Things to do...
The Sierra Maestra is a hiking Mecca, and spending a few days exploring these soaring tropical mountains is a must on a walking holiday in Cuba. Shorter itineraries take you through the tropical forests of the valleys to Fidel’s former hideout. Three- or four-day treks take you up and over the summit of Pico Turquino – Cuba’s highest peak – staying in mountain refuges along the way, and appreciating what the revolutionaries endured during their time ensconced in the sierra.
You won’t just be exploring natural landscapes on your Cuba walking holiday; these mountains, forests and valleys have sheltered revolutionaries including Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, along with escaped slaves, meaning that as you trek you will be following in the footsteps of history. Discover abandoned plantations, where slaves were forced to build their own tiny shelters, and the thatched, wooden, Comandancia de la Plata, which was Castro’s jungle HQ during his guerilla days.
Cuba’s forests and mountains shelter a number of particularly pretty birds. The striking Cuba trogon, known locally as tocoloro, is the island’s national bird, and it appears to have been painted in the colours of the Cuban flag. The trogon is one of 25 endemics found here; others include the bee hummingbird, Cuban oriole and Cuban parakeet. A total of 368 bird species have been observed in Cuba; bring your binoculars if you’re keen to get a closer look.