Bienvenido a Cuba! Welcome to Cuba!

Day 1: Cuba

Upon arrival, soak in the decaying beauty of Havana and the surreal feeling that you have entered a bygone era. This is a very historic time to visit Cuba, as the gates finally creak open to a country so long forbidden, an opportunity has arisen to support the Cuban people and explore their incredible country. As there are no activities planned until your important welcome meeting at 6 pm – why not take a stroll to get acquainted with Cuba’s capital, where vintage cars, plumes of cigar smoke, Neo-Gothic churches and Art Deco theatres come together in a unique mesh of histories. After your welcome meeting, enjoy dinner at a local paladar, a privately-owned restaurant and a great example of Cuba’s incremental shift to a more free-market economy. Paladar means ‘palate’ but the popular usage of the word to describe this kind of restaurant references a Brazilian soap opera popular in Cuba in the 1990s.

Accommodation

  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)

Meals Included

  • Dinner

Special Information

A complimentary arrival transfer is included with your trip. Please ensure you provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel so the transfer can be organised. Please see Joining Point Instructions in the Essential Trip Information section for more information about exiting the arrivals hall and connecting with your arrival transfer driver – who will take you to the address of your assigned guesthouse.

It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time.

Day 2: Havana

This morning, find out more about the local customs, folklore and beliefs of Cuba’s Afro-Cuban religion from an insider on a colourful and unconventional tour with Urban Adventures. Be welcomed into private homes and take the opportunity to learn from the devoted residents as you explore one of Havana’s sub-cultures at a grassroots level, something not often experienced by tourists. Next, you’ll get to see outer Havana in a convoy of classic American vintage cars. Cruise via points of interest – such as the Malecon, Revolution Square, Avenida de los presidentes and ending in Old Havana. Next, your leader will take you on a walking tour around the charming neighbourhood of Old Havana (approximately 2.5 hours). The best place to start any Havana experience is in the Old City, which is one of the best-preserved towns and in 1982 was designated a World Heritage Site. The streets are lined with colonial architecture, 16th-century fortresses and countless churches. Visit La Catedral San Cristobal de la Habana, the Palacio de los Marqueses de Aguas Claras and the Plaza de Armas. After a full day of exploration, enjoy an evening at leisure.

Accommodation

  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Havana – Afro-Cuban Religion Tour (guide and transport included)
  • Havana – American Vintage Car Tour (guide and transport included)
  • Havana – Leader led City Tour of Old Havana

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Day 3: Las Terrazas / Vinales

At about 8 am, head east to Vinales. En route stop by an outer-Havana suburb to see the passion project of Jose Fuster, an artist who has turned an entire neighbourhood into a lively and colourful series of mosaics. Known as ‘Fusterlandia’, the inspiring and whimsical scenery is a perfect spot for pictures, and potentially have the chance to say ‘hola’ to the artist as he works! Continue your journey to a local community in Las Terrazas (approximately 2 hours). The village was built as part of a government reforestation project and has since received a UNESCO biosphere listing. Meet up with local community leaders who will share some insight into Las Terrazas and how the society works. You’ll also visit the ecological research centre and take a guided walk around the complex.

After lunch take a 2-hour drive to Vinales – situated in one of the most picturesque parts of Cuba, it’s a small and culturally rich village, with friendly and welcoming residents. On your way into the village, stop by the vibrant (and somewhat psychedelic) Mural de la Prehistoria – a phenomenal painting that stretches 130 metres across a cliff-face, at the foot of the verdant Sierra de Vinales. The elaborate artwork, which includes a dinosaur, sea monster and a snail, was created to symbolise the theory of evolution and took eighteen people four years to complete. Take the short journey into the centre of town and arrive in time for a brief orientation walk before heading to a privately-owned organic farm to learn about sustainable farming in Cuba. Hopefully meet local farmer Wilfredo Garcia Correa or at least his family who will show us around the farm and explain the methods used to cultivate crops without the use of pesticides, then enjoy a deliciously fresh and diverse meal prepared by the family, a truly authentic farm-to-fork experience!

