With The ultimate Cuba Tour, you will gain a fantastic insight into Cuba, one of the most unique destinations in the world. Our fully escorted tour, led by an experienced guide will cover all the most important sights of the Island, but also allow you to discover the real Cuba!
INCLUDED IN THE ULTIMATE CUBA TOUR
- Two nights accommodation at a recommended Casa Particular, Havana
- Two nights accommodation at the Moka Hotel, Las Terrazas National Park
- Two nights accommodation at a recommended Casa Particular, Trinidad
- One night accommodation at the Gran Hotel Camaguey or similar, Camaguey
- One night accommodation at the Royalton Hotel, Bayamo
- One night accommodation at the Villa Santo Domingo, Sierra Maestra Mountains
- Two nights’ accommodation at the Melia Santiago Hotel, Santiago de Cuba
- Two nights’ accommodation at the El Castillo Hotel or similar, Baracoa
- One night accommodation at a recommended Casa Particular, Havana
TRANSPORTATION / GUIDE
- All transportation as required in the itinerary using fully air-conditioned transportation.
- The services of one English speaking guide specialising on Western Cuba from Day 1 to lunchtime on Day 6
- The services of one English speaking guide specialising on Eastern Cuba from lunchtime Day 6 until the end of Day 11
- An English speaking guide for the activities on Day 12 covering the Baracoa area.
Restaurant Lunches / DINNERS
- 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 Club Cienfuegos, Cienfuegos or similar / 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 local restaurant, Santa Clara / Dinner at Hotel in Camaguey, Camaguey
- MONDAY, Lunch at Hotel Royalton, Bayamo / Dinner at Hotel Royalton, Bayamo
- TUESDAY, Lunch at Villa Santo Domingo Hotel, Sierra Maestra Mountains / Dinner at Villa Santo Domingo Hotel, Sierra Maestra Mountains
- WEDNESDAY, Lunch at local restaurant, Santiago / Dinner at Hotel Melia Santiago de Cuba, Santiago de Cuba
- THURSDAY, Lunch at Morro Fortress Restaurant, Santiago de Cuba / Dinner at Hotel Melia Santiago de Cuba, Santiago de Cuba
- FRIDAY, Lunch at Villa Baracoa, Baracoa / Dinner at Villa Baracoa, Baracoa
- SATURDAY, Lunch at Finca Duaba, Baracoa / Dinner at Villa Baracoa, Baracoa
- SUNDAY, Dinner at La Terraza de Asturias Restaurant, Havana
- TUESDAY, Museum of the Revolution, Havana
- TUESDAY, Cocktail making class
- TUESDAY, Old American Car Tour, Havana
- WEDNESDAY, Las Terrazas Nacional Park, Las Terrazas
- THURSDAY, Cigar Factory, Pinar del Rio
- THURSDAY, El Indio Limestone Cave System, Vinales Valley
- THURSDAY, Tobacco Drying House, Vinales Valley
- THURSDAY, Guided Walk, Vinales Valley
- SATURDAY, History Museum, Trinidad
- SATURDAY, Museum of the Fight Against the Bandits, Trinidad
- SATURDAY, La Canchanchara, Trinidad
- SUNDAY, Manaca Iznaga, Sugar Mill Valley, Trinidad
- SUNDAY, Entrance to Che Guevara’s Museum and Mausoleum, Santa Clara
- TUESDAY, Entrance to Sierra Maestra National Park, Sierra Maestra
- TUESDAY, Entrance to La Plata Revolutionary Base, Sierra Maestra
- WEDNESDAY, Entrance to Iglesia del Cobre, Santiago de Cuba
- THURSDAY, Entrance to Moncada Barracks, Santiago de Cuba
- THURSDAY, Entrance to Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, Santiago de Cuba
- THURSDAY, Entrance to Lucha Clandestina Museum, Santiago de Cuba
- THURSDAY, Entrance to Castillo del Morro, Santiago de Cuba
- SATURDAY, Entrance to Finca Duaba, Baracoa
- SUNDAY, Buena Vista Social Club Performance, Havana
The Ultimate Cuba Tour Itinerary
Monday – Day 1
On arrival into Havana airport, you will be welcomed and a transfer will take you to the accommodation confirmed for the tour, situated in an excellent location in central Havana.
Depending on the time of your 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
After breakfast, we will head to the Museum of the Revolution, housed in the former Presidential Palace, the museum offers a fascinating insight into Cuba’s revolutionary history. After our visit, 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!
At the end of an interesting insight into Old Havana where the guide will ensure you have seen the sights and a number of hidden, but fascinating locations away from the normal tourist route, lunch will be served in one of our favourite restaurants in Old Havana. After lunch, we 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 certainly be the chance to sample the cocktails if you wish. We will then spend a couple of hours exploring the other areas of central Havana in Old American cars!!! You will 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 past the elegant mansions and embassies in Miramar district before a spectacular drive along the “Malecon”, Havana’s seafront promenade. If time is available after the tour, the late afternoon will be free to enjoy Havana independently or relax back at your accommodation.
