Topes de Collantes Things to Do Tips by russian_yaz
Topes de Collantes Things to Do: 8 reviews and 9 photos
Rocio waterfall in Guanayra
About trekking in Topes. They have lot of info about all the excursions they do. Some excursions U can go by truck to one point and then walk maybe around 5 more kilometers. I don´t remember how much it was each excursion but I think it was around 5cuc. The closest places are Caburni waterfall and Batata river, both around 5km from the hotel.
Caburni waterfall is the biggest in cuba, with cristal clear waters. But if one or two days before there was rain, forget about cristal clear waters, it will be brown because of the mud. Batata river is a small and really cold river that goes through a cave. Around 5km more from Batata river U´ll find Codina reservation. Codina is kind of botanical garden and a bird reservation so is a wonderfull place to admire the cuban endemical flora and fauna.
El Nicho waterfall
This is the most far waterfall from the center of Topes de Collantes. It´s even located in other national park, the National reserve of El Nicho. But everyone includes it on Topes de Collantes "must to see".
In fact this place is a gathering of small waterfalls along a river where the biggest is El Nicho. There are others like Los Enamorados, La Cueva and others.
The place is almost 50km from Topes so I advice U to go first here if U go walking. U can stay here more than one day, there is enough to see. only one km from the river there is a small village where to buy some food, milk and bread. The people on these mountains are kind and honest and willing to help U any time. Here with one buck U´re almost rich. I bought once 5 liters of pure cow milk for only 20 cuban pesos!
There is an endemic rodent, the biggest in Cuba, "jutia" is it´s name. I saw it only here and not only one but an entire family. They where heating up in the sun up in a wall of rocks. They are protected by the cuban laws because they are in extintion. So better just take pictures, don´t try toi hurt them or U´ll be penalized.
Inside Batata river and cave
Near Topes, only 5km there is a small river that goes trough a cave a small part of its journey to the sea.
Here is where I have felt the coldest water in Cuba! As the place is up 800mt from the sea level and goes inside a cave, the water is usually at less than 15 celsius degrees. But it´s worthy to swim here. There are some small natural pools where to swim and if U get to know the place well, U can even make some diving.
To get there is easy, no high mountains or difficult trails. If it rains could be a little bit slimming in some parts because of the humidity some rocks are covered with moss.
The Rocio waterfall is about 20km from Topes de Collantes center. So if U plan to go there walking better leave early. If U go by car is easy because the road takes U until Casa de La Gallega, a house where U can eat and rest, only 5km from the waterfall.
This place is a small natural reserve inside Topes, named Guanayara. So if U sak for the place, ask using also this name.
Walking there is not easy. If U follow the road it will be almost 20km. Of course, there are trails to get there but they are not easy to follow. Even not all the people living there knows this trails. If U take this trails the walk will be reduced to the half. If U manage to follow the trail, about half the way there is a small village with about 10 small houses and a 3 floor building. Here U can buy some milk and fresh home made cheese. The first time I walked trough here the milk and the cheese where our saviors because we where already out of food.
Vegas Grandes waterfall
Near the center of Topes de Collantes is located this waterfall. Only 5 km. Last time I was here in 2003 was closed because of a hurracane. The waters of the river where contamined with waste water from a nearby hotel and a village. By this year, 2005 it must be open already.
Walking here is somewhat like to Caburni waterfall but less hard. in the top of the hill where U begin to go down there is a place where to take a good view of the nearby mountains. Also there is a small cave with some endemic foliage.
6 km from the center of Topes de Collantes is located the Caburni waterfall, the biggest in Cuba.
To go there U will walk through the forest and half of the walking will be descending to the river. Going down is really wuick and easy, to get there if U go really fast maybe will take U only 1 hour. But the way back is really dificult if your legs aren´t strong enough. The way back can be up to 3 hours in some cases. At the begining-end of the trail there is a small house that sells fresh juices. I advice U to make a stop here and take a breath.
Caburni, La Batata, Rocio, El Cubano, El Nicho, Vegas Grandes...all them waterfalls with fresh (around 20 celsius) and clean water.
Caburni is the biggest waterfall in Cuba. Is only 5km from the hotels, the center of Topes de Collantes park. And 200m before the watefall U'll find one of the best natural pool in Topes to take a good bath. It has a small waterfall of 4 meters high and a depth of about 6 meters so U can jump to the water with no problem.
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