Cuba for

Outdoor Activities

This island nation is tailor-made for active adventures. With its green mountains, immaculate reefs and country lifestyle, you can experience everything from cycling across the island to diving into the deep tropical sea.

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How to Tackle It

One of the reasons that Ernest Hemingway fell in love with Cuba was because of its fishing. The country offers superb, well-regulated fly-fishing opportunities; the Península de Zapata and Jardines de la Reina are top sites.

Diving High

Cuba is fringed by some of the most pristine coral reefs in the northern hemisphere, although you’ll also find Spanish galleons, sunken Soviet warships and even aircraft just a few fathoms down at many dive sites. Punta Francés, off Isla de la Juventud, is considered the best spot.

Life on Two Wheels

Although few Cubans in Havana and Santiago de Cuba ride bikes, other Cuban cities resemble Amsterdam without the canals – bikes are everywhere! Bring your own bike or take a guided excursion with Bike Rental & Tours Havana (www.bikerentalhavana.com). You can also take a multi-day tour with Cubania (www.cubaniatravel.com).

Foaling Around

Horseback excursions for all abilities are available throughout the island. It’s a great way to experience off-the-beaten-track Cuba and to learn about the traditional country lifestyle. “Horse whisperer” Julio Muñoz offers guided tours (www.trinidadphoto.com).

Feathered Friends

Cuba has 374 bird species, with 25 species found nowhere else in the world. Twenty-one of these, including the zunzuncito (the world’s smallest bird), can be seen at Parque Nacional Ciénaga de Zapata, the country’s best site for keen twitchers. Cuba’s national bird, the tocororó or Cuban trogon, is easily spotted in mountain zones.

Walk This Way

Cuba’s mountains are laced with trails, but most of these routes require that visitors travel with a guide. Some of the finest hiking in Cuba is in the Sierra Escambray and Gran Parque Nacional Sierra Maestra; the overnight trek to Pico Turquino is a popular route.

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Insider Tip

Save Energy

Hire an energy-efficient electric bicycle for a guided tour of Havana with Cuba Private Travel (www.cubaprivatetravel.com).

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