Sierra Maestra Mountains

The Sierra Maestra mountains are a stunning tropical range that runs westward across the south of the old Oriente Province in southeast Cuba, rising abruptly from the coast. The Sierra Maestra itself is located mainly in Santiago de Cuba Province and in Granma Province. Some view it as a series of connecting ranges (Vela, Santa Catalina, Quemado Grande, Daña Mariana), which joins with others extending to the west. The Sierra Maestra is the highest area of Cuba. It is rich in minerals, especially copper, manganese, chromium, and iron. At 1,974 m (6,476 ft), Pico Turquino is the range’s – and the country’s – highest point.

The Sierra Maestra is Cuba’s largest mountain range. Located in the southeast of Cuba a few hour’s drive from Santiago De Cuba, it once served as a refuge for the Cuban revolutionaries. Today, these striking, colossal sierras house a spectacular range of colourful birds, many of which can only be seen in Cuba. The panoramic views from the top of these majestic mountains command reverence; the beautiful and tranquil surroundings must be admired.

The more adventurous and energetic will test their endurance with a trek to Pico Turquino, the revered highest peak in Cuba. This test of endurance starts at approximately 5 am lasting a minimum of 12 hours for experienced trekkers, but with the chance for an overnight stay, in a hut high up in the mountains on the ascent. Those taking the challenge will be rewarded; the brave mountaineers will witness spectacular views of the stunning, serene surroundings and spend the time almost alone in the mountains with their guide and very few other trekkers.

Alternatively, La Plata offers an adventurous and rewarding visit. Venture into the mountains, and attempt to detect Fidel Castro’s headquarters, the place where he launched the revolution; it is masked by seemingly impenetrable forests. Viva La Revolution!

Or simply stroll along the riverbank and through the tropical forests, take cooling dips in river pools and marvel at the peace of the area. Relax with your favourite novel, take beautiful photographs, and let the stress of modern-day life leave you for a while.

So, penetrate the revolutionaries’ hideout, test your endurance or simply embrace the tranquillity and note the incredible wildlife … what’s not to love in the Sierra Maestra?

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