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HomeTours to Central and South AmericaCubaThe Grand Cuba Tour
17 days/15 nights:

The Grand Cuba Tour

Highlights of this tour:

Havana, Viñales, Baracoa, Santiago de Cuba, Bayamo, Camagüey, Trinidad, Cienfuegos.

This package holiday includes the following:

  • Return flight from the UK to Havana (enquire regarding direct flights)
  • Domestic flight: Havana – Baracoa
  • Transfers to and from the airport in Havana
  • Bus: Havana – Viñales – Havana //Baracoa – Santiago de Cuba – Bayamo – Camagüey// Cienfuegos – Havana
  • Transfers: Camagüey – Trinidad – Cienfuegos
  • 15 nights at good hotels and casa particulares including breakfast
  • 3 x lunch (day 4+13+15)
  • 2 x dinner (day 3+12)
  • Cuban tourist visa
  • Individual tour; however, all excursions are done in small, international groups with local, English-speaking guides.
  • 24-hour manned emergency telephone throughout the tour
  • Departure guarantee

The following excursion packages are included:

  • Sightseeing in Havana’s old quarter
  • Excursion to Viñales Valley
  • Sightseeing in Baracoa
  • Sightseeing in Santiago de Cuba
  • Sightseeing in Bayamo
  • Sightseeing in Camagüey
  • Sightseeing in Trinidad including excursion to Sugar Mill Valley
  • Visit to music venue in Trinidad with live music and dance
  • Sightseeing in Cienfuegos
  • Admission to all attractions mentioned

You have the option to change your accommodation in Havana, Viñales and Trinidad from Casa Particulares to a hotel at a supplementary price starting from £450 per person.

You have the option of extending the tour with a beach holiday at one of Cuba’s stunning beaches.
Single supplement (when two or more travelers): £630
Single supplement (when single traveler) £1100
Discounts are available for groups of 4 or more people

Choose this tour because…

Cuba is an outstanding country, unique in many ways. For most people, Cuba is synonymous with revolution, colourful American cars, big cigars and rum. But Cuba is also about amazing architecture, fascinating history, lovely beaches and lush nature. It offers vibrant salsa rhythms and a relaxed, welcoming population permeated by an incredible, infectious joie de vivre.

On this tour, you will experience all the highlights of the island: Havana, Viñales Valley, Baracoa, Santiago de Cuba, Bayamo, Camagüey, Trinidad and Cienfuegos.

You have the option of extending the tour with a beach holiday at one of Cuba’s stunning beaches.

Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Departure from the UK
Day 1: Departure from the UK

Departure from the UK and same-day arrival at Havana airport with stopover(s) on the way. You are met by our partner in Cuba, who is standing with a sign with your name on it. A driver takes you to your accommodation in Havana, a drive of around 30 minutes.

The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Overnight stay Casa Particular - Havana

Day 2: Sightseeing in Havana
Day 2: Sightseeing in Havana

After breakfast, you go sightseeing in Havana’s old quarter, which is on UNESCO’s list of sites worthy of preservation. Put on your good walking shoes, and let the guide take you through Havana’s cobblestoned streets to impressive sites with beautiful old colonial buildings.

Experience the contrast between the newly-renovated and maintained streets and buildings, and the more dilapidated areas, that makes Havana so unique. Highlights of the tour include a visit to the city’s oldest square, Plaza de las Armas, where the city museum and the governor’s palace are located. Plaza de San Francisco Asis at the port of Havana, Plaza Vieja and Plaza de la Cathedral with its beautiful cathedral.

You have the afternoon and evening to yourself.

Overnight stay Casa Particular - Havana

Day 3: Havana – Viñales Valley
Day 3: Havana – Viñales Valley

Today you leave Havana and set a course for the Viñales Valley, where stunning nature experiences await. You travel by bus through the beautiful scenery – a drive of approx. 4 hours.

You have the afternoon to yourself to explore the cosy little town. The town centre is concentrated on the main street, and you can walk from one end to the other in less than 10 minutes. Here, you will find small shops, cafés and restaurants, and a small market selling souvenirs.

