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Gran Parque Natural Topes de Collantes

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Revision as of 23:38, 29 August 2008 by 67.173.255.60 (talk) (Get around)
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Gran Parque Natural Topes de Collantes

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The El Nicho waterfalls.

Gran Parque Natural Topes de Collantes is in Cienfuegos, Villa Clara, and Sancti Spiritus provinces of Cuba.

Understand

History

Che's rebels hid in the Escambray mountains during the revolution. After the revolution (1961-1969) CIA-sponsored counter-revolutionaries (bandidos) hid in the same mountains. The Museo de la Lucha Contra Los Bandidos, a museum in Trinidad, documents the latter fight.

Landscape

The national park has jungle-covered limestone mountains with waterfalls and caves.

The highest mountain is Pico de San Juan, at 1150 meters (3773 feet). You can't hike to the summit, as the mountain is in a military zone.

Flora and fauna

Climate

Get in

Fees/Permits

Get around

Map of Topos de Collantes national park.

The main road starts at a junction four kilometers west of Trinidad. The road to Topos de Collantes is about fifteen kilometers and is amazingly steep. It is paved well (by Cuban standards).

The road from Cienfuegos through La Sierrita to San Blas is good, and quite scenic. Near San Blas is a cliff with stalactites. Somewhere between San Blas and Buenos Aires, near the village of Matagua, the pavement ends. Locals say the road is impassable after this, unless you have a Jeep. This road goes to Topos de Collantes, and has a turnoff that goes to El Nicho. This road goes through the highest mountains and might be a good mountain bike ride. Be aware that much of the area is military zone, so don't go hiking off the road, or take too many pictures.

See

Do

Buy

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Lodging

The huge Kurhotel was built in 1936 and has 210 rooms and 16 suites. A spa, it also has a restaurant, five gyms, a cabaret, and a thermal swimming pool with massage and therapeutic services available.

The two other hotels are the Villa Caburní and the Hotel Los Helechos.

All three hotels are tourist-only (no Cubans allowed). There are no casas particulares and nowhere for Cubans to stay.

Camping

Backcountry

Stay safe

Get out

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