Birding Tours of Cuba in 2018 from BirdsCaribbean

Cuban Tody—one of Cuba's most beloved endemic birds. (photo by Aslam Ibrahim)
Colorful and friendly, the Cuban Tody is one of Cuba’s most beloved endemic birds. (photo by Aslam Ibrahim)

Join BirdsCaribbean, the Caribbean Birding Trail and acclaimed Cuban bird guide, Ernesto Reyes Mouriño, on the adventure of a lifetime in January or March of 2018.

Cuba is well-known for its amazing landscapes, vibrant culture and unique biodiversity. According to the new Endemic Birds of Cuba: A Comprehensive Field Guide, 371 birds have been recorded in Cuba, including 26 which are endemic to the island and 30 which are considered globally threatened. Due to its large land area and geographical position within the Caribbean, Cuba is also extraordinarily important for Neotropical migratory birds—more than 180 species pass through during migration or spend the winter on the island.

Our itinerary takes you to several of the best and most beautiful birding locations in Cuba, providing opportunities to see many of Cuba’s endemic species and subspecies as well as many migrants. Along the way, we will meet  people in local communities, stay mainly in Bed & Breakfast establishments (casas particulares) and eat in private restaurants (paladars), allowing you to experience Cuba’s rich culture, delicious food, friendly people, and generous hospitality. We will also have the opportunity to meet and  have discussions with local ornithologists and conservationists that have been working with BirdsCaribbean for many years.

BirdsCaribbean is offering two tours in 2018: an 8-day trip in January and an 11-day trip in March. Find detailed itineraries for both trips below. Traveling with us helps Caribbean birds as a portion of the proceeds from the trip supports our bird conservation programs and partners in Cuba and the Caribbean. See some of the world’s most beautiful and memorable birds, knowing you are helping ensure their welfare by supporting the people who study and protect them.

Space is limited so sign up now to reserve your spot!

Check out the report and photos from our January 2016 trip here and from our July 2017 trip to Havana and Zapata Swamp here. See trip reviews below. Purchase the new Endemic Birds of Cuba Field Guide here.

NOTE: The recent policy changes in the Cuban Assets Control Regulations do not affect BirdsCaribbean’s birding trips or the requirements of US citizens traveling with us. Their birding trips consist of group travel under the general license that authorizes travel transactions that support the Cuban people (also known as the people-to-people general license.)  The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) requires that (1) all people-to-people travel be conducted under the auspices of an organization that is subject to U.S. jurisdiction and that sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact (BirdsCaribbean), and (2) such travelers be accompanied by a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction who is a representative of the sponsoring organization (the BirdsCaribbean trip leaders). While you are on the trip, BirdsCaribbean will ensure that you have a full-time schedule of activities that engage private citizens (e.g., local guides, Cuban biologists, private business owners), and avoid transactions with the State Department’s List of Restricted Entities and Subentities Associated with Cuba (“the Cuba Restricted List”).

Eight day trip: 24-31 January 2018

Download the itinerary (PDF)
Download the release form

Register for the January trip

Sign up and pay your deposit as soon as possible. Contact Lisa Sorenson ( if you have questions. We look forward to traveling with  you!

Make a payment via PayPal:

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Eleven day trip: 14-24 March 2018

Download the itinerary (PDF)
Download the release form

Register for the March trip

Sign up and pay your deposit as soon as possible. Contact Lisa Sorenson ( if you have questions. We look forward to traveling with  you!

Make a payment via PayPal:

Payment Type

Testimonials from tour participants:

The trip was well-organized and every moment was memorable. We, of course, enjoyed the birds foremost. We enjoyed meeting Nils, walking the streets of Viñales, seeing local art and landscapes, eating local food. The customs and habits of the locals were fascinating to us. It was like a time warp to a time even prior to when we were born. We always felt safe. Walking after dark through Playa Larga and late at night around old Havana never made us uncomfortable. We enjoyed meeting and getting to know every fellow traveler. – Don and Dena McKee

Fabulous birding tour with most of the endemics seen in a very short time. The landscape was impressive, the people fascinating to see and talk to, and the food was delicious and abundant. Staying in the casas particulares was a good experience to be able to assist the local people in their economy. Excellently organized and well-rounded tour with fantastic guides of the highest standard. I will return to Cuba. – Coppelia Hayes

Our lead bird guide, Ernesto Reyes, was very kind and patient. He is an excellent birder with an amazing ear. It was wonderful to also meet the local experts, like Nils Navarro, Orlando Garrido, Rosendo Martinez and Lourdes Mugica. They were all personable, generous and added much to our experience. – Carrie Dortch

It was a pleasure to be on a trip where one was able to enjoy the cultural aspects of the country and learn something of its history and yet even though time was devoted to that, we didn’t miss out on birds, a variety of birding locations, and sightings of Cuban endemics and near endemics. We had great view of very special birds, like the Cuban Trogon, Bee Hummingbird, Cuban Oriole, Cuban Pygmy Owl and many more. Every day as well as overall seemed to be an excellent balance between birding and/or bird-associated activities and other cultural and historical pursuits. A very well-rounded trip with outstanding guides and many memorable experiences! – Philippa Randall

I have been on a number of birding tours both in the US and in other countries. This tour ranks way up at the top of the list. The number of birds seen and the quality of the sightings was superior but our leaders’ in-depth knowledge of the country’s history, culture, geology, government, and people made it a first-class experience. – Barbara Males

BirdsCaribbean Birdwatching and Cultural Trip to Cuba is the perfect trip for birders seeking endemics and a window into the culture and history of an island that has been off limits to US citizens for 50 years. Birding takes you to the countryside and the sea. The leaders take you to the small cities, the places of interest that highlight modern Cuba’s agricultural aspects and they help interpret the history as well as Cuba’s hopes and aspirations. What tips the balance in making the trip special is that proceeds go to conservation in Cuba and other Caribbean Islands. – Anne Brooks

The experience in Cuba far exceeded my expectations in terms of wildlife, culture and an interesting and congenial group of participants and leaders. – Carl Gerhardt

The trip was superb. In addition to seeing the amazing Cuban endemic birds, we met some extraordinary environmentalists and ornithologists, and had the opportunity to see Cuba as it is now. The sensitivity and thoughtfulness behind the planning of this BirdsCaribbean trip made it a uniquely varied and rewarding experience. – Gale Page

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