Inland from Trinidad are the beautiful, wooded Escambray mountains, whose highest point is Pico San Juan, also known as La Cuca, at 1140 m. Rivers have cut deep valleys, some of which, such as the Caburní and the Guanayara, have attractive waterfalls and pools where you can swim. The Parque Natural Topes de Collantes is a 110-sq-km area of the mountains which contains many endemic species of fauna and flora. There are several paths in the area and walking is very rewarding with lovely views and lush forest.
There are several tours of the park, which include hiking, swimming in waterfalls and lots of wildlife such as butterflies, hummingbirds and the tocororo, the national bird of Cuba. These are great days out in luscious surroundings. Also recommended are jeep tours to the Salto de Caburní and Salto Vegas Grandes waterfalls, and La Batata, a cave with an underground river making pools in which you can swim.
Just northwest of here, but best reached on another path, is the restaurant at Hacienda Codina, often combined with a trip to the Cueva del Altar, the orchid gardens and a mirador. Some 12 km north of Topes near Guanayara, there is another waterfall, the Salto El Rocío, with swimming in the Poza del Venado by the Río Caballero.
Off the beaten track is the Salto Javira, reached on horseback across the Valle de los Ingenios from Trinidad, up into the Escambray mountains. A very pretty and pleasant trip through farmyards, bean fields and other crops.