Accommodation

  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Havana – Jaimanitas (Mosaic-laden Neighbourhood) including Fusterlandia (Entrance fee)
  • Las Terrazas – Sustainable Rural Economy Project (Entrance fee and Guide included)
  • Vinales – Mural de la Prehistoria (Entrance fee)
  • Vinales – Farm to Table Dinner at an Eco-friendly Ranch
  • Vinales – Leader-led Orientation Walk

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Day 4: Vinales

Today at 9 am, spend the morning (approximately 3 hours) finding out more about Cuban agriculture with a visit to a local tobacco farm to learn about the tradition of Cuban cigars. Get an insight as to how the communist system works, how much tobacco they keep, how much produce they give back to the government and how they make ends meet. Learn about the process of tobacco planting to rolling the final cigar. Share in the secret recipe of how they cure their leaves, which originated from one family and has been passed down through three generations – then drink some freshly roasted coffee from the farm while watching an expert roll a cigar. In the afternoon, get involved in a 1-hour salsa dance lesson, followed by a cooking demonstration from a local chef. Vinales is one of the more agriculturally productive areas of Cuba, so an abundance of homegrown seasonal fruit and vegetables are always on offer such as avocados, mangoes, pineapples, papaya, guava, and several varieties of sweet potatoes. Sit back, relax and enjoy the well-prepared meal while overlooking the lush scenery of Vinales.

Accommodation

  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Vinales – Half-day Valley Walking Tour including Tobacco Farmhouse (guide included, no transport)
  • Vinales – Salsa Dance Lesson (1 hour)
  • Vinales – Cooking Demonstration by Local Chef

Optional Activities

  • Vinales – Live Music Venues (Entrance fee only) from – CUC2

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Day 5: Bay of Pigs / Cienfuegos

Depart Vinales at 8 am and head to Cienfuegos – drive for approximately 4.5 hours before stopping for lunch. This afternoon you’ll visit the Korimakao Cultural Project in Ciénega de Zapata, an area famous for its wetlands. Founded in 1992, Korimakao is a project to bring theatre, music, and dancing to remote areas of Cuba. You’ll have the opportunity to meet a director of the project, who will talk to you about the importance of this venture and the number of students that have benefited from it. Continue along to the picturesque town of Cienfuegos, a slice of Paris in the Caribbean. Founded in 1819 by pioneering French immigrants – the elegant architectural influence that these settlers brought with them, earned the city a UNESCO World Heritage Site listing in 2005.

Accommodation

  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Cienaga de Zapata – Korimakao Cultural Project (entrance fee, guide and transport included)
  • Cienfuegos – Leader-led Orientation Walk

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Day 6: Trinidad

This morning at approximately 8.30 am, your leader will show you around the charming streets of Cienfuegos before getting back on the road around 10 am to head to the beautiful city of Trinidad (approximately 1.5–2 hours). Located near the lovely Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of Sugar mills) and Playa Ancón, Trinidad enjoys long stretches of unspoiled, white sand beaches and is home to numerous churches and well-preserved colonial buildings. After lunch, begin with a guided cultural tour of the city (approximately 3 hours) – this includes an opportunity to visit two museums such as Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Bandidos, Museo Romantico or the History museum. Later, visit the privately-owned pottery workshop of the Santander family. This family are well known in the Cuban cultural landscape for having produced pottery for generations as well as assisting in the restoration of sculptures that once existed in this UNESCO world heritage site. Support the Cuban economy by taking the chance to purchase your own pottery as a reminder of your time in Cuba. In the evening, perhaps seek out the dance scene in Cuba. You may wish to see the local Afro Cuban Folkloric dance group that perform shows at the club Palenque, which has cultural and social importance in this region. Nightlife in Trinidad is probably the most accessible and intense in all of Cuba, with numerous live music venues and many dance performances every day of the week.

