Tour introduction and overview of activities

We are pleased to host licensed people-to-people birding tours to Cuba. The island promises some of the best birding opportunities in the Caribbean. Cuba is the largest nation in the West Indies with an incredible variety of habitats from interior tropical and montane forests to extensive wetlands and mangrove swamps. Just 90 miles from Florida, Cuba is home to 372 species of birds, 26 of them endemic species.

KirkLeading our exclusive tours is master birder, educator, and renowned birding guide Arturo Kirkconnell. Arturo is the bird curator at the National Museum of Natural History of Cuba. His curriculum vitae features 77 scientific papers. He is the co-author of two books: “A Field Guide to the Birds of Cuba” and “A Birdwatchers’ Guide to Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and the Caymans”. His new book “The Birds of Cuba” will be published by the British Ornithologists Union’s BOU Checklist Series. Arturo has been leading birding tours in his native Cuba since 1988 and is one of the most sought after birding guides in the Americas. He has guided more than 200 birding groups and has developed the best birding itineraries and strategies in Cuba.

These exclusive birding tours connect participants to the warm beautiful people of Cuba and their culture in addition to a strong emphasis on natural history. You will experience Cuba in a most personal way, through the eyes of the Cubans. We also meet with local biologists and naturalists during our visits to pristine reserves and other habitats where Cuban endemic, regional and migratory species congregate.

Cuba’s big! Its land mass is 42,426 square miles – about 80 percent the size of Alabama. Cuba is nearly as large as Louisiana, and larger than Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Ohio or Indiana. Altogether it’s bigger than Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont combined.

Day 1 – Saturday :: Say hello to Cuba!

  • Arrival at Havana's José Martí International Airport
  • Expedited immigration and custom service
  • Meet your tour leader, guide and bus driver
  • Transfer to your hotel in Havana
  • Check-in to hotel and private welcome cocktail with hotel staff
  • Arrival dinner at hotel

Day 2 – Sunday :: Walking tour of Old Havana, Endemic birds and Viñales

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Tour the museum of natural history
  • Meet with University of Havana curator of ornithology
  • Participate with Arturo Kirkconnell on Cuba's endemic birds
  • Walking tour of Old Havana
  • Hotel check out and drive to Viñales - birding along the route
  • Dinner and overnight in Viñales

Day 3 – Monday :: Zapata - The best birding in Cuba! 

  • Breakfast at hotel and early birding
  • Depart for Zapata birding area - stopping in Havana for a box lunch
  • Birding and discussions on the natural history of Cuba
  • Late afternoon birding opportunity
  • Dinner and overnight in Playa Larga

Day 4 – Tuesday :: Birding Bermeja & Playa Giron (Zapata)

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Bird the Bermeja refuge - a critical area of National Significance 
  • Observe several endemic species - only found in Cuba
  • Late afternoon birding opportunity to observe critical species
  • Dinner and overnight in Playa Larga

Day 5 – Wednesday :: La Turba (Zapata)

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Travel to La Turba, a marshland National Refuge
  • Observe regional endemics as well as migratory bird species
  • Dinner and overnight in Playa Larga

Day 6 – Thursday :: Birding and Depart to Camaguey

  • Early morning birding in Zapata Swamp
  • Return for hearty breakfast
  • Drive to Camaguey (arrive approximately 5 PM)
  • Bird around the hotel grounds for specific endemics
  • Dinner and overnight in Camaguey

Day 7 – Friday :: Spectacular Najasa and La Belen Reserve

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Bird the palm groves for a reported 120+ species recorded
  • Semi-deciduous woods offer excellent opportunities for other endemics
  • Continue to Cayo Coco - second largest key in Cuba
  • Bird the mangrove habitats that has produced over 200 species!
  • Dinner and overnight in Cayo Coco

Day 8 – Saturday :: Paredon Grande & Cayo Guillermo

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Bird the spectacular sandy coast where over 100 species have been reported
  • Additional endemics including the rare Bahamas Mockingbird may be observed
  • North American migratory species are highlighted
  • Relax in this Caribbean paradise
  • Dinner and overnight in Cayo Coco

Day 9 – Sunday :: Cayo Coco to Santa Clara

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Morning birding in Cayo Coco
  • Drive to beautiful Santa Clara and explore the city
  • Opportunity to observe rare endemics in this beautiful city
  • Dinner and overnight in Santa Clara

Day 10 – Monday :: Return to Havana

  • Drive to Havana (approx 3 hours)
  • Explore the city and converse with the Cubans 
  • Enjoy a farewell dinner and lively discussion on Cuban birds
  • Dinner and overnight in Havana

Day 11 – Tuesday :: Say goodbye to Cuba

  • Breakfast in hotel
  • Transfer to Havana’s José Martí International airport
  • Air departures
  • Missing Cuba so much already
Cuba travel is a challenge. Our staff and Cuban partners work super hard to make your tour unfold seamlessly despite Third World conditions on the island. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Flexible travelers understand this is part of their Cuban adventure.

Tour cost based on double room occupancy (sharing a double room during tour). Cost of a single room for duration of tour is $500.

Tour date Cost Comments Availability
Mar 25 to Apr 4, 2017 $ 4599Sold Out
Apr 8 to Apr 18, 2017 $ 4599 $ 4428
Several spots left
Book now
May 6 to May 16, 2017 $ 4599Sold Out
Sep 23 to Oct 3, 2017 $ 4599 $ 4428
This date is popular
Book now
Oct 14 to Oct 24, 2017 $ 4599 $ 4428
This date is popular
Book now
Nov 4 to Nov 14, 2017 $ 4599 $ 4428Book now
Dec 2 to Dec 12, 2017 $ 4599Sold Out
Tour meals at your hotel and at fine restaurants
  • Small group size – maximum 12 guests
  • US Department of the Treasury authorized people-to-people Cuba travel
  • Havana airport and hotel transfers on tour start and end days
  • Quality Cuban hotels
  • An expert English speaking guide and tour leader throughout the program
  • Luxury air-conditioned bus and professional driver (bottled water on the tour bus)
  • All activities, entrance fees, services, speakers and meetings in tour itinerary
  • Flexible monthly tour payment options
  • Emergency telephone and internet access to America from Cuba
  • Cash advances for participants facing money problems while in Cuba
  • Participants become Club Cubano alumni and receive future tour discounts
  • Ongoing support from our US and Cuban staff before, during and after travel
  • Domestic or international flights. Please see our suggestions for commercial flights to Cuba
  • Mandatory Cuban medical insurance
  • Mandatory Cuban visitors visa
  • Gratuities for tour guide, bus driver, chambermaids, restaurant staff, porters. See Cuba tipping guidelines
  • We strongly recommend trip interruption and cancellation insurance. We partner with Allianz Global Assistance for Cuba travel peace of mind