Dinner is included at your casa particular, where your hosts will treat you to a delicious dinner prepared using local organic produce.

Overnight stay Casa Particular - Viñales

Day 4: Sightseeing in Viñales Valley
Day 4: Sightseeing in Viñales Valley

After breakfast, you go on a tour of the Viñales Valley, one of Cuba’s most scenic areas of natural beauty. The landscape is dominated by fertile valleys with banana palms, mango trees, tobacco fields and enormous limestone mountains known as “mogotes”.

The first stop on the tour is the lookout point at Hotel Jazmines, which is at the edge of the Viñales Valley. From here, you enjoy a great view down across the valley with its wonderful landscape.

Cuba is famous around the world for its fine cigars, and the Viñales area is renowned for having some of the best tobacco plantations in the country. It is from this area that the leaves, which are later rolled at Havana’s cigar factories, become the famous cigar brands Cohiba and Montecristo. You visit a small tobacco plantation and gain an exciting insight into the process of creating these excellent cigars.

You will also see the gigantic mural, Mural de la prehistoria, which symbolises the evolution of mankind. It was made by Leovigildo González, a local artist, and the Cuban people take great pride in it.

The tour concludes with a visit to the limestone cave, Cueva del India, which once was inhabited by indigenous people. You will be walking for a bit and taking a boat through this impressive cave.

The tour includes lunch at a traditional Cuban restaurant.

The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Overnight stay Casa Particular - Viñales

Day 5: Viñales Valley - Havana
Day 5: Viñales Valley - Havana

You have the morning to yourself in Viñales, before heading back to Havana in the afternoon.

You have the evening at your leisure in Havana, but we recommend an early night as the plane to Baracoa leaves very early the next morning.

Overnight stay Casa Particular - Havana

Day 6: Baracoa - sightseeing
Day 6: Baracoa - sightseeing

You are picked up early from your accommodation and driven to the airport, from which you fly to Baracoa. The flight takes about 2 hours.

Founded in 1512, Baracoa enjoys a scenic location in a bay surrounded by mountains covered with coconut palms. The climate here is perfect for growing cocoa, and the city accounts for 80% of Cuba’s total cocoa production. This is also where the island’s only chocolate factory is located.

After dropping off your luggage at the hotel, you go on a guided tour on foot. Your guide will take you past the beautiful old colonial buildings and the three fortifications that were built between 1639 and 1742 to protect the city. El Castillo, the oldest of the three, has been converted into a hotel. Fuerte la Punta serves as a restaurant, and Fuerte Matachín has been transformed into a museum of city’s history.
You will also pass the towers Joa and Centerio, which were built to keep an eye on those entering the city.

The afternoon and evening are at your disposal. If you want to go out and dance and hear live music, you can visit the cosy music venue, Casa de la Trova.

Overnight stay Hotel El Castillo

Day 7: Baracoa on your own
Day 7: Baracoa on your own

There are no excursions scheduled for today, so you have the day to yourself in the city.

You might like to visit the 560-metre-high flat-topped mountain, El Yunque, or go for a boat trip on the Toa River, the widest river in Cuba. There are many waterfalls here, the largest of which is 17 metres high.

Overnight stay Hotel El Castillo

Day 8: Baracoa - Santiago de Cuba
Day 8: Baracoa - Santiago de Cuba

Today, you drive to Cuba’s second largest city, Santiago de Cuba, which is surrounded by the Sierra Maestra mountains and the Cauto River, the longest river on the island. The city was founded in 1515 and is known as the most “Caribbean” city in Cuba. Music is an important part of life for many of the residents of Santiago de Cuba, and the city is the birthplace of several musicians and music genres, and is famous for its carnivals and Caribbean festival.

The tour to Santiago de Cuba takes around 5 hours.

Overnight stay Hotel Casa Granda

Day 9: Sightseeing in Santiago de Cuba
Day 9: Sightseeing in Santiago de Cuba

After breakfast, you go on a guided tour of Santiago de Cuba. The city has a rich past, and wherever you go, you will feel a sense of history.

