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This spectacular multi-day SUP adventure leaves the mega resorts of Cuba behind and provides a taste the raw, natural beauty of Cuba's untamed east. You will be hiking to spectacular waterfalls, horseback riding along the coastline, and stand up paddle boarding the impossibly blue waters of the Caribbean. You will also explore the Tao and Yumuri rivers by SUP, trek in the Yunque rainforest and indulge in locally made chocolate as SUP Wilderness Adventures creates sweet memories of an island nation that remains so pure.
You will be accommodated in several accommodations chosen by SUP Wilderness Adventures.
Enjoy the peaceful mountain atmosphere with an optional short hike to a beautiful vista. Dinner at the resort. Enjoy free time after dinner.
You depart to “El Salto del Guayabo” for a hike to one of the Caribbean’s tallest waterfalls. It is a moderate plus hike but worth it once you arrive at the base of this spectacular waterfall. Lunch is a traditional charcoaled BBQ feast.
Today, you head to a remote white sand beach for a spot of horseback riding. After lunch, you enjoy an afternoon of snorkeling and stand up paddle boarding on the local reef.
This is a long, twisty drive but as you get closer to Baracoa the famous lush tropical scenery of the Far East begins to immerse. You stop in the small community of La Vega del Taco to see how the locals prepare traditional east coast snacks like Cucurucho. Just up the road, you visit the “Alexander Van Humboldt” National Park and then it’s on to Baracoa City; the oldest Spanish settlement in Cuba that's surrounded by secluded ‘black sand’ beaches, virgin rainforest and crystal-clear rivers. On the horizon looms the most recognizable local landmark, a table-topped hill called El Yunque. Baracoa is the gem of Cuba.
This morning, you put-in on the scenic Toa River. This is an exhilarating downstream paddle on a stand-up paddleboard that is sure to be on your highlight reel. You wind your way down the river to your lunch spot at “Rancho Toa” Restaurant for an authentic Baracoa lunch. After lunch, there is free time to explore the beautiful beaches in Baracoa.
Get your hiking shoes on to tackle that flat top mountain that has been calling your name! You set off for an amazing hike up the Yunque of Baracoa. After your descent from the Yunque, there is only one civilized thing to do, visit the “Finca Duaba” and cocoa plantation tour. Baracoa is not only the most beautiful area in all of Cuba, it is also the chocolate capital of Cuba! After dinner, you exchange your hiking shoes for dancing shoes and depart to “Casa de La Trova” in town for real live traditional Cuban music.
You depart for the Yumuri River. The Yumuri River cuts through a very impressive Canyon with 800’ cliffs on either side of you. You will paddleboard or hike the banks of this majestic wild river upstream for a few kilometers. The paddle but the paddle back after lunch is a blast.
Today, you depart to Santiago de Cuba city via La Farola. Time for pictures at “El Alto de Cotilla”. Afterwards, a special seaside lunch waits. Enjoy a beach walk, collect some shells and go for a swim in the sea. Dinner will be served at the hotel in Santiago. After dinner, it’s time to put those dancing shoes on again and head to Casa De la Trova to enjoy traditional music and dance. It is said that Santiago is the musical capital of Cuba.
You head out for city tour of Santiago de Cuba, which includes: the “26th of July” Museum, “Santa Ifigenia” Cemetery (for your chance to view Fidal and Jose Martinez tomb and the changing of the guard) and Marrow Fort. After lunch, you depart to “la Gran Piedra” via the four-wheel drive and walk up the steps to “la Isabelica” Museum; an early 19th-century coffee plantation that once was the property of French immigrants from Haiti. The house is a stone mansion and is recognized by UNESCO as a masterwork of cultural heritage. There are beautiful panoramic views of the hike. Check into the cabins perched on the top of the cliffs overlooking the Santiago and the Caribbean ocean. Enjoy the sunset on top of the world. Dinner at the mountaintop lodge.
The last full day together involves a drive to a beautiful resort on the north shore close to Holguin. What a perfect place to spend the last day relaxing by the pool or swimming in the turquoise ocean and this luxury resort. Lunch and dinner will be served at the resort.
After breakfast, SUP Wilderness Adventures bids you farewell and transport you to the international airport so that you may catch your flight home.
You start your adventure in Holguín; a city in eastern Cuba. In 1492, it's believed that Christopher Columbus landed in what is today's Holguín province and declared that it was "the most beautiful country human eyes had ever seen". Tourism in the area has been introduced only relatively recently, and the city's rich culture and history are evident in the colorful architecture. However, it's the natural attractions that are the main draw-card; in particular, the Cuchillas del Toa Biosphere Reserve, Sierra Cristal National Park, and Alejandro de Humboldt National Park. These areas are home to various species of parrots, lizards, hummingbirds, the endangered, endemic Cuban solenodon, and the hutia.
You will hike to El Salto del Guayabo (a spectacular waterfall over 100 meters in height), which is embraced by lush rainforest and boasts an incredible vantage point for looking out across the Pinares de Mayarí. You will also visit the Cayo Saetia Village, where Fidel Castro and his family used to vacation. Here, the open plains and forest have been stocked with zebra, water buffalo, boar, various antelope and deer species, all of which roam freely and share grazing areas with horses and cattle. It's also the area where some of Cuba's finest white sand beaches are found and you will ride along with them on horseback before getting in some paddle and snorkel time over the fringing reef.
Alexander Van Humboldt National Park is the next area you explore; a UNESCO World Heritage-listed area that is widely considered to be Cuba's most important protected area for its extraordinary biodiversity values.
From there, you proceed to Baracoa city; the oldest Spanish settlement in Cuba. The town has a colonial village-feel and is surrounded by secluded ‘black sand’ beaches, virgin rainforest and crystal-clear rivers, such as the exhilarating Toa. It's here where you will get in some swift-water paddle-time and be carried down-river to the beaches at the river mouth.
The next day, you swap reef walkers for hiking shoes before trekking to the flat top Yunque mountain, after which you visit a cocoa plantation, indulge a little and end the day with some serious singing and dancing to the sounds of traditional Cuban music.
Another paddle is then on the cards; this time on the Yumuri River, which cuts through a very impressive gorge with 800-foot cliff faces towering on either side. You paddleboard and hike the wild river upstream for a few kilometers before enjoying another swift water ride back camp.
Leaving the natural wilds behind, you then move on to the wild-heart of Cuba: Santiago de Cuba city for a good dose of culture, history, feasting, and dancing.
Meals will be served except for lunch on the first day. Welcome drink, tea, and coffee are also available.
Please book your flight to arrive at Frank País Airport (HOG).