The lone high ground in an area of unremittingly flat farmland that stretches all the way to the coast, the Loma de Cunagua is 364m high and can be seen for miles around. Just past the foot of the hill, about 1km along a dirt track from the Circuito Norte (the main road), is a gate where, before you are permitted to pass, you will need to pick up a guide from the lodge here and negotiate a price to be taken into this protected area and up to the top; there’s not much point in turning up after midday as there are rarely any guides around after that time. Note also that taxis are not allowed past the lodge, so you’ll have to walk from this point on unless you have your own car.

From the gate, a gravelly road weaves its way up through the dense tangle of spindly trees clinging precariously to the steep slopes. A favourite with birdwatchers, the hill’s forests, crisscrossed by a network of trails, are home to dazzlingly coloured parrots, as well as the tojosa (a small endemic dove), the zunzún (Cuban emerald hummingbird) and the tocororo, which was chosen as the country’s national bird because of its startling red, white and blue plumage, the same colour scheme as the Cuban flag. If you’re lucky, you might also catch a glimpse of an enormous Cuban tree rat, known locally as jutia. Take the dirt track up to the summit, which offers panoramic views over the surrounding countryside and out to sea, and a restaurant.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Cuba features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

12 tips for backpacking Cuba

12 tips for backpacking Cuba

Cuba’s captivating, colourful streets and carnaval­ feel make it appealing for travellers year­-round. The country's popularity is skyrocketing, and visit…

10 May 2016 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
Delving into the Daiquiri: Havana’s favourite drink

Delving into the Daiquiri: Havana’s favourite drink

Cuba’s cocktails chart the country’s ambivalent relationship with its neighbour to the north, America. This is most obviously demonstrated by the Cuba Libre…

24 Feb 2016 • Henry Jeffreys insert_drive_file Article
What's new for Cuba in 2016? 10 developments to watch out for this year

What's new for Cuba in 2016? 10 developments to watch out for this year

Record numbers of visitors have been racing to get to Cuba ‘before it changes forever’ since President Obama’s historic announcement in December 2014 that…

18 Jan 2016 • Matt Norman insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month