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The peak Turquino ,Sierra Maestra

Pico Turquino, the highest point in Cuba

Cuba is not an island of enormous and high mountains, but it got it Pico Turquino being very representative.

Pico Turquino is the highest point in Cuba with 1.974 meters above the sea level. It is situated. It is situated in the centre of Sierra Maestra mountain range, the biggest of Cuba.

The peak is above a scenary of 17.540 hectares of rivers, forests, valleys and mounts. In order to reach it, one needs to go up and down, at times through very abrupt scenario, other time through the pathways which make it easier. This is well conserved ambient with exclusive views and wide variety of flora and fauna.

This is turistic destination is of primary importance for those seeking excursions and eco-turism. To reach its summit, you would need to go many times around it. Even though there are pathways, it still might be a challenge.

There are two ways to access the peak, one from Santiago de Cuba province, and another one, the easier one, from Granma province.

The first reports of visits to its summit date back to 1925, like curiosity, appears as “Tarquino” at the map produced by a geographer flamenco Gerardo Krame at the end of XVI century.

In 1957 the Rebel Army got upon this mountain, it was around this peak where the rebels leaded by Castro were hiding in the times at fight against Batista’s government, resulted in Revolution’s victory.

At the high there is José Martí monument put there upon one hundred-year anniversary of his birth (1953). Celia Sánchez Manduley in the company of her father. The bust if the work of Jilma Madera and in the base of the monument there is a phrase of the Maestro: “Rare like mounts are the men who know to watch from them, feeling deeply for the nation or the humanity”. José Martí Pérez, national hero of Cuba and the fighter for the Independence from Spain.

To see Villa Santo Domingo

Comments (2)

Parque Nacional Turquino
The Sierra Maestra was the base of Castro's rebel army,
and a tour through its dramatic terrain makes it clear
why the revolutionaries chose it as a place to hide from—and
launch clandestine strikes against—Batista's forces.
Its massive spine, averaging 1,372 meters (4,500 feet)
in height, cuts 130 km (81 mi) across Oriente, throwing a shadow
over the southern coast from southwest Granma Province to Santiago de Cuba. The range is covered by moist, tropical forests with huge ferns and towering bamboo.
It's cut by steep ravines, rocky valleys, and rushing rivers,
and its peaks are often covered with clouds.

Its history and majesty are preserved in the Parque Nacional Turquino.
Santo Domingo, on the banks of the Río Yara and in a valley between
two steep mountainsides, is a hub for visits to the park.
The village has restaurants, accommodations, and shops with provisions.
You can hire a guide (they're obligatory, but charge only about 5 cuc a day) and buy a 10-cuc permit to enter the park at the Villa
Santo Domingo hotel.
There have been reports that you need the 10-cuc permit to enter the park, but the manager at the Villa Santo Domingo says that,
with a guide, such a permit isn't necessary.
It's best to call ahead to find out what you need and to make sure that the park is open; if the Cuban National Institute of Science or another agency is conducting research, the park may be closed to visitors.
Enrique ( Argentina )
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 09:05:07 am
Pico Turquino is Cuba's highest peak
Pico Turquino is Cuba's highest peak, superlative in more than meters, for it sits in the heart of the Gran Parque Nacional Sierra Maestra, stronghold of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara's rebel army that successfully ousted dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959.

There are local flights from Havana to Bayamo
(or by bus from Holguín to Bayamo) for transport by bus,
car or taxi to Villa Santo Domingo. From Villa Santo Domingo by 4WD,
truck or powerful rental car to Alto del Naranjo. If you fly in from Santiago de Cuba, it's a 2-hour drive to Bayamo.

If you want to start at Las Cuevas, Santiago de Cuba is your place from where you organise your trip. By private 'taxi' it will take you 2 hours to La Mula, excluding the stopovers for pictures and beaches. You can rent a cabin near the beach at La Mula Campismo. From there, it's a 12 km drive to Las Cuevas in the morning. A round trip from Santiago de Cuba by private driver, who also spends the night in La Mula, should cost you no more than 50 to 60 convertible pesos per taxi. You can also take the 'daily' bus.

There is a campground, La Mula, 12 km east from Las Cuevas and there are several refuges and campsites on both trails.

It is best to climb in the dry season from October to May.

There are two routes for this summit hike, one beginning at Alto del Naranjo in Granma Province, the other beginning at Las Cuevas on the southern coast of Santiago de Cuba province.

The former has some distinct advantages as it allows hikers to take in
Comandancia de la Plata (mountain headquarters to Fidel, Che,
Camilo and the rest (8 men!) of the 'M-26-7' rebels)
and is spread over two or three days, permitting a more gradual
elevation gain and better vistas.

A bust of José Marti, the independence heroe of the second independence war, has been placed on top of Pico Turquino.
Ramón ( Cuba )
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 03:01:08 pm