Itinerary 15 days / 14 nights
Join Cubawelcome for an unforgettable experience in the stunning natural world of Cuba. Meet the friendly Cuban people and embrace the island’s rich culture. We will transport you to fascinating cities, mountains, rivers, forests, caves and beaches. You will have the chance to enjoy trekking, hiking, camping, biking, snorkelling, horseback riding and more. You can experience adventure activities as much as you wish… and even more.
- Old Havana Historic Quarter, a Unesco World Heritage Site.
- Cycling in the Vinales Valley.
- Trekking and camping at Rosario Ridge Biosphere Reserve.
- Diving at Playa Giron.
- Kayaking in the Caribbean sea.
- Trinidad, a Unesco World Heritage town.
- Trekking & horseback riding in the Topes de Collantes National Park.
- Boating along the canals of the biosphere reserve of Zapata Swamp.
- Unwind at Varadero Beach and get a tropical suntan.
DAY 1. Hotel **** BD
Meet and greet at Havana international airport with our bilingual tour guide. Taxi transfer to Havana City. Dinner in hotel.
DAY 2. Hotel **** BD
After breakfast, we begin a guided walking tour in the old town to visit the most interesting places in Havana’s Historic Quarter, the Cathedral square, the Plaza de Armas, San Francisco de Asis square, Museum of the City, etc.. We will also visit the 1950’s areas of Havana. Return to the hotel. Dinner.
DAY 3. Hotel Aguas Claras ** or similar BLD
After breakfast, we depart to the impressive Vinales Valley. This is one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes which has similar mountain outcrops as Vietnam known as Mogotes (rounded-top limestone outcrops with vertical walls). The rural scenery is resplendent with picturesque farmhouses, mountains, streams, tobacco plantations and the friendly smile of the local farmers. We cycle through trails in the valley spotting en route local tobacco plantations, tobacco drying sheds, farmhouses, etc, surrounded by the beautiful landscape. We stop for lunch in the restaurant next to the giant hillside mural of Prehistoric life, a modern painting representing the geological evolution of Cuba. Dinner at the hotel.
DAY 4. Camping at San Juan Creek BD
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Pinar del Rio City where we visit the Cigar Factory which used to be a prison. Ater lunch, we drive to Las Terrazas, a rural community in the Biosphere Reserve of the mountain range known as the Sierra del Rosario. In the afternoon we take a refreshing swim in the clear waters of San Juan Creek and then prepare for dinner and camping by the stream.
Day 5. Camping at San Claudio Creek BLD
Breakfast. Drive to Rancho Curujey, where we start our trekking through the mountains to San Claudio Creek (6 hours). In this area, French refugees fled the Haiti slave uprising at the end of the 18th century and established themselves as coffee farmers in west and eastern Cuba. The plantations in the west are no longer active but we can see the restored ruins as well as the remains of former houses and African slaves’ barracks. Picnic lunch. Camping and dinner next to the stream.
DAY 6. Hotel Havana **** BLD
Breakfast. Trekking to Bayate Creek (5 hours). Picnic lunch. Transfer back to Havana. Accommodation and dinner at hotel in Havana.
DAY 7. Hotel Playa Larga *** BLD
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Cienaga de Zapata (Zapata Peninsula, Bay of Pigs) on the south coast, facing the Caribbean Sea. We stop en route at Playa Giron for a snorkel dive. No previous training is necessary to dive in the warm waters of Playa Giron, full of corals and fishes. With this introductory easy dive, one dives up to 7 metres depth escorted by a professional instructor. A small floating tank will provide you breathing air through a hose, the maximum depth allowed. Tank, mask, flippers and regulator valve will be provided. Accommodation and dinner.
DAY 8. Hotel Playa Larga *** BLD
Breakfast at the hotel. Day at leisure to enjoy the beach or nautical optional activities. Lunch and dinner at the hotel.
DAY 9. Hotel Helechos *** BD
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we drive eastwards to the Escambray mountains where we make an excursion to Trinidad Village, a Unesco World Heritage site. This village was founded on Cuba’s central-south coast in 1514. It is the best preserved of the country’s provincial colonial cities and 2014 is the 500th anniversary of its discovery. It is perched on the foothills of the Escambray mountains overlooking the Caribbean sea. Trinidad is really a museum city of colonial opulence due to the preservation of its Spanish colonial architecture which was constructed on the wealth obtained from Sugar crops. We conduct a guided walking tour of the old area of this town, visiting a local museum. After lunch, we continue to Topes de Collantes at the peak of the mountain range of the Escambray Ridge, more than 800 meters above sea level. Accommodation and dinner at Helechos Hotel in the mountains.
DAY 10. Hotel Helechos *** BD
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we drive in original Russian army trucks to a panoramic point, where our horses will be waiting for us to take us through mountain trails (“mule trails”) to Javira Waterfall. There we continue on foot along the stream to Cubano Park. Truck transfer back to Helechos Hotel. Afternoon at leisure. Dinner at the hotel.
DAY 11. Hotel Playa Larga *** BLD
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Vega Grande, where we start our trekking down the mountain to Vega Grande Waterfall. Then we descend the stream to reach Caburni Creek and return to the hotel. This is probably one of the most beautiful treks on the tour. Vega Grande and Caburni are the most impressive waterfalls in the Escambray mountains. Picnic lunch and snack included. Drive back to Playa Larga, and have dinner at Playa Larga Hotel.
DAY 12. Hotel Tryp Peninsula Varadero **** All inclusive resort
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we take boats along the Hatiguanico River surrounded by the lush vegetation of this reserve. This resembles a mini Amazon but one notices far more wildlife on this river with herons, spoonbills, ospreys flying overhead. This represents a great opportunity to know about the local flora and fauna, which is represented by mangroves, mahoganies, oaks, mastic trees, as well as lots of birds like woodpeckers, hawks, egrets as well as the Cuban crocodile. Lunch is at the traditional building known as the Fiesta Campesina Restaurant. After lunch, we drive to the magnificent beaches of Varadero located on the north coast. For those passengers who do not wish to stay in Varadero, we drive them back to Havana.
DAY 13. Hotel Tryp Peninsula all-inclusive resort ****plus
Breakfast at the hotel. Day at leisure at the beach. All meals and drinks and entertainments included.
DAY 14. Hotel Tryp Peninsula all inclusive
Breakfast at the hotel. Day at leisure.
This tour is based on a group size of a minimum 6 people. For smaller groups, please enquire.
Tour leader goes free for 10 pax +
INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:
- Bilingual guide all the way
- Meals as described including one drink per meal
- Accommodation as described
- Transport in air-conditioned coach
- All excursions and visits described
- All entrance charges to museums etc
- Visas for UK passengers
NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE
- Insurance (essential)
- Optional extras not shown in itinerary
- Departure tax at Havana airport (25 CUCs – approx £17)