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Best Hiking Trails in Cuba

Overview

Cuba conjures up many images, and hiking may not be one of them, but the country has enormous hiking potential, with many mountains spread out throughout the country. The four main mountain ranges are the Sierra del Rosario, Sierra del Escambray, the Sierra Maestra and Sierra Cristal.  Some of the popular areas and hikes include the El Yunque hike, Turquino peak, Valle de Vinales, Topes de Collantes.  The best months to hike in Cuba are November to April. Read on for more information for where and when to go hiking in Cuba. 

Capital: Havana

When To Hike in Cuba?

November – April: Driest period
May – July: Rainy and humid but mostly afternoon thunderstorms
August – October: Too rainy; Risk of hurricanes

Climate: Tropical – hot, rainy season and a cool, drier season

Accessibility of Hiking

Medium – there aren’t many established trails; you have to go with a guide in many places and there are restrictions in some parks. Best thing to do is contact guides wherever you’re based.

Transportation required: Vehicle required to access most trails

Where to stay in Cuba for hiking:

  • Trinidad
  • Cienfuegos
  • Santiago de Cuba
  • Pinar del Rio
  • Vinales

Top Places to Hike in Cuba

There are four distinct mountainous areas of the country, the Sierra Maestra (highest mountain range) in the far east, as well as Sierra Cristal, the Sierra del Escambray in the centre, and the Sierra del Rosario in the far west. The eastern part is the best spot for hiking but a lot of the websites focus on central and western where the hikes are less strenuous. Highest Mountain: Pico Turquino (1972 m) in the Sierra Maestra

Filter out hiking places of Cuba by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Sierra Cristal

  • Mountain range close to Sierra Maestra, in Holguin province
  • Sierra Cristal National Park

Sierra del Rosario

  • Has hiking, need a guide
  • Valle de Viñales – a popular place 
  • Parque Nacional La Güira 

Sierra del Escambray

  • Cienfuegos, Trinidad good bases
  • Gran parque natural Topes de Collantes – popular

Sierra Maestra

  • Santiago de Cuba is a good city/town to base yourself 
  • Gran Parque Nacional Sierra Maestra – these are the highest mountains 
  • Parque nacional Turquino                                
  • Gran Parque Nacional de Gran Piedra  
  • El Yunque mountain – near Baracoa 
  • Parque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt – huge diversity here, but very few hiking trails open to public

Cuba's Long Distance Trails

  • Organized tours can create multi-day treks

Cuba's Walking & Hiking Resources

Cuba Hiking Books: No hiking specific books

  • Lonely Planet Cuba, by Lonely Planet, Brendan Sainsbury, Carolyn McCarthy, 2017, Lonely Planet Global Limited – actually has a lot of hiking info in it

 

Best Hiking Trails in Cuba:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from trail maps/apps, websites, and tourist offices:

  • Turquino Peak – Sierra Maestra
  • Viñales National Park trails – Sierra del Rosario
  • El Yunque – Sierra Maestra
  • Reto a Loma Atahalya Trail
  • Salto del Guayabo – Sierra Cristal
  • Pan de Guadaibon – Sierra del Rosario
  • La Gran Piedra – Sierra Maestra

Easy Hiking Trails in Cuba:

  • La Batata – in Topes de Collantes natural park
  • El Nicho – in Topes de Collantes
  • Salto de Caburni

 

Cuba Hiking Websites:

 

Cuba Weather Website:

  • Instituto de Meteorolgía de la República de Cuba –  Insmet 

 

Cuba Official Tourism Organizations:

 

Cuba Hiking Apps:

 

Cuba Hiking Maps:

What Else To Do

  • Beaches
  • Music
  • Colonial cities
  • Caves

Other Important Points