Dinner tonight will be taken 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 might want to visit the famous Tropicana open air cabaret show that dates back to the 1930’s it would be possible to pre-book your tickets before leaving the UK or on arrival to Cuba subject to availability and after dinner you can head off to the show.
The guide can also recommend bars and music venues in the city for those that might want to head off independently.
Wednesday – Day 3
After breakfast, we 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, we 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 you can take a wander into the local community.
This evening dinner will be taken at a local restaurant specialising in local Cuba cuisine situated in the community below the hotel.
Thursday – Day 4
After breakfast, we head west stopping firstly at the provincial capital of Pinar Del Rio to visit a small working cigar factory that is involved in the production of many world famous Cigar brands in Cuba. There will be a tour of the factory to see the process where the cigars are still hand made by local experts. We then head 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 organic 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.
Leaving Vinales in the late afternoon we head back to Las Terrazas, before another unique dinner tonight in the organic vegetarian restaurant in the village. The fascinating menu with the ingredients sourced locally will make it an interesting evening.
Friday – Day 5
After breakfast, we will leave Las Terrazas and head past Havana and down the very “quiet” motorway towards the south coast of the island where our first stop will be to explore the French influenced small colonial city of Cienfuegos. Overlooking a picturesque bay on arrival we will take lunch and then take a stroll through the colonial centre and along the seafront “malecon” promenade.
Leaving Cienfuegos, we will head along the picturesque coast 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!
Saturday – Day 6
After breakfast, we will enjoy a comprehensive tour of the center of Trinidad including visit the Museum of the Fight Against the Bandits, which covers the revolutionary battles in the nearby Escambray mountains. Here, you can climb the bell tower for the very best views across Trinidad. The tour will also 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 its lovely, 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 at Playa Ancon and enjoy the beach and 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!
Sunday – Day 7
This morning we head to 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!
Continuing the day, we head to Santa Clara, a city of major historical significance in Cuba. We will visit the final resting place of Che Guevara at the very symbolic Mausoleum with time to visit the museum dedicated to his life.
After lunch we will head east along through the agricultural heartland of Cuba and past the small city of Ciego De Avila as well as Florida a very typical “county town“, where the locals boast that its nicer to live in their Florida rather than the more famous Florida! In the late afternoon, we will arrive at Camaguey, Cuba’s third largest city.
Camaguey is known for its delightful and most pedestrianized colonial centre, its maze of alleyways and shaded plazas as well as an abundance of historic and ornate cathedrals, some with a very European design. Dinner will be served in the hotel tonight and you can wander through the centre independently if you are not too tired.
Monday – Day 8
This morning there will be a panoramic walking tour of Camaguey with the chance to learn about the history of the city and explore the colonial centre which is an UNESCO World Heritage site.
After the tour of the city we will continue our journey east towards Bayamo, a small town known locally as “La Heroica” due to its long history of revolutionary battles against the Spanish in the 19th Century and Batista’s troops during the last revolution.
On arrival into Bayamo lunch will be available at the hotel and there will be time to settle in, relax and take a stroll around the picturesque and friendly town.
In the afternoon, you will begin a short orientation tour of Bayamo which will focus on the leafy square of Parque Cespedes. Parque Cespedes, named after the “Father of Cuba”, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, born overlooking the square, in fact announced Cuba’s first independence from Spanish rule in the same square in 1868!
For the rest of the day you can settle in at the hotel or take a stroll around this picturesque and friendly town.
Tuesday – Day 9
Tody you will travel deep into the Sierra Maestra Mountains, passing small farmhouses and villages with wonderful mountain scenery. Later that morning, you will arrive at Villa Santo Domingo, nestling deep in the mountains with views to Cuba’s highest and most sacred mountain, Pico Turquino. Lunch will be served at a local hotel/ Casa in this beautiful and peaceful tiny mountain village.
After lunch, jeeps will take you higher into the mountains for a walk deep into the forests to La Plata, the former HQ of Fidel Castro’s revolutionary heroes. You can see the various hidden buildings including Fidel’s actual house and the radio station from where they launched the Revolution. Continuing the trail, there is an option to visit the tiny mountain community of La Platica.
After a late afternoon return from La Plata, you can relax at the local hotel or country Casa Particular and perhaps explore the local hamlet or sit by the river and watch the darkness creep up over the mountains. In the evening dinner will be served and you can rest after a long but rewarding day.
Wednesday – Day 10
After breakfast, take an easy stroll through the village and along the bank of the River Yara where you can see amazing views of the mountains. The river has gorgeous pools for a cooling bathe!
Next, we will set off for Santiago De Cuba, stopping en route at El Cobre, a picturesque church and Cuba’s most sacred pilgrimage site with a shrine to Virgin Mary. Here, you can enjoy a tour of the church and its many historic gifts bestowed by visitors!
