Topes de Collantes Natural Park is situated in the Sierra del Escambray, near Trinidad. Perched at an altitude of 700 meters, the park served as a refuge for the revolutionary forces led by Che Guevara in the 1950s. Later on, it became a hiding place for counter-revolutionary groups opposing the Castro regime.
For nature enthusiasts, the park is a paradise boasting an incredibly diverse range of fauna and flora, including numerous endemic species.
💡 Planning Your Trip to Cuba 💡
🇨🇺 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. In Trinidad, the Captain especially recommends 4 casas particulares/B&Bs with very good value for money (La Residencia Margarita, La Casa Nerelvis y Liubetsy, L’Hostal Ramirez & Casa Barmarin) and one hotel (Casa Colonial Torrado 1830).
🐴 Activities: Horseback-riding, hiking, day trips… there’s plenty to do in Trinidad. To book your activities, the Captain highly recommends Civitatis.
📸 Free Guided Tour: Why not explore Trinidad with a local guide? The Captain highly recommends this free walking tour of the city. You can choose how much to tip your guide at the end of the tour.
Getting to Topes de Collantes Natural Park
From Trinidad, which serves as the base for most tourists in the region, reaching Topes de Collantes Natural Park is very straightforward.
If you prefer to explore at your own pace, you can hire a private taxi. It will take you from Trinidad to the park and wait for you to finish your visit before returning you to the city.
Otherwise, Captain Ulysses highly recommends this excursion: Topes de Collantes Tour from Trinidad
Things to Do in Topes de Collantes Natural Park
Hiking Trails: Salto de Caburní and Vegas Grandes
A network of hiking trails crisscrosses Topes de Collantes Park, inviting you to discover its caves, rivers, waterfalls, and natural pools.
Among the most popular and easily accessible trails are the Salto de Caburní trail (5 km / 3 miles round trip) and the Vegas Grandes trail (4 km / 2.5 miles round trip). The entrance fee for each trail is 9 CUC.
Whether you choose the Salto de Caburní trail or the Vegas Grandes trail, you’ll trek through the lush landscapes of the park until you reach a waterfall flowing into a natural pool. It’s the perfect spot for a refreshing swim! Remember to wear suitable footwear as the trails can be wet and slippery.
El Nicho Natural Park
Located within Topes de Collantes Natural Park, the beautiful El Nicho Natural Park is halfway between Trinidad and Cienfuegos. An excursion allows you to travel between Cienfuegos and Trinidad, with a few hours’ stop in the park.
To book, you have two options:
- On-site, at the Cubanacan agency office in Cienfuegos.
- Online here: El Nicho Waterfall Excursion from Cienfuegos
El Nicho is one of Captain Ulysses’ absolute favorites in Cuba. It’s a true hidden gem! Imagine a series of natural pools and waterfalls nestled in a splendid setting. Pure bliss!
Topes de Collantes Park is also renowned for its water, believed to have medicinal properties.
At the Codina Farm, visitors have the opportunity to indulge in therapeutic mud baths. Whether you believe in these legends is entirely up to you!