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Beautiful Cuba

From £1070 for 8 days
           (See Reviews)
Trip Overview
Travel to Cuba and enjoy a relaxing week-long adventure while immersing yourself in the history, culture and natural beauty of this colourful Caribbean island. Cuba's imminent political and cultural change makes it something to experience now before it evolves. Wander through Havana’s glittering colonial architecture, soak up the clear mountain air among Soroa’s vibrant mountain orchards, relax on Playa Ancon’s vast white beaches and admire Trinidad’s unrivalled ambience. From old cars to fragrant cigars and with plenty of salsa in between, this trip has it all and is the perfect introduction to all things Cuban.
Essential Info
Starts: Havana
Ends: Havana
Ages: Min 15
Theme: Discovery
Trip Code: IQUKA
Countries visited: Cuba
What's Included

Meals

7 Breakfasts included
3 Lunches included
2 Dinners included

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Premium Guesthouse (5 nights),Standard guesthouse (2 nights)

Trip Highlights
-A guided walking tour of  Old Havana sheds lights on the difference between the lives of city and rural life in Cuba
-Take in all the colours and aromas of Soroa, the stunning valley area known as the 'rainbow of Cuba'
-Stroll along the rural dirt roads of Vinales as tractors, vintage cars and horse-drawn carriages pass you by
-A visit to the Che Guevara mausoleum and museum allows you to learn about the iconic Cuban revolutionary in the right contextTrinidad is a real Cuban treat – step back in time on its old-world streets, then hit some fine palm-flanked beaches
-Marvel at the unique architecture of Palacio del Valle in Cienfuegos 
-Try your hand at traditional dance moves with an informal salsa lesson
Dates & Availability
Start date
End date
Direction
Price GBP
Availability
4th January 2017
11th January 2017
Havana - Havana
£1,200pp 
G
 
Limited
1st February 2017
8th February 2017
Havana - Havana
£1,190pp 
G
 
Limited
15th February 2017
22nd February 2017
Havana - Havana
£1,155pp 
G
 
Limited
25th February 2017
4th March 2017
Havana - Havana
£1,200pp 
G
 
Limited
29th March 2017
5th April 2017
Havana - Havana
£1,155pp 
G
 
Limited
5th April 2017
12th April 2017
Havana - Havana
£1,285pp 
G
 
Limited
22nd April 2017
29th April 2017
Havana - Havana
£1,285pp 
G
 
Limited
26th April 2017
3rd May 2017
Havana - Havana
£1,145pp 
G
 
Limited
29th April 2017
6th May 2017
Havana - Havana
£1,145pp 
G
 
Good
Show more dates
Itinerary & Notes
 
Day 1 - Havana
Bienvenido a Cuba! 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. If you arrive early, please note most activities in Cuba can only be booked through the tourist desk in the lobbies of the larger hotels or direct with the venue. Otherwise, there are plenty of good museums to check out, including the Museo de la Revolucion and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. There will be a welcome meeting at approximately 6pm this evening. Please expect a letter in your room or a phone call on Day 1 from your leader to confirm the time and place of your meeting. 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. The briefing is generally followed by an optional group dinner.

Additional Activities

Havana - Buena Vista Social Club
30 CUC
Havana - Cigar factory tour
12 CUC
Havana - La Cabana Fortress canon blast ceremony
8 CUC
Havana - Baseball game (Oct - Apr)
3 CUC
Havana - Tourist bus day pass
5 CUC
Havana - Ernest Hemingway tour
70 CUC
Havana - Morro Castle
3 CUC
Day 2 - Soroa – Vinales
Enjoy a walking tour of Old Havana, a perfect first taste of the city. Your local guide will show you the cathedral, Plaza de Armas, San Francisco de Asis, Plaza Vieja and Central Park. The entrance to the Camera Obscura is included. Later you'll make the drive to Soroa, a lush enclave nestled in a beautiful valley. You'll stop in for lunch and tour the orchid garden there. Continue to lovely Vinales, where tobacco and agricultural fields lie side by side and limestone outcrops dot the landscape. The scenery here is some of the most picturesque in Cuba. There are many ways to take it all in, including cycling, walking through tobacco fields and hiking to mountain caves (all optional activities).

Additional Activities

Havana - Guided walking tour of Old Havana
Included in Price
Havana - Camera Obscura entrance
Included in Price
Soroa - Orchid garden tour
Included in Price
Vinales - Orientation Walk
Included in Price
Soroa - Hike to waterfall
3 CUC
Day 3 - Vinales
A walking tour of the farmlands and crops is included today. Learn more about the simple lifestyle here and see first hand the farmers who grow tabacco for some of the most expensive cigars.  Vinales is a small and charming rural village. It's probably the easiest place to mingle with locals in Cuba, who are very sociable. Many of them love nothing better than to drink rum and dance the night away. An informal salsa lesson is included so you are confident to be involved. There are only three bars in this town, so you probably won't find yourself getting lost! Later head to an ecological farm for an included dinner.   

