Itinerary of a three-day trek in Sierra Maestra

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Itinerary of a three-day trek in Sierra Maestra

We spent three days in the Sierra Maestra cordillera, combining a two-day trek to Cuba’s highest mountain with a one-day visit to Comandancia de la Plata; Fidel’s hidden rebel headquarters during the Revolution. Below is a detailed overview of our day-to-day planning.

Day 1: From Santo Domingo to Aguadas de Joaquin

  • 5am: Pick-up in Santiago de Cuba
  • 8am: Register at the reception of Villa Santo Domingo
  • 9:30: Picking up our guide in the tourist center and drive up to Alto de Naranjo
  • 10am: Start of the hike from Alto de Naranjo at an altitude of 950 meters
  • 4pm: Arrival at camp Aguadas de Joaquín at an altitude of 1 350 meters
  • 4:15pm: Lunch
  • 8pm: Dinner

Total distance: 8km

Total elevation: 400meters, although you’ll climb a lot more because of the continuous alternation of ascents and descents

Read the full article about our strenuous hike up to Aguadas de Joaquin.

Comandancia de la Plata
Comandancia de la Plata

Day 2: Climbing to the top of Pico Turquino

  • 4am: Start hiking
  • 7am: Arrival on top of Pico Turquino at an altitude of 1 974 meters
  • 9am: Back at Aguadas de Joaquín for breakfast
  • 10am: Start of the hike down
  • 1pm: Arrival at La Plática & lunch
  • 6:30pm: Dinner

Total distance: 5km

Total elevation: 600meters, without counting the extra vertical meters as a consequence of the rugged trail.

Read the full article about our climb up to Pico Turquino, Cuba’s highest mountain..

Comandancia de la Plata

Day 3: Visit to Comandancia de la Plata

  • 7:30am: Breakfast at La Plática
  • 8:15am: Start of the hike
  • 10:30am: Arrival at Comandancia de la Plata
  • 12am: Back at Alto de Naranja
  • 1pm: Lunch in Casa Sierra Maestra
  • 2pm: Transport to Bayamo
  • 4pm: Arrival in Bayamo

Total distance: 3km

Total elevation: I can’t find the exact altitude of Comandancia de la Plata, but it won’t be much higher than Alto de Naranja.

Read the full article about our visit to Comandancia de la Plata..

Comandancia de la Plata

Note: Wondering what to pack for the hike? Check out this packing list for Pico Turquino.

Level of difficulty

At an altitude of 1.974 meters, Pico Turquino isn’t extremely high. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t underestimate the trek which is basically an endless series of steeps ascents followed by equally steep descents that lead you to a lower altitude than where you had started. Make sure you’re physically fit to take on this hike. You can consider hiking up El Yunque in Baracoa as a starter.

Comandancia de la Plata

Our Sierra Maestra trek with Cuban Adventures

We booked our Sierra Maestra trek via Cuban Adventures who’ve arranged everything for us. They picked us up in Santiago de Cuba, set us up with a guide, provided all our meals and dropped us in Bayamo afterwards. We didn’t have to worry about a thing. Although it is possible to arrange the trek by yourself, it would not only be time-consuming, it would also involve a lot of hassle. The organized tour comes with a price tag, but it guarantees that a reliable team of experts will help you arrange your trip. When I was planning our one-month trip through Cuba, I didn’t know what to expect from Sierra Maestra, as the info online was way too vague. John from Cuban Adventures helped me a lot in planning our trip as efficient as possible by offering a customized trip.

Comandancia de la Plata


Do you have questions? Did you experience something similar? Did you notice a mistake? Please share!

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