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La Gran Piedra Park Areas of Natural Interest, Santiago de Cuba. Cuba

  • Start based on 11 reviews
  • Santiago de Cuba
  • Destination: Santiago de Cuba
  • Open: Daily
  • Telephone: (5322) 686147
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Eastern Cuba, favored by nature with breathtakingly beautiful beaches, a perfectly preserved environment and huge historic and cultural values, boasts places that give the region a peculiar touch. That region, which holds Cuba's highest mountains, has a rich history, complemented by unique natural highlights such as the Gran Piedra Mountain Range.

The area was named after one of the most outstanding geological values of Santiago de Cuba province, a huge rock of volcanic origin, which is 51 meters (167 feet) long, 25 meters (82 feet) high and 30 meters (98 feet) wide, and weights over 63,000 tons. Precisely, that rock is the highest point of the mountain range at 1,225 meters (4,019 feet) above sea level, and is one of the attractions at the Sierra Maestra Grand National Park.

The rock is famous not only in Cuba but in the insular Caribbean region, since it is the biggest rock of its kind in the area.
There are many stories about the rock's origin, including one that attributes its formation to a meteorite that hit the Earth millions of years ago, although the most veridical version is the one that says that the rock was originated by the explosion of an underwater volcano.

View of Gran Piedra
Façade of Gran Piedra Hotel
Cabana at Gran Piedra Hotel
Visitors have access to the Gran Piedra through 452 steps, where they enjoy adventure amid exuberant vegetation of ferns, orchids and other species growing in the region.
Several hundreds of plant species, including 222 kinds of ferns, and 22 percent of endemic plants, complement the region's offer for adventure tourism, in addition to 926 animal species, including the "tocororo" (Cuban trogon - Priotelus temnurus), Cuba's national bird.

The rock is also a natural lookout from where those who embarked in the adventure of climbing it can see one of the most beautiful landscapes in the region. From there, visitors can enjoy the breathtaking view of the southeastern coast, where they can see the hotels and beaches in Baconao Park, and the buildings in the city of Santiago de Cuba.

According to research, the Gran Piedra Mountain Range was the main settlement of French immigrants in the 19th century, and holds the ruins of dozens of coffee farms. The Horizontes Gran Piedra Hotel, which offers 17 cabins and five bungalows, provides excellent accommodation for those who love nature and enjoy trekking, mountain climbing, bicycle tourism, and flora and fauna watching, among other options.

Mapa de La Gran Piedra Park

La Gran Piedra Park is located in Santiago de Cuba

It limits to the north with the province of Holguín; to the west with Granma; to the south with the Caribbean Sea, and to the east with the province of Guantánamo. The province covers a total area of 6 343 21 , Km². You can get here through Antonio Maceo International Airport, also by road from any other part of Cuba, or by sea ─in this last case, requesting the services from Punta Gorda Marina.

Two particular features characterizes Santiago de Cuba that make it exceptional: its hospitality, with people of happy and relaxed temperament and its rich historical-cultural wealth. Its Caribbean identity is evident in its popular music and in folklore manifestations. It depicts the title of Heroine City of the Republic of Cuba for the role carried out by its inhabitants in the revolutionary struggle during the decade of 1950. Privileged by its historical past, in Santiago de Cuba there are two of the Cuban places distinguished by UNESCO with the title of World Heritage: the San Pedro de la Roca Castle and the ruins of the first French coffee plantations in La Gran Piedra. The Santa Ifigenia cemetery , the 26 of July Historical Museum and the Siboney Farm, are places indissolubly linked to the history of Cuba.

Cayo Granma and Baconao Park (Biosphere Reserve) also part of the attractiveness of this region. As a tourist destination, Santiago de Cuba, combines excellent possibilities for the enjoyment of beaches, city and nature tourism for to the places of interest in those three scenarios.

