Conquest of the Cuban Peaks

This itinerary will introduce us to the island of Cuba from the Far East to Havana. On the program, the ascent of Yunque, an anvil overlooking the dense forest of Baracoa, Pico Turquino (1974m), the highest point of the island and many other hikes as varied as each other. The discovery of the colonial cities of Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad and Havana as well as the many nights at the inhabitants in "casas particulares" immerse us into the heart of the Cuban culture. An essential trip between nature and culture on paths steeped in history!


  • Day 1 Welcome !!

    Arrival to Santiago de Cuba airport. Transfer to Old down town. Accommodation at a private house.

    Meals at your own
    Night at the hotel

  • Day 2 Santiago de Cuba - Visit

    Santiago de Cuba - Visit First approach to Cuba bi visiting the second most important city and most Caribbean of all. Colonial houses and streets clinb up and down the hills facing the Bay. Music and History are on the menu. We go visiting the Museum of Piracy, located on top of the hill at the entrance of the Bay in one of the Oldest forteresses from the colonial times : El Morro Castle. We suugest to look for one of those local bars downtown and get a mojito while you enjoy the music. Diner at your leisure.

    Transport by minibus.
    Night at the hotel

  • Day 3 Santiago - El Cobre – Water Fall El Saltón.

    Santiago - El Cobre – Water Fall El Saltón. Heading west, we stop at the local town El Cobre, and visit the Sanctuary of La Caridad del Cobre, the Cuban Patron Saint. Then we take the road into the heart of La Sierra Maestra. We arrive into a little paradise where we will spend the night : this small hotel is located by a 25 meters water Fall that showers the vegetationn around providing a tropical touch. After lunch, we will go exploring the surroundings….let´s not forget our bathing suits…we will need it. Diner at the local restaurant.

    Transport by minibus.
    Night at the hotel
    3 hours of walking

  • Day 4 Saltón - Bayamo- Sierra Maestra.

    Saltón - Bayamo- Sierra Maestra. Transfer to Bayamo. The Cuban historical cradle. Walking tour around the central park and the local squares. Lunch at local restaurant La Bodega. Transfer to the heart of the Sierra Maestra mountains. Accommodation at local hotel Santo Domingo. Diner at a private restaurant.

    Transport by minibus.
    Night at the hotel.
    Dinner at your own

  • Day 5 National Park Sierra Maestra : Trek to La Comandancia de la Plata.

    National Park Sierra Maestra : Trek to La Comandancia de la Plata. We leave at 8 :00hrs to reach el Alto del Naranjo and start trekking to La Comandancia de la Plata (ancient Headquarters of Fidel Castro during the guerrila fight in the 50´s) After 3 or 4 hours walking and visiting we arrive to La Platica, a Farm where we will spend the night. Diner.

    Transportation by minibus and 4x4.
    Night in Refuge
    4 hours of walking

  • Day 6 Sierra Maestra : Conquest of Turquino Peak.

    Sierra Maestra : Conquest of Turquino Peak. Today we will conquer the highest Peak in Cuba. We leave early in the morning and walk for 4 hours to arrive at Aguada de Joaquin, the camp where we will spend the night. From there we will start climbing for 2 :30 hours to attein the Peak. While we are progessing, we will enjoy very nice views. At the top, there is a statue of the National heroe of Cuba : Jose Marti. Then, we go back to the camp. Diner.

    Transportation by minibus or 4x4.
    Night in a shelter or tent
    7 hours of walking; + 1450m / -900m.
    NOTE : Getting to the top is optional. Once we arrive to camp, we can choose whether we continue or not

  • Day 7 Santo Domingo - Camagüey.

    Santo Domingo - Camagüey. We trek down to El Alto del Naranjo on a 4 hours walk. We take our jeeps to get to Santo Doming for lunch. Then we leave for Camaguey. Once we get there, 4 hrs later, we accommodate at a private hotel. Diner.

    Transportation by minibus
    7 hours of walking; + 500m / -900m.

