San Diego de los Baños is a tiny town built on the edge of a lovely river and some natural mineral springs. The San Diego de los Baños Spa (tel. 48/54-8812) is a relatively desultory facility that shows the wear and tear it has borne over the years. This place does a heavy business in therapeutic and vacation care for Cubans. A host of physical and occupational therapists, and doctors, are on staff here. If you're staying at El Mirador next-door, you'd do well to stop in for a massage (CUC$10-CUC$25). Note: At press time, the springs were closed.
La Güira National Park is 5km (3 miles) west of San Diego de los Baños. You enter the park through the grand gates of the former Hacienda Cortina. There are some ruins and tended gardens near the entrance, as well as a restaurant. There are no marked trails and no signs, but a heavily potholed road leads through the park (keep going straight) and up to the Cueva de Los Portales (marked by a Campismo sign; tel. 63-6749), a small cave complex from which Che Guevara coordinated the Cuban defense forces during the Cuban missile crisis. The latter is probably the most interesting site in the area, and a must-see for anyone on the Che trail. Inside, you can tour the compound and see where Che hung his hammock for afternoon siestas, where he and the men took target practice, where they cooked and ate, and where they played chess. You can even peek into the tiny room where the revolutionary icon slept during those troubled times. Admission is CUC$1; it's the same price for a guide and to take pictures. Note that the nearby campsite is not open to international visitors.