ESSENTIAL CUBA TOUR – 7 nights

This Cuba Tour is a a seven night fully escorted tour that has been carefully designed from over 30 years’ experience of tour planning in Cuba to experience one of the most unique destinations in the world. We have included a number of unique highlights in the tour itinerary that most other tours on the market do not offer. These include:

  • An afternoon cruising the streets of Havana in a chauffeur driven old American car
  • Visit to the Las Terrazas National Reserve with a chance to spend time in the local community
  • A weekend in Trinidad when the live music scene is at its best!

GUARANTEED WEEKLY DEPARTURES ON MONDAYS

This Cuba Tour can be upgraded and customized to your needs.

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Description

You will gain a fantastic insight into Cuba. Our fully escorted Cuba tour, led by an experienced guide, will cover the most important sights of the Island, but also allow you to discover the real Cuba!.

INCLUDED IN THE ESSENTIAL CUBA TOUR:

ACCOMMODATION:

  • Two nights accommodation at a recommended Casa Particular, Havana on BB basis.
  • Two nights accommodation at the La Moka Hotel, Las Terrazas National Park on BB basis.
  • Two nights accommodation at a recommended Casa Particular, Trinidad on BB basis.
  • One night accommodation at a recommended Casa Particular, Havana on BB basis.

TRANSPORTATION / GUIDE:

  • All transportation as required in the itinerary using fully air-conditioned transportation.
  • The services of an English speaking guide throughout the itinerary.

Restaurant Lunches & Dinners included in this Cuba Tour:

  • Breakfast is included and will be taken at your accommodation.
  • TUESDAY Lunch at La Imprenta Restaurant, Havana or similar.
  • Dinner at La Fontana Restaurant, Havana.
  • WEDNESDAY Lunch at Restaurant Farmers House, Las Terrazas.
  • Dinner at La Fonda Mercedes Las Terrazas.
  • THURSDAY Lunch at Organic Farm Restaurant, Vinales.
  • Dinner at La Romero Organic Vegetarian Restaurant, Las Terrazas.
  • FRIDAY Lunch at a local restaurant Santa Clara.
  • Dinner at chosen Casa Particular Restaurant, Trinidad.
  • SATURDAY Lunch at Plaza Mayor restaurant Trinidad or similar.
  • Dinner at Local Private Restaurant, Trinidad.
  • SUNDAY Lunch at El Nicho Park, Cienfuegos.
  • Dinner at 5 Sentidos Restaurant, Havana.

Entrances included in this Cuba tour

  • TUESDAY             Cigar Factory, Havana.
  • TUESDAY             Museum of the Revolution, Havana.
  • TUESDAY             Old American Car Tour, Havana.
  • WEDNESDAY Las Terrazas Nacional Park, Las Terrazas.
  • THURSDAY             El Indio Limestone Cave System, Vinales Valley.
  • THURSDAY             Tobacco Drying House, Vinales Valley.
  • THURSDAY             Guided Walk, Vinales Valley.
  • THURSDAY             Cocktail making, Vinales Valley.
  • FRIDAY             Che Guevara’s Museum and Mausoleum, Santa Clara.
  • FRIDAY             Tren Blindado, Santa Clara.
  • FRIDAY             Manaca Iznaga, Sugar Mill Valley, Trinidad.
  • SATURDAY             History Museum, Trinidad.
  • SATURDAY             La Canchanchara, Trinidad.
  • SUNDAY             El Nicho Waterfall National Park.
  • SUNDAY             Legendarios de Guajirito Performance, Havana.

 

ESSENTIAL CUBA TOUR ITINERARY

Monday – Day 1:

After a welcome at Havana airport, a transfer will take you to your accommodation confirmed for the tour, situated in an excellent location in central Havana.

Depending on the time of arrival, there may be the chance to take a wander through the local area and sample Havana’s amazing street life before retiring to bed ready for the tour ahead.

Tuesday – Day 2:

Breakfast at accommodation.