You visit La Loma de San Juan, where a famous battle took place in 1898 during the Spanish-American war. The Moncada Barracks, which were attacked by a group of revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro in 1953, and considered to be the start of the Cuban revolution. Santa Ifigenia cemetery, where many of the insurgents of the wars of independence against Spain, the heroes of Castro’s revolution and Fidel Castro himself are buried.

You visit Revolution Square and Cespedes Park, which is surrounded by old buildings, monuments and the beautiful cathedral from 1522.

You also make a stop at a rum bar where you can taste the locally-produced rum.

Overnight stay Hotel Casa Granda

Day 10: Santiago de Cuba – Bayamo - Sightseeing
Day 10: Santiago de Cuba – Bayamo - Sightseeing

Today, you leave Santiago de Cuba early in the morning and drive to the idyllic little provincial city of Bayamo, founded in 1513. It is one of the oldest cities on the island and is a national monument. Bayamo was the centre of a rebellious movement against the Spanish dominance. During the War of Independence in 1869, the city’s inhabitants chose to burn Bayamo down rather than surrender it to the Spanish. As a result, there is not much colonial architecture left today, but there are many war memorials.
The city also played an important role in the Cuban Revolution, which is clearly seen in several places.

On the guided tour, you will learn about the War of Independence and visit several interesting places such as Revolution Square and Parque Cespedes, the heart of the city, where there is a bronze statue of the war hero Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, after whom the park is named.

You will also visit Plaza del Himno Nacional, where there is a monument in honour of Perucho Figueredo, the man behind Cuba’s national anthem.

The tour ends with a visit to the wax museum, where you can see figures such as the island’s national hero José Marti and the American writer Ernest Hemingway.
Please note: The wax museum is closed on Mondays and on national holidays.

The tour to Bayamo takes around 2 hours.

Overnight stay Hotel Royalton

Day 11: Bayamo - Camagüey
Day 11: Bayamo - Camagüey

Today, you will drive to Camagüey, which is the 3rd largest city in Cuba. The drive takes 5–6 hours, so you can sit back in the soft seats and enjoy the scenery rolling past.

You arrive in the afternoon and the rest of the day is spent at your leisure.

Overnight stay Gran Hotel

Day 12: Sightseeing in Camagüey - Trinidad
Day 12: Sightseeing in Camagüey - Trinidad

Today you will go on a guided tour of the historic centre of Camagüey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Before the revolution, the city had grown rich on cattle breeding, and its streets and buildings still bear signs of its past wealth. The city is known for its many churches, beautiful squares and winding streets, which almost resemble a spider’s web.

The sights on the guided tour include the Agramonte Park with its majestic bronze monument dedicated to one of Cuba’s main independence leaders, Ignacio Agramonte, the triangular square Plaza de los Trabajadores, where you will find the cathedral Nuestra Señora de la Merced, an interesting place with catacombs, and San Juan de Dios Plaza, one of the most beautiful squares on the island.

After the guided tour, you drive on to beautiful Trinidad, another UNESCO World Heritage site, which is an absolute highlight of the tour of Cuba. The drive to Trinidad takes around 4.5 hours.
Dinner is included at your casa particular, where you can look forward to tasting Trinidad’s specialities.

Overnight stay Casa Particular - Trinidad

Day 13: Sightseeing in Trinidad
Day 13: Sightseeing in Trinidad

Today, you are going on a guided city tour of Trinidad’s beautiful old quarter. Get your good walking shoes on, as Trinidad’s charming cobbled streets are very uneven.

You will visit locations including the picturesque square, Plaza Mayor and the city’s cathedral, “Iglesia Parroquial de la Santisima Trinidad”, one of the biggest churches in Cuba. Your guide will tell you about the city’s exciting history and architecture on the way. The tour rounds off with lunch in the city.

After lunch, you visit Sugar Mill Valley, a little outside Trinidad. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In the lush valley, which is surrounded by green mountains, are old haciendas, slave houses and sugar mills. More than 50 sugar mills were built in the valley in the 19th century. It was the Spanish who brought slaves over from Africa in the colonial period and set up sugar production, which soon made Trinidad one of Cuba’s richest cities.