  • Day 8 Camagüey - Sancti Spiritus - Banaos.

    Camagüey - Sancti Spiritus - Banaos. Tour around the Old downtown : this is a very charming city, with multiple colonial squares and churches. Then we leave for Sancti Spiritus. Lunch on the way. Tour in Sacti Spiritus downtown, walk along the boulevard. Transfer to Banaos natural Park (15min from the city). Accommodation at Jarico Farm. Diner.

    Transport by minibus.
    Night in a simple hotel

  • Day 9 La Sabina - El Naranjal.

    La Sabina - El Naranjal. Climbing for 3 hours to get to La Sabina: a Farm on top of the mountain, where we will spend the night. After lunch, we continue our walk to explore the surroundings and visiting another Farm: El Naranjal. We will be back to La Sabina for diner. Let´s sit on the rocking cahirs at tyhe front of the Farm, to enjoy the wonderful view of the valley.
    NOTE : think about leaving your luugage at Jarico Farm, and bring only the necessary for one night.

    Transport by minibus.
    Night in a shelter
    5 to 6 hours of walking; + 400m

  • Day 10 la Bella water Fall - Trinidad.

    Last trek in the Escambray mountains. We take the trail down back to the Jarico Farm. We have the chance to dive and swim into the natural pools by the river. After lunch, we head for Trinidad, where we arrive in 1 hr. Accommodation at a private house, by a nice family. Diner.

    Transport by minibus.
    3 hours of walking

  • Day 11 Trinidad - Playa Ancon - Trinidad

    Trinidad - Playa Ancon - Trinidad We enjoy a free morning to enjoy again the charms of the city and leave for Playa Ancon, one of the most beautiful beaches in southern Cuba. Idleness, swimming and stroll on the fine sand are on the program. Return to Trinidad late afternoon. Dinner and evening in the city.

    Transport by minibus.

  • Day 12 Trinidad - Cienfuegos - Zapata

    We take the road for the Bay of Pigs. On the way, we will stop at Cienfuegos: the so called Southern Pearl, for a short visit: this neoclassic city was founded by French families in the 19een century. We continue for Zapata swamp, also known as the Bay of Pigs. Stop by the beach for a swim and lunch. At the end of the day we go to a small village called Caleton, where we accommodate and have Diner.

    Transport by minibus.
    Night at homestay by the sea

  • Day 13 Playa Larga - Havana.

    Playa Larga -  Havana. Transfer to Havana, where we arrive for lunch at a nice local restaurant. In the afternoon, walking tour around the Colonial squares located in the heart of Old Havana. This is a date with the past!!! Cobblestones streets showered by colonial fountains. Interior yards transformed into Art Galleries that we can visit without fee. Cigars, music, steamed glasses. Accommodation at a private hotel. Diner at your leisure.

    Transport by minibus.
    Night at the inhabitant.
    Dinner at your own.

  • Day 14 : Havana - Viñales.

    Transfer to Vinales. Walk on the valley, surrounded by an incredible landscape, where tobacco fields are dominated by the Mogotes. Lunch at a typical resturant in the middle of the valley. Visit to a tobacco production local Farm. The farmer will show us the the whole process of fermentation and drying of tobacco leaves. Then he will roll a cigar for us. The lady will bring us, in the meantime, a cup of coffee or tea. Yes, i know it´s difficult, but we have to leave. …richer, in spirit and soul. We get to the village where we accommodate at a private house. Diner at the casa, and Musical evening in town to enjoy the local bands, and, why not….danse with the cubans….

    Transport by minibus.
    Night at homestay.
    3 hours of walking

  • Day 15 On top of the mogotes.

