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Monday, September 12, 2011

Cuba Vacations for the Nature Lover

Bird-Watching in the Zapata Peninsula You may be able to spot 18 of Cuba's 24 endemic species in the swamps, mangroves, and wetlands of the Zapata Peninsula. In addition to the endemic species, bird-watchers can spot more than 100 other species of shore birds, transients, and waterfowl in this wild region. Other top bird-watching destinations include Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Baracoa, and La Guira National Park.

Catching some fish Venture out to sea, the waters off of Cuba's coast are great for sportfishing all year round. The big game fishing is best off the northern coast, while bonefish and tarpon are better found off the southern coast. There are a few tour companies that run marinas with modern, well-equipped sport-fishing fleets all over Cuba's coastline.

Hiking Pico Turquino The highest peak in Cuba at 6,562 feet is located in the Sierra Maestra National Park. The trail to the summit is swathed in cloud forest and tropical flora and hikers in good shape can do the 9-mile round-trip journey in a day but most camp overnight below the summit. Take in the views of the Caribbean Sea at the top.

Rafting in Baracoa The Río Toa is one of the few places to raft in Cuba. Baracoa has tropical vegetation, steep mountains, rushing rivers, and a flat-topped limestone mountain. Enjoy the scenery while viewing dozens of bird species, orchids, and other tropical plants.

Rock Climbing the Magotes of the Vinales Valley: Rock climbing is just developing as a Cuban sport. The Vinales Valley is a great place to climb, with over 60 routes and 100 pitches that are marked, there are more climbs discovered all the time.

Scuba Diving at María la Gorda: Dive destinations are abundant in Cuba, but María la Gorda is one of the best due to its great conditions, variety of sites, and incredible setting. However, diving off of most of Cuba's coast is beautiful.

La Guira National Park

Cayo Coco

Cayo Guillermo


Pico Turquino

the Vinales Valley

María la Gorda

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