The tour will continue to Santiago de Cuba in time for a late lunch and the remainder of the day will be free to relax at the hotel or explore the local area. Dinner tonight can be taken at leisure in the hotel.
Thursday – Day 11
After breakfast, you will spend the day with a full exploration of this city that has been of crucial importance throughout Cuba’s history.
You will visit the Moncada Barracks, the location for what many describe as the start of the Revolution and the small Museum that depicts Fidel Castro’s attack on the barracks on 26th July 1953. Next, you will visit the central square, Parque Cespedes, surrounded by historic buildings, including the Ayuntamiento, where Fidel Castro gave his victory speech when the revolution was won in January 1959.
There will also be a visit to the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery a most important site in Cuba and the final resting place of Fidel Castro, one of the world’s most recognised leader’s and his simple, but powerful mausoleum is constantly guarded and there will be a chance to stay for the impressive changing of the guard ceremony. The Cemetery also contains the final resting place of Cuba’s national hero Jose Marti, as well as a number of other important revolutionary and historical figures including the Bacardi family.
There will also be a visit to Calle Heredia, one of the city’s liveliest streets, Padre Pico Street, made famous by the intense games of draughts played by the locals, and the Museum “Lucha Clandestina”, situated in the 17th Century Tivoli district. The Museum depicts the revolutionary underground movement headed by Fidel Castro, who lived as a youth across the street from the museum.
A visit to Santiago De Cuba cannot miss the Castillo del Morro, a historical fortress offering fantastic views across the Caribbean Sea and the impressive Sierra Maestra mountains. You will enjoy a traditional Cuban lunch at a restaurant next to the fortress offering stunning views of the coastal scenery.
In the evening, dinner will be served in the hotel and the remainder of the evening will be free to relax at the hotel, wander through the centre of Santiago De Cuba or visit a local music club such as the Casa De La Trova.
Friday – Day 12
Departing the hotel early in the morning for one of the most interesting and spectacular drives in Cuba. Firstly, we head to the city of Guantanamo made famous globally for two VERY different reasons, firstly the ballad Guantanamera taken from a poem written by Cuba’s national hero Jose Marti and secondly, for the US base and now Camp X Ray only 15 miles from the city. You will stop in the city where you can sense the presence of the nearby base!
The tour will continue along the very south eastern tip of Cuba where at times the scenery is almost desert- like, we will take “La Farola” to Baracoa. Before 1965, Baracoa was reached from Santiago by boat only, but a Revolutionary feat of engineering secured a road across the mountains on which we will travel. The scenery is amazing and we will make some stops to admire the view. Look out for local farmers selling fresh fruit and cocoa at the roadside!
On arrival into Baracoa a late lunch will be served at the hotel and there will be time to relax and unpack before an early evening stroll through the picturesque centre of Baracoa, reputedly the place where Christopher Columbus first landed in Cuba and where they say the remains of his cross still lie in a local church.
After dinner, you will have the chance to relax in one of the local music bars where you can mix with the locals, some of the friendliest in Cuba.
Saturday – Day 13
After breakfast, we will travel to Rio Toa, Cuba’s wildest river which runs through a UNESCO protected reserve. There will be a chance to enjoy an exhilarating boat ride up the river through some spectacular scenery of this remote part of Cuba.
The day will continue with a visit to Finca Duaba. Lunch will be served at this Cuban farm which is surrounded by lush tropical scenery and the location of Cuba’s cocoa plantations. Take a guided walk through the farm and learn a little more about Baracoa’s famous chocolate production.
Late afternoon, you will return to Baracoa with time to relax at the hotel. After dinner, you can enjoy the local sights and sounds of Baracoa at night!
Sunday – Day 14
The morning will be free before a transfer takes you to the airport for the return flight direct to Havana.
On arrival into Havana, after a transfer to the hotel, the remainder of the day is free to relax in Havana.
In the evening, we will have another truly unique experience as we head to La Terraza at the Asturias Centre for an excellent dinner overlooking the famous Prado Boulevard.
Seats are reserved for the final night spectacular! A performance by the world-famous Buena Vista Social Club in their home city Havana where dancing is guaranteed and the evening is a fitting finale to an unforgettable week exploring Cuba.
Monday – Day 15
Your last morning will be free before a transfer takes you to the airport for the return flight away from Cuba to your onward destination.
THE ULTIMATE CUBA TOUR PRICE:
3799.00 USD – 5129.00 CAD land only per person based on two adults in one room including taxes (Land only).
SUGGESTED ADD ON: TROPICANA SHOW OFFER #2: 99.00 per adult
Enjoy the World famous Tropicana Show with preferred seating, welcome cocktail, ¼ bottle of Havana Club Rum and snacks. (Transportation to and from the show not included, voucher will be provided locally)
ADD ON: VARADERO AIRPORT – HAVANA HOTEL – VARADERO AIRPORT SHARED LAND TRANSFER: 50.00 per person