Travel to Cuba and embark on an incredible sailing trip around the Canarreos Peninsula.

Spend eight unforgettable days sailing through the island paradise of Cuba. After being captivated by the time capsule that is Havana, venture offshore on a yacht for a Cuban encounter few people get to experience. Take in an array of natural wonders and get up-close to marine- and wild-life while sailing from Cienfuegos around the islands of Cayo Guano, Cayo Largo, Cayo Cantiles and many more. Uncover heavenly, untouched islands, swim in crystal-clear waters, snorkel over stunning reefs and spend days soaking up the chilled out vibe of irresistible Cuba. Find out why this vivacious country, so blessed with natural beauty and an abundance of cultural delights, is one of our favourite destinations.


Start
Havana, Cuba
Finish
Havana, Cuba
Country
Cuba
Style
Original
Theme
Sailing
Code
QSSC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 8

Why we love this trip

  • Old-world charm, rich history, exciting nightlife – evocative Havana is like nowhere else on earth. Wander the cobbled laneways of Habana Viejo or head to Vedado for a taste of the world-famous Copellia ice cream

  • Beaches don't get much better than this. The islands of the Canarreos Archipelago offer miles of pristine white sands and sparkling turquoise reefs to explore

  • The underwater world of Cayeria Los Majaes is a snorkeller's dream, thanks to its warm, shallow pools that you could bask in for hours

  • From lobsters and loggerhead turtles to iguanas and monkeys, this trip spans the most eclectic spread of sea life and wildlife. Not to mention those odd Carribean creatures, the jutias

  • This being a true sailing trip, there's plenty of leisure time. When you're not soaking up your idyllic surrounds on deck, you can while away evenings in beachside restaurants feasting on delicious Cuban cuisine

  • The beauty of sailing is that each day is unique and, while we have a destination to reach, if the weather changes or something takes the group’s fancy, we can be flexible on the day's itinerary

Is this trip right for you?

  • You don't need to complete a Physical Participation Form, but it's important to read the trip notes carefully to make sure you're suited to this trip. You’ll need to feel comfortable with moving about the boat. The cabins and communal areas are spread over two decks, and the steps between decks are steep.

  • You will be entering and exiting a Zodiac boat during wet and dry landings and when returning from snorkelling. Although the waters are usually calm, it can get rough and choppy, which requires steady sea legs and a sturdy stomach. Rain or shine, your trusty crew will always be on hand to assist you.

  • The boats are real yachts, and this is a real sailing trip. Yachts are designed to maximise living area space, so sleeping quarters (typically four twin-share cabins) can be a bit cramped. That said, the adventure and exhilaration of an authentic sailing trip more than makes up for any discomfort.

  • While at sea and when exploring the islands, you may be exposed to the sun for large parts of the day. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water.

  • Sometimes changes to the itinerary are necessary due to the weather. This can happen with little notice. If you're flexible and have a sense of humour, you're bound to have a fun and relaxing trip across this beautiful part of the world.

Itinerary

Bienvenido! Welcome to Cuba. Your trip begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. A local representative will brief you on what to expect over the course of the trip and after the briefing there is the option to join the group for dinner and an orientation walk. For the first night of your sailing adventure you will be staying at a local family-run guesthouse. Depending on numbers, the group may be split across two guesthouses which are located close to each other. The main guesthouse will be the central meeting point.

If you arrive early and have free time, be sure to check out Habana Viejo (Old Havana) and its wonderful architecture. There are plenty of good museums to check out too, like the Museo de la Revolucion and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Sports fans can go to a baseball game between October and May for a taste of Cuba's number-one ball game. Lining up for a famous Copellia ice cream is also well worth it.

As you'll depart from Havana to Cienfuegos early tomorrow morning and only have a short amount of time in Cienfuegos before setting sail, we recommend that you bring all the toiletries and sunscreen that you'll need for the trip from home. Please refer to the packing section for a comprehensive packing list.

There may be an opportunity to access the internet on Cayo Largo. You will need to have an an ETESCA card to access the internet and on this trip the only time you will have to purchase one of these cards will be in Havana. For more information on the purchase of ETESCA cards please see money matters.


Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Transport and accommodation
Please note you will be travelling on a real sailing catamaran which are big on deck space however the cabins are made for sleeping and that’s about it. This means there’s limited space so we highly recommend travelling with a backpack or soft sided back, both of which can fit in the small cupboards provided in each cabin. Remember the bigger the bag the smaller the space for you in the cabin!

Bus tickets
This trip includes a return bus ticket from Havana to Cienfuegos. If you are doing further travel in Cuba bus tickets from Cienfuegos to Trinidad and Trinidad to Havana can be purchased. Please see important notes for more information.
Rise early and head off to Cienfuegos to begin your sailing adventure. After breakfast with your guest house family, your local representative will meet you and transfer you to the main bus station for the 8.20 am bus to Cienfuegos. They will accompany you on the bus to Cienfuegos. The bus journey will take approximately 5 hours and will include a short stop for refreshments and a restroom break.

The bus will drop you off close to the yacht club where you will drop your bags and quickly meet your skipper. The skipper will collect your passports to complete the sailing permit process while you head off to a typical Cuban casa for a home cooked lunch with a local family. After lunch you will head back to the yacht club for a trip and safety briefing before setting sail at 3pm for
for the Canarreos Archipelago.

Please note: The beauty of sailing is that each day is unique and, while we have a destination to reach, if the weather changes or something takes the group’s fancy, we are flexible on the day's itinerary. The itinerary is subject to change and may vary depending on weather and berth availability. Your skipper will make the final call to ensure your safety at all times.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
A Cruising Tax of CUC12 or EUR12 per person per day is payable before embarking the yacht in Cienfuegos. Please ensure you have the correct amount to hand to the Skipper.

