Birdwatching Western Cuba

Birdwatching Western Cuba

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9 Days
From

$1634

Birdwatching Western Cuba

9 Days Starting and ending in Havana, Cuba

Visiting: Havana, Sierra del Rosario, Soroa, Las Terrazas, La Guira National Park, Playa Larga, Cienaga de Zapata, Zapata Peninsula

Tour operator:

Cuban Adventures

Tour code:

CB

Recommended For:

18-30 somethings, 50 plus, Singles

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

2 - 12

Physical rating:

Medium

Age range:

18-90

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Meat

Tour operated in:
English , Spanish
Activities:

Hiking, Sightseeing, Walking

Private Available:

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From:
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This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

Our Cuba birdwatching tour takes you to a selection of Cuba’s pristine protected natural areas that are known as the best places for observing the endemic bird species of Cuba. We expect to encounter at least 20 of the 28 endemics and possibly as many as 24. Many other native (non-endemics) are also found in these areas. Some of these are migratory species visiting Cuba during the winter (November to April). The national parks we visit on this tour are an attraction in themselves and other wildlife such as bats, snakes, and frogs can also be observed during the birding sessions included in this tour. Birding season in Cuba (November to April) is conveniently away from hurricane season and coincides with the cooler more pleasant weather. While cooler than summer, the birding season is still generally warm during the day and there are opportunities for taking a dip in the many Caribbean beaches we will encounter along the way. Our accommodation is in privately owned guesthouses that are typically run by local families. In Cuba this form of accommodation is the best way to get an insight into how the locals live – their food, culture, and it provides opportunities to interact with the family members. Recently comfort levels of this type of accommodation in Cuba have increased considerably and are highly rated by our travellers. The tour starts and ends in Havana, so if you are interested you can add a few days before or after the tour to experience this unique city. Take our Havana Short Stay package or just add a couple of extra nights of accommodation and choose from our selection of Havana day tours with specialist guides.

Highlights

  • Get the chance to see Cuba's endemic bird species, like the bee hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world!

  • Go on 8 guided birding sessions with local specialists, in some of Cuba's most beautiful protected natural areas

  • Explore the Zapata swamp where you'll get to see Cuba's other endemic species, such as the Cuban crocodile

  • Learn about Cuba's fascinating history and visit a cave where Che Guevara stayed during the Cuban Missile Crisis

  • Enjoy sunset strolls on the beach in Playa Larga

Places You'll See

The Bee Hummingbird, The Smallest Bird In The World

Cuban Trogon, Its Colors Mirror The Flag

Cuba's Flora And Fauna

Enjoy Cuba's Nature Preserves

Sunset In Playa Larga

In Addition To Birds, Cuba Has Many Other Endemics

Walking Tour In Old Havana

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Arrive In Havana
Location: Havana
Accommodation: Homestay, HomestayStandard casa particular (guesthouse)
Meals Included: Dinner

Welcome to Havana! Your included airport arrival transfer will take you to your guesthouse in Havana. The tour leader will conduct a welcome meeting at 6:00pm in the main guesthouse.

Day 2 : Sierra Del Rosario
Location: Sierra del Rosario, Soroa, Las Terrazas
Accommodation: Homestay, Standard casa particular (guesthouse)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Departing Havana after breakfast, we travel west (2 hours) to the Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve for the first bird watching session.

After lunch, we take a short stroll around the small town of Las Terrazas to visit the local community of this mountain town that is known for its environmental protection.

Another short drive (30 minutes) takes us to the even smaller community of Soroa where we will stay the night in local guesthouses.

Day 3 : Sierra Del Rosario
Location: Sierra del Rosario
Accommodation: Homestay, Standard casa particular (guesthouse)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we have 2 birding sessions with a local park guide in different areas in the forested mountains that surround Soroa.

You’ll have time if you are keen to check out the impressive botanical garden that is home to 6,000 different ornamental plant species, including 700 varieties of orchid (100 of which are endemic to Cuba).

Day 4 : Sierra Del Rosario
Location: La Guira National Park
Accommodation: Homestay, Standard casa particular (guesthouse)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we explore a different area 60km from our base in Soroa. La Guira National Park is known for local species such as the Giant Kingbird, Fernandina’s Flicker and the Cuban Solitaire. We also visit Los Portales Cave, which is where Che Guevara operated a secret communications base during the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962.

Day 5 : Zapata Peninsula
Location: Playa Larga, Cienaga de Zapata
Accommodation: Homestay, Standard casa particular (guesthouse)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we make the long drive back past Havana and beyond to the Zapata Peninsula, (5 hours).

This is the location of the biggest wetland in the Caribbean containing a Biosphere Reserve with an area of 4350 km2.

It’s known as the best place to see the Bee Hummingbird – the world's smallest bird species, as well as endemics specific to this park such as the Zapata wren, Zapata sparrow, and the Cuban crocodile.

Our local guesthouses are in the town of Playa Larga which features some beautiful white sand beaches.

