Discover Cuba, from historic Havana to the Caribbean splendour of Trinidad

From city to country to coast, this is the perfect taste of Cuba. Begin on the charming streets of Havana, where old-time American automobiles, richly-scented Cuban cigars and an eclectic tapestry of architectures evoke a colourful past. Between the small-village vibes of Vinales and the outstanding charisma of Trinidad, surround yourself with history, music and mojitos in one of the world’s most unique places. With plenty of time to swim, snorkel, cycle and hike, this adventure combines Cuba’s old-world allure – including a fascinating snapshot of Che Guevara – with some of its best and most scenic destinations for outdoor activities.


Start
Havana, Cuba
Finish
Havana, Cuba
Destination
Cuba
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer
Code
QURA
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Be swept away by the eclectic history of Cuba’s capital as your knowledgeable leader takes you on a half-day tour of Old Havana.

  • Venture to the village of Vinales, where the small-town charms are many. Spend your time sipping rum in quaint bars with locals and exploring hidden caves in the mountains.

  • Pay your respects at the mausoleum of Che Guevara and receive a fascinating insight into the rise and fall of the charismatic and highly celebrated Cuban revolutionary.

  • Learn the lingo with an informal lesson in the Spanish language. From Hola to Hasta Luego to the all-important phrases – like how to order a cerveza!

  • See why Trinidad is a favourite for many Intrepid adventurers. Wander the cobblestone streets alongside cowboys and farmers and clock the best-preserved colonial buildings in Cuba.

Is this trip right for you?

  • The guesthouses (casas) we use are much nicer than your average Cuban dwelling and each room is unique. Regardless of where you stay, power cuts and breaks in hot water supply are sometimes unavoidable, as in any developing country – but we believe that this is all a part of the local experience.

  • Part of Cuba’s appeal is its old-fashioned style – this includes the banking systems. Funds in Cuba can be difficult to access. Ideally bring multiple credit cards from several different banks just to be sure.

  • Luxuries such as air conditioning, and even toilet seats, are often scarce. Part of the experience here is learning to appreciate everyday Cuban resourcefulness.

  • Internet access can be hard to come by, and when it's available it's often unreliable and expensive. Treat this as a great opportunity to take a break from modern devices and have a true holiday.

