Ornithology in Cuba
Day 1 Welcome to Cuba!
Arrival at Havana airport. Transfer to the city centre and your accommodation in a private hostel.
Accommodation: Private Hostel
Day 2 Havana - Las Terrazas - San Diego
Early in the morning, you leave Havana and head West. After 20 kms you reach the beautiful landscapes of Lago Niña Bonita where you can observe the following birds:
- Green Heron (Butorides virescens)
- Redhead Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
- Northern crested caracara (Caracara cheriway)
Back on the road, a few kilometers further along, you can spot the following birds:
- Dives genus (Dives atroviolaceus)
- Cuban trogon or tocororo (Priotelus temnurus)
- Cuban Oriole (Icterus melanopsis)
Lunch on the road. Accommodation at hotel San Diego de Los Baños.
Day 3 San Diego
Spend the day bird-watching in the San Diego region, exploring the area around Poratles Cave and Guira Park. The Cueva de los Portales cave housed the Headquarters of the Western army during the 1961 missile crisis. Many birds can be spotted here including the Cuban Solitaire (Myadestes elisabeth).
Day 4 San Diego - Ciénaga de Zapata
Early in the morning, you head East to Zapata Swamp, a real paradise for birds. Installation in your accommodation in the small village of Soplillar for the next 3 nights. As the sun rises, you can admire Blue-headed quail-doves (Starnoenas cyanocephala or Paloma Perdiz) and bee hummingbirds (Mellisuga helenae or Zunzuncito)...
Accommodation: Casa particular
Day 5 Ciénaga de Zapata
Early this morning, before dawn, you head to Bermejas. At sunrise you will be positioned deep in the heart of the forest ready to observe the Grey-fronted quail-dove (Gundlach Dove or Geotrygon caniceps). Afternoon transfer to the natural area of Laguna de Las Salinas where many surprising species of birds live.
Accommodation: Casa particular
Day 6 Ciénaga de Zapata
This morning, you head towards the peat bogs to observe 2 emblematic Cuban birds, the Zapata Wren (Ferminia cerverai or Ferminia) and the Zapata's Sparrow (Torreornis inexpectata or Cabrerito de la Cienaga)...
Accommodation: Casa particular
Day 7 Zapata - Najasa - Camaguey - Granja de Belen
Take the road to colourful Camaguey, visit of the colonial squares in the historical downtown. Then continue to Belen Farm, where two endemic birds can be found, the Cuban Palm Crow (Corvus minutus or Cao Pinalero) and the Giant kingbird (Tyrannus cubensis)...
Day 8 Camaguey - Cayo Coco
Transfer to Cayo Coco paradise island, the second most important bird watching spot in Cuba (after Zapata swamp). After your early afternoon arrival, you can devote the rest of today and tomorrow to observing the birds which populate your surroundings. Night in a hotel by the sea.
Day 9 Cayo Coco
A full day birdwatching in Cayo Coco...
Day 10 Flight to Havana
Flight to Havana. Transfer from the airport to your accommodation in the historical neighbourhood and time to explore the old town.
Accommodation: Private hostel
Meals not included
Day 11 Havana - End of the tour
After breakfast you may have time for a few last visits and shopping. Transfer to the airport and onwards travel.
Period & budget
When to travel?
The best period for travelling is during the following months:
The budget is an indication of the price per person, subject to availability. Your local agent will send you a customized quote with the exact price. The price can vary according to availability, level of services, period of travel, number of participants, booking time frame and other items.
- 10 nights in hotels and private house accommodation with breakfasts
- Entrance fees to sites as per itinerary
- Domestic flight from Cayo Coco - Havana on Day 10
- Accompaniment by an English speaking guide and ornithologist
- Our English speaking assistance 24h / 24h
- International flights
- Tourist card (necessary to enter the country)
- Meals: Lunch Day 1 and meals Day 10
- Drinks, tips and personal expenses - all that is not 'included'
- Single Room Supplement: Consult us
Terms and conditions
- Cancellation received more than 30 days prior to the departure date: a sum of €50 per person will be retained
- Cancellation received 30 to 21 days before the departure date: your deposit, 30% of the total trip price will be retained
- Cancellation received 20 to 14 days before the departure date: 50% of the total trip price will be retained
- Cancellation received 13 to 7 days before the departure date: 75% of the total trip price will be retained
- Cancellation received less than 7 days before the departure date: 100% of the total trip price will be retained
- Fixed airfares: if your airline ticket was issued in advance, often done to avoid significant surcharges, you will be charged 100% of any non-refundable fees if you wish to change or cancel your flight plan.
- Fixed in-country costs: early charges for firm bookings will be charged if you cancel or modify your trip.
- Insurance costs: if you have taken out comprehensive or cancellation insurance, the cost of insurance is due and cannot be refunded.
Changes to travel contract
Altai Travel Insurance Options
Budget & exchange
- A sleeping bag liner (or sleeping bag) for your night in a shelter (blankets provided)
- Water purification tablets
- A refillable water bottle or 2 (2L)
- A sun hat
- A bandana, to protect your neck
- A pair of sun glasses (good quality, 3 or 4)
- Thermal tops and bottoms
- T shirts, shorts and trousers suitable for hiking
- Appropriate underwear and pyjamas
- A warm layer
- A coat / jacket
- A rain coat (good quality, breathable with hood)
- Water proof trousers
- A swimsuit & fast drying towel
- A pair of hiking boots
- Thick socks for hiking
- A pair of casual shoes for evenings/gentle strolls
- 1 pair of shoes for wearing in water for snorkeling, swimming, etc
- Your personal toiletries
- Sun-cream (body and lips)
- Head torch and spare batteries
- A pair of hiking poles
- A waterproof bag cover (or plastic bags) to protect your belongings
Health information & recommendations
- Avoid dropping litter - use bins or carry your rubbish with you.
- Use drinking water sparingly - avoid wasting water, take showers not baths, report leaks, etc..
- Support the preservation of cultural sites - resist the temptation to touch statues, moves stones etc..
- Exchanges are prefarable to donations - generations gifts can destabalize the local economic balance.
- When walking, be aware of fragile ecosystems, observe wildlife from a distance, stick to trails, limit trampling and do not steal from the nature - resist the temptation to pick flowers, collect fossils or stones...
- Some hotels have air conditioning - to avoid excessive energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, please use sparingly and remember to cut the aircon when you are not in the room.