- Address: Circuito Sur, Cuba
Topes de Collantes is a natural park in Cuba, laid out on the slopes of the Sierra del Escambray at an altitude of 800 m. It is distinguished by amazing nature — rocks, caves, waterfalls, magnificent butterflies and birds. When traveling through the southeastern provinces of Cuba, you should definitely sign up for a day trip to appreciate the beauty and diversity of the local landscapes.
History of Topes de Collantes
Until the middle of the XIX century. coffee plantations were located in this part of the country. In 1954, by order of President Fulgencio Batista, on the site of the modern Topes de Collantes National Park, an Art Deco sanatorium-type tuberculosis dispensary was built. After the revolution, the sanatorium was converted into a school. In the mid 1970s. it was again reconstructed into a hotel specializing in the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with tuberculosis. Now the Topes de Collantes Natural Park in Cuba is popular among supporters of various types of tourism.
Geography of Topes de Collantes
The territory of the reserve extends at an altitude of 800 m. In this part of the Sierra del Escambray, the highest points are the peaks of Potrerillo (931 m) and San Juan (1140 m). The mountain peaks of the Topes de Collantes National Park serve as a natural border between the provinces of Villa Clara, Sancti Spiritus and Cienfuegos.
Humid winds blowing from the Atlantic Ocean create excellent conditions for many animals and plants. The northern part of the national park is characterized by lush vegetation and biodiversity. In its southern part, there are two sites from the UNESCO World Heritage List at once: the colonial city of Trinidad and the valley of sugar plantations Valle de los Ingenios.
Biodiversity Topes de Collantes
This bioreserve has always attracted people with its rich and beautiful nature. On its territory there are caves and grottoes, mountain hills and canyons, waterfalls and natural reservoirs with clear turquoise water. In the Topes de Collantes National Park grows:
- 40 types of orchids;
- 100 species of ferns;
- 40 types of coffee;
- 6-7-meter palm ferns;
- banana trees;
- 40-meter pines;
In addition, jasmine, begonia, magnolia, ginger, wild plantain and other representatives of the rainforest grow here. Like other bioreserves in Cuba, Topes de Collantes is home to a huge number of birds. Among them are the Cuban toddy, the Cuban woodpecker, unique hummingbirds and the tocororo (the country’s national bird). During a tour of the Topes de Collantes National Park, you can see the Caburni waterfall, an arboretum with 300 species of exotic trees, the Altar underground cave, the Hacienda Codina eco ranch with therapeutic mud baths, coffee plantations and other equally interesting sights.
How to get to Topes de Collantes?
The natural reserve is located in the central part of the country, about 275 km from Havana and 13 km from Trinidad. There are several ways to get to Topes de Collantes from the capital of Cuba. If you travel by train along the Havana-La Coubre route with a change in Santa Clara, the trip will take 6 hours and cost $55-75. It is much cheaper to get to Topes de Callantes National Park by bus with a change in Trinidad. The journey from Havana to Trinidad will take 3 hours, and from Trinidad by taxi to the reserve — 20 minutes. The cost of the trip will be $30-40.
The cheapest and fastest way to get from the capital of Cuba to Topes de Collantes Park is by car. Following the Autopista Nacional road to the southeast, you can reach the protected reserve in 4 hours.