THE ULTIMATE CUBA TOUR – 14 nights

This ultimate Cuba tour is a fourteen night fully escorted tour that has been carefully designed from our 30 years’ experience of tour planning in Cuba.

GUARANTEED WEEKLY DEPARTURES on Mondays

This Tour can be upgraded and customized to your needs.

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Description

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

ACCOMMODATION

  • Havana 2 nights at a recommended Casa Particular OR Hotel Sevilla both on BB*.
  • Las Terrazas National Park 2 nights at the Moka Hotel on HB.
  • Trinidad 2 nights at a recommended Casa Particular (night 1 HB, night 2 BB basis).
  • Bayamo 1 night at the Royalton Hotel, on HB.
  • Santiago de Cuba 2 nights at the Melia Santiago, on HB basis.
  • Baracoa 2 nights at the El Castillo Hotel or similar, (1-night FB, 1-night HB).
  • Holguin             1 night at the Hotel Caballeriza or similar, on HB basis.
  • Sancti Spiritus    1 night at the Hotel El Rjjo or similar on HB basis.
  • Cienfuegos 1 night at the Hotel Union or similar on BB basis.
  • * We have based prices on staying at one of the authentic and unique superior Casas Particulares in Old Havana, offering an authentic and comfortable stay in the city. Alternatively, you can stay in the colonial style and comfortable Sevilla Hotel in Old Havana which is a historic, famous and iconic hotel in the city.  Supplements for the Sevilla have been included.

TRANSPORTATION / GUIDE

  • All transportation as required in the itinerary using fully air-conditioned transportation.
  • The services of an English-speaking guide from Day 1 to lunchtime on Day 6.
  • The services of an English-speaking guide from lunchtime Day 6 until Day 15.

Restaurant Lunches / DINNERS

  • 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 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 local restaurant, Camaguey.
  • Dinner at Hotel Royalton, Bayamo.
  • MONDAY Lunch at Villa Santo Domingo Hotel, Sierra Maestra Mountains.
  • Dinner at Hotel Melia Santiago De Cuba, Santiago De Cuba.
  • TUESDAY Lunch at local restaurant, Santiago De Cuba.
  • Dinner at Hotel Melia Santiago De Cuba, Santiago De Cuba.
  • WEDNESDAY Lunch at hotel restaurant, Baracoa.
  • Dinner at hotel restaurant, Baracoa.
  • THURSDAY Lunch at Finca Duaba restaurant, Baracoa.
  • Dinner at hotel restaurant, Baracoa.
  • FRIDAY Packed lunch or local restaurant close to Santiago De Cuba or Biran.
  • Dinner at hotel restaurant, Holguin.
  • SATURDAY Lunch in a local restaurant Camaguey.
  • Dinner at the Hotel El Rijo, Sancti Spiritus.
  • SUNDAY Lunch El Nicho National Park.
  • A farewell dinner at a specially chosen local restaurant in Cienfuegos.

Entrances

  • 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.
  • MONDAY Entrance to Sierra Maestra National Park, Sierra Maestra.
  • MONDAY Entrance to La Plata Revolutionary Base, Sierra Maestra.
  • TUESDAY Entrance to Moncada Barracks, Santiago de Cuba.
  • TUESDAY Entrance to Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, Santiago de Cuba.
  • TUESDAY Entrance to Castillo del Morro, Santiago de Cuba.
  • THURSDAY Entrance to Finca Duaba, Baracoa.
  • FRIDAY Entrance to Casa de Fidel, Biran.
  • SUNDAY Entrance to El Nicho National Park.

The Ultimate 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.

Overnight in Havana.

 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 specializing 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 today as you head east with a brief first stop at the picturesque colonial town of Sancti Spiritus, one of the only towns in Cuba with a river running through it.  Enjoy a short, guided tour of this typical Cuban town before continuing on to Camaguey, Cuba’s third largest city.

Camaguey is known for its delightful pedestrianised colonial centre with a maze of alleyways and shaded plazas, as well as an abundance of historic and ornate cathedrals, some with a very European design. On arrival there will be a short-guided tour of this historic city and lunch will be served in a local restaurant.

Continuing east you will move 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 dinner will be served in the hotel and you can wander through this picturesque and friendly town independently.

Overnight in Bayamo.

Monday – Day 8

Breakfast at accommodation.

After breakfast there will be a short orientation tour of Bayamo which will focus on the leafy square of Parque Cespedes, named after the ‘Father of Cuba’, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, born overlooking the square. In fact, he announced Cuba’s first independence from Spanish rule in the same square in 1868!

After the tour you will travel deep into the Sierra Maestra Mountains, passing small farmhouses and villages with wonderful mountain scenery. Later in the 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.

Upon arrival, the 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.

Upon your return to the beautiful and peaceful tiny mountain village lunch will be served, then there will be a little time to relax and explore or wander up the river and watch the day draw to a close over the mountains, before setting off to Santiago De Cuba one of the most important cities in Cuba.

After your evening arrival into Santiago De Cuba, you can settle in to your accommodation and enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant at your leisure.

