Situated midway between Cienfuegos and Trinidad, El Nicho is undoubtedly one of Captain Ulysses’ top favorites in Cuba! Nestled in the heart of the Sierra, this place reveals a different side of Cuba – one that is more natural, serene, and far removed from the flashy beaches of Varadero or the bustling streets of Havana. It truly is a little slice of paradise!
💡 Planning Your Trip to Cuba 💡
✈️ Flights: To find the best deals on flights, Captain Ulysses highly recommends using Skyscanner or Omio.
🇨🇺 Visa: Before you depart, be sure to apply for your tourist card (which is your visa for Cuba). You can easily order your tourist card online through CubaVisa.
🛏️ Accommodations: To book your accommodations in Cuba, the Captain recommends Expedia.
📸 Activities: To book your activities, the Captain highly recommends Civitatis.
El Nicho in a Nutshell
To locate El Nicho, venture into the heart of the Sierra del Escambray, the same mountain range where Che and his troops sought refuge during the Cuban Revolution.
This natural site is found in the northwest region of the Topes de Collantes Natural Park, which extends to the outskirts of Trinidad.
Amidst lush vegetation, the Hanabanilla River cascades down numerous waterfalls, creating sublime natural pools with crystal-clear waters.
Getting to El Nicho
El Nicho is conveniently positioned between Cienfuegos and Trinidad. If you plan to visit both cities, it’s an ideal spot to make a stop along the way.
In fact, there is an excursion from Cienfuegos to El Nicho that the Captain highly recommends.
More information: El Nicho Waterfall Excursion
There’s also an excursion from Varadero that covers Cienfuegos, El Nicho, and Trinidad.
More information: Cienfuegos, El Nicho, and Trinidad Excursion.
What to Do in El Nicho?
To reach El Nicho, you’ll travel along a winding road that snakes through the Sierra del Escambray. Keep your eyes wide open, as the landscapes of the Sierra are truly breathtaking!
Upon arrival, if you haven’t chosen an organized excursion, you’ll be required to pay an entrance fee of 10 CUC per person to access the natural park. While it may seem a bit pricey, it is definitely worth it!
The park features a hiking trail spanning approximately 1.5 km / 0.6 miles. Accompanied by a guide, you’ll discover the various points of interest within El Nicho and its incredible natural richness.
The visit is relatively short and takes you to the higher grounds of the park, where you’ll be treated to an awe-inspiring view of the region!
Afterward, you can freely explore the surroundings. It’s also the perfect opportunity to take a refreshing dip in the park’s natural pools. Just be prepared – the water can be chilly (around 18°C / 64.5°F)!
Across the road from the park entrance, there’s a trail that leads to another waterfall. Don’t forget to venture there and take a look before leaving.
On-site, there’s a restaurant where you can enjoy reasonably priced lunch. Often, a group of musicians performs, serenading you with Cuban and Latin American classics.
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