Cuba offers visitors much more than beautiful beaches to explore. Soaring mountains, fertile plains, lush wetlands, tropical forests, vast underground caves, and even an alpine microclimate provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor adventures like hiking, biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, spelunking… and even ziplining.
Scoot around the vibrant resort community by renting a moped from any hotel in Guardalava.
Wander among fragrant coconut groves, orchards and palm trees at this ecotourism farm on the coast north of Baracoa.
Cayuca (Canoe) Excursion on the Toa River
Treat yourself to a unique experience by taking a cayuca (kayak) tour along the Toa River. You’ll get in a great workout while paddling past farmers’ plantations and the magnificent Sagua-Baracoa Mountain Range.
Ever wanted to learn how to harvest coffee, cacao and coconuts? Find out here, where you can also hear about what the rural life is like around Baracoa.
Enjoy the beautiful 35 km drive from Baracoa to the town of Yumurí. Watch out for the Bay of Mata, as well as the Barigua and Manglito beaches along the way.
Jardines de la Reina
You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into another world on this archipelago of virtually uninhabited keys curled around Camagüey's southern coast. Flora and fauna flourish in this virgin territory: palm trees, sea grapes, mangroves, iguanas and pelicans.
Marvel at the remnants of trees that have been petrified for over three million years. This unique collection is spread out across one hectare in Sierra del Chorrillo.
La Belén Ranch
This ranch within Sierra del Chorrillo functions as a bird reserve, featuring rare species like the Cuban parakeet and the giant kingbird. It is also home to exotic animals like zebras, deer and buffalos.
Cueva de Punta del Este (Isla de la Juventud)
This national monument located south of Nueva Gerona on the Isla de la Juventud has been called 'the aboriginal Sistine Chapel' of the Caribbean. The cave was discovered in 1910, and features 235 historic pictographs.
Join one of the many organized nature-watching tours offered from Cayo Largo. You just might see some of the flamingos, iguanas and monkeys that call the remote keys west of Cayo Largo home.
Take a Jeep tour of Cayo Largo, which includes stops at a crocodile breeding farm, a turtle farm, the television tower, Casa del Tabaco and the ancient tree La Yana. It also includes snorkeling and lunch.
Trimaran Tour to Cayo Rico
Sail over to Cayo Rico, where you’ll be sure to spot some iguanas. The trimaran tour to Cayo Rico includes a stop at the beach, snorkeling, lunch and an open bar.
Climb aboard a charming horse-drawn carriage for a relaxing tour of Cienfuegos.
This local company organizes guided adventures, including a three-hour tour called “Along the Paths of Orishas” or a day-long excursion to the majestic El Nicho waterfall, in the Escambray Mountains.
Demajagua's Historic Ruins
See where Carlos Manuel de Céspedes freed his slaves and rang the bell to declare Cuba’s Independence in 1868 at this former sugar mill near Manzanillo. Learn about the historic events at the museum here.
Cauto River Walking Tour
Marvel at the beautiful sights along this sparkling river that runs through the Sierra Maestra mountain range, including peaceful ponds, enchanting waterfalls and local farmers tending to their crops. This tour departs from Marea del Portillo.
La Plata Rebel Army Command Post
Take a guided hike through points of interest related to the time Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolution leader, spent here coordinating his rebel activities. Regular tours depart by Jeep from Santo Domingo Villa.
Trek to the top of Cuba’s highest peak in Sierra Maestra National Park. A knowledgeable guide points out the region’s unique flora and fauna along the two-day hike.
Just east of Havana lies Cojimar, where Ernest Hemingway kept his boat, El Pilar. The town served as the model for the fishing village in The Old Man and the Sea.
Miramar and Beyond
Venture west down Av Quinta (Fifth Avenue) for a glimpse of this leafy residential area. Continue on past the exclusive Club Habana to Marina Hemingway, where you can go snorkeling, sailing and deep-sea fishing or book a seafari tour to the coral reef.
Enjoy a delicious afternoon of music, dancing and games, with plenty to eat and drink at this traditional Cuban feast. You can go horseback riding, milk a cow, sip a glass of fresh sugarcane juice and watch limber locals scramble up a Royal palm, then savour a succulent criollo (creole) meal.
Wander through 670 hectares of parkland encircling a large artificial lake. An amphitheatre, aquarium, art gallery and botanical garden are just some of the attractions. Dine at Don Cuba, which sits atop a tower with a great view.
Take a boat excursion to the best snorkeling, fishing and swimming spots off the coast of Holguín.
