — 35-page PDF (Eng/Spa)
Recent photos of nearby Bolivia - all-wood village
All that's natural in Ciego de Avila province
Arrivals & departures at Cayo Coco airport (CCC)

All the Web particuba.net

POPULATION 62,869 (2007)

RESTAURANTS & PALADARES
One of the best rest rants of the whole Costa Norte : Restaurant Maité La Qbana, Luz Caballero nº 40-B, entre Libertad y Agramonte - also rents three bedrooms. Two lovely women, Maité and Idolka, await to titillate your palate. Tel. (33) 50-41-81 Also : Las Fuentes, calle Marti 169, Cuban and international : one of best in town, according to some advisors Las Delicias is across the street from preceding Doña Neli, snack-bar 24/7 and bakery San Fernando, 24/7 also rooms for rent

SEE.KNOW.DO
The superb train station (1924) : stained glass ceiling, original phone booth, etc. An annual steam locomotive festival is held here in December Casa Parroquial Galeria del Arte La Trocha de Jucaro Loma de Cunagua Museo de Arqueologia y Historia Museo Municipal (Precolombian Art) Around Parque Ignacio Agramonte, one will find the Iglesia Católica (Catholic church) which was once a prison; as well, the structure of the never-completed Teatro Reguero

EVENINGS, FESTIVALS
Casa de la Cultura Casa de Trovadores : Casa de la Trova Pablo Bernal, Calle Libertad 74, e/Marti y Narciso Lopez Feria Internacional del Libro, the annual Book Fair with sales and literary presentations; each March. Festival internacional del Bolero dedicated each year to a different famous bolero singer; first forthnight in June Carnaval acuatico on nearby lake Laguna de la Leche with a parade of decorated boats from all over Cuba; each September.

100 YEARS OF CULTURA LOCAL
When Moron changed status from "villa" (town) to that of ciudad (city), it already boasted the second largest bookstore in Cuba, La Moderna Poesía, the cinema cum theater venue, the Apolo as well as a music orchestra (Banda de Música), the stage theater Niza, the social club la Colonia Española and the first public library in the area The local train yards Los Talleres Ferroviarios de Morón strated operating and employing a large part of the local workers as of 1922 and the actual fishing and hunting club La Casona is located on the original grounds. Every year, the water festival is held on "milk lake" Laguna de la leche. It's called El Carnaval Acuático and dates from the 50's with coloufully-decorated boats parading.

TRANSPORTATION
There used to be a Viazul bus route named Circuito Norte which started in the morning in Trinidad and ended in Moron. But the Sancti Spiritus management office of Viazul — although the route was popular from Trinidad and made money — decided there were not enough revenues on the back trip and cancelled the whole route. WTF, indeed !


Getting here means going through Ciego de Avila on a Viazul bus : from Trinidad, the Capital and the West arriving Ciego at 10:50, 16:25, 22:25; from Camaguey, Holguin and Santiago and points East, arriving Ciego at 17:30 and three more during the night; connecting by cab to Moron, more or less 15-20cuc (or much less in Cuban peso collectivo taxi) for a three or four-passager cab.


On click,
enlarged map of the cayos Coco, Guillermo and Romano — 65 km north, reachable by a 30-km long pedraplen made with millions of tons of trucked-in rock •]• The portal (entrance) to Hostal Maité la Qbana in the centre of little Moron, gateway to the sea and the key beaches — the lovely playas de cayos © MdeA


Parque Balinga is open during the day only and only for children. Facing it, casa de Maite and Idolka's © sogestour

Parque Marti refreshingly shadowy © Maite Valor Morales •}• Parque del Ferrocaril, the park in front of the train station © Maite Valor Morales


Cayo Coco © Killermart - Flickr

Mapa Cayos
Click to enlarge.

Parque y estacion de tren
Park with outstanding train station © } Los Balcones © Elo, flickr.com

Calle principal, ferrocaril
Laguna de la Leche, 5km from town, Cuba's largest freshwater reservoir and mecca for sport fishing © Maite Valor } Farmacia Comunitaria Especial © Sabrina Pezzoli


Hotel Perla del Norte, yesteryear's hotspot © Marc - Picasa }Lying by the largest sand dunes in the Caribbean, some 13 meters deep and 30 dive sites off its shore, Playa Pilar on Cayo Guillermo is a great beach and part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve © Maite Valor


In the nearby quiet little town of Bolivia, this little restaurant
by the central park allows citizens of Moron to meet in total intimacy © sogestour


Still-running train from the Ciro Redondo sugar mill - organized tours offered to the culture-hungry traveller through the Museo CAI Patria o Muerte ©

