Trekking holiday in Cuba

“An active addition to any Cuba holiday, this tailor made trek departs whenever you're ready, for as many days as you fancy, in the pristine forest of the Sierra Maestra.”

Highlights

Sierra Maestra | Pico Turquino National Park | La Comandancia - Castro's secret HQ | La Platica eco-community | Las Cuevas | Trekking in virgin forest | Optional beach extension

Description of Trekking holiday in Cuba

This trekking holiday in Cuba is a four day trip into the Sierra Maestra Mountains, a large part of which is protected by Pico Turquino National Park, named after its highest peak, also Cuba’s highest, at 1,972m. As the largest island in the Caribbean, we believe that it has some of the most spectacular and pristine mountain trekking terrain, its biodiversity just adding to the all round beauty.

We are often asked, when is the best time to go trekking in Cuba? The answer is anytime as each season brings something special and we organise hiking tours for guests all year round. This itinerary below is for four days, although we are happy to adapt this according to your interests and timeframe.
Starting in Santiago de Cuba you are then transferred to Santa Domingo, a small town in the heart of the Sierra Maestra mountains where you will have a guided walking tour and also settle into your hotel. Located on the Yara River, this hotel is the perfect location for hiking in the Pico Turquino National Park, as well as visiting La Comandancia, Fidel Castro’s secret headquarters in the mountains and one of the most iconic sites to visit in Cuba. From here we walk to La Platica ecological community where we stay in a mountain refuge.

The next two days are spent on the Pico Turquino Trail, guided by a local expert through rich rainforest to an overnight refuge at Aguada de Joaquin refuge via luscious virgin forest and then, on the final day summiting Pico Turquino itself.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Our top tip:
Porters are rarely available on this trip so pack lightly
Trip type:
Tailor made.
Activity level:
Challenging. 4-6hrs trekking/day.
Accomm:
1 night in 3* hotel in Santo Domingo, 2 nights in mountain refuges.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Price depends on number of travellers.
Included:
Accommodation, transfers to and from Santiago, meals, specialist, bilingual guides, park fees.
Meals:
All meals included. Picnic lunches provided when trekking.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
When out on tour we encourage learning about the country we are travelling in, the local culture of the people we work with and the areas we pass through. Our guides and tour leaders hold informal talks with all groups to inform about and discuss with them all aspects of local life. This helps understanding of the area and appreciation of the people who live there. It is our policy to carefully dispose of all waste whilst we are on trek. All non-organic waste is carried out and organic waste is buried at a suitable depth.

Food is purchased locally and we use food products with as little packaging as possible, and encourage cooking with local products. We cook with gas and use recyclable glass as opposed to plastic wherever possible. Whilst in towns we use homestay accommodation or small locally owned hotels wherever possible, and all our staff are fairly treated and fairly paid.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

We encourage everyone to stay in local homes whilst we are in Cuba so that our clients have an opportunity to meet and spend time with local people to learn something of local life. It also enables them to use their Spanish language skills, even at a basic level. Importantly, this also ensures that monies are spent at a very local level and go into the pockets of Cuban households. All our dance/music/language tutors and specialist guides are professionally trained Cubans and they are treated and paid fairly.

We support local Cuban businesses in every aspect of our trips - accommodation, transport, meals, drinks and activities - thus contributing directly to the local economy and community. We also regularly organise donations for local schools and educational projects. We recommend that clients consider donations of items such as toiletries, baby and childrens clothing, some medicines and luxuries such as soap to the families they visit and projects we support.
We also regularly provide donations to two youth theatre and drama companies in Santiago de Cuba, bringing material for costumes and stage make from the UK or buying essential items locally such as paint for props.

On our dance and music holidays, we recommend that clients bring with them any musical or dance items which they can leave for their tutors, such as shoes, strings, instruments or dancewear. On our hiking trips, we encourage the donation of appropriate items such as hiking shoes or boots, small rucksacks, water bottles, penknives and other such items for the specialist guides accompanying the tour.

Climate

6 Reviews of Trekking holiday in Cuba

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 25 Nov 2019 by

The most memorable part of the holiday was the valley walk in Vinales, swimming in the river in Soroa and having a great conversation with my taxi driver! Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Feb 2018 by

The beautiful island of Cayo Levisa. And the salsa classes and dancing in the Casas de la Trova. Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Jan 2017 by

Getting to know the Cuban people and staying in their homes was an invaluable experience. By far my favourite moment was the tobacco wanting tour! We enjoyed it so much we returned 2 days later and had a great time visiting the owners of the different farms. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 May 2017 by

The nature in Topes de Collantes National Park and Turquino National Park was the most memorable. Overall we've had a great holiday and enjoying a short period of time in the great (current) environment of Cuba is leaving us a beautifull memory for life. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Feb 2017 by

Being in the beautiful nature of Cuba and being with local guides was the most memorable. Read full review

Reviewed on 14 Aug 2016 by

On the front end prior to the trip to Cuba, we had some very practical recommendations that helped harness expectations to match reality, which helped make the trip more enjoyable. Event and tour ticket pickup points and times were mostly easily understood and accurate. Most of the contracted guides were helpful, courteous, and provided a lot of insight into Cuban culture. I'll be a repeat customer. Read full review

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