Las Terrazas a reclaimed coffee plantation is a self-sustaining community project, a designated UNESCO biosphere reserve since 1984. Bird watching, hiking, horseback riding are among the offering. A community of over 1000 inhabitants and the area has schools, a daycare, a small clinic, library, ration store and a coffee shop. Maria, pictured below was the first to run the coffee shop. The chilled coffee was perfect on a hot day.
One of the residents of the Las Terazzas is artist Lester Campa. We visited his inspiring studio overlooking a lake. His fluid surrealist work combines Cuban landscape with cultural references. He uses reclaimed wood, craft paper, water colors and acrylic.
Lunch at Las Terrazas included some of the best chicken I had in Cuba and chickens roaming around at our feet. Felt wrong. Assuredly the chicken was fresh. Poor chickens.
Next, more dancing at a music school….
We visited an after school guitar and music center where the teachers are volunteers and children shared a few Cuban and Latin rhythms. Very talented.
We were lucky to get a reservation at La Guarida, a paladar that numerous celebrities visited, including the talk-show host Conan O’Brian (we found his picture on the wall). We got there early (riding our 1966 Chevy) to enjoy the view from the rooftop bar. The dinner was elegant and delicious. I had a lamb dish that had been slow cooked for over 12 hours. It was so soft. I also had a delicious coconut milk poured over cake and lime ice cream. Summery combination.
Our evening ended back with our travel friends at Old Havana listening to the music of the Buena Vista Social Club. Intimate atmosphere, amazing music, talented dancers and just such a sophisticated and soulful pleasure.