  • Cuba is different, and that's a big part of its allure. Things don't always go according to plan, and many things don't work the same way as back home. Patience and good humour will go a long way in this beautiful destination.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2019 itinerary
Bienvenido a Cuba! Welcome to Cuba! There are no activities planned until your important welcome meeting at 6 pm. Why not take a stroll to get acquainted with Cuba’s capital, where vintage cars, plumes of cigar smoke, Neo-Gothic churches and Art Deco theatres come together in a unique mesh of histories. If you have time, you might like to visit Museo de la Revolucion – a museum focusing on the events leading up to, during and immediately after the Cuban revolution – or why not check out one of Havana’s many cool cafes or bohemian bars and grab a cheeky mojito! After your welcome meeting, perhaps dig into some delectable street snacks and join the group for some traditional Cuban cuisine at one of the many street vendors – churros anyone?
Accommodation
  • Standard guesthouse (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Havana - Tourist bus day pass - CUC10
  • Havana - Revolution museum - CUC5
  • Havana - National Museum of Fine Arts - CUC5
  • Havana - Old Havana Street Eats - Urban Adventures - USD44
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
A complimentary arrival 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. Please see "Essential Information > Joining point instructions" for more information about exiting the arrivals hall and connecting with your arrival transfer driver – who will take you to the address of your assigned guesthouse. It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. 
This morning, join your leader on an approximately 2-hour walking tour around the charming neighbourhood of Old Havana – a district that reflects an eclectic mix of different eras with its colonial architecture, baroque buildings and neoclassical monuments. Founded in 1519 by the Spanish, this area within Cuba’s capital remains virtually unchanged, which makes it one of the Caribbean’s most impressive historical cities. Wander through Havana’s oldest square – Plaza de Armas, stroll around the architecturally eclectic buildings that line the 16th century Plaza Veija, admire the basilica of San Francisco de Asis and visit the Havana Cathedral with its elaborate baroque facade. After your walking tour, head west by private vehicle to Vinales (approximately 3 hours). This is a small and charming rural village and probably the easiest place in Cuba to mingle with locals, who are very sociable and love nothing better than to drink rum and dance the night away.
Accommodation
  • Standard guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Havana - Leader-led Walking Tour of Old Havana
  • Vinales - Leader-led Orientation Walk
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Enjoy free time in picturesque Vinales, which you'll soon see is home to some of Cuba’s best scenery. Together, your group will decide the best time to take an included informal Spanish lesson where you’ll learn simple greetings from Hola to Hasta Luego to all-important phrases like how to order a cerveza! The rest of the day is yours to soak up the slow, old-world pace of rural Cuba, where oxen plod gracefully along the streets. There are many optional outdoor activities available. You might like to cruise around the area on a bicycle, hike through the tobacco fields or explore one of the Americas’ largest cave complexes up in the mountains. If you select the valley walk, you'll learn more about the lifestyle here and see first hand the farmers who grow tabacco for some of the most expensive cigars. 
Accommodation
  • Standard guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
Optional Activities
  • Vinales - Live Music Venues (Entrance fee) - Subject to change depending on the performer - CUC2
  • Vinales - Palenque Cave - CUC1
  • Vinales - Cueva del Indio (Cave visit with boat trip) - CUC5
  • Vinales - Salsa lesson (per hour) - CUC10
  • Vinales - Half-day Valley Walking Tour including Tobacco Farmhouse (Guide included) - CUC10
  • Vinales - Farm to Table Dinner at an Eco-friendly Ranch - CUC12
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you’ll travel by private vehicle to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Trinidad. En route, you’ll stop at the Bay of Pigs for a dip in the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea, and if there’s time you can hire snorkel gear and swim among the abundance of tropical fish that fill these waters. Learn about the Bay of Pigs Invasion – the battle between the US and the Cuban revolutionaries which resulted in the first defeat of a US-backed takeover in Latin America. Continue to Trinidad where you'll spend the night.
Accommodation
  • Standard guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bay of Pigs - Coastal Swim Stop
  • Trinidad - Leader-led Orientation Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Trinidad is a standout destination for many visitors to Cuba, due in no small part to a friendly populace, old-fashioned feel and particularly well-preserved colonial buildings. The Santeria religion (a voodoo-like Afro-Cuban tradition) which is practiced here makes the town even more intriguing. Today you can enjoy a free day of exploration. For some beachside fun and perhaps a little snorkelling, head down to Playa Ancon – just be careful you don't stand on a sea urchin! Hiking and cycling are equally good options, and there are some excellent walking trails in the nearby Sierra del Escambray mountains. For an insight into the colourful post-revolutionary period, why not visit the Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Bandidos and the Casa de los Martires de Trinidad. Nearby is the sprawling Valle de los Ingenios, where sugar plantations stretch out as far as the eye can see. In the evening, your leader will take you to a local bar for a rum tasting – as far as the rum world is concerned, Cuba is home to some of the best out there!
Accommodation
  • Standard guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Trinidad - Rum Tasting in a Local Bar
Optional Activities
  • Trinidad - Live Music Venues (Entrance fee) - Subject to change depending on the performer - CUC2
  • Trinidad - Musical instrument lesson (guitar, double bass, tres, percussion - per hour) - CUC10
  • Trinidad - Trek to El Nicho Waterfall (taxi, entrance fee & guide) - CUC65
  • Trinidad - Ancon beach shuttle bus - CUC4
  • Trinidad - Cayo Blanco island catamaran cruise - CUC45
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning travel by private vehicle to the historic city of Santa Clara – less crowded and slower paced than the bustling Havana, and home to all things Che Guevara. On arrival, your leader will take you on an orientation tour of the town and point you in the direction of the top sites and hotspots to explore during your free afternoon in what’s arguably Cuba’s most revolutionary city. Santa Clara is renowned for being the resting place of physician-turned-guerrillero leader Che Guevara (whose mausoleum you’ll get to visit tomorrow). Why not take the short walk up to one of the best lookout spots in town, Loma del Capiro, where you can share sweeping views of the city with a statue of – you guessed it – Che Guevara! Or, if you’re a cigar aficionado, you might like to take a tour of one of Cuba’s best tobacco factories – Constantino Perez Carrodegua – where they produce a range of top-quality Montecristo, Partagas and Romeo y Juliet cigars!
Accommodation
  • Standard guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Santa Clara - Che Guevara Mausoleum and Museum
  • Santa Clara - Leader-led Orientation Walk
Optional Activities
  • Santa Clara - Derailed train - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning you’ll head to the Che Guevara mausoleum and memorial. Che's remains were brought to rest here after they were found in a remote corner of Bolivia in 1997, where he was assassinated by the CIA-backed Bolivian army. The memorial is home to an impressive bronze statue of Che bearing his rifle, and inside the museum you can learn about his amazing life and see photos and exhibits such as his famous black beret. After this incredible insight, you’ll travel back to Havana (approximately 4 hours) where you’ll return to your guesthouse and enjoy some free time. Why not head out with the group and hit the town for a final night of salsa.
Accommodation
  • Standard guesthouse (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Havana - Buena Vista Social Club - CUC30
  • Havana - Cigar factory tour - CUC12
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities planned for today, so why not head out in a classic 1950s convertible on a Classic American Car Tour of Havana with Urban Adventures. Take to the streets in style as you cruise through the capital and wind up with a Cuban cocktail at the swinging Hotel Nacional. For more information visit urbanadventures.com
Optional Activities
  • Havana - Murals & Mosaics: Community Projects Tour - Urban Adventures - USD114
  • Classic American Car Tour of Havana - Urban Adventures - USD56
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
As there's a great deal to do in Havana, we recommend staying a few extra days to make the most of this exciting city. If you need help booking extra accommodation, our reservations team will be happy to assist.

Meals

3 breakfasts

Transport

Private vehicle, Public bus

Accommodation

Standard guesthouse (7 nights)

Included activities

  • Havana - Leader-led Walking Tour of Old Havana
  • Vinales - Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Bay of Pigs - Coastal Swim Stop
  • Trinidad - Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Trinidad - Rum Tasting in a Local Bar
  • Santa Clara - Che Guevara Mausoleum and Museum
  • Santa Clara - Leader-led Orientation Walk

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 5 days prior to travel.
4. Please advise bedding configuration requests to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel to aid guesthouse and rooming allocations, which are finalised 10 days prior to departure based on the configuration of each travelling party. You may request your confirmed guesthouse name and address inside 7 days of departure from your booking agent. Rest assured, the transfer driver will know the address of your assigned guesthouse.
5. A visa or tourist card, organised prior to arrival, is required for all nationalities visiting Cuba.
6. The Cuban government has declared that travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers. Proof of insurance may be requested at Havana Airport by immigration officials.
7. There are unprecedented changes happening in Cuba right now. It is an exciting time but it also means some patience and understanding is required for the heightened demand of infrastructure, accommodation and services. To help set your expectations correctly, please read the ‘Is this trip right for you?’ and ‘Joining point description’ sections in the Essential Trip Information Document.

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.

View Essential Trip Information

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