Day 6 : Zapata Peninsula
Location: Zapata Peninsula
Accommodation: Homestay, Standard casa particular (guesthouse)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we explore two different areas in the Zapata peninsula with a lunch break and rest in-between.

Day 7 : Zapata Peninsula
Location: Cienaga de Zapata
Accommodation: Homestay, Standard casa particular (guesthouse)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we have 2 more Zapata areas to visit for waterfowls and more endemics. In the morning we drive to La Turba [40-min drive]. In the afternoon to Las Salinas [30-min drive]

Day 8 : Havana
Location: Havana
Accommodation: Homestay, Today we drive back to Havana. Your tour leader will offer to take you for a guided walk around Old Havana (2 hours, free, optional) before a farewell group dinner.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we drive back to Havana. Your tour leader will offer to take you for a guided walk around Old Havana (2 hours, free, optional) before a farewell group dinner.

Day 9 : Departure
Location: Havana
Meals Included: Breakfast

Today you are free to depart at anytime. Your guesthouse can help you arrange a transfer to the airport

What's Included

  • Accommodation

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

    Airport Arrival Transfer

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

  • Drinks with Meals

  • Entrance Fees

  • Fully Guided

  • Local Taxes

  • Meals – Full Board

    8 breakfasts. 7 lunches. 8 dinners

  • Water to refill bottles brought from home

What's Not Included

  • Country Entry Visas

    Check your airline's website for how to obtain visa

  • International Travel

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • Airport departure transfer not included

Mode of Transport

Private land transport - minibus or taxi (depending on group size)

Videos

Check out our Q&As

  • What documentation will I receive?

    When you book you will receive your Trip Notes (Essential Trip Information) and maps. Then 10 days before your tour you will receive a pre-departure email with the accommodations information, guide name and contact, and airport arrival information.

  • Is there a limit to luggage that can be brought on the tour?

    You must be able to carry your own luggage up stairs, so we suggest packing lightly.

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    No, this tour is for ages 18 and older

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    No flights are included

  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?

    We will gladly arrange for pre- or post- tour accommodation.

  • Are all the relevant entry visa’s included in the price of the tour?

    The visa (or tourist card) is not included, it can be obtained from your airline, local embassy, or third party seller.

  • Is there a supplement for solo travellers?

    Solo travellers are invited to share a room with a same sex traveller on the tour. If you prefer a single room, you can pay the single supplement.

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    Yes, all park fees are included.

  • Are vaccinations required for this tour?

    Yes, we require proof of vaccination or a signed medical waiver. This is also a requirement to enter the country.

  • Do you require a visa for this holiday?

    Cuba requires citizens from most countries to have a visa (tourist card)

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    At a minimum all guides speak English and Spanish

  • What currencies are required for this tour?

    We recommend you bring Euros.

  • What is the fitness level required to do this tour?

    There is a lot of walking on this tour, so travellers should feel comfortable with that.

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    Birding sessions are 2 to 3 hours each, so expect to spend a full day with free time afterward.

  • What is the tipping policy?

    Cuba is a tipping country. You can budget $2-5/day for the tour leader, $1-3/day for the driver, $2-5 for a local guide, $1 for musicians in restaurants or on the streets, $.25 for bathroom attendants

  • What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?

    The guesthouses we stay in are all professionally run, and have been vetted for cleanliness and standard level comfort. They are all air-conditioned or sufficiently cooled, and nearly all have an en-suite bathroom. They are more like a bed & breakfast and less like a homestay and are all unique. We encourage you to interact with the families and staff, but it is not necessary.

  • Will I know the names and details of all the accommodation before I depart?

    You will receive the name and address of your Havana casa 10 days in advance. Your accommodations in the rest of the provinces are assigned upon arrival.

  • Is free Wi-Fi available in the accommodation used?

    Most accommodation do not offer free wi-fi, although increasingly they do have a connection. You must buy a wi-fi card to connect, it is around US$1

  • What happens if a group doesn’t make its minimum required number of passengers?

    The tour will be cancelled and booked travellers will be given a full refund

  • What is the maximum group size?

    12 travellers

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Airport arrival transfer is included, as long as we have arranged your first night stay. Otherwise, the transfer is included from your pre-tour accommodations to your first night casa. Departures transfer not included

  • Will passengers from another country be participating in the tour?

    Travellers from all countries are welcome on this tour.

  • Is the tour coach air conditioned?

    Yes, all of our transportation is air conditioned

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Yes, we can normally arrange for you to meet up with the group. Transportation at traveller's own expense.

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    We can often change the dates with no penalty if it's far enough in advance. Otherwise, our cancellation policy will apply.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes, there are strict health and safety guidelines that all casas particulares must adhere to.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    We adhere to all local protocol and best practices, including social distancing, sanitizing, and mask wearing. Travellers must be fully vaccinated.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    When you are confirmed on the tour you will receive the Essential Trip Notes with information to help you prepare for your tour and maps of each of the destinations. Then 10-days before the tour you'll receive a pre-departure message with the tour leader's name, arrival instructions, and the name and phone number of the casa where you'll be staying in Havana.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    We have proudly been in operation since 2005

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Solo travellers are not required to pay single supplement if they are willing to share with someone of the same gender.

