day 1 HAVANA.
Reception at the airport by an English-speaking guide and transfer to your hotel in Havana. Dinner at own expense.
Important: Surcharges applies for transfers (Varadero - Havana) upon arrival in Varadero see Caribbean Tours transfer tariffs
Services included: Transfer
day 2 HAVANA.
Havana on wheels (20 km):
Program recommendation: Pick-up of rental car in the morning. (See Caribbean Tours tariffs.) After breakfast, you will meet an English-speaking Caribbean Tours representative at the rental car station: handover of the documents and assistance with the completion of the contract and advice on the route. (Comfort rental car set). Then start your tour on your own:
Commuting in Havana is a challenge for Cubans due to the poor public transportation. Have fun exploring Havana on all kind of wheeled vehicles. Kick off your day hoping on a bicitaxi to contemplate the city waking up. This tricycle is used by many Cubans to make groceries and move around the neighborhoods. Once in Old Havana, discover the colonial past of the city in a walking tour of its four main squares. Give the midday heat a miss with a lunch and a refreshing Mojito at a local restaurant. Take a horse-drawn carriage for a tour around the bay up to the heart of mid-century Havana: The Central Park. Admire the Cuban architecture in all her splendor with renowned buildings like the Havana Capitol, the Great Theater Alicia Alonso and the Inglaterra Hotel. To make the picture perfect, tens of classic cars of the 50s taxiing around set up the scene. Get comfortable on the back seat of one of those, called by locales almendrones, for a panoramic tour of the entire city. Visit the Revolution Square, the Metropolitan Park, the neighborhood of Miramar with its 5th Avenue and the Malecón, ending at your homestay.
Included meals today: breakfast
day 3 HAVANA.
Art and rhythm (25 km)
The people you are going to meet today have something in common: their passion for arts. Your day begins with a visit to the Romerillo Museum, a community initiative by Kcho, one of the most internationally acclaimed contemporary Cuban artists. Kcho introduces the community to the finest art works by exhibiting incredibly precious pieces in rather ordinary settings, like grocery stores and public parks. Continue to visit a rehearsal of the company Havana Queens, a project born of the association of the Cuban choreographer Rosario Blanco and the Swiss producer Patrick Hofer. You will learn about the various Cuban rhythms and will have the opportunity to meet and greet the dancers. Head for a tour of the neighborhood of San Isidro, in Old Havana. Full of controversies and home to renowned dissident artists, the place is filled with contestatory paintings crafted by graffiti artists on the walls of crumbling buildings. You will notice a flourishing movement of young artists and entrepreneurs galvanizing the dynamics of the community with art galleries and local business. Arrive at San José Warehouse, the largest craft market in Cuba, where you will be able to purchase a souvenir. Rest of the afternoon at leisure. In the evening, dinner at Casa Miglis restaurant with an entertainment show courtesy of Havana Queens to see in action the dancers you met earlier today.
Included meals today: breakfast
day 4 HAVANA - SOROA - VIÑALES.
Trade the noise and agitation of Havana for a stunning natural scenery. In the morning, head for Pinar del Río province. Stop in Soroa to admire the orchid garden with a collection of more than 350 species. Leave for a visit to Patio de Pelegrín, a community project created by the artist Mario Pelegrín. This initiative channels the energy of the youth into arts and introduces them to a variety of art forms. Alongside Pelegrín and his team, prepare a traditional dessert. Your trip continues. Arrive in Viñales and appreciate from the lookout point of Los Jazmines the breathtaking valley dotted with its iconic Mogotes. Visit the house of a veguero, where you will be briefed on the world of tobacco. Check in at a Cuban family home in the town of Viñales.
Included meals today: breakfast Total kilometers: 250 km Driving time: 2 hrs 30 min - 3 hrs
day 5 VIÑALES - PLAYA LARGA.
Nature does not cease to amaze. You will not need an alarm clock today, as one of the neighbor’s roosters will happily help with that. Head for the Zapata Swamps, the largest marshlands in the insular Caribbean. Lunch en route and stop at the Zunzún’s House, the private patio of Mr. Bernabé. In this birds’ paradise you will be able to appreciate freely flying hummingbirds, the tinniest bird in the world, as well as other species that use the area as a migration corridor. Not far from there, you will discover the Cueva de los Peces, known as the deepest and most beautiful cenote in Cuba. There is a lagoon that connects with an extensive system of underwater caverns going more than 30 kilometers, from Playa Larga to El Toro Cove. You will have the option to spend the rest of your day at the beach near your homestay. At night, enjoy a homemade dinner at your casa particular.
Included meals today: breakfast Total kilometers: 400 km Driving time: 5 hrs 30 min
day 6 PLAYA LARGA - CIENFUEGOS.
Early in the morning, hit the road bordering Bay of Pigs in direction to Playa Girón, battleground of the 1961 invasion of Cuban mercenaries supported by the US Navy and Air Force, which resulted in the first great defeat of the US military in America. At the Museum of Playa Girón you will learn details of the clash, including the weaponry utilized. Arrive in Cienfuegos, a city of distinctive wide avenues and neoclassic architecture, which was founded and designed to the smallest detail by French settlers. Visit the Terry Theater, built in 1890; the Martí Park and the boulevard. After lunch at a paladar (privately owned restaurant), continue alongside the south coast down to Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage for its well-preserved colonial architecture dating back to the golden years of the sugar industry in the 19th Century. Tour its cobblestone streets and plazas.
Included meals today: breakfast Total kilometers: 220 km Driving time:3 hrs 30 min
day 7 CIENFUEGOS - TOPES DE COLLANTES - TRINIDAD.
Being Cubans nature lovers, it is no wonder there are so many protected areas in the country. One of them is the Protected Natural Landscape of Topes de Collantes. This gorgeous place treasures nearly half the endemic species in Cuba and the best Arabic coffee bean in the country. To visit it, depart in the morning from Trinidad and go along a sinuous road leading to the sun watch situated right at the highest part of the park. Then, you will hop on an authentic local vehicle to do the excursion to the Guanayara Park. Admire the coffee plantations, trek through the dense vegetation, descend to the beautiful waterfall El Rocío, bathe in the Poza del Venado and enjoy a traditional lunch in the gardens of the Casa de la Gallega estate. In the afternoon, return to Trinidad.
Included meals today: breakfast Total kilometers: 60 km Driving time: 1 hrs 30 min
day 8 TRINIDAD - VALLE DE LOS INGENIOS - SANTA CLARA - VARADERO/HAVANA.
Leave behind Trinidad on a 16 km drive leading to the villa’s most iconic site: the Manaca Iznaga Tower. Outlasting the slavery times, this tower overlooks the Valle de los Ingenios, a sugar cane industry powerhouse in the colonial period. Continue to Santa Clara, the city that witnessed the most important victory of the iconic guerrilla fighter Ernesto “Che” Guevara, one that effectively determined the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. Visit the “Che” Guevera Memorial, the final resting place of the epoch-making revolutionary. Stop at Café Revolución to enjoy a refreshing drink and appreciate an interesting collection of objects and photos from those first years of the Revolution. En route to Havana, stop in Varadero to drop off clients opting for a beach extension.
Important: Climb the Torre Iznaga at your own risk
Important: The mausoleum (Che Guevara monument) is closed on Mondays and may be closed on other days without prior notice.
Included meals today: breakfast Total kilometers: 330 km / 400 km Driving time: 3 hrs 30 min - 5 hrs