Today's crossing [along with the return] will be our longest sail. If you are prone to sea sickness it's advisable to take sea sickness medication 30 minutes to an hour before we set sail. Please be aware that some sea sickness medication can make you drowsy and should not be mixed with alcohol.
Spend the next five days sailing the idyllic islands of Cuba, which are set among the beauty of the Caribbean Sea. Discover hidden beaches with untouched sands, clear blue waters and, if you're lucky, a turtle or two. By day, relax and chill out on the deck of the yacht, taking in the glorious Carribean surrounds; by night, enjoy island-style barbeques and unwind with new friends beneath the stars. Some of the spots you might visit over the coming days are:

Cayo Largo del Sur

The second-largest of the islands in the Canarreos Archipelago, home to some of the best beaches in the region. One stretch of beach is 13 km of the cleanest, whitest sand. The island is also home to nesting sites of loggerhead and green turtles. For those that way inclined, nudism is tolerated on certain beaches.

Cayeria los Majaes

A small group of beautiful islands with surrounding sand banks and shallow pools, excellent for snorkelling. The pools are less than half a metre deep, and with a sea temperature of around 30°C they are perfect for lazing around in. Look out for a large colony of iguanas on the eastern shore of the western pool.

Cayo Alcatraz

Pristine beaches of white sand where you can spot stingrays and manta rays. If you are not fond of snorkelling in deeper waters, you will find these more shallow waters a dream.

Cayo Rico

Arguably the perfect beach, with brilliant waters, soft white sand and a bar that serves up a range of cocktails. There are many umbrellas under which to enjoy a drink. There are also friendly resident iguanas here.

Cayo Estopa

An uninhabited island with a deep water channel. This is the perfect place to throw out a line and catch the night's dinner.

Cayo Rossario

Also uninhabited by people, this island teems with sea life – moray eels, groupers, barracudas, lobsters and the odd reef shark to name a few. The nearby reef is great for snorkelling.

Cayo Cantiles

Known as 'Monkey Island', Cayo Cantiles is uninhabited, with the exception of a small number of workers who tend to a monkey sanctuary. This island too is home to iguanas, and a funny rodent-like animal called a jutia.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (5 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (5)
  • Lunch (5)
  • Dinner (5)
Special Information
You'll have a number of opportunities to go swimming and snorkelling throughout this trip. If you are not a strong swimmer, have had little or no experience in snorkelling or have a medical condition please advise the crew before entering the water. 

 
Your sailing adventure is coming to an end as we sail back towards Cienfuegos. Tonight there's the option of having dinner on board and then heading to a bar to have one last drink with your fellow travellers. You might also like to check out the live music scene later, or take to a dance floor for some salsa. Whatever the choice nothing will take away from the most remarkable week of sailing around the islands of the Canarreos Archipelago!

Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
We should return to Cienfuegos between 5-6pm. If you are leaving the trip in Cienfuegos please do not organise any forward travel until after 7pm to take into account any delays.
It's with heavy hearts we enjoy one final breakfast together on board the yacht before it's time to say goodbye to life at sea and head back to Havana. The bus pick up point is a hotel a short walk [550 metres] from the yacht club. You will need to make sure you are there no later than 10.15am for a 10.30am departure. There will be a representative from the bus company waiting in the foyer of the hotel who will check you off the passenger manifest before you board. The return bus journey will be unaccompanied and should have you back in Havana at 3.30pm. The trip finishes on arrival in central Cuba at the NH Parque Hotel.
If you are planning on flying out on the last day please do not book a flight out before 8pm to take into account any delays that may occur.
If you wish to book additional nights in Havana pre or post tour, or stay on in Cienfuegos please let us know at the time of booking so we can make the appropriate arrangements.

Adiós y esperamos verte de nuevo.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

Boat, Public bus, dinghy

Accommodation

Guesthouse (1 night), Overnight boat (7 nights)

Dates & availability

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Important notes

Cuba Cruising Tax:
A Cruising Tax of CUC12 or EUR12 per person per day is payable before embarking the yacht in Cienfuegos. Please ensure you have the correct amount to hand to the Skipper.

Passport details:
Passport details need to be advised no later than 15 days prior to your departure in order to secure a cruising permit. The details advised to us at booking must match the passport you travel with as these will be checked by immigration on boarding.

Bus tickets to Trinidad and return to Havana
This trip includes a return bus ticket from Havana to Cienfuegos. If you wish to finish the trip in Cienfuegos and travel on to Trinidad we can book this service and the return Trinidad to Havana on your behalf. The tickets are subject to availability and the price is subject to change and your preference must be advised at the time of booking.
The bus from Cienfuegos to Trinidad departs daily at 1.00pm [arriving approx 2.40pm] Subject to availability there should be no additional cost to your trip price [this is based on using Viazul bus service].
The bus from Trinidad to Havana departs twice a day, at 7.45am [arriving approx 2.05pm*] and 2.30pm [arriving approx 8.50pm*]. The approx cost is USD45 however this could change to do availability.
*Please note the buses in Cuba can and do run late, the arrival time listed above should only be used as a guide

Internet:
The internet is available in Cuba but is it limited and you must purchase an internet card at from an authorised seller to get access [see money matters for more details]. To make navigating around the cities and towns easier, before you arrive in Cuba, we suggest you download the following apps Triposo or MAPS.ME which are offline maps.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.

Reviews

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

Cuba Sailing Adventure, November 2017

Sarah Keane

Cuba Sailing Adventure, November 2017

Simon Beard