After breakfast, you will meet our guide for the first time, then you will head to one of Havana’s fascinating working cigar factories, to see where Cuba’s famous cigar brands are still hand made by the local workers. Experience first-hand the stages in production from the dried tobacco leaves, to the famous branded boxes being ready for export around the world.

You will then continue to the Museum of the Revolution, housed in the former Presidential Palace, the museum offers a fascinating insight into Cuba’s revolutionary history. Lunch will then be served in one of our favourite restaurants in Old Havana.

After lunch, there will be a fascinating, guided stroll through Old Havana, visiting the four famous historical squares, Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza de San Francisco, Plaza Vieja and Plaza de Armas. Absorb the atmosphere and amazing vibrancy of Old Havana and explore the narrow bustling streets which many have described as walking through a film set! An interesting insight into Old Havana where the guide will ensure you have seen the sights and some hidden, but fascinating locations away from the normal tourist routes.

There will then be a little free time to relax with a chance to head back to your accommodation for a rest, or you can continue to explore Havana independently.

In the early evening you will explore the other areas of central Havana in Old American cars!  Be chauffeur driven through the city in the most fantastic vehicles dating back to the 50s, a great way to enjoy this unique city!

The cars will take you to the impressive Revolution Square overlooked by the mural of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, through the downtown Vedado district of the city, and then on a spectacular drive along the Malecon, Havana’s seafront promenade. Next, past the elegant mansions and embassies in Miramar district where tonight’s very interesting dinner venue is located.

Dinner will be at La Fontana, one of Havana’s famous private restaurants, a perfect spot after a day exploring the city.  With great food and service, it’s a fitting end to a fabulous day.

For those that would like to visit the world-famous Tropicana open air cabaret show that dates back to the 1930’s, it is possible to pre-book your tickets before arriving in Cuba, or on arrival to Cuba (subject to availability). For those guests adding on this optional extra (additional charge), after dinner you can head off to the show.

Your guide can also recommend bars and music venues in the city for those that might want to enjoy the evening independently.

Overnight in Havana.

Wednesday – Day 3:

Breakfast at accommodation.

After breakfast, you will leave Havana and head to Las Terrazas National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty which is protected as one of Cuba’s most important National Parks. You will visit the former coffee plantation houses where the guide will recount the history of Cuba’s coffee industry linked so closely to the slave trade.

Wander through the lakeside village, meet the local community and have a coffee in Maria’s coffee shop, whilst the more adventurous can take an exhilarating zip wire ride* through the tree tops and across the lake, quite an experience! *Optional activity to be paid locally

A short walk will take you along the San Juan River to an area of natural pools where it’s possible to swim, relax by the river, sunbathe or take a walk along the river banks.

After lunch at the farmers house restaurant, in a lovely setting within the national reserve and still the home of a local farmer, the remainder of the afternoon will be free to relax at the hotel or take a walk into the local community.

This evening dinner will be taken at a local restaurant specialising in local Cuban cuisine situated in the community below the hotel.

Overnight in Las Terrazas.

Thursday – Day 4:

Breakfast at accommodation.

After breakfast, you will head west to the immensely picturesque Vinales Valley, an area protected by UNESCO as a world heritage site for its outstanding natural beauty, dominated by strange limestone mountain formations called ‘Mogotes’.

The valley is also the home of Cuba’s tobacco plantations and during your time in Vinales, there will be a subterranean boat ride through the El Indio cave system, a visit to a typical tobacco drying house to see how the tobacco crops are turned into the world’s best cigars.  Take a short-guided walk through the valley stopping off at a farmer’s house for coffee and explore the picturesque Vinales village.

A fabulous and unique lunch will be served at a local organic farm affording wonderful views across the valley and there will be a chance to learn a little more about the farm and its organic methods which attracted the attention of President Obama.

After lunch, you will visit a local bar and have the fun of making some of Cuba’s famous rum cocktails with the local bar staff and there will be the chance to sample the cocktails if you wish.

