Special Programs

  • Look here for upcoming Special Events, Special Tours to join, and Special Pricing





  • A great month for gardens, celebrations, and all of our tours

November 2013

  • Bi-annual International Choral Festival. Calling all choristers and music lovers – international choirs invited. Non-competitive festival.

Guantanamo and Baracoa

The mountainous province of Guantanamo still hides secrets to be discovered. Its mountain folds full of tall trees and tropical rainforest make access almost impossible, protecting a true tropical jungle. Plants and animals are still being discovered. Here are caves where the last human visitors came centuries or millennium ago, rivers which appear from the rocks, deep pools of pristine water welling up from the hidden aquifers, a biodiversity which has maintained despite centuries of human intervention.

The first settlement built by the Spanish in 1511, Baracoa maintained its isolation from the rest of Cuba until the late 1960’s when a road was built finally over the mountains. This road clings to the mountain sides offering spectacular view, crossing from the watershed of the Caribbean to the watershed of the Atlantic.

Baracoa is indeed another world. Many species of plants, animals and birds are found only in the mountains which surround the town. Its people retain more of their aboriginal heritage than elsewhere in Cuba. Here in the faces of the people you see their history. Walking down the street, that man there lacks only an earring to be a pirate of the movies, that woman there looks as if she was carved from ebony, that child there could be from one of the drawings of people who met the original inhabitants of this island.

The forests surrounding the town were logged successively by the Spanish for their huge galleons (3000 trees were needed to build one treasure ship), then by foreign loggers taking out precious woods for furniture and houses. Despite this, and now jealously guarded, there is still virgin forest which preserves the original species mix of up to 150 different varieties of trees.

The main industries of Baracoa were, and still are, coffee, cocoa and coco. It is still possible to see how coffee is prepared in the traditional way, how to turn beans into chocolate, and a coconut into a scrumptious traditional treat.

Its deep water bay, pristine rivers, towering trees, make this an ideal location for birding, hiking, and exploring the flora and fauna of this unique biosphere.

Join us to explore the history, culture and nature of this unique part of the island.

History 1 – Pre-Columbian Life and First Contact

Exploration of the life of the original inhabitants of Cuba continues in many parts of the island. Thousands of years of human endeavour are found in the petraglyphs, pottery shards, and ornaments. Visit with descendents of these original inhabitants. The arrival of Columbus, quickly brought an end to an enduring, agricultural way of life. Understand the history of that first contact and the beginnings of what is now Cuba.

Eco-tour 1 – Birding on the slopes of El Yunque

This massive mesa dominates the views of the town. Its almost vertical sides are clothed in tall trees, and dense tropical growth. Crystal clear waters tumble in waterfalls and rivers which rush down to the sea. This tour takes you around the lower slopes of El Yunque and into a nearby eco-reserve. Lunch is a barbeque on the banks of the river (bring you swimsuit), followed by afternoon birding near a black coral beach.

Eco-tour 2 – Birding Humbolt Park

Created as a World Heritage park, this is the last known home of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. The park has many different eco-zones; scrub land, forested head waters, and dense mangrove coastal fringes, making it the perfect environment for birders and naturalists. Ornithologist led walks and a boat ride make for a full experience. This tour starts very early. Breakfast en route, snack, and Lunch during the day.

Eco-Tour 3 – River Toa

The river Toa has the largest volume of water of all the rivers of Cuba. Rising in the Crystals, it makes its way to the coast just outside Baracoa. Naturalist led tour of this unique environment, with possible overnight stay. Breakfast en route, snack and lunch during the day. Overnight includes traditional dinner.

Eco-Tour 4 – Hunting wild orchids

Endemic orchids bloom in Baracoa in the winter months. Explore these unique environments with one of Cuba’s leading experts. Forested slopes of El Yunque and the edges of the Sierras are home to many of Cuba’s tiny treasures. This is the home of one of the world’s smallest frogs and many flora and fauna not found elsewhere.

Eco-Tour 5 – Life in the Mountains

A great way to spend a day. Explore with us a local farm established in the early part of the 20th century. The farmer has an extensive cafetal, premium organic citrus fruit, a growing herd of dairy cattle, and grows food for his family. Visit local crafts people making furniture, clothes and decorative pieces. Enjoy the music of the countryside. Farm lunch