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    Like-minded individuals of all ages who are interested in a cultural adventure and getting to know the real Cuba

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Kristin Shari - United States  

Cuban Adventures

11-Jan-2023

Trip of a Lifetime! We loved the grass-roots itinerary. It was so well-organized, paced perfectly and included extras that are not-to-be-missed. Our guide, Natalia, was a wealth of knowledge and clearly beloved by the locals. We were in good hands every step of the way. If you want to Support the Cuban People and have an unforgettable experience, this is the company to use.

Hans   United States

Birdwatching Cuba

22-Dec-2023

Our birding watching tour was fantastic. The tour leader, Yuri, is not only a wonderful tour leader, but a great birder as well. This tour offers the best value for money of any of the birding tours of Cuba that I researched. I highly recommend it.

Tizzy Bennett  

starstarstarstarstar

02-Mar-2024

Cuban Adventures was an outstanding company to work with on our recent visit to Cuba. So much care is taken to provide a rich experience that is respectful of the people and land of Cuba. Our guide Yoani was incredibly knowledgeable- we learned so much every day and were exposed to a wide range of cultural activities. Highly recommended!

Kassie  

Cuban Adventures

20-Jan-2023

Outstanding People to People Experience with Intelligent, Knowledgeable, Erudite, guides who are attentive to their guests' needs. Accommodations lacked for nothing.A profound personal experience deepened by our guides ability to help us connect to local people. Good value, GREAT tour. Highly recommend Cuban Adventures. Visiting Cuba for Americans with Cuban Adventures is easy peasy!

Bernadette - United States  

Cuban Adventures

05-Jan-2023

I would highly recommend Cuban Adventures! My tour specialist, Yanet, did a great job helping me to coordinate a unique itinerary. My tour guides, Lazaro and Dayana, were a lot of fun and made my trip a wonderful adventure. They are very knowledgeable about the people, places, and history of Cuba. They made sure I had an authentic experience of Cuban culture.

Andrea  

Cuban Adventures

27-Feb-2023

The Cuban people are what an American would consider as "Midwest nice". You'll visit as a tourist and leave with family. Our tour guide, Lazaro, made our trip special and changed the itinerary based on our interest. I would highly recommend Cuban Adventures to assist with local touring!

Bruce  

Cuban Adventures

19-Mar-2023

Sorry, but there aren't enough superlatives to express how happy we are with our trip to Cuba. We elected to go with a "private tour", for my wife and me. From the planning help we got from Zarelys and Yanet to the attention we received EVERY day from our guides, Lazaro and Mandi, everything went way beyond our expectations. The accommodations and our hosts immediately embraced us and we learned so much from them, not just about where to go and what to see, but about life in Cuba. EVERYONE we met treated us like friends. That means the taxi drivers, the housekeepers at the casas particulares...everyone. Havana was fascinating; Vinales was beautiful; Varaderos was so relaxing and fun. I could go on, but I think you get the idea!

Sheryl  

Cuban Adventures- 8 Day Birdwatching Tour

28-Dec-2022

Cuban Adventures is a first class operation and we intend to recommend it highly to anyone we find interested in touring Cuba. We took the 8 day birdwatching tour, which took us off the beaten path, and meant 8 days of fascinating sites, conversations, experiences, and opportunities to understand what is going on in Cuba. This was a really meaningful adventure. A separate half day photography tour in Havana confirmed that Cuban Adventures is multi-dimensional. .

Alan   United state

Birdwatching Cuba

22-Dec-2023

The Birdwatching Cuba tour was the best guided tour I have experienced. The variety of habitats and bird species was amazing. Our Tour Guide (Yuri) was a dream come true. His background and enthusiasm made every moment of the tour special beyond words. We saw at least 121 different bird species, including 13 endemics. (And heard a few more we didn't track down.) Our driver (Ariel) did a great job getting us to some excellent locations safely.

Danel   United Kingdom

Cuban Adventures

22-Dec-2023

The Cuban Adventures bird tour was well guided throughout. The choice of locations to see as many endemic species as possible in Eastern and southern Cuba was well considered. The tour includes a trip to see the Bee humming bird which was the "icing on the cake" and choice of casa's stayed at and the luxury transport made a memorable wildlife and cultural holiday. Well recommended!

Read all 12 reviews

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Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Cuban Adventures allows you to make 2 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 60 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Cuban Adventures allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform cuban adventures, 15 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Cuban Adventures requires a minimum deposit of 100 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of cuban adventures charges.

    Up to 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • Cancellation for Covid Reasons

    If you must cancel 15 days or less prior to your tour for COVID reasons and you have a doctors note, we offer either 50% refund plus 50% credit, or 100% credit for travel with us on a future date.

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