The Best Known Waterfalls in Cuba

We're plunging into the untamed jungles and towering mountains of the Caribbean's largest country, on a quest to discover Cuba's best waterfalls.

Travel and Exploration
25 July 2023

Formed by tectonic collision and carved by time and the elements, Cuba stretches out in a long and narrow spectacle of raw, untamed beauty. Its mostly low-lying terrain might deceive you at first glance, but venture into its mountainous regions, and you’ll uncover the hidden jewels: the waterfalls of Cuba. Nestled deep in verdant jungles, these Cuban waterfalls stand proudly as the largest in the Caribbean region.

Each Cuban waterfall has its own tale to tell, shaped by centuries of erosion and the unrelenting force of nature. They’ve seen history unfold, and served as serene sanctuaries for countless species of wildlife. These magnificent cascades have carved their pathways through the dense vegetation and rocky terrain. Their beauty is not only in their towering heights but also in their power and the diverse ecosystems they nurture.

In this article, we’ll explore these water wonders, from the sky-kissing giants to the marvellously unique. So grab your sense of adventure, and let’s dive into the world of waterfalls in Cuba.

El Nicho waterfalls

El Nicho waterfalls, Cienfuegos, Cuba (Credit: Smartshots International via Getty Images)

Verdant jungle, caves, and natural crystalline pools combine into a scene worthy of a fairy tale in Parque El Nicho, part of Topes de Collantes Nature Reserve. And completing the picture are its many cascades. Located almost equidistant between the cities of Cienfuegos and Trinidad, El Nicho waterfalls are some of the country’s most picturesque natural creations. The waterfalls vary in size and power, with some forming serene, clear pools, while others display a greater force, their waters tumbling from the cliffs above with a thunderous roar. These natural crystalline pools, brimming with clear water, further add to the allure, reflecting the vivid colours of the surrounding flora and creating a beautifully tranquil ambiance.

Salto Fino

Movement of water on the rocks (Credit: Stefano Madrigali via Getty Images)

Baracoa Ecological Reserve is home to Salto Fino. This towering torrent of water is thought to be the highest waterfall not just in Cuba, but in the entire Caribbean. Its dizzying height, estimated around 1,000 feet, remains unconfirmed, adding an air of mystery. The name “Salto Fino,” or “fine” waterfall, hints at its slender allure visible from afar, a thin ribbon of water cascading towards the earth.

Guayabo Falls

Close-up of a small waterfall. (Credit: Instants via Getty Images)

Majestically standing in the heart of La Mensura-Piloto National Park, Guayabo Falls presents an awe-inspiring spectacle. With a reported height of 328 feet, these cascades are a testament to the raw power and grace of nature. Undeniably towering among the country’s waterfalls, Guayabo’s cascading water is like a crescendo, an emphatic punctuation amidst the dense canopy of the rainforest. Surrounded by verdant wilderness, Guayabo Falls is nestled deep within one of the country’s most significant protected areas. The thick tree cover provides a picturesque backdrop, complementing the waterfall’s majestic stature and enhancing the overall experience for visitors. The sight of this robust cascade, combined with the thunderous sounds of water hitting the pool below, makes for an unforgettable experience.

Salto del Arco Iris

Salto del Arco Iris waterfall on Arroyo Manantiales river, Cuba. (Credit: Holger Leue via Getty Images)

At 72 feet high, Salto del Arco Iris may not rank among the tallest waterfalls in Cuba, but it’s among the most enchanting. Even its name, which translates as Rainbow Waterfall, conjures up images of magical grandeur. As for the feature itself, its waters emerging from atop a mossy dome, fanning out in all directions. It’s also known by the name Salto de Soroa, after the nearby town.

Salto Del Caburni

Salto del Caburni waterfall, Cuba (Credit: Harry Laub via Getty Images)

Found in the Escambray Mountains in Trinidad, Salto Del Caburni takes a 210-foot leap into the emerald waters below. Like El Nicho waterfalls, it is one of many of Cuba’s best waterfalls nestled within the jungles of Topes de Collantes Nature Reserve. Salto Del Caburni shares its habitat with a multitude of wildlife, from a diverse array of bird species to small mammals and reptiles, all part of the lush tapestry that makes this area such a unique destination. Like its counterpart, the El Nicho waterfalls, Salto Del Caburni is one of Cuba’s premier waterfalls and a testament to the country’s unspoiled natural beauty.

Vegas Grande

Vegas Grandes Falls, Cuba. (Credit: Flavio Vallenari via Getty Images)

Unfolding in the heart of Topes de Collantes, the Vegas Grande Waterfall is a mesmerising vision of raw, untamed beauty. Distinguished as one of the most unusual waterfalls in Cuba, it’s indeed a captivating sight. Vegas Grande is a segmented cascade, its water course intricately weaving, twisting, and turning through the rugged landscape. Vegas Grande is ensconced in a dense tropical rainforest, making its discovery all the more enchanting. The verdant foliage that envelops the area plays host to a plethora of native flora and fauna, enhancing the waterfall’s mesmerising aura with a rich tapestry of life. As the water makes its daring descent, it travels down a path adorned with lush moss, a unique feature that adds to the waterfall’s aesthetic charm and intrigue.

Cuban Waterfalls

El Nicho Waterfalls in Cuba (Credit: demerzel21 via Getty Images)

So, there you have it – a tour through the liquid lacework of Cuba’s jungles and mountains, each cascade more spellbinding than the last. From the serenity of El Nicho waterfalls to the gargantuan Salto Fino, it’s clear that there’s a wealth of waterfalls in Cuba. And that they represent some of its most extraordinary natural features.

Not only do these waterfalls encapsulate the power and resilience of nature, but they also tell an important story about the geological history and unique ecosystems of Cuba. They create habitats for diverse plant and animal species, contribute to the landscape’s hydrological cycle, and provide spectacular views that inspire and captivate. It’s these hidden treasures, ever present yet waiting to be discovered, that truly highlight the untamed beauty of Cuba’s natural landscape.


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