11 days / 10 nights
Departure: from 18th to 28th April 2015
Itineraries: Havana / Soroa / Viñales / Ciénaga de Zapata / Cienfuegos / Camaguey / Cayo Coco / Varadero.
BIRDWATCHING TRIP THAT GIVES WINGS
Few people know that Cuba has the smallest bird in the world, 63 mm long a bee hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae). Few people also know that Cuba is one of the best ecotourism destinations on the planet. With 262 protected areas, the island has six World Biosphere Reserves protected by a UNESCO decree. These carefully preserved territories are home to over 350 species of birds. The existence of many nature trails along which the visitor is stunned by the rarity and beauty of the rarest species, often endemic and exclusive to Cuba, is sufficient to make your mind and to jump into a journey that could take your breath away.
Discover the exclusives places for birdwatching, where you will meet the smallest bird in the world, but also red feathers, white, blue and green; the tocororo, the national bird of Cuba, or the Eastern Screech-Owl, a tiny rare bird; not to mention the Cuban Toddy or Cuban Green Woodpecker commonly called stabbed peak.
This unique tour designed for the small groups also give you the opportunity to know the major urban centers such as the splendid colonial Havana and the classic Cienfuegos which, thanks to its imposing architecture of European influence, is sometimes called the Paris of the Caribbean. Many national parks and biospheres, maintained by professionals but also lovers of nature and ecotourism, will convince you of the merits of this small nation who understood that the real Revolution is the preservation of its own culture and nature.[wptabs type=”accordion” style=”wpui-light” effect=”slide” mode=”horizontal”] [wptabtitle]DAY 1[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent] Arrival at the Varadero airport. Transfer to the hotel in Havana. Dinner in Havana.
[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]DAY 2[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent] HAVANA-SOROA-VIÑALES
Departure for the sublime Viñales Valley via Soroa where we will stop for the first birdwatching along the famous trail Sendero el Brujito. Continue to Viñales. Lunch at the Villa Soroa. In the afternoon, visit Viñales for the second birdwatching in search of Cuban Tody, the Cuban trogon and other endemic species. (This time, the observation is made in the trail and farm Finca San Vicente). Before dinner and accommodation at the selected hotel, visit an ecological farm and a small botanical garden carefully cultivated by two free women who have made a cathedral of nature in their own way.[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]DAY 3[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent] VIÑALES-MIL-CUMBRES-CIENAGA DE ZAPATA
Departure to the National Park La Guira. Clients will be able to watch the birds along the way on the trail Paraiso de las Aves Mil Cumbres. In this uncrowned area, our guide will introduce you to few species in the forest exclusive to this part of the island. Lunch at the Mirador de San Diego. In the afternoon, transfer to the Cienaga de Zapata, one of the most famous areas of the island for the wildlife. Accommodation and dinner at the Hotel Playa Larga.
[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]DAY 4[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent] CIÉNAGA DE ZAPATA
In the morning departure for the visit of St. Thomas for discovery of this swamp area and dry forest where you can meet almost 85% of the species endemic to Cuba. This is recommended to be silent around this area in order to get to know the mysterious and discreet dove blue head, a splendid species of dove that spends a lot of time walking on the floor. In this region also inhabits the rattle of Zapata, hard to see but can however be heard. It is also the home of the wren of Zapata, not counting the many other species of water birds like cormorants, flamingos, ibis, ducks and waders. Lunch at La Cueva de los Peces / The Cave of Pisces. In the afternoon, transfer to Salinas. Bird watching on both sites. In this region we may also pay attention to the little Duke of Cuba who likes to take naps … Possibility, thanks the knowledge of our guides, to observe other endemic species such as Fernandina Flickers. Return to hotel and dinner.[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]DAY 5[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent] CIÉNAGA DE ZAPATA
In the morning, visit Bermejas, belonging to the Zapata Swamp Biosphere Reserve. The latter is one of six biospheres in Cuba recognized by UNESCO and includes the largest wetlands in the Caribbean, with one of the most diverse ecosystems. It’s not surprising that here lives the smallest bird in the world, Elena’s hummingbird. Lunch at Punta Partriz. In the afternoon, transfer to Soplillar. Birdwatching on both sites. Return to hotel and dinner.[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]DAY 6[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent] CIÉNAGA DE ZAPATA-CIENFUEGOS-CAMAGUEY (LA BELÉN)
Departure for Camagüey. Stop at the Finca Belen with many pauses along the Yaguanabo river. This “aquatic” walk (motorboats) offers a unique angle for birdwatching. Lunch at Villa Las Iguanas and since we are talking reptiles, why not stop on the roadside to watch the crocodiles. Zapata Swamp is home for acknowledged Cuban crocodile, one of the most aggressive in the world. Continue until the Finca Belen. Dinner and accommodation on site.
