Probably my favourite city in Cuba, for the raw unpolished cobble stone paths to the mountains beyond. More touristy than Santa Clara, it has an amazing vibe at night with takeaway 1-2CUC pina coladas that you sip on the steps of Casa de la Musica.
Horse riding to the waterfalls is a must, even if like the nomad I travel it is your first time. Never had I gotten a horseride for such a good price, and he was such a well trained beauty bringing me to a canter whenever I asked politely. So enjoyable it was that I requested a second trip to the beach side the next day. However the horses were unfamiliar with that route and it was not as well priced.
The rolling hills were a peaceful getaway from the tourists and the waterfall although dry in march had a lovely off-tune guitarist that tried his best to entertain us. The whole trip lasted 4 hours and we got back slightly sore but happy. Be sure to thank your horse by letting him nibble at the sugar cane plants along the way.
Please by no means skip the restaurant Taberna Ochun Yemaya, because we had exquisite meals for a fraction of the cost I would pay for it. The Lobster was 8CUC and the exploding seafood paella was to die for. We ate there twice, and the day we tried another highly rated restaurant we regretted it dearly.
We managed to get a shared taxi by asking around at the road outside the bus station, due to the unavailability of the viazul that we wanted. Beware that there are 3 timings but only the 4pm one takes you to Havana straight and the rest take a much longer time. The shared taxi was reliable and punctual, but the other 2 girls from Chile were not very pleasant to be with in the same space especially since we all had to wait for them at their hotel. Nonetheless the driver was talkative and spunky, and we had fun helping him out to change the tyre when it punctured. Always prepare for the worst in Cuba and do not plan a flight on the same day as you get back into Havana.