A Cuban Emerald, one 25 endemic species of birds found in Cuba. Photo by Mark Hedden.


March 9-16, 2017

$2300 per person double occupancy 

$2550 per person single occupancy 

Contact us at keysaudubon@gmail.com for more information. We need a minimum of 8 participants by January 31 to make the trip go.

11 participants maximum. Trip led by FKAS Executive Director Mark Hedden.

Day 1 / Mar 9

Fly from Miami to Cienfuegos.

After clearing customs we’ll stop for lunch en route to our lodgings in the area of the Zapata Swamp, a system of interlocking saltwater and freshwater marshes that is the largest protected habitat in both Cuba and the Caribbean. The area is home to 175 species of birds, and over 20 endemic species. We will spend the next two-and-a-half days exploring the region. Schedule permitting, after arrival we will bird in the area around our bed & breakfast lodgings. 

Overnight Zapata area

(Lunch, Dinner)


Day 2 / Mar 10

Early breakfast and departure for Bermejas (45 minutes) to see birds in mixed forest habitat along a flat, easy walking trail system (2+ miles). Meet with local resident park experts who will accompany us. Zapata has more than 900 species of flora. A mosaic of dry forest, swamp, mangrove and mudflats, this is one of the best preserved ecosystems on the island. Excellent chance for Bee Hummingbird, Blue-headed Quail Dove, Grey-fronted Quail Dove, Key West Quail Dove, Ruddy Quail Dove, Cuban Parrot, Cuban Parakeet, which is threatened. Cuban Blackbird, Cuban Bullfinch, Loggerhead Kingbird, Bare-legged Owl and Cuban Pygmy Owl are also likely. We will spendthe afternoon birding in the exquisitely beautiful Enigma de las Rocas Trail, with its many cenotes (sink holes), where there is an excellent chance of studying the Key West Quail Dove, Western Spindalis, Cuban Bullfinch, Cuban Peewee, La Sagra’s Flycatcher, and Barn Owl. Dinner at a private restaurant (paladar). 

Overnight Zapata area

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) 


Day 3 / Mar 11

Breakfast and early departure for La Turba, an area frequented by many different species of 

waterbirds that live in the mangrove swamps, coastal lagoons and woods. Many indigenous and migratory birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates are found here. Look for the Red-shouldered Blackbird, Zapata Wren and Zapata Sparrow, which are among Cuba's most limited range endemic birds. We should also see Cuban Vireo and Cuban Oriole, and hope to spot the Red-legged Honeycreeper, Quail-Doves and other species. Lunch at Tiki, a private restaurant. In the afternoon we will bird in varied habitats, including low, dense forest, mangrove, marsh, and open wetland. Potential for the endemic Cuban Black Hawk as well as numerous shorebirds, a variety of ducks, and American Flamingo. Dinner at Tiki Restaurant. Possible evening trek for Stygian Owl, Bare-legged Owl and the Greater Antillean Nightjar. 

Overnight Zapata area

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) 


Day 4 / Mar 12

Breakfast and early morning depart.

Today we travel from the Zapata Swamp region to Viñales. En route we will stop at the beautiful hilltop Las Terrazes community with the hopes of seeing the Cuban Grassquit and Fernandina Flicker. We may also stop at Soroa to seek out the Giant Kingbird. Then we continue on to Viñales, the land of tobacco farms and beautiful landscapes with limestone formations called mogotes. Afternoon birding and exploration. Dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight Viñales

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) 


Day 5 / Mar 13

Morning birding options nearby in pursuit of endemic Cuban Solitaire, Cuban Grassquit, Cuban Tody, Cuban Trogon, Cuban-Green Woodpecker, and some migrants species like warblers, tanagers and buntings. A short visit to a tobacco farm where the worlds finest cigar tobacco is grown. (We will have a short demo and tour of the barn.) Lunch and siesta. Afternoon is optional, on your own, or walking local trails. We will visit a local farm for drinks and dinner. 

Overnight Viñales

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)  


Day 6 / Mar 14

Early morning departure from Viñales. Bird watching along the way, looking for Snail Kites and water birds in dams built near to the highway. Stop at La Guira National Park, 54,000 acres of mountain wilderness in the Sierra de los Órganos mountains. The national park had been the estate of a wealthy landowner and politician, José Manuel Cortina, who traded precious woods and was forced into exile in 1959 and his properties confiscated. Arrive in the afternoon in Havana.

Overnight Havana

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) 


Day 7 / Mar 15

City tour in Havana with diverse cultural activities as well as time to explore on your own. 

Overnight Havana

(Breakfast, Dinner)


Day 8 / Mar 16

Transfer to airport. Return flight to Miami.


Note: Itinerary subject to change due to weather, traffic, and other real world conditions.