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Ecotourism

With the diverse forests of the Parque Baconao to the east, the highest peaks of the Gran Parque Nacional Sierra Maestra to the west, and the shimmering waters of the Caribbean spread out before it, Santiago offers plenty of excitement for eco-adventurers.

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Biospheres

Baconao Biosphere Reserve

Baconao Biosphere Reserve

This expansive 84,985-hectare UNESCO-recognized biosphere is home to 1,800 plant species that are of interest for their medicinal, industrial and religious properties. There are a reported 939 indigenous species of wildlife living here, too, including butterflies, mammals, reptiles and the endangered hot-cave bat. The rugged Sierra Maestra mountain range is protected within the Baconao biosphere, as is the Archeological Landscape of the First Coffee Plantations in the Southeast of Cuba – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


National Parks

Parque Nacional Pico Turquino

Parque Nacional Pico Turquino

Climb 1,974 metres to reach Cuba’s highest peak atop this mountain in the Sierra Maestra mountains. The journey takes about two days.

Gran Piedra

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.


Nature

Cordillera de la Gran Piedra

Cordillera de la Gran Piedra

Discover spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea from one of Cuba’s most bio-diverse mountain ranges. The area supports many endemic species of flora and fauna (including the endangered hot-cave bat) as well as the historic ruins of French coffee settlements.

El Saltón

Escape to this scenic mountain resort that serves as a great base for eco-tourism excursions, bird watching treks and hikes to local waterfalls.