For those who arrive in Santiago de Cuba, there are diverse lodging options in the city and in its surroundings, linked as much to the sea as to nature. With a variety of categories and levels of comfort, it will always be a guarantee for the visitors looking for harmony and soothing rest. There are other things, among so many, that make people from Santiago proud: to be the birthplace, par excellence, of almost all the musical genres of Cuba, a country where the music is soul and root; also, the carnivals that every month of July take place here, are the most spectacular in the country; as well as their rum, the well-known Fiestas del Fuego and the already traditional Festival of the Caribbean.

The region of Santiago de Cuba has the necessary infrastructure to encourage tourism of events and congresses; it also has in its mountainous and seafaring environment the conditions to develop nature and adventure tourism, trekking, nautical activities, and health tourism. But there is nothing better than walk its undulating and narrow streets loaded with history and music at the same time.

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Review about Areas of Natural Interest: La Gran Piedra Park
Excellent Homero

La Gran Piedra
This massive stone monolith is located within a national park in the nearby mountains, where it enjoys its own cool micro-climate and is listed in the Guinness Book of Records. Ferns and orchids thrive here and many bird species can be seen in this rather diverse mountain range. Close to La Gran Piedra and some 16 km / 10 miles from Santiago de Cuba is the rather unique Prado de las Esculturas, where approximately 20 unusual sculptures reside. The steep road leading up to the mountain range is especially scenic and passes by a high concentration of mango trees.

Very good Carol V

“Great View on A Clear Day ”
On a cloudless day, the view is lovely and you can see the Caribbean. We drove the road up in our rented KIA Picanto. This road is "doable" but one needs to be careful. It is full of potholes, switchbacks, and cattle. The doable part of the road ends at Gran Piedra. The road to the coffee plantation is rough.... More 

Very good downingman

“Outstanding views if not obscured by cloud! ”
You have to be reasonably fit to climb the steps up or to go the roundabout way up the track, which is quite steep in the final stages. Also steep wooden steps for about 10m onto the top of the rock. Sound footwear is recommended particularly if damp or wet. Enterprising souvenir stall right on the top. If not covered... More 

Very good Vanesa8405

“Worth the trip with the tourguide ”
Great nature Beautiful botanic garden Interesting visit to a coffee plantage Sooo happy to go to the beach even if it's not one of the best ones in Cuba. The heat in Santiago makes you long for being on the beach or at the pool all day. Experienced and very nice guide Awful food during lunch. I had a really... More 

Very good Scandilove

“Cool spot ”
This mountain top rock is about a 45 minute drive from Santiago. It is a very pretty drive with great views along the way. On a hot day it is wonderfully cool up there, but you can still heat up by walking the 545 steps to the top of the stone. There is a small eating establishment and a parking... More 

Very good Nicoleri

“Nice ”
We went there with Cubatour. We were just four people and had a Jeep. Before we went up the Gran Piedra we visited the Botanical Garden. It's a beautiful garden with loads of flowers and trees. The Gran Piedra itself is nice too because you have a beautiful view. Walking up takes you around 20 minutes and it a little... More 

Very good MARIA LUISA T

“A SHORT CLIMB TO A MAGNIFICENT LOOKOUT ”
In no way was this tiring (even on a hot day) and the reward was a 360° view over the surrounding mountain ranges and the sea.

Excellent Winter_wonderlands

“Beautiful views ”
It's very hot and a long hike to the top, so we found a cuban car to take us there and near to the top (a 'taxi particular' rather than registered government taxi, as this is cheaper). Then it's a short walk from the carpark to the very top. We're glad we did this, as I love to hike but... More 

Excellent Jose E

“crazy to go tehre but is worthy ”
it s high, road are not in excellent conditions, not dangerous but worhty. You will see from Holguin to Guantanamo. It the highest place in Cuba. Recommended

Excellent Otto G

“A beautiful place ”
NIce views, and fresh air in this mountain with a height of around 1000 m and already a much fresher weather.

Excellent Vespa W

“Beautiful sight ”
The landscape are astoning, at this height its possible to see part of the city and a wide view of the coast!!!

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