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n/a days
Grade 1

About the challenge

Cuba, described as the pearl of the Caribbean, really is a gem of an island. Our challenge takes us from the cultural and historical city of Havana on the north coast right through the heart of the island to the UNESCO World Heritage site, Trinidad on the South Coast.

This is a challenging trek through remote and rarely visited regions, via lush jungle, plantations and waterfalls. The terrain is demanding with some strenuous ascents, but there are some great spots to swim and relax too. You will not forget Cuba in a hurry!

The itinerary

Day 1: Depart London

We fly from London to Havana. Transfer to our hotel. Evening briefing. Night hotel.

Day 2: Havana - Hanabanilla

After a good sleep we have the opportunity to explore the beautiful historical city of Havana, one of Hemingway’s favourite cities. We then drive away from the hustle and bustle of this vibrant city and out into the Escambray Mountains where we will spend the night and prepare ourselves for the start of the our trek across this beautiful country. Night hotel.

Day 3: Hanabanilla – Guanayara 
Trek approx 6 hours (17km)

A short ferry transfer takes us across the lake to the southern tip of the Hanabanilla Reservoir. Our trek takes us along jeep tracks upstream above the Rio Guanayara. We pass through beautiful shady forests to our hacienda, where we will camp for the night. A further 2-hour circular walk leads us up to a cascading waterfall with a bathing pool – a lovely start to our trek! Night camp.

Day 4: Guanayara - Codina
Trek approx 7-8 hours (17km)

After a hearty breakfast we set off on our challenging day. Our route climbs 400m on small mule tracks through the lush orange and mango orchards and stunning scenery. After a brief stop we continue to climb through coffee plantations affording great views back down to the reservoir. We then drop steeply down to join up with the road briefly and on to El Sirio, for a convenient drinks stop before continuing on to lunch. The afternoon sees a gentler climb up to Codina. Night camp.

Day 5: Codina – Topes de Collantes
Trek approx 5 hours (8km)

Heading out from camp along the small path known locally as the Encantos de la Codina, we pass through more coffee plantations down to La Batata, where the river forces itself through a crack in the limestone. Continuing on, we enter a beautiful wooded forest planted in the 1930s which contains over 300 varieties of trees. We carry on to our accommodation in Topes de Collantes. Night hotel.

Day 6: Topes de Collantes – Mi Retiro
After breakfast and a good night’s sleep we head to the Caburni Falls, following the Rio Caburni to its confluence with the Rio Vegas Grande. This awesome sight inspires us on to perhaps the toughest ridge of our trek, up to the Rio Grande Falls. We continue on to a well-deserved lunch, washed down with some freshly squeezed sugar cane juice. We head up a steep climb towards Pico de Potrerillo (972m) and its surrounding protected reserve. We then dip down into the valley at the end of the day to our evening’s campsite. Night camp.
Trek approx 6-7 hours (12km)
Day 7: Mi Retiro – Trinidad
Our final day! We set off along a hillside path, high above the valley floor. We encounter the obligatory steep climbs en-route but are rewarded on reaching the top with stunning views down to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Trinidad and our first glimpse of the sea. As we descend through the rural farmland we stop for lunch in a local farm before heading to the Cabellero waterfall and its surrounding crystal clear pools. There is a chance for a dip and time to reflect on the challenge. Night hotel.
Trek approx 6-7 hours (15km)
Day 8: Free day beach
A free day to relax on the beautiful white sandy beaches or to explore the delights of Trinidad before getting together in the evening for a well deserved celebration meal. Night hotel.
(Lunch and dinner not included)
Day 9: Trinidad – Havana
We load up and head back to Havana in time for the international flight home.
Drive approx 5 hours
(Lunch not included)
Day 10: Arrive London.

The route

Detailed information

All accommodation is included as well as all flights, transfers, camping equipment (other than sleeping bag and mat); all meals except three as specified in the itinerary; National Park entry fees and all other sites visited as part of the itinerary.

Experienced Discover Adventure leaders and doctor are also included, along with a local support crew of porters, guides, cooks and drivers.

Preparing for the challenge

Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency satellite phones, extensive medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency back-up in the UK. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate.
Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires and travel insurance – is all done with your safety in mind.

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