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Express Cuba

From £725 for 8 days
Trip Overview
A perfect blend of beach and city, this express tour celebrates Cuba in all its glory. Stretch out on the soft white sand of Varadero, discover the history of Santa Clara, walk the cobblestone streets of Trinidad and soak up the magic of the country’s capital. This is a journey bursting with coastal beauty, aesthetic delights, cultural charm and friendly locals.
Essential Info
Starts: Varadero
Ends: Varadero
Ages: Min 15
Theme: Discovery
Trip Code: IQUSV
Countries visited: Cuba
What's Included

Meals

7 Breakfasts included

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Guesthouse (7 nts)

Trip Highlights
-Stroll, swim or snorkel at the beaches of Varadero, Cuba's beloved 20-kilometre stretch of pristine coastline
-Discover colonial Trinidad, where you can wander the cobblestone streets and mingle with cowboys, musicians and country folk
-Trace the history of the Cuban Revolution. In Santa Clara you will visit the mausoleum of the revolutionary revolutionary hero Ernesto Che Guevara
-A guided walk of Havana offers an insight into the difference between country and city life in this country
-There's plenty of time to immerse yourself in Cuban music and dance, a heady mix of French, Spanish and African influences
Dates & Availability
Start date
End date
Direction
Price GBP
Availability
17th December 2016
24th December 2016
Varadero - Varadero
£725pp 
G
 
Limited
Itinerary & Notes
 
Day 1 - Varadero
Bienvenidos a Cuba! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 7 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note about the meeting in your room, or ask the owner of the guesthouse where the leader has left it for you. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you have time today, get out and acquaint yourself with Varadero. It can feel a little touristy at times, but with miles of lovely white-sand beach, it's still one of the finest spots in the Caribbean. There are plenty of watersports on offer – plenty of mojitos and deck chairs too.
Day 2 - Santa Clara – Trinidad
This morning you'll drive to Santa Clara. This was the first major city to be liberated by Castro's army in December 1958. A number of monuments commemorate this important period of Cuba's history, including the mausoleum of Che Guevara. Here you'll stop for a visit and learn more about the legacy of the iconic revolutionary. Then continue to Trinidad, your base for the next two nights. Enjoy an orientation walk upon arrival. Many visitors to Cuba rate Trinidad among their highlights, and indeed its World Heritage status seems fitting when you first glimpse the colour and beauty of its colonial architecture. Nowhere else in Cuba is there a better-preserved town, and the locals are festive and friendly.

Additional Activities

Santa Clara - Visit to Che Guevara Mausoleum and Museum
Included in Price
Trinidad - Orientation walk
Included in Price
Day 3 - Trinidad
Trinidad is also an excellent beach destination, so take this opportunity for a swim or perhaps some snorkelling in the bay (just watch carefully for sea urchins, which can be a problem here). There is of course plenty to explore in town too. The cobbled lanes, great to wander around, are awash with cowboys, farmers and other local folk. A recommended optional visit is the beautifully housed Museo de Historia Municipal. It's an excellent place to learn more about local history, and its top tower boasts an amazing view of the city. Other great options include a Cayo Blanco catamaran cruise or a salsa dance lesson. Riding a bicycle is a good way to get around town, and rental is inexpensive.

Additional Activities

Trinidad - Cayo Blanco island catamaran cruise
45 CUC
Trinidad - Musical instrument lesson (guitar, double bass, tres, percussion - per hour)
10 CUC
Trinidad - Live music venues
5 CUC
Trinidad - Ancon beach shuttle bus
4 CUC
Trinidad - Bicycle rental (full day)
5 CUC
Trinidad - Salsa Dance Lesson
8 CUC
Trinidad - Trek to El Nicho Waterfall (taxi, entrance fee & guide)
27 CUC
Day 4 - Havana
Drive to Cuba's capital today. If there's enough time, you'll take a sightseeing tour of modern Havana that includes Revolution Square and the Capitol building before checking into your guesthouse. Havana remains one of the great colonial cities of the Americas. An air of faded glory comes through in the peeling paint of some of its grand old buildings. Narrow streets, spacious plazas and Spanish architecture make it a charm to explore on foot.
Day 5 - Havana
Enjoy free some time today. If you didn't do so yesterday, you'll take an orientation walk of the city with your local guide. Afterwards, there will be free time to make your own discoveries. Perhaps wander along the Malecon, the city's seaside esplanade. Or stroll the lively streets and soak up the nostalgic aura, which is heightened by rustic American cars of the '50s and '60s rumbling by. As the sun goes down you can grab a drink and hit the town; there are plenty of places to dance the night away to some classic Cuban rhythms.

Additional Activities

Havana - Guided walking tour of Old Havana
Included in Price
Havana - Baseball game (Oct - Apr)
3 CUC
Havana - Buena Vista Social Club
30 CUC
Havana - La Cabana Fortress canon blast ceremony
8 CUC
Havana - Tourist bus day pass
5 CUC
Havana - Cigar factory tour
12 CUC
Havana - Ernest Hemingway tour
70 CUC
Day 6 - Havana
You have a full day to continue exploring. There are plenty of good museums to check out, including the Museo de la Revolucion and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. A fun activity is to join the hundreds of locals lining up to eat a Coppelia ice-cream, which is heavily subsidised by the government. A bowl will set you back about 10 cents. Or you can skip the queues and pay the tourist price!
Day 7 - Varadero
Return to Varadero. In your free time, perhaps take a swim at the beach, or stroll through landscaped splendour of Parque Josone. Later, enjoy a final night of mojitos and nightlife. Palacio de la Rumba is always a fine choice. Otherwise, the Cabaret Continental offers an energetic Tropicana-style dancefloor on most nights of the week. Enjoy the company of your new travel companions as your trip draws to a close.
Day 8 - Varadero
Your trip ends after breakfast this morning. Check-out time is 12 noon.
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