[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]DAY 7[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent] CAMAGUEY (LA BELÉN)
CAMAGUEY (LA BELÉN) – CAYO COCO
Day devoted to birdwatching in Belén and Sendero de las Aves which is part of the Sierra del Chorrillo. Here, we must take time to fully explore this protected area. The Belén, part of the national park, is a ranch that was turned into bird sanctuary where one can find rare species like the Cuban parakeet and the giant sparrow but also the blue heron, sparrow hawk, quail and hummingbird who seems to possess the gift of ubiquity. The park also contains a petrified forest, with trunks of fossilized trees that are older than three million years. Free afternoon. Diner on site.
In the morning, exit to the Sierra de Cubitas for birdwatching. Departure to Cayo Coco. Lunch in transit. Continue the trip to Cayo Coco. Welcome with Mojitos. Accommodation and dinner on site.
[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]DAY 9[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent] CAYO COCO
Transfer to Cayo Guillermo. Day dedicated to the observation of Cayo Guillermo birds.
The program of this day includes:
• Guided tour of coastal south lagoons of Cayo Guillermo: lagoons are rich in avifauna where resides permanently and migratory numerous water birds.
• Visit the areas adjacent to the that connect Cayo Coco to Turiguano: in this vast territory, there is a great diversity of aquatic bird colonies and majestic standing flamingos.
• Nordic Zone Cayo Coco with Los Brands, Cueva del Jabali and Dunas Loma del Puerto: This area is part of the nature reserve called Parque Natural Centro Norte. In this place, it is possible to observe the most attractive landscape of Cayo Coco from Las Dunas de Loma del Puerto, located at a height of 13m above the level of the sea. The most important birds to watch in this area is Cabrerito(Torreornis inexpectata varonai), Cartacuba (Todus multicolor) and Pechero (Teretristis fornsi).
• The lunch box (from the hotel) outdoors. Return to the hotel. Dinner on the site.
[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]DAY 10[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent] COCO COCO-VARADERO
After breakfast, transfer to Varadero. Lunch in transit. Accommodation and dinner at the hotel in Varadero. Free afternoon for the beach. Birdwatching is possible in the Varadero area, especially in the oasis of Josone, the public park that offers a stunning gardens, plantations and lagoons.[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]DAY 11[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent] VARADERO-MONTRÉAL
Meals and departure to the airport.
What is included in the price of $ 2899 *:
The package includes 11 days and 10 nights
Hotels 3 * and 4 *
All activities proposed in the program
All transportation and all meals
Accommodation / double occupancy
International flight **
CONTACT WITH TRAVEL AGENT:
For information in French: Maya (1) 514. 531. 1454
For the information in English and Spanish Leandro (1) 438. 877. 2011.
* Price is based on a group of five people. For the same trip as an individual or a couple, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
** The ticket is included in the price from Montreal. Price of the flight may vary from other canadiens and international cities. Certain conditions vary, depending on the price and availability of seats at the time of booking.