Additional Activities

Vinales - Guided valley walking tour
Included in Price
Vinales - Informal Salsa lesson
Included in Price
Vinales - Santo Tomas cave visit & return taxi
35 CUC
Vinales - Palenque Cave
1 CUC
Vinales - Cueva del Indio
5 CUC
Vinales - Live music venues
1 CUC
Vinales - Bicycle hire (per hour)
2 CUC
Day 4 - Bay of Pigs - Cienfuegos
Head towards Cienfuegos today, it is a long travel day. You will be stopping via the Bay of Pigs to learn more about the learn about the botched US Military counter-revolutionary invasion in the Giron Museum then stop at the bay itself, for a swim in the crystal clear water or simply enjoy the stunning surroundings. Then the short drive to your destination for the night, Cienfuegos. This is the gem of the south, a seaside town of relaxing streets and dazzling buildings that strike a beautiful pose by the water. You will enjoy a photo stop at Palacio del Valle, which is Cienfuegos' architectural pride and joy. Learn more about its history as you take in the beauty of its intricate carvings of Venetian alabaster. If you haven't done so already, perhaps try some Cuban coffee while you're here – it's served black, strong and super sweet.

Additional Activities

Bay of Pigs - Visit & swim
Included in Price
Cienfuegos - Orientation Walk
Included in Price
Cienfuegos - Visit to the Palacio del Valle
Included in Price
Day 5 - Trinidad
Today you will board the bus for a short drive to Trinidad. There's no doubt it's one of Cuba's alluring destinations, a great place to wander around, with almost every scene offering a photo opportunity. Watch as locals casually smoke their huge cigars on the doorsteps of their homes, and hear the old Chevrolets rumbling by. Kick things off by strolling along the cobbled streets and marvelling at some of the colourful colonial architecture on display (this town was put on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1988 for good reason). During your orientation walk you visit the Santeria Priest to learn more about the unique religion followed in this area. At some point, your group can decide when they want to schedule their informal Spanish class.

Additional Activities

Trinidad - Orientation walk
Included in Price
Trinidad - Santeria Priest Visit
Included in Price
Day 6 - Trinidad
Enjoy a day of free time. There are some great Spanish-style churches to see, and nearby is the Valle de los Ingenios, where sugar plantations stretch out as far as the eye can see. For some seaside fun, head down to Playa Ancon and stroll its long stretches of white sand. You can go for a snorkel too. Just be careful when you're in the water, as sea urchins can be a problem here. Back on the land, you can go cycling or hiking. If you rent a bicycle, be careful on the cobblestones, and remember your bike will be of the vintage variety. The trekking is great in the Sierra del Escambray, the local mountains. A folklore dance and music show in one of the open-air venues is highly recommended – a great chance to immerse yourself in Cuba's African, French and Spanish-influenced music and dance culture.

Additional Activities

Trinidad - Salsa Dance Lesson
8 CUC
Trinidad - Live music venues
5 CUC
Trinidad - Snorkelling trip
15 CUC
Trinidad - Musical instrument lesson (guitar, double bass, tres, percussion - per hour)
10 CUC
Trinidad - Bicycle rental (full day)
5 CUC
Trinidad - Ancon beach shuttle bus
4 CUC
Trinidad - Cayo Blanco island catamaran cruise
45 CUC
Trinidad - Train ride
10 CUC
Trinidad - Trek to El Nicho Waterfall (taxi, entrance fee & guide)
27 CUC
Trinidad - Massage
25 CUC
Day 7 - Santa Clara - Havana
On your way back to Havana, you'll stop in at Santa Clara to visit the Che Guevara mausoleum and memorial. In the museum you can get a rare insight into the legacy of the revolutionary leader, with some interesting ephemera and artefacts on display – letters, firearms, even medical devices. Upon arrival in Havana, stop by Revolution square and then take a stroll around the grounds of the infamous Hotel Nacional. Then prepare for a final night of celebrations. 

Additional Activities

Santa Clara - Visit to Che Guevara Mausoleum and Museum
Included in Price
Havana - Visit to Plaza de la Revolucion
Included in Price
Havana - Visit to Hotel Nacional
Included in Price
Havana - José Martí Memorial Tower
2 CUC
Day 8 - Havana
Your trip comes to an end this morning after breakfast. Check-out time is 10 am.
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Reviews
       
Very fast paced! Would be better to do Santa Clara and Cienfuegos in one day and not stay overnight in Cienfuegos because accommodation too far from city and not much to do. The group agreed would have been better to head back to Havana in the same day. More free time would have been good, very tight schedule but overall the guide did a really good job! The only negative was the accommodation in Trinadad. This was not premium as advertised and paid for, but the guide changed it for me as I got ill after staying there one night.