**A considerable amount of walking and hiking is involved so a decent level of fitness and mobility is required. The La Plata walk is approximately a 6km round trip. The terrain around Comandancia de la Plata can be uneven, rocky and possibly muddy (especially after rain) with some fairly steep climbs. For guests not wanting to take part in this day due to a concern of it being too challenging, it is possible to relax instead at Villa Santo Domingo whilst others take part.

Overnight in Santiago de Cuba.

Tuesday – Day 9

Breakfast at accommodation.

After breakfast, you will spend the day with a full exploration of Santiago de Cuba, a city of crucial importance throughout Cuba’s history.

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 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 leaders. 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 then 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.

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. 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, and maybe wander through the centre of Santiago De Cuba or visit a local music club such as the famous Casa De La Trova.  

 Overnight in Santiago de Cuba.

Wednesday – Day 10

Breakfast at accommodation.

Departing the hotel early in the morning, you will take one of the most interesting and spectacular drives in Cuba. Firstly, you will 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, and then you 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 you will travel.  The scenery is amazing, and you 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.

Overnight in Baracoa.

Thursday – Day 11

Breakfast at accommodation.

 After breakfast, you 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 at leisure!

Overnight in Baracoa.

Friday – Day 12

Breakfast at accommodation.

You will leave Baracoa today and head back over the spectacular La Farola road towards Santiago de Cuba before heading north across the island towards Holguin province. An interesting road that, after leaving the motorway, passes through many pleasant towns and villages before you stop at the tiny village of Biran in the foothills of the Nipe Mountains. Biran is the birthplace of Fidel and Raul Castro who both became iconic world leaders and you will see the house where the brothers were born, which is also the final resting place of their parents. Lunch today will be served enroute to Holguin.

After a tour of Biran the journey will continue to Holguin, founded in 1545 and now one of the largest cities on the island. There will be a short tour of the colonial centre of the city, famed for its numerous small squares, a focal point for local life.

The evening will be free to explore Holguin independently. Dinner will be served tonight at the hotel.

 Overnight in Holguin.

Saturday – Day 13

Breakfast at accommodation.

After breakfast this morning, you will leave Holguin and travel west towards Camaguey, where on arrival lunch will be taken in a local restaurant. After lunch there will be some free time to explore the charming pedestrianised colonial centre independently.

The journey continues to Sancti Spiritus, one of the smaller cities in Cuba and one that features an attractive colonial centre that is well worthy of an afternoon of exploration. Dinner tonight will be taken in your appealing colonial style hotel, located in the very centre of the city.

Overnight in Sancti Spiritus.

Sunday – Day 14   

Breakfast at accommodation.

An early departure from Sancti Spiritus takes you towards Cienfuegos, with a visit en-route to El Nicho Park, a marvel of nature, with waterfalls and natural pools in an area, 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 can plunge more than 30 meters, and you will reach the area by taking a very scenic route through many quaint rural villages.

During the tour, you can take 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 as well as a rustic local lunch which will be served at the falls.

After visiting El Nicho, you will continue on to the French influenced small colonial city of Cienfuegos, which sits overlooking a picturesque bay. On arrival there will be time to take a stroll through the colonial centre and along the seafront ‘malecon’ promenade. Tonight, the last night of an amazing adventure through Cuba, you will enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight in Cienfuegos.

Monday – Day 15

Breakfast at accommodation.

After breakfast and some free time in Cienfuegos, you will head to Havana with the first stop at the airport for those taking flights home or to onward destinations such as Miami, Mexico, The Cayman Islands, Toronto. There will also be the opportunity to stay for extra nights in Havana city or the nearby beach areas of Jibacoa and Varadero, and you will be dropped at your accommodation after the stop at Havana Airport.

 Please talk to us to get inspiration and discuss ideas if you wish to continue your holiday.

THE ULTIMATE CUBA TOUR PRICE:

3699.00 USD – 4999.00 CAD land only per person based on two adults in one room including taxes (Land only).

 

THE ULTIMATE CUBA TOUR PRICE SUGGESTED ADD ON: TROPICANA SHOW OFFER #2: 100.00 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.

TRAVEL TIMES: Approximate journey times by road without breaking to give an indication of travel required. Road closures and other local conditions may mean changes, so please treat as a rough guide rather than definitive times.

 

  From To Hours
Day 1 Havana Airport Havana City 0.5
Day 3 Havana Las Terrazas 1
Day 4 Las Terrazas Vinales  2
Day 4 Vinales Las Terrazas  2
Day 5 Las Terrazas Santa Clara 4.5
Day 5 Santa Clara Trinidad  2
Day 7 Trinidad  Sancti Spiritus 1.5
Day 7 Sancti Spiritus Camaguey 2.5
Day 7 Camaguey Bayamo 3
Day 8 Bayamo Sierra Maestra 2
Day 8 Sierra Maestra Santiago De Cuba 3.5
Day 10 Santiago De Cuba Baracoa 4.5
Day 12 Baracoa Biran 6
Day 12 Biran Holguin 1
Day 13 Holguin Camaguey 3
Day 13 Camaguey Sancti Spiritus 3
Day 14 Sancti Spiritus El Nicho Park 2
Day 14 El Nicho Park Cienfuegos 1
Day 15 Cienfuegos Havana 3.5

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