You visit the hacienda Manaca Iznaga, founded in 1750 by Pedro Iznaga, one of Cuba’s richest men. Its 44-metre-high tower provided a look-out point to ensure that the slaves did not run from their hard toil in the sugar fields.

In the evening, a local guide will take you to the best music venues in the city. Trinidad is synonymous with music and dance, and it is difficult to keep your feet still when the live music plays and the smiling Cubans and other visitors take to the dance floor to engage in a seductive salsa.

Overnight stay Casa Particular - Trinidad

Day 14: Trinidad on your own
Day 14: Trinidad on your own

The day is spent at your leisure. You might like to visit the fabulous sandy beach of Playa Ancón, which is approximately 14 km from Trinidad.
You can also purchase additional excursions from home.

There are a number of trips that can be purchased:

Overnight stay Casa Particular - Trinidad

Day 15: Trinidad – Sightseeing in Cienfuegos – Havana
Day 15: Trinidad – Sightseeing in Cienfuegos – Havana

Today, you leave Trinidad and drive to Cienfuegos, which is also known as the “Pearl of the South”.
Cienfuegos was founded in 1819 by a group of French immigrants from the USA. The city entered the global map in 1957, when a group of young people with Fidel Castro’s guerrilla took over its military base. This was a short-lived victory, and the uprising was quickly defeated by Batista.
Today Cienfuegos is a pleasant city with very well-preserved buildings, and is for this reason included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

On the 3-hour guided tour, you gain a fascinating insight into the history of the city and experience the stunning French and Spanish architecture the city is so famous for.
You visit locations including the central plaza of Parque Marti, where the beautiful Tomás Terry theatre is located, as well as the city’s cathedral and pedestrian street. Afterwards, the tour continues via the promenade to Punta Gorda, where you can enjoy a cocktail at the beautiful restaurant El Palacio de Valle.

The tour rounds off with lunch before heading back to Havana.

The trip from Cienfuegos to Havana takes around 5 hours.

Overnight stay Casa Particular - Havana

Day 16: Departure day
Day 16: Departure day

Today the tour heads back to the UK. You are picked up from your accommodation and driven to the airport, where your journey home begins.

Day 17: Arrival back home
Day 17: Arrival back home

You arrive in the UK after an eventful tour of Cuba.

Combination options after your tour
4 days/3 nights | Beach holiday extension to Jibacoa
4 days/3 nights | Beach holiday extension to Jibacoa

Price:
Per person in a double room: + £400
Single room surcharge: + £115

Situated on the scenic stretch of coast between Havana and Varadero is Jibacoa, a little gem surrounded by beautiful nature. Round off your holiday here in tranquil surroundings by the beautiful sandy beach, Arroyo Bermejo.

Enjoy the hotel’s many facilities and fabulous restaurants, and have a refreshing dip in the large pool or in the crystal clear sea. Just metres from the coast is a small reef where you can snorkel and experience the colourful life under the sea.
If you feel the need to be active, you can play tennis, volleyball and go on short walks in the lush hills behind the hotel.
The sunset can be enjoyed with a cool mojito in your hand from one of the hotel’s all-inclusive bars.

Please note that the hotel is for guests aged 16+.

Overnight stay Memories Jibacoa

4 days/3 nights | Beach holiday extension to Varadero
4 days/3 nights | Beach holiday extension to Varadero

Price:
Per person in a double room: + £510
Single room surcharge: + £100

Varadero is located on the north coast of Cuba, around a 2½-hour drive from Havana. It is Cuba’s largest and most popular beach area – and for good reason. The 20-km long isthmus welcomes you with white sand, azure water and swaying palms.

In Varadero, you’ll find plenty of resorts, restaurants, souvenir shops and tour operators, who organise trips both above and below the water. You can also play golf out here.

Relax in the picturesque setting by the water and indulge yourself at the all-inclusive hotel, which offers delicious food and a wide range of entertainment and activities.

Overnight stay Hotel Iberostar Tainos

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