There are quite a few excursion options for getting into the Topes de Callantes area; about 20 km out of Trinidad. Some sound rather lame – mostly being bussed from tourist stop to tourist stop (art gallery, sundial, visitors centre), while others involve hikes into one of five or six parks located in the hills. We selected one that started with a visit to a demonstration coffee plantation and coffee house, and then town us to the trailhead for a 3.5 km long, 400m descent to Caburni Falls. It was appropriately rated as a difficult hike, featuring narrow dirt paths, rocky sections, and steep climbs up and down the mountainside (although we did pass people doing the trail in flip-flops!). The falls themselves were unique – not a straight drop but down the slope of a mountain, ending with a small conventional waterfall downstream that feed a pool for swimming. The return climb was gruelling, so lunch a short drive from the trailhead was greatly anticipated – and it turns out it was the best meal we had in the Trinidad area – the food was plentiful and not overcooked, and a beer and coffee was included. Our transportation was an old Russian army truck, and our guide was born and raised in the area and very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna we came across – although not too many birds showed themselves. Some members of our group saw a tococoro, Cuba’s national bird, but it zipped by and I was in the wrong position to see it. The 29 cuc price per person was well worth it for a full day of travel and activity.
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