Havana to Havana

15 days from 1,487pp

The melody of horns floating through the air, classic cars parked in colonial squares, revolutionary statues — get over the resort wall and discover the real Cuba! Travel east to Santiago de Cuba and Baracoa and encounter the birthplace of Cuban rhythms and revolutionary fervour. Soak in Spanish heritage while exploring churches, forts and cobblestoned streets. Overnight in homestays for an immersive Cuban experience few travellers get to enjoy. Don’t just walk down the road less travelled — dance down it. Viva la Revolución!
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15 days Havana to Havana

From 1,487 per person

Is this tour for me?

Travel Style: Classic

All of the highlights, culture, access, and I-can’t-believe-we-did-that moments, all at a great price.

Service Level: Basic

Simple and clean hotels and hostels; affordable public and private transport; lots of optional activities.

Physical Rating: 2 – Light

Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 16, avg 12

Age requirement: 12+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Day 1: Havana

Arrive at any time. An arrival transfer is included to the tour’s starting point, a “casa particular” (Cuban home used as a bed and breakfast), for an authentic Cuban experience.

Check into the Casa Particular and enjoy the city before an evening welcome meeting.

Arrival Airport Transfer:
José Martí International Airport – Havana

You will be met at the airport and transferred to the start location to start your adventure. Please note, the included arrival transfer is from Havana’s José Martí International Airport (HAV).

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting:
1h18:00

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Accommodation

Casa Curazao (or similar)

Day 2: Havana/Santiago de Cuba

Fly to Santiago de Cuba and take an orientation walk with a visit to Castillo del Morro.

Santiago de Cuba is the cradle of the Revolution and home of traditional son rhythms. Opt to visit museums, colonial churches and buildings like the Moncada Barracks. Santiago has a vibrant traditional music scene that will entice even the shyest dancer out to experiment with some salsa moves.

Plane
Havana – Santiago de Cuba1h30m

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… yup, it is a plane, actually.

Orientation Walk
30m-1h

Follow your CEO through the streets of Santiago de Cuba, discover useful spots and interesting sights.

Informal Spanish Lesson

Sit down with the CEO for a brief lesson on some important words and phrases in español to prepare for the upcoming adventure.

Accommodation

Homestay Maria Elena (or similar)

Day 3: Santiago de Cuba

Enjoy a free day in Santiago. Opt to listen to live music at the Casa de la Trova. Explore this Afro-Cuban city by visiting important revolutionary sites, like the Moncada Barracks.

Free Time:
Santiago de Cuba Full Day

Use this day to explore the city any way you like.

Optional Activities – Day 3

Casa de la Trova Visit
Santiago de Cuba

Founded in 1968, the Casa de la Trova is a cultural institution in Santiago de Cuba. This bar/performance space is home to some of Cuba’s finest singers and musicians. These former “trovadores” (troubadors) once walked the streets in twos and threes, performing “boleros” (ballads). Now – people come to them to listen, dance and soak in the laid-back rhythms of this made-in-Cuba music.

Moncada Barracks Visit
Santiago de Cuba

The Moncada Barracks are recognized as a key site in Cuba’s history. On July 26, 1953, a group of armed revolutionaries, led by Fidel Castro, staged a surprise attack against troupes here in a bid to destabilize the leadership of dictator Fulgencio Batista. The rebels failed, many were killed and Castro was jailed. But the event is viewed as the “small engine that ignited the big engine of the Revolution”. Every year, July 26th is celebrated as a national holiday with banners, parades and political speeches.

Accommodation

Homestay Maria Elena (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 4: Santiago de Cuba/Baracoa

Head north to Baracoa and get grounded with an orientation walk. The area offers everything from beaches to hiking opportunities and museums.

The best way to get around this colonial town, situated on the bay with mountains towering in the background, is on foot and with 2 1/2 days to explore the area, there’s plenty of time to see it all.

Wander the malecón (boardwalk) and visit the forts built to defend the city from pirates.

Private Vehicle:
Santiago de Cuba – Baracoa4h30m-5h

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Orientation Walk
30m-1h

Upon arrival, your CEO will take you on an orientation walk around town to help you get your bearings.

Accommodation:

Homestay Rolando y Elvira (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 5-6: Baracoa

With free time, opt to hike near El Yunque or explore the breathtaking beaches for which this area of Cuba is famous.

Take some time to visit the city then head further afield to the mountains or visit the striking black sand beaches.

Playa Maguana and the smaller Playa Nava are both nearby and accessible by bike or taxi. Parque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt is approximately 40 km outside of town and well worth a visit.

 

Free Time:
Baracoa Full Day

With free time here you can explore the beaches, the nearby national park or wander the colonial streets and hang out on the lively boardwalk.

Accommodation:

Homestay Rolando y Elvira (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 7: Baracoa/Santiago de Cuba

Travel back to Santiago de Cuba for one more night before continuing west.

Private Vehicle
Baracoa – Santiago de Cuba4h-5h

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accommodation:

Homestay Maria Elena (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 8: Santiago de Cuba/Camagüey

Arrive in the afternoon to Camagüey. Enjoy an orientation walk, or opt for a guided tour for a better understanding of the city.

