The Campismo Cueva de Los Portales facility is in the protected Mil Cumbres area. It was first opened on 16 May 1981 with 12 "cosy" cabins.
The Cueva de Los Portales Campismo was severely damaged during the passage of the 2008 hurricanes Gustav & Ike. But by May 2009 the "hotel" had been re-built & re-opened. The cabins now have air-conditioning.
It is a very attractive area for flora, fauna & the mountains are full of remnants of runaway slaves in colonial times. The small mountains or "mogotes" are unusually steep-sided & often vine-covered.
The keen bird-watcher should be delighted with the sheer numbers of different species on tap.
But the greatest interest is in the Rio Caiguanabo San Andrés cave system, the La Cueva de los Portales. A National Monument site since Commander Ernesto Che Guevara, during the October Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, made the caves his command centre for the Pinar del Rio Army. The cave is maintained with furniture & some personal belongings of the heroic guerrilla fighter.
Also on the same hillside are the caves El Espejo, El Salvador & Cueva Oscura.
Daily tours are available from the hotel to La Cueva de los Portales & Playa Pajarito. Also fairly nearby are the Dos Hermanas, Prehistoric Mural, Indian Caves, Cayo Levisa & Vinales.
The Campismo Popular accommodation properties are, on a economic, style, social & community level, the Cuban equivalent of youth hostels. But in that the cabanas (cabins) are all private (not communal), and all have private ensuite bathrooms, they are more like hotels.
The hilly La Palma municipality is located in the north of the province of Pinar del Rio. It has an area of 622 km². It borders to the north the Gulf of Mexico, to the south the municipalities Consolacion del Sur & Los Palacios, east of Bahia Honda, along the San Marcos River, & also borders the municipality San Cristobal, & West with the municipality to Viñales.
There is archaeological evidence, at more than 28 sites, that La Palma town was previously inhabitated by Aboriginal Indians.
The district is characterised by flat fertile areas, only a little above sea level, & by quite dramtically steep-sided hills upto 500m high. The limestone hills have extensive cave systems.
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