Trip Details and Bird Highlights
Our trip begins in the forests surrounding Las Terrazas Community, established in 1968 as a reforestation and community-integrated development project. In Cuba’s post-revolutionary history, Las Terrazas has blossomed as a model of sustainability and is a prime destination for ecological tourism. We’ll visit Cuba’s western mountains and the unique and beautiful karstic landscape of western Cuba, with towering limestone monoliths and many exciting birds, including the elusive Cuban Solitaire, Giant Kingbird, and Olive-capped Warbler, the colorful Cuban Trogon and Cuban Tody, Cuban Green Woodpeckers and many more.
We’ll then travel to the Zapata Peninsula, home to the largest wetland in the West Indies and host to a slew of specialty birds. Framed by the pristine Caribbean coastal environment of the Bay of Pigs, the peninsula features open swampland, low coastal forests, sparkling white sand beaches, healthy coral reefs, and refreshing natural limestone pools called cenotes. Our target birds include the Bee Hummingbird—the smallest bird on the planet!—and the rare and endemic Zapata Wren. Cuban Black Hawk, Zapata Sparrow, Fernandina’s Flicker, Bare-legged Owl, Tawny-shouldered and Blue-headed and Grey-fronted Quail Doves are among the many other birds we will hope to find during this portion of the trip. There is even an opportunity for snorkeling in the famous Bay of Pigs!
We’ll visit the Atlantic coast and explore the keys of the Cayo Coco archipelago, one of Cuba’s most important migratory landfalls. Here we’ll seek out the Cuban Gnatcatcher, Oriente Warbler, Thick-billed Vireo, the near-threatened West Indian Whistling Duck, as well as numerous shorebirds and aquatic birds, and hope for a glimpse of the elusive Bahama Mockingbird. We conclude our trip in Cuba’s beautiful capital city, including a tour of Old Havana and time to explore the walkable neighborhoods around our lodging.
Nils Navarro will be joining this adventure as well! Nils is a highly respected scientist, artist and author (A Comprehensive Field Guide to the Endemic Birds of Cuba), and is the primary authority for eBird reporting in Cuba. Together with Candace Larson and Mary Coolidge, this is a leadership team par excellence.
Join us in February 2024 for an incredible adventure in Cuba! We’ll visit the most productive birding regions in the Caribbean’s largest and most ecologically diverse island nation, where more than 400 bird species have been recorded, including 27 island endemics and 18 considered globally threatened. We’ll also learn about Cuban history, culture, arts, and lifestyle as we travel through this fascinating and beautiful country.Register
- Trip Leader: Candace Larson, Mary Coolidge, and local guides
- Fee: $5,495 members / $5,995 non-members
- Deposit: $2,800
- Single supplement: $550
- Group size: Limited to 14 participants
Fee includes: All ground transportation within Cuba, 9 nights’ double-occupancy lodging, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, local guide fees, park entrance fees, excursions, and the services of your skilled leaders. Along with Candace and Mary, the team will include a full-time bilingual Cuban cultural guide and local naturalists in each birding region.
Fee does not include: Airfares and alcoholic beverages.
Trip Policies and Info
Candace is an avid birder, mycology geek, and native plant enthusiast, with a passion for the diverse ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. Candace leads domestic and international ecotours with a focus on bird biology and habitat preservation. She also works as a Field Biologist in Portland Audubon’s Conservation program, helping statewide partners meet their avian conservation goals.
Mary started as Portland Audubon’s Assistant Conservation Director from 2008-2012 before transitioning to the BirdSafe Campaign Coordinator. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Lewis & Clark College in 1997 and spent a decade studying a wide array of bird species in both urban and rural environments.