Although it’s only 100 km from Holguín city, this 42-sq-km island is a world apart. Connected to the mainland by a bridge, it is noted for its forests, broad prairies and idyllic beaches stretched out beneath striking cliffs along the northwestern coast. But the islet’s main attraction is the population of native and imported animals that roam freely here, including antelopes, zebras, boars and ñandus.
Parque Natural Bahía de Naranjo
This island complex near Guardalavaca boasts an aquarium featuring dolphin and sea lion shows, as well as yacht and seafari trips.
Glide above the pristine Guardalavaca shoreline during a tandem skydiving or Zodiac hang-gliding adventure.
Aguachales de Falla
One of the few swampy areas on the northern coast, this area is a system of seven lakes and dozens of ponds, connected by a web of streams and channels. Several species of duck make their home here, as does the Aguachales de Falla Hunt Club.
This is cattle-country, complete with cowboys, horses and rodeo shows every weekend. While you’re on the island, be sure to stop by El Pueblo Holandés, a charming town modeled after a Dutch village.
Laguna de la Leche (Milky Lagoon)
Shimmering underwater lime deposits give Cuba’s largest natural lake its name. A refuge for flamingoes, snooks and tarpons, the lake is a popular fishing spot. It also hosts sailing regattas.
Travel by jeep to Redonda Lake for a day that includes a boat tour, horseback riding, a hike up Cunagua Hill and a visit to a crocodile-breeding farm.
Puerto Padre: Sugar & Sea Tour
Enjoy a sweet afternoon learning about how to harvest and process sugar cane in this charming coastal town. This tour includes stops at the La Loma Fortress, Salcedo Castle and Casimba del Malecon, as well as a seafood lunch.
Vicente García Memorial
See the house where liberator General Vicente García was born. Built in 1800 and declared a national monument in 1996, the home features four exhibition rooms dedicated to the general’s life and achievements.
Plaza de la Revolución
Catch a Sunday afternoon concert at this plaza in the heart of Las Tunas The square officially opened in 1915, when a statue of liberator General Vicente Aguilera García was unveiled. There is also a noteworthy bust of National Hero José Martí.
Las Tunas City Tour
Let a knowledgeable guide show you around the “City of Sculptures” with a tour that includes stops at Vicente García Revolution Square, Martí Square, and a presentation about the city’s Afro-Caribbean heritage.
Convene in the Santo Tomás settlement west of Playa Larga to join a walking or boating tour along a section of the Hatiguanico River.
Observación de Aves
Many species of rare birds make their home at this sanctuary, where knowledgeable staff offer guided tours.
Laguna de las Salinas
Book a guided tour through this wildlife refuge, where you may be treated to the unforgettable sight of thousands of pink flamingos. The swamps and lagoons here are densely populated with aquatic birds and migratory waterfowl.
Viñales Valley, Sierra de los Organos
Declared a UNESCO World Cultural and Landscape Site in 1999, this valley is also home to a 270-million-year-old fossil, palma corcho (Mycrocycas calocoma).
Explore the famous San Juan y Martinez tobacco fields, and stop by the Finca El Pinar Vegas Robaina tobacco ranch.
Península de Guanahacabibes
Venture out to the western tip of Cuba to gaze at the 170 bird species that call this peninsula home, including Cuba’s national bird, the tocororo.
This sustainable village, on the slopes of the Sierra del Rosario mountain range, is an excellent starting point for hiking excursions past waterfalls, coffee plantations and mineral springs.
Colonial Camagüey Tour
Explore the historic city of Camagüey on a guided tour that takes you to the Puerto Príncipe Rum Factory, Revolution Square, Cándido González Baseball Park and the magnificent La Merced Catholic Church.
Crocodile Breeding Farm
Take a guided tour to one of the region’s crocodile breeding farm. Most tours departing from Santa Lucía also stop at nearby caves and even a violin factory.
Sabinal Jeep Safari
Observe the flourishing flora and fauna flourishing on unspoiled Cayo Sabinal. The Jeep tour includes sightseeing stops in the town of Nuevitas along the way.
Rancho King Tourist Farm
Soak up the Wild West atmosphere at this family-friendly ranch. Don’t miss the rodeo or the regular concerts. Bus tours to the Ranch depart regularly from several Santa Lucia hotels.
Archaelogical Landscape of the First Coffee Plantations in the Southeast of Cuba
That’s the designation UNESCO gave to this World Heritage Site which preserves the ruins of the coffee plantations that thrived in this area over 200 years ago.
Casco Histórico Walking Tour
Santiago’s historical centre is well worth exploring and there’s no better way to do that than by walking the romantic streets of Parque Céspedes, with its gorgeous colonial architecture.
Climb the 454-step staircase for an unrivalled view of Santiago atop this 70,000-ton boulder teetering over the ridge of the Sierra Baconao, 1,000 metres above sea level.
