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General Climbing Discussion

Climbing in Cuba

White Rabbit
1:57:33 AM

I'm heading over to Cuba at the end of the year. I've heard there was good climbing over there but was wondering if any of you guys had ever climbed there (what are your thoughts?)?
10:07:27 AM
see for lots of good info. I did some cragging around Havana 2 years ago on a work trip. Unfortunately didnt get time to get to Valle de Viņales which from photos looks like very nice limestone sport routes. Definitely pack your climbing gear.

I contacted Anibal Fernandez via email before I arrived and went for a day of cragging. Nice people. A few Americans have been getting down there and even donated drills etc so a small bunch of locals are doing a lot of development. The poverty is pretty extreme so taking a bunch of bolts along, or some other cloimbing gear, would be a good idea.

11:25:54 AM
I was in Cuba in December, and did some climbing in Vinales. Its great there, and the people are amazing, There are a few local climbers that are always keen to climb. One guys name is Josue. You can ask any local and they will direct you to his place. I have his email address somewhere, so if you think you'll head there, I'll give him an email.
One thing about Cuba, is that the local climbers can't get any gear. So if you have any spare stuff that you can part with, they would definitely be able to use it.
I had an amazing time in Vinales, and Cuba in general, and highly recommend it.
If you have any questions, just send me an email on
Take it easy,
7:48:58 AM
hey val...
so you definately going now???
tell me the dates and i will get my ticket.

everyone else -
how was the climbing near havana -quality??? i will also probably be 5 days in cuba over new it easy to get to the crags. is that enough time to get to some of the better places?
6:09:04 PM
I didn't do any climbing in Havana. But there is a guy I climbed with that lives in Havana, and you can contact him. He's a great guy, and will put you in touch with people to climb with. Let me know if you want his email.

Vinales isn't too far from Havana, but buses are a bit infrequent. You can get there in about half a day if you take a taxi. Just head to the bus stop, and the taxi drivers will find you (and hound you!). Its worth the effort to get to Vinales though. Havana is just a huge city, and very depressing. It takes a bit of time to get used to it, and with only five days, I think you would get far more out of your cuban experience in Vinales.

Not sure if the whole regime thing interests you or not, but something to keep in mind is that on New Year's, Castro does a speech addressing the nation in Havana. Unfortunately I flew out on New Years Day so missed it, but would have loved to have seen it.
6:46:29 AM
The speech does seem worth staying around for should be interesting, i can say hello to Mr Castro.

It would be great if you could send me the email of that guy in Havana. and the idea of getting out of the big city sounds excellent also.
1:17:14 AM
So, change of plans. Now will be going in november this year. Anyone interested? So, has anyone been there more recently? Does anyone have updated information or contact details for cuban climbers?
1:00:35 PM
I spent a month in Cuba, including a week in Valle de Vinales, in April this year. The cubaclimbing website has all the general and climbing information that you'll need. Just read it thoroughly before you go! We also used the Lonely Planet guide for general travel information around Cuba. (Other guides on Cuba are also useful). It's easy to hook up with the climbers once you are in Vinales. Although I didn't get to do a lot of climbing (longterm injury), the climbing was awesome. I can thoroughly recommend the experience.
5:07:09 AM
That is really good information in the site....

so, what range of grades are there...many easy sport routes around gd 20 (5.10)or less?
i want to climb in vinales. i saw the route list and there appears to be some, but i have no idea where those areas are or if they are easy to get to)

also, the site recommends staying with oscar. did you stay with him? did you contact him before you arrived? there is no email for him on the website...or did you just turn up at his house?
11:36:25 PM
There are many routes at grade 20 and below close to Vinales. ie on the cliffs visible from the town. We actually had a friend we were staying with in Havanna ring Oscar to organise where to stay before we got there. That was actually quite a difficult task - even for the Cubans (there were problems with the phone system). There is no problem turning up in Vinales and then contacting Oscar - just be insistent on going to Oscars. He can organise another room if his place is full. We actually stayed elsewhere (Mario and Euphemias), but nearby. It was great staying there.
There is a printed copy of the guide and topos at Oscars. There will most likely be other visiting climbers there for you to link up with. If not, you will be able to hook up with the Cuban climbers.
When you arrive on the tourist bus in Vinales from Havanna, there will be a large crowd of people (with signs etc) trying to get you to stay at their place - it's a very competitive environment. If you are clear that you want to go to Oscars, they will point you in the right direction.
7:41:42 AM
hey everyone,
just got back from cuba. climbing is great and there are a lot of really helpful cubans who took us
climbing. if anyone is going stay at a house called 'cafetal' its the closest house to the climbing and the
guy living there is a climber and can lend gear or take you out. i suppose i will have to write a report and
put some photos when i get a chance.

other notes about cuba
- the food, in general is terrible.
-maracas get really annoying after a while.

There are 11 messages in this topic.


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