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Catch the classic Cuba carnival while you can.
Now they’re back to being mates with the US and Fidel has passed on, things are a-changin’ in Cuba. But some things will stay the same – like Cuba’s biggest and best party will always be carnival in Santiago de Cuba. A mix of Spanish colonial and Afro-Cuban celebrations, carnival changes a city that already spills over with music and rhythm into one massive party. Even if you’re the world’s shyest or worst dancer, you can’t resist joining the waves of conga that sweep through the city or being part of parades of colourful costumes, sultry performers, and the hypnotizing thump of the drum. Time travel in Havana, get into the Caribbean vibes of Santiago, get lost in the streets of Camaguey, check out the beach and mountains near Trinidad, and surrounded yourself with history, music and mojitos in one of the world’s most unique places.
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Cuba knows how to party, and nowhere does it better than Santiago de Cuba at carnival time. Shake it with the congas, move it to the drums, and join in with the crowds as performers parade through the streets
There’s more to Che Guevara than the t-shirt – find out more when you stop by the museum and mausoleum of Cuba’s most famous son
Enjoy over two free days in laidback Trinidad. Roll those Rs in a Spanish class, loll about on an unspoilt Caribbean beach or peddle through sugar plantations on a vintage bike
Peeling colonial buildings, 50s Cadillac’s, pumping nightlife and all the mojitos you can (responsibly) drink – Havana’s like nowhere else.
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, plush pillows, and fly screens, are often scarce. Part of the experience here is learning to appreciate everyday Cuban resourcefulness.
You might have to save your status updates and photo posts for when you get home, as Internet is hard to find, unreliable and expensive. Treat Cuba as a holiday from social media too!
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.
As this trip covers a lot of land, you'll be spending quite a bit of time travelling. It’s all part of the adventure and a great way to get to know your fellow travellers. Please read the itinerary carefully for travel time estimates.
Trip departures are unavailable.
There are currently no scheduled departures on our Real Santiago de Cuba Carnival trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. This is an 18-29s departure.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. A visa or tourist card, organised prior to arrival, is required for all nationalities visiting Cuba.
7. 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.
8. 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.
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