Perhaps Cuba is not an ideal destination to see exotic animals as other destinations in the Caribbean, apart from crocodiles, Cuba has few exotic animals but the lack of other animals is more than compensated by the abundance of birds. In Cuba there are more than 350 species of birds of which at least 20 are endemic. If you are a bird lover you should add a birdwatching trip to Cuba to your list.
Thanks to the team of experts at Espíritu Travel in Cuba, we know when is the best time of the year for birdwatching in Cuba or the best places is to enjoy the spectacle of migration. Continue reading this article if you want to know the best places to observe birds on the beautiful coasts of this tropical and atypical archipelago.
Best time of the year to go birdwatching in Cuba
Cuban ornithological experts Orlando H. Garrido and Arturo Kirkconnell point out that in the winter you will be able to observe a greater number of bird species, since migrants can also be seen on the island.
On the other hand, Garrido and Kirkconnell indicate that the summer allows the adept of ornithological tourism to concentrate on the native species, which then show a higher level of activity. It is about the breeding season: courtship, increased vocalization, nest building, rearing…
Fun Fact: The tocororo is considered the national symbol since it is said that it not only has the colors of the Cuban flag, but also sings and dances like an authentic Cuban.
Where to go birdwatching in Cuba?
Ciénaga de Zapata National Park
The Zapata peninsula, with its mangroves and swamps, is an idyllic area for those who wish to observe its birdlife. Numerous migratory birds, rare aquatic birds and exotic reptiles unique in the world coexist in this nature reserve.
Among the points of interest within the region is the blue dove or camao, typical of Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Considered the wettest region of the insular Caribbean, it has been proclaimed a Reserve Biosphere by UNESCO. In the Laguna de las Salinas, known for its concentration of waterfowl, you can see colonies of flamingos in bright colors. Do not miss this place if you want to live an authentic ornithological experience!
Declared a Reserve Biosphere by UNESCO, this ecotourism project is located in the middle of the mountains, where nature and man coexist in harmony. You will travel trails through its forests where you will enjoy the fauna and flora of the place. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy a bath in the crystal clear waters of the natural pools of the San Juan River.
If you want to live a unique adventure, do not hesitate to go on a zip line circuit between the treetops (canopy tour). And so, not only will you see the birds up close, but you will also feel like one of them.
It is located in Pinar del Río, where you can find the site: Bird Paradise. It is considered the place par excellence for birdwatching, with more than 50 species reported, among which the cartacuba, the tocororo, the cat thrush, the land and pine tomeguines, goatherd, chillona, appeared from San Diego stand out. and the nightingale.
The Guanaroca Salt Lake is located southeast of the Bay of Cienfuegos. It is a wetland that occupies an area of little more than two square kilometers, which is nourished by the brackish water of the Bay of Cienfuegos and that of the Arimao River. Ideal site for waterfowl that houses a colony of burned flamingos. You can also admire sea coruas, pelicans, herons and ospreys, Florida ducks and other migratory birds.
Bagá Park in Cayo Coco
Located north of Morón municipality, Ciego de Ávila province, on one of the islands of the Jardines del Rey Archipelago. In this paradise it is possible to observe both terrestrial and aquatic species and visit the different ecosystems that make up the region, endowed with a great biodiversity of birds.
In the area you can take tours from the Batey Campesino to the exhibition center where visitors can admire magnificent specimens of the green woodpeckers (Piculus aurulentus) and jabado (Melanerpes superciliaris), chichinguaco (Quiscalus niger), mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), tomeguín de la tierra, among others.
Located northeast of the province of Ciego de Ávila, in the Loma de Cunagua protected area. You cannot miss Tocororo and Palmar de las Cotorras where you will walk its trails of tocororos, parrots, cateyes and tomeguines del pinar.
Sierra del Chorrillo in Camagüey province – A protected area
On the Bird Trail you can see: the blue egret (Egretta caerulea), the red-tailed buzzard (Buteo jamaicensis), purple-necked pigeon (Columba scuamosa), white-winged pigeon (Zenaida Asiatic), parrot (Amazona Leucocephala), among many other species.
A wildlife reserve located in the south of the Cajobabo municipality in the eastern province of Las Tunas. During the boat tour of El Paraíso de las Aves, you will be able to see Seville, corúa, coco, Marbella, pink flamingos, tocororo and churroso woodpecker just to name a few.
Migratory Bird Festival in Cuba
In the Guanacahabibes National Park, which has almost 40 thousand hectares, every year the Migratory Bird Festival is held, organized by specialists from the Park and directors and officials of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. This is an ideal time for conducting educational talks about bird migration, how and why they occur, the route that passes through Cuba and the species that migrate over Guanahacabibes.
Check out our Cuba trips and contact us to start customizing your birdwatching trip to Cuba!
Travel in a sustainable way
Birdwatching is undoubtedly one of the most sustainable forms of tourism since it conserves the natural environment and supports the well-being of the local population. The motivation of the trip (or excursion) or the selection of the Destination, is determined by the need to approach and enjoy nature, or its components.
Read more about Espíritu Travel sustainable policy.
During your birdwatching trip in Cuba you could see: the smallest frog (Eleutherodactylus limbatus), the smallest bat (Natalus Lepido) and the smallest bird (Mellisuga helenae). During your bird watching trip to Cuba with Espíritu Travel you will be accompanied you our ornithological Cuban expert guide. Pack your bags and embark on an ornithological adventure in Cuba! And don’t forget your camera!