- Landing a Marlin or Sailfish: If you really want to emulate Ernest Hemingway, you'll head out to sea to fish. The waters off Cuba's coast are excellent for sportfishing year-round. Big game fish are best sought off the northern coast, while bonefish and tarpon are better stalked off the southern coast. Náutica Marlin (www.nauticamarlin.com) and Gaviota (www.gaviota-grupo.com) run a string of marinas with modern, well-equipped sport-fishing fleets all around Cuba's coastline.
- Rock Climbing the Mogotes of the Viñales Valley: Although in its infancy, rock climbing is a rapidly developing sport in Cuba, and Viñales Valley is the place to come and climb. More than 60 routes and 100 pitches have been marked and climbed, and more climbs are constantly being uncovered.
- Scuba Diving at María la Gorda: Cuba has many excellent dive destinations, but María la Gorda probably edges out the rest by having consistently excellent conditions, a variety of sites, an amazing setting, and an excellent dive operation. However, there's excellent diving off much of Cuba's coast, and if you want to combine diving with other attractions, you can do so from just about any destination on the island.
- Bird-Watching in the Zapata Peninsula: A dedicated (and lucky) bird-watcher might be able to spot 18 of Cuba's 24 endemic species in the swamps, mangroves, and wetlands of the Zapata Peninsula. In addition to the endemic species, ornithologists and lay bird-watchers can spot more than 100 other varieties of shore birds, transients, and waterfowl in this rich, wild region. Other top bird-watching destinations include La Güira National Park, as well as the areas around Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo and Baracoa.
- Hiking and Rafting in Baracoa: Baracoa, long isolated by impenetrable tropical vegetation, steep mountains, and rushing rivers, is an adventurer's dream. El Yunque, a curiously flat-topped limestone mountain, is home to dozens of bird species, orchids, and unique tropical plants and forest; it's also great for climbing. The Río Toa, the widest river in Cuba, is one of the few spots in Cuba for rafting, and Parque Humboldt offers new opportunities for walking and boating.
- Hiking Pico Turquino: Pico Turquino, tucked within the celebrated Sierra Maestra National Park, is the highest peak in Cuba at just under 2,000m (6,562 ft.). The trail to the summit is swathed in cloud forest and tropical flora. Mountaineers in good physical condition can do the 15km (9-mile) round-trip journey in a day, but most camp overnight below the summit. The panoramic views of the coast and Caribbean Sea are breathtaking.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.