Accommodation

  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Trinidad – Leader-led City Tour including Museums (entrance fees, guide and transport included)
  • Trinidad – Pottery Centre

Optional Activities

  • Trinidad – Afro-Cuban folklore show (entrance fee) from – CUC3
  • Trinidad – Cave Disco (entrance fee) – CUC5

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Day 7: Trinidad

This morning is yours to explore Trinidad by selecting one of the many optional activities on offer. Perhaps you’d like to hire a bike and cycle along the city’s colorful streets, past once-grand mansions, pastel buildings and wrought iron features – or instead you might choose to explore one of the excellent walking trails in the nearby Sierra del Escambray mountains. Your leader can suggest a lunch place at a local paladar. In the afternoon head to Playa Ancon for some beach time fun and maybe a little snorkeling, followed by a sunset picnic prepared for you by one of the privately-owned guesthouses.

Accommodation

  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Trinidad – Sunset Picnic at Playa Ancon (Weather Dependent)

Optional Activities

  • Trinidad – Musical Instrument Lesson (guitar, double bass, tres, percussion) per hour – CUC10
  • Trinidad – Trek to El Nicho Waterfall (entrance fee, guide and transport included) – CUC65

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Day 8: Havana

Leave Trinidad around 9 am heading towards the National park of Topes de Collantes. Here there is a stop for a swim in a waterfall and to have lunch at a small privately-owned family farm. Head to Santa Clara (approximately 2 hours), a key city in the Cuban Revolution to see the iconic statue of Ernesto Ché Guevara, built to commemorate his death and that of the revolutionaries. There will be time to explore the museum which honours Che’s life. Drive back to Havana (approximately 3 hours) where there will be some time to freshen up before a final fun-filled night of music, dinner and dancing at Rosalia de Castro – where you’ll enjoy an ensemble of Cuban classics performed live by Buena Vista Social Club!

Accommodation

  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Santa Clara – Che Guevara Mausoleum and Museum (entrance fee included, no guide)
  • Havana – Buena Vista Social Club Performance (entrance fee)

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Day 9: Havana

Your adventure ends today after breakfast. There are no activities planned for the final day so remember to say good-bye to your leader before you head back to the U.S.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Special Information

Due to licensing restrictions, only one night’s pre-tour accommodation may be requested. Post-tour accommodation cannot be offered.

Inclusions

Meals
8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners

Transport
Private vehicle

Accommodation
Premium guesthouse (8 nights)

Included activities

  • Havana – Afro-Cuban Religion Tour (guide and transport included)
  • Havana – American Vintage Car Tour (guide and transport included)
  • Havana – Leader led City Tour of Old Havana
  • Havana – Jaimanitas (Mosaic-laden Neighbourhood) including Fusterlandia (Entrance fee)
  • Las Terrazas – Sustainable Rural Economy Project (Entrance fee and Guide included)
  • Vinales – Mural de la Prehistoria (Entrance fee)
  • Vinales – Farm to Table Dinner at an Eco-friendly Ranch
  • Vinales – Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Vinales – Half-day Valley Walking Tour including Tobacco Farmhouse (guide included, no transport)
  • Vinales – Salsa Dance Lesson (1 hour)
  • Vinales – Cooking Demonstration by Local Chef
  • Cienaga de Zapata – Korimakao Cultural Project (entrance fee, guide and transport included)
  • Cienfuegos – Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Trinidad – Leader-led City Tour including Museums (entrance fees, guide and transport included)
  • Trinidad – Pottery Centre
  • Trinidad – Sunset Picnic at Playa Ancon (Weather Dependent)
  • Santa Clara – Che Guevara Mausoleum and Museum (entrance fee included, no guide)
  • Havana – Buena Vista Social Club Performance (entrance fee)

Heritage Tour: Welcome to Cuba!

Call or Click Below for Pricing

To book a tour or learn more, call Jill at (435) 232-4821 or email her:  [email protected]