Your journey will continue west across the Carretera Central to Camagüey, the third largest city on island. It retains much of its colonial heritage in its buildings, plazas and its tinajones, large clay pots traditionally used in Spain and in its New World colonies for collecting rain water. Explore the narrow winding streets and impressive sites.

Private Vehicle
Santiago de Cuba – Camagüey6h30m-7h

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Orientation Walk
30m-1h Evening

Enjoy a brief walk with your CEO. He/she will give you some tips on finding things like supermarkets, main squares, and ATMs. For more specific or in-depth information, an official guided tour is recommended.

Accommodation:

Hotel Camaguey (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 9: Camagüey/Trinidad

Enjoy an orientation walk and included salsa lesson in Trinidad.

Enjoy the beautiful scenery continuing on to the colonial city of Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to lovely Spanish-style churches and great museums, Trinidad is a hub of cultural activity, never out of earshot from a group of musicians playing local salsa or son. Enjoy an included salsa lesson during your time in Trinidad.

Private Vehicle
Camagüey – Trinidad4h-5h

Stop along the way for an optional visit to La Torre del Esclavo before continuing on to Trinidad.

Orientation Walk
30m-1h

Enjoy a brief walk with your CEO. He/she will give you some tips on finding things like supermarkets, main squares, and ATMs. For more specific or in-depth information, an official guided tour is recommended.

Hands-on: Salsa Lesson

Loosen up those hips and get ready to salsa. Led by expert Cuban instructors, rumba, mambo and cha-cha-chá your way across the floor. Never danced salsa? Have no fear, Cubans are happy to share the secrets behind one of their national pastimes.

Accommodation:

Homestay Trinidad Jesus Pineda (or similar)

Day 10: Trinidad

Enjoy free time in Trinidad. Opt to hike in nearby Topes de Collantes National Park to see the Salto del Caburni waterfall, or visit Ancón Beach for diving, snorkelling or lounging. Savour a local dinner as a group hosted by one of the homestay families.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Trinidad is a haven for activities. If a beach is in the cards, try snorkelling or diving in nearby Playa Ancón. Enjoy a local meal together with one of the host families on Day 10 or 11.

Free Time
Trinidad Full Day

With two days of free time, leave no Trinidadian stone unturned.

Accommodation

Homestay Trinidad Jesus Pineda (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 11: Trinidad

Enjoy free time exploring Trinidad and surrounds

Free Time
Trinidad Full Day

Get out and explore.

Accommodation:

Homestay Trinidad Jesus Pineda (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 12: Trinidad/Santa Clara

Visit the Che Guevara mausoleum and museum.

Continue on to Santa Clara, a key city in the revolution. Santa Clara is probably best known for its statue of Che Guevara at the Plaza de la Revolución. The remains of Che and his comrades who fell in Bolivia are interred in the mausoleum at this site.

Private Vehicle
Trinidad – Santa Clara2h

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Optional Activities – Day 12

Che Guevara’s Mausoleum Visit
Santa Clara

The Che Guevara Mausoleum houses the remains of this Marxist revolutionary leader killed in Bolivia in 1967, as well as 30 of his men. The room itself is designed to resemble the Bolivian mountains where he died. Set eyes on a 6.7m (22ft) bronze statue of the hero. Nearby, there is a museum dedicated to his life and an eternal flame lit by Fidel Castro.

Accommodation

Teresita Homestay (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 13: Santa Clara/Havana

Journey back to the capital and enjoy a walking tour of Old Havana. Opt to visit museums, tour the city by vintage car or attend a cabaret performance at the Tropicana.

Private Vehicle
Santa Clara – Havana3h

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Havana City Walking Tour
Havana

Take a walking tour of Havana and find out what your CEO loves best about this amazing city. See city highlights that may include La Catedral de San Cristóbal de La Habana, the Palacio de los Marqueses de Aguas Claras (which now houses a restaurant), the Museo de Arte Colonial and the Plaza de Armas, with its statue of Manuel de Céspedes (one of the leaders of the Cuban independence movement). Use this walk as a jumping off point to explore the rest of this lively city.

Accommodation

Casa Curazao (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 14: Havana

Enjoy a full free day to get exactly what you want out of Havana.

Free Time
Havana Full Day

Set out to explore the vibrant streets of Havana.

Optional Activities – Day 14

Havana City Tour in Vintage Car

A fantastic way to experience most of Havana—and in style! Hop into a well-preserved car from the 1950s and cruise around, soaking in the city’s atmosphere.

Accommodation

Casa Curazao (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 15: Havana

Depart at any time

Meals included:

Breakfast

What’s Included

  • Hands-on: Salsa Lesson, Trinidad
  • Arrival transfer
  • Castillo del Morro entrance and visit
  • Orientation walks in Santiago de Cuba, Baracoa, Camagüey, and Trinidad
  • Beach time in Baracoa
  • Che Guevara mausoleum and museum visit
  • Old Havana walking tour
  • Free time in Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad, and Havana
  • Informal Spanish lesson
  • Internal flight
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Accommodations

Hotels/casas particulares (homestays) (14 nts).

Meals

12 breakfasts, 1 dinner
Allow USD410-535 for meals not included.

Transportation

Private vehicle, walking.

Staff & experts

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

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