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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 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.The latter has the advantage that you can plan your trip from Santiago de Cuba to organise your (private) transport from there and have a few stopovers at some beaches along the way. It's hard to get (private) transport when you have started in Alto del Naranjo.A disadvantage is that you have to ascend 2,000 meters in 9.6km of trail in 4 to 6 hours and, if you don't continue to Alto del Naranjo, a 3 to 4 hours descend that same day. Going down can be a 'knee-breaker'.The Sierra Maestra is a National Park full of endangered or endemic animals, including the smallest toad in the world (1cm / 3rd inch), millions of birds, giant ferns and wild orchids inside beautiful cloud forests.A bust of José Marti, the independence heroe of the second independence war, has been placed on top of Pico Turquino.
|Best months for climbing:||Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Oct, Nov, Dec|
|Nearest major airport:||Holguin|
|Convenient Center:||Santo Domingo|
Thanks to Adolfo De Paz Vela for adding this peak.
NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name
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