Cuba “Birding & Culture”
Day 1. Arrive at Santa Clara Airport. After the hole group is complete, we will be visiting the Che Memorial, from there we will keep driving to Trinidad about 2 hours’ drive, where participants will be lodged in a hotel or in a comfortable private house (“casa Particular”), depending on the client’s preference.
The first sound in the morning is the clip-clop of the horse’s hooves on the cobbled streets followed by the cries of old men selling bread from bicycles. Trinidad is one-of-a-kind, a perfectly preserved Spanish colonial settlement where the clocks stopped ticking in the 1850.
Declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1988, Trinidad is one of the best places in Cuba to appreciate the life Cuban music. (LP 2015).
Day 2. Breakfast at 7:00 am, birding in the morning on the National park of Topes de Collantes, target birds here will be White-collared Swift, Black Swift, Cuban Parrots, Scally-naped Pigeon etc.. and after lunch depart to Cienfuegos city. We will be visiting the Botanical Garden and in the afternoon the city. Lodging in a nice house or hotel (depending on clients’ preferences).
Bienvenue to Cienfuegos, Cuba’s Gallic heart, which sits in the shadow of the crinkled Sierra del Escambray like a displaced piece of Paris on Cuba’s untamed southern coastline. French rather than Spanish colonizers were the pioneers in the region, arriving in 1819 and bringing with them the ideas of European Enlightenment. The result today is a dazzling treasure box on 19th century architectural.
Day 3. After breakfast, depart to Zapata Peninsula. Birding along the way Lunch in Zapata. Overnight in the nicest house in Zapata, “Casa Luis,” In the afternoon, birding at Soplillar. Target species: endemic quail-doves and owls; also we will be looking for Neartic migrants.
Zapata Peninsula is, undoubtedly, the best bird watching area in Cuba, and possibly the entire Caribbean region. It supports all but three of Cuba’s 23 avian endemics, as well as many other native species, both winter residents and transients, along with several summer and spring visitors (which breed in Cuba but return south in fall). Over 270 species have been reported in the area.
Day 4. Breakfast at 6:30 am, then Depart to Bermeja (a fauna refuge with National Significance), an open area with royal and cabbage palms, brush, and shrubbery, 7 miles (12 km) north of Playa Girón. This is the place to look for Fernandina’s Flicker. Cuba’s two endemic owls (Cuban Pygmy-Owl and Bare-legged Owl), Cuban Nightjar, Bee Hummingbird, Cuban Parakeet, Cuban Trogon, Cuban Tody, and all four quail-dove species (the two rarest species are frequently encountered) can also be seen here, as well as many Nearctic warblers. Lunch in the resort or house select for overnighting. Resume birding in the afternoon in Bermeja area. Birding at night as well.
Day 5. Breakfast at 5:30 am. Depart for Santo Tomas. This is a marsh habitat, where we will be looking for Zapata Wren, Zapata Sparrow, and Red-shouldered Blackbird. Lunch at Caleta Buena (optional), or our lodging place after 4:00 pm. La Salina in Zapata. This area has ideal feeding conditions for many waterbirds (flamingos, egrets, ducks, shorebirds), which come to feast on the fishes, crustaceans, and other invertebrates.
Day 6. After breakfast we drive to Havana, we will be stopping on Hemingway’s House. In the afternoon city tour in Old Havana. Overnight in Havana in a hotel or in a comfortable private house (“casa Particular”), depending on the client’s preference.
Day 7. Departure and transfer to the airport.