Travel to Cuba and experience the enthralling history of this seductive Caribbean island

Discover the old and new faces of Cuba on an adventure through the country’s vibrant towns, vast plantations, myriad waterfalls and idyllic beaches. From the elegant streets of Havana to the colourful clubs of Trinidad, sip rum with the locals, practice your best salsa moves and discover the welcoming spirit of this island nation. With opportunities to explore the twisting colonial streets of Camaguey, immerse yourself in the legend of Che Guevara, and experience local life on a farm visit in Vinales, this adventure is sure to leave you captivated by Cuba’s beauty, rhythm and spirit.

Start
Havana, Cuba
Finish
Havana, Cuba
Countries
Cuba
Themes
Explorer
Code
QUSZC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16
Carbon offset
333kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Lie on Cuba's picture-perfect Caribbean beaches
  • Soak up the spectacular rural scenery around Vinales
  • Get lost in Camaguey's winding streets
  • Taste Cuban rum with the locals in Havana
  • Follow the footsteps of Columbus through Baracoa
  • Experience Santiago's salsa rhythms
  • Discover the natural beauty of Las Terrazas

Itinerary

Set to the soundtrack and backdrop of the 1950s, tumbledown Havana is a capital unlike any other. Surrender to the charms of a city where local life – essentially live music, laneway baseball games and impromptu fiestas – is played out on the streets. Be sure to try a Coppelia ice cream (the lines are worth it), and don't miss a stroll along the Malecon at sunset.
Journey to Cienfuegos, known locally as the 'Pearl of the South'. Stop by Palacio del Valle – the architectural pride of Cienfuegos – and soak up the town's laidback air.
Home to many Spanish-style churches and fascinating museums, Trinidad is also the gateway to the Valle de los Ingenios. Sugar cane plantations sprawl across the landscape and Playa Ancon is close by – there'll be plenty of opportunity for relaxing on its long, unspoilt beaches. Make an optional visit to a folklore dance and music show to see mambo, cha-cha and rumba intertwined with Afro-Cuban religious ceremonies.
There is a lot of fun to be had simply getting lost among the winding cobblestone streets of Camaguey – and get lost you will. Make a visit to the busy farmers’ market or simply find a cafe to plonk yourself down, order a coffee and savour the city views.
Fast paced Santiago de Cuba played a pivotal role in the Cuban revolution – it was from here that Castro declared its success – but the city is also known for its musical legacy. Set between the indomitable Sierra Maestra and the azure Caribbean, this city's historical centre and colonial architecture retain a timeworn air ideal for photographers. After a day of sightseeing, dance the night away to sexy Latin rhythms in the birthplace of the salsa.
Travel to beautiful Baracoa. Climb over the old forts – built to withstand pirate raids – or explore the region's mountains and black sand beaches. In town, seek out the torcedores to witness cigar rolling in action. Pick up some basic Spanish during an informal Spanish lesson; these new-found linguistic skills are sure to come in handy during the following day's salsa lesson.
Back in the Cuban capital, stroll around the historic quarter of Old Havana and kick up your heels with a Cuba libre (or two).
Stop at a medicinal herb farm on the way to Las Terrazas. This region is a delight to explore – hike through rainforest, relax in river baths or visit artisan studios and chat to local artists.
Discover Habana Vieja's best-kept secrets. Stop in Soroa to explore the orchid garden, or hike up a rugged mountain path to admire the sweeping view from the lookout. Continue on to the chilled-out village of Vinales, travelling through limestone 'pincushion' hills. Take long walks overlooking sprawling Cuban tobacco fields and meet locals over a nip of the region's famous ron (rum). For a cultural fix, check out the museum near the central plaza.
Spend a couple of days back in Cuba's charming, gritty capital. Take time to discover the diverse architecture, uncover Cuba's fascinating history at the Museo de la Revolucion, or head to Habana Vieja's bars for a celebratory mojito.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
4 breakfasts
Transport
Bus, Minibus, Plane
Accommodation
Guesthouse (17 nights), Hotel (4 nights)
Included activites
  • Baracoa - Orientation walk
  • Camaguey - Bicycle taxi city tour
  • Havana - Visit to Jaimanitas
  • Informal Salsa lesson
  • Informal Spanish lesson
  • Las Terrazas - Finca de Plantas Medicinales
  • Local farm visit
  • Santa Clara - Visit to Che Guevara Mausoleum and Museum
  • Santiago de Cuba - half day city tour
  • Trinidad - Orientation walk
  • Vinales - Walking tour of Vinales Valley

Dates

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Notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip.
2. From 01 March 2015 the maximum group size of this trip is 16 (instead of 12 as advertised in the 2015 Central America brochure)
3. A complimentary transfer is included with your trip.

Important 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.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Grand Cuba trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews in the last year.

Grand Cuba , December 2012

Grand Cuba , November 2012