The Circuito Sur coast road dips and rises east of Cienfuegos , with the Sierra Escambray  to the north. Beaches lie hidden at the mouths of rivers that wash down from the hills, as at the mouth of the Río La Jutía, 42 kilometers from Cienfuegos, and eight kilometers farther east, at Playa Inglés.
Hacienda La Vega (tel. 043/55-1126, daily 9 a.m.–6 p.m.), about three kilometers west of Playa Inglés, is a cattle farm (vaquería) where horseback riding is offered (CUC4 per hour) and demonstrations of traditional farm life are given. A roadside restaurant serves snacks and criollo fare. Lather up with insect repellent!
Three kilometers east of the turnoff for Playa Ingles, you’ll cross the Río Yaguanabo and pass into Sancti Spíritus Province . You can follow a rugged dirt track seven kilometers inland to Finca Protegida Yaguanabo-Arriba, also with horseback riding and guided birding in the foothills of the Escambray mountains.
The highlight is the Cueva Martín Infierno, a stupendous cavern that boasts Latin America’s largest stalagmite (67 meters tall) and gypsum flowers (flores de yeso).
Wow! Who knew Cubamar had what it takes to produce such a lovely hotel? Villa Guajimico (tel. 043/55-0941, www.cubamarviajes.com , CUC25 s, CUC40 d low season, CUC35 s, CUC50 d high season) sits over the mouth of the Río La Jutía. Some of the 51 air-conditioned brick cabins line a tiny white-sand beach in the river estuary. Others stair-step a hill where a swimming pool and restaurant offer spectacular views. It has scuba diving daily at 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., plus Hobie Cats.
A lesser option, the Villa Yaguanabo (Carretera a Trinidad, Km 55, tel. 042/54-1905, fax 042/54-1921, jcarpeta [at] yaguanabo [dot] cfg [dot] tur [dot] cu, www.islazul.cu , CUC14 s, CUC22 d low season, CUC28 s, CUC28 d high season) has 34 rooms at the rivermouth.