Trekking in Cuba, Pico Turquino

This is an iconic itinerary for trekking in Cuba.  Our Pico Turquino itinerary is based in the Turquino national park in the Sierra Maestra mountain range surrounded by a range of tropical flora and fauna and a wide variety of birdlife.  Cuba has some of the most spectacular and unspoiled mountain scenery in the Caribbean and also has its second highest peak, Pico Turquino (1,972m).
This 4 day/3 night Pico Turquino route is located 3 hours west of Santiago de Cuba and is available all year round subject to availability.

PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO SHORTAGES OF WATER AND OTHER OPERATIONAL DIFFICULTIES IN THE TURQUINO NATIONAL PARK,  THIS TREK IS NOT AVAILABLE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

  • 4 days/3 nights

  • All year round, but best from Nov-April
  • 1 person: £625
    2 persons: £395 pp
    3-4 persons: £360 pp
    5+ persons: £325 pp

Please keep reading for full details.

” We had a really great time. Although the trek was difficult, it was unreal. Our English speaking guide was great, we got on so well with him. Our park guide was something else entirely. I can’t even begin to describe how great this guy is. He has climbed it 100 times in the past 10 years and it’s not easy! He loves his job and you can tell – he just makes you feel so welcome and tries so hard to point out things (like coriander, picked us some limes, pointing at birds etc). Staying in La Platica was amazing – what a village! We had freshly ground coffee with a woman who lives there, some men from the village played music for us – it was just such a good vibe. Though the climb was tough we had such a great time that it made it so worthwhile!”

MH, Belfast (Aug 2016)

This is a fully guided trek on the Pico Turquino route in the Sierra Maestra mountains walking up the highest peak in Cuba, Pico Turquino.  The trekking is graded moderate but can be strenuous in parts, with some steep inclines. This trip is available at any time of the year, but is recommended from late October to April to avoid the hottest and most humid months from May to mid October.

Please note that you have to carry your own kit on the Pico Turquino trek. Porters may be available but cannot be guaranteed. It’s best to pack only what you can easily carry and we recommend that you take no more than a 20l rucksack.  A full kit list  and trekking notes will be sent with your booking confirmation.

This is a challenging trekking route for the physically fit, with some steep sections.  If you prefer to have less strenuous walking, we recommend that you opt for the 2 night /3 day round trip option from Santiago de Cuba which includes a full day of hiking to visit La Comandancia with accommodation in one of the 3* hotels near the national park gates.

We can also arrange trekking and walking in Topes de Collantes near Trinidad, the Alexander Humboldt national park in Baracoa and the area around Hanabanilla near Santa Clara.

  • Day 1

    Depart Santiago after breakfast for Santo Domingo via the historic city of Bayamo for lunch stop. 3 hours drive in total, transport by private taxi/minibus with guide. Arrive Santo Domingo late afternoon and check into 3* hotel. Dinner in hotel and free evening.

  • Day 2

    After breakfast, depart by jeep for Alto de Naranjo, the trail head, to start the guided visit to La Comandancia, Fidel’s revolutionary base in the Sierra Maestra Mountains. Picnic lunch. Continue to La Platica ecological community.   Dinner and overnight in mountain refuge in La Platica. 5-6 hours hiking.

  • Day 3

    Early morning departure after breakfast, 4-5 hours walk accompanied by specialist park guide to the Aguada de Joaquin refuge via luscious virgin forest.  Dinner and overnight stay in refuge. Picnic lunch en route.

  • Day 4

    Early morning start to climb Pico Turquino and then descend to Las Cuevas on the coast (6-8 hours). Picnic lunch en route.  End of trek and private transfer to Santiago de Cuba (3 hours)

Price includes:

  • 1 night 3* hotel accommodation, half board
  • 2 nights in basic mountain refuge dormitories
  • all meals (breakfast, dinner and picnic lunches)
  • air-conditioned transport from Santiago de Cuba – Santo Domingo and Las Cuevas – Santiago de Cuba (3.5 hours each way)
  • park guides
  • national park entry fees
  • exclusive English speaking guide

 

Please note that the price does not include:

  • International flights*
  • Cuban tourist card (the required visa)*
  • Airport transfers*
  • Tips

*These can be arranged by us on request

1 person: £625
2 persons: £395 pp
3-4 persons: £360 pp
5+ persons: £325 pp

The price for one person is based on single room hotel accommodation (first night). All other prices are based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Where there is an odd number of group participants, a single supplement of £20 will apply for the person taking a single room on the first night.

“We loved the visit to La Comandancia – very special place.  The food on the trek was really good, much better than we expected, and our guide kept producing sandwiches and water for us from his bag! He was so informative, a really genuine guy and good company…. The views were amazing”.   A.O and J.C, Wales (March 2015)

“We felt as if we were able to experience certain places that we would have had difficulty finding or being aware of on our own. [While trekking] the scenery was outstanding and [the guide’s] background information was very informative. Santo Domingo was idyllic and the opportunity to visit la Comandancia was a prized part of our holiday”.

DS, Edinburgh (Mar 2014)

“The Pico Turquino trek was a great experience and we’re proud to think we have been to the top of Cuba’s highest peak.” RR – tailormade trip, Feb 2012