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Cuba on a Shoestring

There’s more to Cuba than sandy beaches and cigars. Beyond its beautiful coastlines and tobacco farms lies a place filled with more adventure than you can imagine. Dive into the ocean for incredible snorkelling, learn to whip up some of the finest mojitos from the local experts of Playa Larga, and find your rhythm as you salsa dance in the cradle of the Cuban Revolution. Whether you’re in it for the food or the fiestas, this 15-day venture will have all the ingredients needed to spice up your journey.

Latin America
  • Duration: 16 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Not Rated%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: CCCS/240200
  • Starts: Havana, Cuba
  • Finishes: Havana, Cuba
  • Age requirement: 18 - 39
You will Visit
  • Havana
  • Viñales
  • Playa Larga
  • Remedios
  • Gibara
  • Baracoa
  • Santiago de Cuba
  • Bayamo
  • Camagüey
  • Trinidad

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Havana

Arrive at any time. Ride in style in an antique automobile from the airport to the the tour's starting point, a "casa particular" (Cuban home used as a bed and breakfast).

02

Day 2: Havana/Viñales

Enjoy a walking tour of Old Havana. Travel through a rich agricultural area en route to Viñales where both sugarcane and tobacco are grown. Visit a "vega" (tobacco plantation) to see how the famous Cuban cigars are made.
Viñales is in the Pinar del Rio province and located in a fertile valley surrounded by the unusual mogotes, or limestone pincushion hills. Arguably one of the prettiest natural areas in Cuba, we have many opportunities here to enjoy the area, whether it be hiking or simply sitting back and enjoying the view.

03

Day 3: Viñales

Enjoy an orientation walk then a free day in the area. Opt to go caving, hiking, biking, or just relax and enjoy the beautiful views of the valley.
Arguably one of the prettiest natural areas in Cuba, take the chance to explore the area, or simply sit back and enjoying the view.

04

Day 4: Viñales/Playa Larga

Set off for laid-back Playa Larga. Learn how to make a mojito from a local expert, and be sure to sample the goods!

05

Day 5: Playa Larga/Remedios

Hop into the ocean for a morning of snorkelling in the Bay of Pigs. Set off through the countryside to Santa Clara. Step into Cuban history, and visit the Che Guevara mausoleum and museum. Continue on to colonial Remedios, and soak up the culture in this town that is often overlooked.

06

Day 6: Remedios/Gibara

A long travel day will be rewarded with stunning beaches set amidst green hills that early explorers described as the most beautiful coastline they had ever seen.

07

Day 7: Gibara/Baracoa

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

08

Day 8: 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.

09

Day 9: Baracoa/Santiago de Cuba

Drive along the rugged coast towards Santiago de Cuba, the cradle of the Cuban revolution and home of son rhythms. Enjoy an included salsa lesson, then try out some new moves on the town.
Santiago has a vibrant traditional music scene that will entice even the shyest dancer out to experiment with some salsa moves.

10

Day 10: Santiago de Cuba

Enjoy a free day in Santiago. Explore this Afro-Cuban city by visiting important revolutionary sites, like the Moncada Barracks.

11

Day 11: Santiago de Cuba/Bayamo

Hike through the Sierra Maestra mountains in the footsteps of Che Guevarra and Fidel Castro and learn more about Cuba's history. Transfer to Bayamo in the afternoon.

12

Day 12: Bayamo/Camagüey

Transfer west across the island to Camagüey. Hop in the back of a "bicitaxi" (bicycle-taxi) to tour Camagúey's markets and plazas.

13

Day 13: Camagüey/Trinidad

Travel to beautiful colonial Trinidad, and get a feel for the city's energy on an orientation walk.

14

Day 14: 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, then head out for a Big Night Out.
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.

15

Day 15: Trinidad/Havana

Return to the bustling capital, stopping off at Cienfuegos along the way.

16

Day 16: Havana

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Local Living: Havana Homestay, Havana Hands-on: Salsa Lesson, Santiago de Cuba Big Night Out: Trinidad
    • Arrival transfer
    • Walking tour of Old Havana
    • Cigar tour in Pinar del Rio with demonstrations
    • Mojito making demonstration
    • Snorkelling (Playa Larga)
    • Visits and entry to the Che monument and historical sites in Santa Clara
    • Comandancia de la Plata hike
    • Bicitaxi tour of Camagüey
    • Viñales, Trinidad and Cienfuegos orientation walks
    • Free time Viñales, Baracoa, Santiago de Cuba, and Trinidad
    • Informal Spanish lesson
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Casas particulares (homestays) (15 nts)
    • 15 breakfasts, 2 dinners
    Transport
    • Private vehicle, vintage automobiles, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Visit the home of the world’s best tobacco in Vinales
  • Go swimming in the beautiful water of the Bay of Pigs
  • Learn about the history of the Cuban revolution at the Che Guevara museum and mausoleum
  • Hike to Fidel Castro's secret hideout in the Sierra Maestra mountains