    Today we go to la Penitencia valley. Let´s climb up to one of the mogotes, to get closer to the local Faune and Flore. We will certainly get to watch the mocking bird and the national bird : Tococoro. A wide variety of endemic plants will be all along the way. And then, an incredibly beautiful landscape will appear before our eyes !!! if there is a paradise, this is it !!!. The red color of the ferralitic land contrasts with the green of the tobacco fields : we can breathe peace…this is the moment of making a stop to take a cup of coffee in one of the farmer´s houses. Let´s take our time to admire the view !!!. But, we got to get going, diving into that valley that opens its arms to us. Lunch at a small typical house in the middle of the valley. The owner, an old lady called Ana, used to be a professional cook, and now she loves cooking for our clients that always appreciate her dishes. Then we go to the village. Diner in town.

    Transport by minibus.
    Night at the inhabitant.
    4 hours of walking; + 200m / -200m

  • Day 16 Viñales – Cayo Jutías - Viñales

    Today we go to Cayo Jutias to enjoy one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. Possibility of going to the coral reef by boat for snorkeling. Back to Vinales. Diner in town. Music is in the air!!!

    Transport by minibus.
    Night at homestay

  • Day 17 Viñales - Mil Cumbres

    Transfer to La Sierra del Rosario mountain range. On the way, we will admire wonderful views all around. Cuban nature is rich!!!!. We arrive at Mil Cumbres, where we settle, and have lunch, before going to the neighbor community for a walk among the coffee and potatoe fields. We will spend the night at the Farm : rustic, but cozy….we might need the sleeping bag…Diner.

    Transport by minibus.
    Night in a simple refuge
    3 to 4 hours of walking

  • Day 18 Climbing on top of the highest peak of the West : Pan de Guajaibon.

    Let´s conquest the highest Peak : 700mts above sea level. The ascencion is difficult, but the view from the top is worthwhile. (if the weather is rainy, un optional trek will be proposed) We take a box lunch with us. Diner at the Farm.

    Transport by minibus.
    Night in a simple refuge
    8 hours of walking; + 700m / -700m

  • Day 19 Mil Cumbres – Soroa - Havana.

    Transfer to Soroa. We can visit the local Water Fall, called the Cuban rainbow, on a 30min walk. There is also the most important Orquid Garden in the island, with more then 300 varieties of Orquids an other plants. After lunch, we go up to the Mirador to enjoy a wonderful view. Transfer to Havana. Sightseeing by bus, and then, walking tour at Vedado neighborhood. Stop at John Lennon’s Park, where a statue of the famous ex-Beatle is sitting on a bench, like if he were welcoming you to this city. Another stop at the Mytic hotel National, from the 30´s, the atmosphere takes us into those times where outstanding personalities from Hollywood, and even the American Mafia were wandering around the place. Accommodation at a private house. Meals at leisure.

    Transport by minibus.
    Night in a simple refuge
    2 hours of walking

  • Day 20 Havana.

    Today the guide will walk with you around the Old down town. We will certainly admire and enjoy the atmosphere, now that we know Cuba and the Cubans a little more. Meals at leisure.

    3 hours of walking

  • Day 21 Havana and Flight Back

    Free time in the morning for last shoppings and visits. Transfer to the airport according to Flight Schedule.

    Meals at your own

The program was established according to the latest known elements when it was written; imponderables are always possible and situations beyond our control can change the way things are done. Depending on the weather and operational conditions, our team reserves the right to modify this itinerary in order to better ensure your stay and your safety.

Dates & prices

International departures:

No departure for now

Trip code: UCUT2-EN


- Transportation by private vehicle according to itinerary
- Accommodation Full Board except meals not described in Not Included.
- The entries in the sites planned in the program
- An English speaking Tour Guide.

Not included

- International flight
- Tourist card (necessary to enter the country)
- The supplement in a single room: contact us
- The meals of the days 1 and 21, the dinners of the days 2, 13, 19 and 20 (about 15 € by meal).
- Repatriation insurance
- Tips, all expenses and personal equipment, drinks and everything that is not in "THE PRICE INCLUDES"


For many years, we put our know-how and our experience of Cuba to the service of travelers coming from different horizons. You will be able to find in your groups participants coming from our various partners.