Leaving Vinales in the late afternoon you will head back to Las Terrazas, before another unique dinner tonight at the organic vegetarian restaurant in the village. The fascinating menu with locally sourced ingredients will make it an interesting evening.

Overnight in Las Terrazas.

Friday – Day 5:

Breakfast at accommodation.

After breakfast, you will leave Las Terrazas and head past Havana, down the very ‘quiet’ motorway towards the east, where our first stop will be to explore Santa Clara, a city of major historical significance in Cuba.

You will visit the final resting place of Che Guevara at the very symbolic Mausoleum with time to visit the museum dedicated to his life, as well as Tren Blindado, a small museum and the iconic remains of the government train that was attacked by Che Guevara and his revolutionaries, a significant turning point in the Cuba Revolution.

Lunch will be served in a local restaurant before you take the picturesque road through the Escambray mountains towards Sugar Mill Valley where the 145ft Manaca Iznaga Tower stands as a silent witness to Cuba’s history of slavery where over 30,000 slaves worked in the sugar plantations overlooked by the tower!  A ghostly visit.

As the day draws to a close you will head along the picturesque road to Trinidad, preserved by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, for a two-night stay and dinner will await in one of our chosen casa particular restaurants!

Overnight in Trinidad.

Saturday – Day 6:

Breakfast at accommodation.

After breakfast, you will enjoy a comprehensive tour of the center of Trinidad including visit the History Museum focusing on a family’s life in Cuba in the 1800s, and the you can sample the unique Trinidad rum and sugar cane cocktail at La Canchanchara, an old house dating back to the 18th Century, beware it is delicious, but very strong!

After lunch in a local restaurant, the remainder of the afternoon will be free to relax in the city, or perhaps take a taxi to the nearby Caribbean beach of Playa Ancon and enjoy the beach and perhaps even the sunset there.

Dinner tonight will be at a local private restaurant, it’s the final evening in Trinidad and also the weekend, therefore dancing to local live music is a must so feel free to visit one of Trinidad’s growing number of bars and listen to some excellent live music!

Overnight in Trinidad.

Sunday – Day 7:

Breakfast at accommodation.

An early departure from Trinidad takes you towards Cienfuegos, with a visit to El Nicho Park, a marvel of nature with dozens of waterfalls and natural pools in an area virtually untouched, hidden among the mountains and one of the most beautiful spots in Cuba. A paradise which combines the green of the vegetation, rivers, the Black Creek waterfalls, where water plunges more than 30 meters, and we reach the area by taking a very scenic route through many quaint rural villages.

During the tour, you can walk up through numerous walking paths with ‘El Reino de las Aguas’, a gentle hiking trail of 2 km (1.2 miles). Observe the flora and fauna and enjoy swimming in the cool river pools at the end of the walk. Lunch will then be enjoyed here.

Continuing after El Nicho to the French influenced small colonial city of Cienfuegos, which sits overlooking a picturesque bay. On arrival you will take a stroll through the colonial centre and along the seafront ‘malecon’ promenade. Leaving Cienfuegos, perhaps have a snooze as you head back towards Havana for the last night on the tour.

In the evening, there will be a farewell dinner in a carefully chosen private restaurant in Old Havana, before heading to a performance by ‘Legendarios de Guajirito’, This outstanding band is made with former members of the Buena Vista Social Club and the Afro-Cuban All Stars. Dancing is guaranteed, and the evening is a fitting finale to an unforgettable week exploring Cuba.

Overnight in Havana.

Monday – Day 8:

Breakfast at accommodation.

Today is free for you to explore Havana independently, relax or leave Havana for your beach extension in Varadero, the Cayos or eastern Cuba.

For those leaving Cuba today, a transfer will collect you from the hotel and take you to the airport for your departure flight home.

 

ESSENTIAL CUBA TOUR PRICE:

1679.00 USD – 2269.00 CAD per person based on two adults in one room including taxes (Land only).

ADD ON TO THIS CUBA TOUR: VARADERO AIRPORT – HAVANA HOTEL – VARADERO AIRPORT SHARED LAND TRANSFER: 50.00 per person

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