Discover Cuba, a colourful jewel in the beautiful Caribbean

The largest island in the Caribbean is widely known for its abundance of classic cars, cigars and rum but there is so much more to see when you scratch beneath the surface and venture into the countryside. Begin and end your Cuban tour in the capital Havana and – in the days in between – visit farms, waterfalls and a medicinal plantation in Soroa and Las Terrazas. Learn salsa (and then try out your new skills) in the picturesque town of Vinales and spend some serious beach time relaxing and swimming at Cayo Jutias. The classic cars, Cubans and Havana rum certainly also need a look in, so spend an evening in Havana soaking up the culture, tastes, sights and sounds of this beautiful city. You’ll gain a huge appreciation for Cuba, a land where time has long slowed its pace.

Havana, Cuba
Havana, Cuba
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12
Carbon offset
121kg pp per trip


  • Learn about medicinal plants and botany at the Finca de Plantas Medicinales
  • Lend a hand on a local farm in Vinales
  • Salsa the night away at a club in Havana
  • Stay in the home of a local resident in Vinales
  • Laze on a secluded beach on Cayo Jutias
  • Walk the streets of Havana’s Old Town and explore colonial architecture


This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 25 January 2015 - 31 December 2015

Bienvenido a Cuba! A complimentary transfer is included with your trip. Please ensure you provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel so the transfer can be organised. The driver will have the address of your guesthouse. After collecting your luggage, continue through the 'Main Arrivals Hall' of the airport (do not exit through the side door). An Intrepid representative holding a sign with your name on it will be waiting to take you to your pre-arranged transfer. If you can't locate the Intrepid representative, please call +53 52506496. Do not rely on somebody else to call for you as they may be seeking commission to direct you to another transfer company. There will be a welcome meeting at 7 pm at the base guesthouse this evening. Please look for a note in your room or ask the guesthouse owner where the leader has left it for you. Otherwise, make your way to the base guesthouse (the address will be in your joining instructions). If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for the meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the base guesthouse so they can contact the leader. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. Havana's history is as colourful as it's cars and buildings. Consider arriving a few days early to soak up the charms of this evocative city. Stroll along the Malecon or check out a vibrant baseball game (October to May). Join the hundreds of locals lining up to eat a Coppelia ice-cream. Heavily subsidised by the government, a whole bowl will set you back about 10 cents. There are plenty of good museums to check out, including the Museo de la Revolucion and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Make sure you visit La Catedral San Cristobal de la Habana, described by the novelist Alejo Carpentier as 'music set in stone'. Also worth seeing is the Palacio de los Marqueses de Aguas Claras (now a restaurant) and the Plaza de Armas, complete with a statue of Manuel de Cespedes, one of the leaders of the independence movement.
Today head to Callejon de Hamel, an alley located in Havana's working class Cayo Hueso quarter. Adorned with the evocative Santeria murals of local artist Salvador Gonzalez, this lively street is Havana's centre of Afro-Cuban culture. Every Sunday afternoon it plays host to famous Afro-Cuban rumbas. Next, head to the neighbourhood of Jaimanitas in Havana's west (also known as Fusterlandia). The artist Jose Fuster has brightened up the area by rebuilding and decorating over 80 houses (including his own) with ornate murals and domes. The project includes a park with giant chess boards and an Artists’ Wall, which has been compared to Antonio Gaudi's mosaic wall in Barcelona. Continue on to the tiny mountain resort of Soroa in the heavily forested Sierra del Rosario. Make a stop to purchase lunch and afterwards enjoy a tour of an orchid garden, which boasts 700 species of orchid. You'll also have the option to take a stiff one-kilometre climb up a mountain path to a lookout, and a short hike to a nearby waterfall.
Today pay a visit to the nearby community of Las Terrazas, stopping at the Finca de Plantas Medicinales to learn about local herbs and their medicinal properties. Because of international sanctions against Cuba, the island nation has had to find ways to be self-sufficient. One of these is to develop its own medicines, many of which are herbal. Visit a farm where herbs are grown, dried and crushed before being sent to a factory to be processed into medicines. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxing afternoon exploring the lush surrounding forests, or challenge yourself to a hike. Note: The Finca de Plantas Medicinales is a state-run facility. Entry is not always guaranteed due to government regulations.
Today drive the short distance to the small town of Vinales in Pinar del Rio Province. Surrounded by limestone cliffs, the scenery around Vinales is some of the most picturesque in Cuba. On arrival, your leader will take you on a short orientation walk of the town. Afterwards, there are plenty of optional activities available to fill your afternoon. Perhaps take a hike through the surrounding tobacco files or hire a bike to explore the region. You could even visit a bodega in town, where Cuban families collect their government-appointed rations. Spend the night in a centrally-located Guesthouse. Vinales is a great place to mix with the locals, who love nothing better than to drink rum and dance the night away. There are only 3 bars in town so it is hard to get lost!
This morning, your leader will take the group on a half-day walking tour. Visit a local farm where you'll have the opportunity to experience the 'guajiro's' way of life. While at the farm you can choose to relax or help out with daily farm activities, such as toasting and grinding coffee or harvesting yuca, corn or tobacco. In the evening, enjoy an informal salsa lesson and eat dinner at a local eco-farm. Afterwards, practice your new moves to some live music on the dance floors in town.
This morning make an early start. Leave the mainland and cross the water over a short causeway to Cayo Jutias, a tiny mangrove-covered key situated approximately 65 kilometres northwest of Vinales. Your destination is Pinar del Rio's most 'undiscovered' beach, a long stretch of sand at the key's northern tip. Paddle about in the water or soak up the sun on the sandy shore.
Today travel back to Havana by minivan (approximately six hours). Spend your last afternoon of the trip enjoying a guided tour around Old Havana. This well-preserved part of the city was designated a World Heritage Site in 1982. The streets are lined with colonial architecture, 16th-century fortresses and countless churches. In the evening, head out on the town with your new travel friends. Havana's nightlife is varied and lively. Put your new salsa skills into practice at its many bars and clubs or check out a cabaret show.
Today is departure day. As there are no activities planned, you are able to depart at any time. Check-out from the Guesthouse is at 10 am. If you are departing later, you may be to arrange luggage storage, although this is up to the owner. There may be a small service fee.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


7 breakfasts
Guesthouse (7 nights)
Included activities
  • Havana - Visit to Callejon de Hamel
  • Havana - Visit to Jaimanitas
  • Las Terrazas - Finca de Plantas Medicinales
  • Vinales - Local farm visit
  • Vinales - Walking tour of Vinales Valley


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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip.
3. A complimentary transfer is included with your trip.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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Our Classic Cuba trips score an average of 4.45 out of 5 based on 49 reviews in the last year.

Classic Cuba , November 2015

Classic Cuba , October 2015