Terms and conditions


Booking a trip with Altaï Cuba implies acceptance of the terms and conditions of sale. Each customer is required to complete a registration form and, subject to availability at the time of registration, travellers are expected to pay a deposit of 30% of the total price to complete their booking. Payments can be made online or by bank transfer. You will receive an e-mail with your booking confirmation.


Once your booking is confirmed you will receive an invoice by e-mail. The full balance of the trip must be received at least 30 days before your departure date. Altaï Cuba reserve the right to cancel your booking, free of charge, if this deadline is not respected.


If for any reason you have to cancel your trip, Altaï Cuba require written confirmation of your decision. The money you have paid will then be refunded according to the following deductions:

  • 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

Special cases:
Please note that, regardless of the date of cancellation or modification if you have agreed to pay for services such as hotel reservations, flights or additional activities, these services are usually non-refundable so additional fees may apply.
  • 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.

Please note that fees apply according to the date we receive your cancellation or modification request in writing.

If we have to cancel a departure due to an insufficient number of participants, you will be informed no later than 21 days before departure and a full refund will be issued, you will not be entitled to further compensation. We reserve the rights to cancel departures due to exceptional circumstances which may impact the safety of participants. Such circumstances include those amounting to 'force majeure' in which case participants will receive a full refund but they will not be entitled to any compensation.

Modification du contrat

If you wish to make a change to your booking please contact Altaï Cuba in writing; you will be expected to pay any fee which might arise from this change. In the event of unforeseen external events, Altaï Cuba may change some aspects of the travel contract. If any changes are necessary you will be informed as quickly as possible.

Prix et révision des prix

The prices on our website are updated regularly and all of the prices we advertise are accurate when published. Altaï Cuba reserve the rights to make changes to any of these prices. Before you make a booking we will give you the up-to-date price of your chosen holiday including any supplements, upgrades or additional activities you may have requested. If the number of travellers is fewer than the indicated number of participants on the website, a small group surcharge may be applied. For all of our trips we include details of services, prices and what is/is not included but please be aware that changes to the prices may be necessary in accordance with exchange rates or price changes of various components of the journey.

Cession du contrat

If you are unable to travel for any reason, you can transfer your booking to another person in which case our modification conditions apply. Both the transferor and transferee will be jointly and severally liable for payment of the total holiday price and other associated expenses. Some airline carriers treat name changes as cancellations and you may be required to pay for the cost of a new ticket.


We recommend that you take out personal insurance for your travel with Altai Cuba, as soon as your booking is confirmed. We kindly request you to send us the information related to your insurance contract (name of the company, name of the contract, insurance policy number, telephone number) and to bring it along with you during the journey.

Practical info


This trip is supervised by a Cuban English speaking tour guide, part of the Altai Cuba team. During the stay, he is assisted by a Spanish speaking driver. Spanish speaking local guides also accompany you to some sites.


All breakfasts are included. For lunches / picnics, when they are not prepared by your hosts or included in your stay, you can choose to have a picnic or eat in a restaurant. You will find nearby major tourist sites or in towns and villages. Some dinners will be priced at your hosts. For others (not included in your stay), you will find restaurants for every budget at every step.
Due to the American embargo that has been raging for many years and state-owned structures (hotels and restaurants), Cuban cuisine has remained simple and variety is not always in place. Meals: Menus served in state restaurants are most often made of chicken, fish or pork accompanied by congri (rice and kidney beans) and plantains. Homestay, the dishes are significantly more varied and plentiful, highlighting more local products: fruit of the breadfruit, cassava, plantain, mango, guava, pineapple, papaya, coconut, pork, chicken , fish and sometimes lobster. Private restaurants are also beginning to emerge and offer a much more rich and refined cuisine than in the restaurants or hotels of State. Beverages: we find in Cuba excellent seasonal fruit juices, local beers (Bucanero and Cristal) and of course rum used for the preparation of some essential cocktails: mojitos, daïquiris, cuba libre, pina colada ... Water: during your stay drinks, including mineral water, are your responsibility. You can fill your water bottles in villages, springs, hotels. It is best to treat it with purifying lozenges (micropur or hydrochlonazone). Avoid as much as possible the purchase of plastic bottles which must then be recycled. If you have to buy bottled water, we advise you to buy bottles of 10 liters (or 5 liters) to fill your bottles as you go. If you want to buy these bottles, you do it at the beginning of your stay in Havana or Santiago as well as in the main cities of the country.