Sierra del Escambray
Book a jeep excursion through the Escambray mountains through a local tour operator like Havanatur or Cubatur.
Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills)
Get a taste of the region’s sweet history by exploring the 70 historic sugar mills lining this valley just outside Trinidad. Don’t miss the 146-foot-tall Iznaga Tower, which provides an excellent view of the nearby mountains and beaches.
Design your own road trip. A comprehensive network of car rental offices lets you take your pick from a range of different vehicles: Economy, Midsize (the most requested), Luxury, Jeep, Minivan and Van. You can book online at www.transturvaradero.com.
Vintage Car Tours
Arrange to see the sights in one of Cuba's famous vintage automobiles.
Varadero Beach Tour
It's easy to beach-hop, thanks to Hop-On Hop-Off panoramic buses that will take you from one end of the peninsula to the other.
For a more cultured excursion, visit Matanzas, the historic port town known as the “Athens of Cuba” because of the wealth of celebrated European poets and writers living there in the mid-19th century. Places of interest surround the Plaza de la Vigía, where the city was founded nearly 400 years ago.
Parque Josone (Josone Park)
Keep your camera out during your trip to Parque Josone, where you’ll find breathtaking gardens that date back to 1940. Cool off with a dip in the pool.
For a more unusual outing, visit the Boca de Guamà, Cuba's largest crocodile farm, where you can unleash your inner shutterbug by snapping giant crocodiles, iguanas and various species of indigenous lizards.
If you head south to the Zapata Peninsula, you’ll stumble upon Playa Girón, a quiet beach located on the eastern side of the Bahia de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs). Its huge underwater canyons, impressive wrecks and pristine waters provide hours of fun for snorkelers and scuba divers.
San Juan de Dios de Cárdenas
On Cárdenas Bay you’ll find historic Cárdenas, sometimes called the 'city of firsts' because so many significant events happened here first. Notable example: this is where the Cuban flag waved for the first time.
Cueva Ambrosio (Ambrosio Cave)
Observe the pre-Columbian pictographs and Indian drawings at this well-preserved archeological site. An ancient ceremonial spot for the region's native population, the 300-metre cave later harboured runaway slaves.
Fábrica de Tabacos Constantino Pérez Carrodegua
Tour one of Cuba’s finest tobacco factories, and see how the world’s favourite cigars (like Montecristos, Partagás and Romeo y Julieta) are made.
Havana Golf Club
Sneak in 9 holes at this lovely par-35 course.
Enjoy a game of mini golf and a light cafeteria-style meal. 1st Avenue and 42nd Street
Varadero Golf Club
Work on your swing at this picturesque 18-hole championship course, marked by an intricate system of lagoons in the British links tradition. Tournaments take place in June and October. The club's annual regatta is in May.
El Balcon de Iberia
This is a hiker’s paradise. The trail leads through the spectacular Parque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt (Alexander von Humboldt National Park), which UNESCO recognizes as “one of the most biologically diverse tropical islands sites on earth.” Careful where you step: you will pass some of the world’s smallest vertebrates on your way to the El Majá Waterfall, which cascades over 82 feet.
El Yunque (The Anvil)
A vegetation-rich trail that runs through the Quibiján-Duaba Ecological Reserve leads to El Yunque. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars: this is a bird-watching hot spot. Once you reach the tabletop, you’ll have a great view of the Duaba and Toa Rivers, as well as Parque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt (Alexander von Humboldt National Park).
Salto del Caburni
Hike to the top of Salto del Caburni, which at 75-metres is among the tallest waterfalls in the Caribbean.
The Sierra del Escambray mountain range offers an extensive network of trails for your hiking pleasure.
Sierra del Chorrillo
Gaze at the park’s incredible array of birds like the blue heron, sparrow hawk, quail, wood pigeon, zunzún, tocororo and cartacuba as you ride along one of its peaceful trails.
Marea del Portillo
Explore the beach on one of the horseback riding trips that departs from both of the hotels here. Or sit back and enjoy the view on a leisurely horse-drawn carriage ride.
Hacienda La Mensura (in Parque Nacional La Mensura)
Ride through the aromatic pine forests of this alpine terrain surrounding Sierra del Cristal. Pick up your horse at the Hacienda La Mensura, where you can also watch the antelope play.
Stop by the riding centre across from Club Amigo Atlantica to enjoy a canter along the sparkling Guardalavaca beaches.
Rancho King Tourist Farm
There are horses to ride at this family-friendly ranch which puts on a rodeo show.
Finca de Recreo María Dolores (María Dolores Recreation Farm)
From this hotel, you can arrange a horseback ride to nearby Ranchón El Cubano.