Foto: Carlos Castro
Topes de Collantes is a National Park situated south east of the Sierra de Escambray, the second highest mountainous chain of Cuba towards the center of the country. To 800 meters over the level of the sea, it appears this extraordinary and protected natural landscape, of great beauty and scientific value for botanic and Cuban ecology. It is composed by several beaks. The Pico San Juan is the highest point of 1.140 meters approximately.
The National Park Tope de Collantes occupies an area of 12.494 hectares, where live several endemic species of the flora and fauna together with a landscape of great beauty, where abounds the forest of pines, bamboo and eucalyptus, among many other species. It is characterized by perennial vegetation due to a rainy climate and low temperatures compared to the national average.
In one of the valleys, between the mountains of the Sierra, we find Presa Hanabanilla, one of the biggest and nice of Cuba. It has an area of 32 km2 and a deep of 35 meters. The Hanabanilla supplies of water the cities of Cienfuegos and Villa Clara. In the surroundings there is a tourist center.
Foto: Yoel de la Paz
More than 15 species of pines, 12 of eucalyptus and more than 100 ornamental plants guarantee that there are flowers all year round in Topes de Collantes. A variety of helicons, medicine plants, wild orchids and butterflies complement this beauty landscape. Trees of carob-tree, cedar, mahogany, magnolia and teak, between others, distinguish the place mainly characterized by the predominance of invertebrates, without the presence of some species that could be dangerous for the man. The complicated mountainous relief determines the existence of heights of different ranges, as well as small and fertile valleys. Eucalyptuses, Pines and Callistemon.
Eucaliptos, Pinos y Calistemos
Foto: Aliesky del Río Leal
It has a topography that increases the presence of birds as the parrot, the tocororo (national bird of Cuba), the negrito, the sparrow-hawk, the carpenter and the sijú.
Also 7 species of endemic amphibians live. There is cinegetic fauna, mainly represented by the deer white tail, the rustic pig and the quail, close to jutías, mollusks; insects, spiders and bats, but there are also dogs and cats introduced by the man. Cattle, pork and poultry breeding is encouraged as food source in the hillsides of the mountains.
Foto: Aliesky del Rió Leal
The climatic conditions are exceptional with parameters of environmental well-being over 60%; the average temperature is from 16 to 25 ºC, with 85% humidity. The highest speed of the wind is 11,6 km/h.
In Topes de Collantes there are excellent health tourism facilities, mainly the Kurhotel Escambray with an infrastructure that includes indoor swimming pool, sauna and gym. It offers basic medical programs.
The accommodation capacity is increased with the hotels Los Helechos and Villa Caburní.
This place is ideal for the practice of trekking. There are different options for the observation of the flora and fauna of this zone.