In the majority of the cases, you are lodged with the inhabitants, in the famous "casas particulares": the Cuban families welcome you to their home. You sleep in a double / twin room with private bathroom as far as possible (in some places, the bathroom can be shared between 2 rooms).
For some stages, we have chosen local 3-star category hotels, standard comfort.
Note that hotels in Cuba belong to the state. We therefore have no control over the quality of the services delivered.
The rooms are always clean and spacious with private bathroom but it may be that in some establishments, the rooms are not up to international standards. In the different Sierra, some steps require sleeping in a shelter.
These are usually quite basic. You sleep in a dormitory of 4 to 6 people. The blankets are provided but we advise you to also take a bag sheet see a sleeping bag for cool nights following the season.


Transportation is provided by private air-conditioned vehicle.
In some cases, we may also occasionally use 4x4s on certain routes.
Our travels do not involve portering if not your business of the day.
On some hikes, you may need to leave your travel bag and carry your sleeping bag in addition to your basic business and spare for one night (overnight in a shelter or homestay).
In this case, we will take care of your business and forward it to the next step.

Budget & exchange

Two currencies circulate: the Cuban peso (CUP) and the Cuban convertible peso (CUC) which is the only currency usable by foreigners. Currently, 1 CUC is more or less equivalent to 1 €. To know the exchange rate in real time, we advise you to go on the site Only Visas and Master Card credit cards are accepted by hotels. You will find cash machines accepting only Visas cards in Havana and Santiago. To exchange your cash, go to the many "casa de cambio" present at the airport and in the exchange offices of state hotels in the main cities of the country.
Attention, officially, the American Dollars is not accepted


This is a common practice and not mandatory, depending on your satisfaction.
It must be adapted according to the standard of living of the country and the duration of your trip.
As a general rule for correct service, you can use the following amounts:
- 3 CUC per day and per participant for a Francophone guide
- 2 CUC per day and per participant for a driver
- 1 CUC per day per participant for a Spanish speaking local guide

Supplied equipment

The following list is as complete as possible.
- A hat for the sun.
- A bandana, to protect your neck
- A pair of sun glasses.
- 1 or 2 tee shirts 8 (preferably made of cotton)
- 1 sweeter
- 1 coat
- A rain coat.
- 1 or 2 long shorts
- 2 pairs of confortable trousers for the treking
- 1 bathing suit
- 1 pair of shoes for the treking.
- 1 pair of light shoes for the easy walks and the evening.
- 1 pair of shoes adapted to the water for the snorkeling swimming, etc (specially for those who d ont like flippers)
- Pair of socks for the treking.


Prefer any other bag a flexible travel bag with side closure, type sack, or at least a large backpack.
Limit the weight to 15 kg per person. You will also need a backpack (35l minimum) to store your belongings of the day. It is possible to wash the laundry in the middle of the circuit, plan your business accordingly.
As a precaution, think of carrying in your luggage "cabin" enough to survive the first days, and this in case your luggage in the hold would not arrive at the same time as you. This is rare but it is better to be prepared for any eventuality. We recommend you to wear underwear, some T-shirts, walking shoes and sandals.
Do not forget to put any sharp object, or liquid in your luggage "in the hold" because they are prohibited in the cabin.


The following informations could be changed any time by the local authorities. It is advised that you double check them up before the trip.

Your passport should be valid 6 months after the end of the trip. When confirming the trip, you are asked to provide you passport informations ( Surname-Name-Birthdate-Passport Numbre- Expiring Date) We need them to book the domestic flights and some entries and activities.   

- You must send the information related to the passport that you will bring on the trip. If you need to renew your passport, wait until you have the new one to send us the informations.
- Kids, no matter their age, must have a passport.   