RAIL BUFFS HEED THE HINT


Moron train station built in 1924 © robin thom photography
Train
Origin - Destination
Sked
# 501
Moron - Camaguey leaves at 04h28 #503 at 14h06
Daily
# 502
Camaguey to Moron leaves at 13h35 #504 leaves at 18h15
Daily
HAVE U RED THE LOCAL SKED, FRED ?
Moron — Violeta/Primero de Enero (30 km) : 12h55
Moron — Bolivia (33 km) : 15h00
Moron — Chambas (35 km) : 12h21
Moron — Ciro Redondo (11 km) : 07h05
Moron — Ranchuelo, Falla (19 km) 06h25; 12h21, 14h45, 20h00
Moron — Playa La Tinaja (30 km) : 06h25; 12h10; 19h30.
Moron — Florencia (43 km) : 12h21
Moron — Ciego de Avila (37 km)
5h35; 7h30; 8h20; 11h30; 13h00; 14h45; 17h30.
Daily
Bus info - April 2011 Maite Valor; fahrplancenter.com, sept. 2011
Moron, detail of train station © Chris Bradford, dancingtosculptures.blogspot.caDetail of train station © Chris Bradford, dancingtosculptures.blogspot.ca

The first museum of the MINAZ
(Ministerio del Azucar - Ministry of Sugar) in Ciego de Avila province is part of a national network of "sugar museums" established since the dismantling of more than half of Cuba's sugar mills. Exhibits and demonstrations can be enjoyed at Patria o Muerte, name of the local sugar museum. It includes a Baldwin crane, a 1917 Zeppelin and a locomotive park with equipment dating back to 1917. Tel (33) 50-5333 © orlandogonzalezmadrigal
RENDEZ-VOUS
El centro de Caza y Pesca (La Casona de Moron), on Cristobal Colon, (7 bedrooms, bar, grill, swimming pool), rendez-vous of hunters and fishermen. Tel.(33) 50-45-63 Closed until Spring 2010 for renovations. La Batanga Disco Located right by the La Casona shouts infernal loud music which keeps everybody within hearing distance awake till 2 a.m. Hotel Moron, avenida Tarafa, 144 rooms, pool, bar, disco; hunters also like the place; crash the swimming pool, just walk across the lobby to the end, upstairs one flight and you're there. Tel. (33) 50-22-30
Lovely restaurant, La Atarraya Tour on cars pulled  by a locomotora de vapor (steam-powered train) Excursion in the meanders of lake La Redonda
EXCURSIONS
About 65km from town : Cayo Coco and its natural sites : Sitio La Guira (village), Cueva del Jabali, Playa Prohibida at the end of the key. A trail leads to a 15-meter high sand dune, Loma del Puerto On horseback to Campismo Boquéron from Florencia to the dam, naturel decor (cliff, river swimming) and the hill where Camilo Cienfuegos battled in 1958. Horseback also in Florencia, hq of regional rodeos Hunting in Aguachales de Falla reserve, a lagoon surrounded by lakes where abound pigeons, doves, ducks and fowl below some 24 position towers. Season 15 jul. to 15 march. Rate 85cuc/day, info at Hotel Moron Turiguano (island) developed by Comandante Fajardo after the Revolucion : he built schools, a Dutch-style village, brought electricity and was first promoter of Cayo Coco's potential. Among its attractions, you'll enjoy Playa la Tinaja in Manati, the closest great beach to Moron, 25k away. There's the huge Laguna de la Leche (66 sq km), largest fresh water reserve in Cuba where fish (tilapia, carp and tarpon) are waiting to be caught and its famous flamingos (rowboat rentals) are waiting to be watched. You can also fish on lake La Redonda some 11km2, largest concentration of perch and bass in Cuba. Rates 36-65cuc including guide, boat, lunch and morning and afternoon fishing trips ; info at Hotel Moron Laguna de la Leche 5 k away from centre, a 66 km2 lake for fishing (tilapia, carp and tarpon) and its famous flamingos (rowboat rentals).

Bolivia, 33 km east - House of the sugar mill boss © sogestour
EXCURSION SUBLIMA y SUPREMA : BOLIVIA
A remote village, still "under the radar" and worth a detour ... for its almost zen-like calm. Once was a sugar town - the Cunagua mill was closed in 2003 - whose staff lived in wood houses. Enthroned at one end of what is now the central park, the beautiful casa [the most beautiful wooden house in Cuba? - photo above], of the Jefe - originally a rep of the Spanish owners; later, an American Boss until the Revolucion.

A unique — in Cuba — row of houses (80 in all) in which survive dozens of very poor old folks and the two generations of their young ones who have not yet left; a beisbol stadium, a cultural center with a theater; a barber shop, a cinema, a restaurant and stories to extract from its venerable and noble old habitués. Go before it is too late. Some say authorities plan to transform the chief's casa into a cultural center — that would be a grrreat idea. A local bus runs here from Moron, 33 kilometers west.
Our photos here.

