Cuba - Topes De Collantes

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March 31st 2011
Published: April 16th 2011
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Topes De Collantes

Topes De Collantes is a nature reserve in the Escambray Mountains just to the north of Trinidad. We give up our comfortable coach for some more suitable transport and head to the park to spend a couple of days there enjoying the park.

There aren’t any hotels there. We stay at a hacienda, or large farmhouse, where we have a choice of a tent or sleeping on a mattress on the veranda.

We spend a couple of days doing fairly modest walks in the mountains and visiting some of the caves, pools and waterfalls. I also learn the names of some of the different plants and birds we come across in the park but I’m afraid that this information doesn’t stay in my brain for too long. At one point we nearly lose five of our group who are standing under the wrong tree when a branch comes down but it is mostly a relaxing couple of days.

We sleep at two haciendas, Guanayara and Codina. A group of us opt for the mattress on the veranda accommodation option but there is much jockeying for position {and many accusations in the morning!} as we try to predict who the likely snorers are. The haciendas have no difficulty in serving up food for our large party and both seem to have a large number of pets. Wherever we walk we seem to be accompanied by a couple of very tame dogs.

Additional photos below
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Friendly Farmers

We stopped by for coffee
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Salta De Rocio

With one of the dogs who followed us everywhere

2nd August 2011

Topes details
Hi Steve, Thanks for sharing your travels. I was just wondering if you could provide some details on your journey through Topes in Cuba? Was it an independent venture with your group or organized through a tour? If independent, how did you find your accommodations and tour guide? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Much thanks!
2nd August 2011

Hi! I was travelling on an organised tour with a company called Explore. They were using the state-owned Cuban tour company, Havanatour - I think they probably had to do this. You could certainly arrange something in Havana or Trinidad. Or even at the entrance to the park - there's a big concrete hotel and a park office there. I think it would be difficult to do it completely independently - the roads inside the park meant that we had to transfer to a truck. If you go to Havana you'll probably meet lots of people who would offer to organise it informally for you. The problem there is working how reliable people are going to be. Good Luck! It's well worth a visit! Steve
1st February 2012

Hi, wondered if you could help. We are also going with explore in about 10 days and I was wondering if it is really necessary to bring sleeping bags ? when did you go ? do you think it would be cold at night and do they not have blankets ? The tour organiser said we should take them but they are rather bulky just for a couple of nights. Obviously Feb. is not going to be that warm... we do have silk sleeping bag liners but wouldn't want to risk being cold either ! Thanks for you reply.
1st February 2012

Hi Caty, I would recommend that you take the sleeping bags. A small lightweight one would be good enough. I was in Cuba for 7 weeks in February and March and took a sleeping bag just for the 2 nights in Collantes but I didn't regret it. I don't think a liner wouldn't be warm enough. The hacienda does have tents, though, which may help with the cold. Enjoy your trip. I'm sure you'll have a brilliant time! Steve

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