The so called Tourism card is required to enter the country. To obtain it you have to go to the cuban Consulate in your country. Some airlines sale the visa to Cuba at their offices or airport.

Mandatory vaccines

Even if no vaccine is required, you will ensure that vaccines commonly used in western countries (tetanus, diphtheria, poliomyelitis, typhoid) are still valid. Hepatitis A and B vaccines also recommended.

Health information & recommendations


Our guides have a basic pharmacy including: Local antiseptic, bandages, compresses. We advise you to have a small pharmacy kit to take with you for the "little sores" everyday, and a second kit more complete to leave in the main luggage. In case of special treatment, thank you to let your guide know on arrival.


No compulsory vaccination, however, make sure you are up to date with "classic" vaccinations: tetanus, diphtheria, polio and typhoid. Malaria (or malaria): the country is classified in zone 1. The risks of contagion by mosquito bites are low. It is advisable to protect yourself by applying repellent creams. We do not encourage the use of preventive treatments when they are not needed. Indeed, besides the undesirable effects that they afflict with our organism, these can cause a resistance of the parasites. However, we recommend that you follow the advice of your doctor.


Observe basic hygiene measures such as washing your hands regularly, especially before meals. Be careful, the water is not drinkable.
Viruses transmitted by mosquitoes It is advisable to protect yourself by applying repellent creams. We do not encourage the use of preventive treatments when they are not needed. Indeed, besides the undesirable effects that they inflict on our organism, these can cause a resistance of the parasites. However, we recommend that you follow the advice of your doctor.


The subtropical climate of Cuba is influenced by the mild trade winds of the northeast. The thermometer varies little during the year and only two seasons are frankly marked:
- The wet summer, lasts from May to October.
- The drier winter is from November to April. Average temperatures range from 22 ° C (February) to 30 ° C (July to August).
The east of the island is slightly warmer than the west. September and October hold rain records and correspond to the peak of the hurricane season.


Most electrical outlets are flat plugs and deliver 110 V (as in the USA). Some places are equipped with 110V but also 220 V. Ask always before plugging anything. It is essential to provide an adapter for electrical outlets.

Sustainable tourism

In a concern of respect for the environment, Altai engages for a minimum impact on the environment. Altai has always worked for a more responsible tourism and is part of a journey organization that respects equitable and sustainable principles. Harmonization of practices ensures a fair distribution of economic benefits and improved working conditions of local teams and their awareness of the protection of the environment Adopt, you too, simple actions during your travels and act in favor responsible tourism.
- Avoid leaving garbage behind: drop them in garbage cans or bring them back with you
- Use drinking water sparingly (prefer showers to baths and report leaks) and avoid wasting it (prefer biodegradable soaps for washing etc.)
- Avoid degrading cultural sites: do not touch the statues, do not move stones and objects etc.
- Prefer exchanges to donations (gifts too important given the standard of living of the country can destabilize the local economic balance)
- Take a walk, especially in some fragile ecosystems, observe the wildlife from a distance, do not leave the trails, limit trampling and do not bring back "memories": give up picking rare flowers, collecting fossils, etc.
- In some hotels, you will have individual air conditioning. It is strongly recommended to avoid excessive energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions to cut it systematically when you are not present in the room.
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My local agent

  • Native to Havana
  • A guide for over 20 years
  • Director of Altaï Cuba
  • Languages: Spanish, English and French
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Centre East La Havana West
Local living Trek & Hiking
21 days
2 to 15 people
From €2,050


- Trek on the main Cuban mountain chains.
- Colonial cities of Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad and Havana. 
- Contact with the local population.
- The Conquest of the cuban highest Peak: Turquino.
- The splendid valley of Vinales.

Required level

The ascents of Yunque and Turquino can be challenging depending on the weather of the day (heat and humidity). If this is the case, the walking times may be longer than those indicated in the itinerary description (2 hours more on average). Some nights, especially in the Sierra Maestra, are in refuge and involve a summary comfort in dormitories of 4 to 6 people.
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