At the very end of Cayo Guillermo, this is Playa Pilar (named after Hemingway's boat) of which many
say is
the most beautiful on the island — as yet unspoiled by any resort
There's just a diving centre and a beach restaurant; the cayo's resort guests get here by a rather long cab ride.
On the horizon,
Cayo Media Luna, an attractive scuba diving spot © sogestour
Go before it changes and becomes like everywhere else.
PLAYAS
Closest is in Manati (on Turiguano), via San Rafael, before the pedraplen and it's called La Tinaja Cayo Guillermo : Colorada, Flamencos, La Jaula, Uva Caleta. Some say Playa Pilar is nicest on the island (photo above). Check it out, bro Cayo Coco : El Peso, del Medio, Larga, Las Conchas with its thalassotherapy center or the last one at the end of the 100k road (langosta and beer by the beach, sailboat rentals); other free and deserted beaches are Flamingo, Prohibida and Las Coloradas On Cayo Romano, playa Los Pinos, is for fishermen looking to catch jurele (pale yellow salmon) attracted by your best fly, guy.

HEED THE HINTS IN THIS FINE PRINT
::: Make sure that in your first email or phone call you specify that you want to book a room in that particular casa and that you will reconfirm your booking on arrival in Cuba. Unless you only want a room in any house which may be of the same quality, not the specific casa you booked through photos on these websites ::: So as to not abandon expecting owners with empty rooms, reconfirm (or call ahead to cancel) your booking by phone as soon as you can after arriving in Cuba ::: Please write or phone a casa owner to cancel a booking. As late as it may seem, it allows them a chance to rebook. ::: Children under the age of 16 may share a bedroom with adults for free. Specify the child's age when booking. ::: Since October 2010, maximum bedroom capacity is not limited to two adults ::: Also, large casas are not limited to renting only two bedrooms per night. ::: At the end of the casa name, the V signals the casa was suggested by travelers or owners but not verified by the website staff. If you try it and like it, write us about it. ::: Unless otherwise mentioned, the average room rates and service prices are : 20-25cuc per bedroom per night [up to 40+ for 4 in a room]; breakfasts 3-5cuc, dinners 7-10cuc. ::: Any casa particular anywhere in Cuba must have a hot water shower, otherwise it cannot have a permit to rent ::: Please share your Complaints, comments & suggestions webmaster [@]cubacasas.net

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TO MAKE A RESERVATION BY PHONE
• From Canada and the USA : 011 53 (add phone # preceded by the town's area code, 33) • From Europe, Great Britain, Scandinavia and Mexico : 00 53 (add phone # preceded by the town's area code, 33) ••• HOW TO DIAL A CUBAN PHONE NUMBER HERE ••• CELL PHONE NUMBERS on our town lists and casa pages are preceded by 05 for calls originating Havana; from anywhere else in Cuba, dial 015 + the 7 digits of the cell.

BOOK BY EMAIL :
Click on logo to open a message addressed to that casa in your email application; or right-click to copy address. Spanish vocabulary here.


ALOJAMIENTO MAITÉ
+ RESTAURANT MAITÉ LA QBANA
Three ac bedrooms, ensuites, pool, parking
Luz Caballero nº 40-B, entre Libertad y Agramonte, about 200 m from Casa de la Trova Tel. (33) 50-4181 cell 52 81 33 74




ALOJAMIENTO VISTA Al PARQUE
Upstairs, two ac bedrooms, ensuites, kitchen
Luz Caballero # 49-d (upstairs, "altos"), e/ Libertad y Agramonte, near Trova across from Alojamiento Maité and Restaurant Maité La Qbana. Tel. (33) 50-4181

HOSTAL VISTA AL PARQUE

FRANK CEPERO
One aircon bedroom, ensuite, quiet
Callejas nº 136, entre Castillo y Luz Caballero about 5 blocks from Etecsa (Internet Cnx) Tél. (33) 50-52-58 cell 05 294-5142



DULCE y WALDYS V
Two aircon bedrooms, ensuites, centre
Calle Narciso Lopez 319, entre Serafin Sanchez y Sergio Antuna, facing Hechevarria Park, near central Parque Marti. Tel. (33) 50-31-36



LIBERLUZ V
Two aircon bedrooms, ensuites, centre
Calle Libertad 148 entre Luz Caballero y Padre Cano, three blocks from Casa de la Trova. Tel. (33) 50-50-54



BELKIS V
One aircon bedroom, ensuite, centre
Calle Castillo 175 e/ Callejas y Serafín Sánchez, steps from Villa La Casona. Tél. (5) 297-1477

BELKIS Y OSCAR QUINTERO

ALICIA V
Two aircon bedrooms, ensuites, centre
Libertad nº 90, e/ Martí y Castillo, 50 m from Casa de la Trova and 25 m from restaurant La Fuente. Tél. (33) 50-51-94



CARMEN V
Two aircon bedrooms, ensuites, central, colonial
General Peraza 38, entre Felipe Poey y Carlos Manuel de Céspedes a few steps from the train estacion. Tel. (33) 50-45-72





Photos & content © sogestour

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Updated 05.09.2014

" It is wrong to expect a reward for your struggles. The reward is the act of struggle itself, not what you win. Even though you can't expect to defeat the absurdity of the world, you must make that attempt. That's morality, that's religion. That's art. That's life. " Phil Ochs