Cesar birding special
Arrival to Havana’s International Airport.
Welcome to Cuba!
A member of Cuba 360 will receive you at the airport, look for our logo with your name on it (or the name of the person who booked the holiday). Next, you will be transferred to your accommodation in Old Havana where you can relax for the rest of the day, or walk around the city, if you prefer so.
Havana-San Diego de los Baños
After breakfast, depart to San Diego de Los Baños, a small town in Pinar del Rio province, 90 min west of Havana. Some stops will me make on the way for birding opportunities. In the area around San Diego, we can find more than 100 species of birds, with a high percentage of endemics.
Main targets in the area: Cuban Solitaire, Olive-capped Warbler, Giant Kingbird, Fernandina’s Flicker, Scaly-napped Pigeon, Cuban Grassquit, Cuban Pygmy Owl, Gundlach’s Hawk, Stygian Owl.
San Diego de los Baños- Zapata Swamp
Depart to Zapata Swamp after lunch.
Zapata Swamp 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.
Main targets in the area: Fernandina’s Flicker, Cuban Pygmy-Owl, Bare-legged Owl, Cuban Nightjar, Bee Hummingbird, Cuban Parakeet, Cuban Trogon, Cuban Tody, Zapata Wren, Zapata Sparrow, Red-shouldered Blackbird.
Birding in 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. Lunch at our lodging place. After 3:30 pm, depart to the field again, to search for any missing endemic species and to obtain better views of the birds.
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 overnight. After 3:30 pm resume the birding for the afternoon in Bermeja area.
Depart for La Turba. 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. Birding in the area. Target birds: Any missing bird, or to obtain better views of some previously seen endemics.
Birding in the morning. Depart to Camaguey in the aternoon.
Welcome to the maze! Camaguey (originally named Puerto Principe) was the 4th village founded by the Spanish crown on the southern coast of the region where it’s settled now. It was relocated in 1528, after some native rebellions and pirate attacks, being the last the reason why the city was designed like a maze, in order to confuse the attackers.
Depart to Najasa, a biosphere reserve. Among the birds that can be observed in the area are Nothern Caracara, Limpkin, Northern Jacana, and many endemics, including the elusive Gundlach’s Hawk. After lunch, depart for Cayo Coco. Your accommodation in this location will be in an all inclusive hotel.
Cayo Coco is the second-largest key in Cuba (recently connected to the mainland by a rock-fill road). It’s mostly covered by semi-deciduous forests; there are also mangroves, coastal shrub, patches of grass, and lagoons. A total of over 200 species has been reported, including many Cuban rarities with several new birds to add to our list: Cuban Gnatcatcher, a race of Zapata Sparrow, and Oriente Warbler. Also, other birds will be sought, including Western Spindalis and Cuban Bullfinch. There are many waders and one of the largest populations of American Flamingo in the Caribbean. In fall Merlin and Peregrine Falcon are not uncommon. Piping Plover is a winter resident on these keys.
Birding around Cayo Paredon Grande. The main habitats of this key are sandy-coast vegetation and mangroves. Well over 100 species have been reported in the area, including Thick-billed Vireo (a described endemic subspecies cubensis) and Bahama Mockingbird (very rare in this area), among them. There is a lighthouse where, during the fall migration, many North American warblers can be spotted. It is also an excellent area for Mangrove Cuckoo, Cuban Gnatcatcher, and Oriente Warbler.
Full day birding around the area, we will be looking for those sneaky little beauties we couldn’t find on the previous day.
Travel day! Let’s make our way back to Havana, with stops for birding along the way.
Departure from Havana’s International Airport.
Transfer to the airport. It’s the moment to say goodbye to Cuba. It’s sad but you have to go back to your country, until the next time. We will miss you
Small group tour:
$1950/ per person.
Price on request.
- Private guide for the whole duration of the tour.
- Accommodation in “casas particulares” (guesthouses). Single room supplement is available, otherwise, you might have to share. Air conditioning system and a private bathroom are guarantied.
- Transportation to all the places listed in the itinerary, including domestic flights (if needed) and transfers from and to the airport.
- Entrance fees for every activity and/or excursion on the itinerary, except if otherwise specified.
- Daily breakfast and lunch.
- Cuba 360’s souvenir pack.
What's not included:
- International flights.
- Personal purchases.
- Travel insurances.
- Visas. You will need a visa to enter Cuba, it’s a mere formality though. For more information check our blog.
- Tips and gratuities.