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HomeTours to Central and South AmericaCubaWestern Cuba Self-drive Holiday
14 days

Western Cuba Self-drive Holiday

Go on a self-drive holiday in western Cuba, taking in Havana, Viñales and Trinidad and rounding off with a beach holiday at the beautiful beach in Varadero.

Western Cuba Self-drive Holiday Western Cuba Self-drive Holiday
14 days

Western Cuba Self-drive Holiday

Go on a self-drive holiday in western Cuba, taking in Havana, Viñales and Trinidad and rounding off with a beach holiday at the beautiful beach in Varadero.

Choose this tour because…

Feel the freedom of a self-drive holiday in Cuba. Get close to the welcoming people and experience the beautiful country at your own pace.

After a gentle start in Cuba’s charming capital, Havana, your self-drive adventure begins. You visit places such as Viñales Valley, with its famous tobacco plantations and wildlife on the Zapata Peninsula. Feel a sense of history at the Bay of Pigs, the famous site of a failed American invasion in 1961… You will also discover the colonial gems of Cienfuegos and Trinidad, where dance, music and Cuban joie de vivre fill the air. There is also time for a quick stop in Santa Clara, where Cuba’s national hero Che Guevara’s museum and mausoleum are located.

The tour comes to an end at Varadero’s stunning sandy beach, where azure waters and swaying palms await you.

What is included in the price?
This package includes the following
  • Return flights from the UK to Havana (enquire regarding direct flights)
  • Transfers to and from the airport in Havana
  • Sightseeing in Havana with an English-speaking guide
  • Car rental from days 3–10, including unlimited mileage (Model MG5 or similar)
  • 9 nights at a casa particulares, including breakfast
  • 3 nights at an all-inclusive beach hotel in Varadero
  • 3 x dinner (days 4+6+8)
  • Cuban tourist visa
  • 24-hour manned emergency telephone throughout the tour
  • ATOL certificate included
  • Departure guarantee – the tour goes ahead regardless of the number of participants
  • Possibility of daily departure

 

Interested in changing your accommodation from a casa particular to a hotel? Then please contact us to find out how much extra it will cost.

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Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Departure from the UK and arrival in Havana

Departure from the UK and arrival at Havana airport with connecting flights on the way. You are met by our partner in Cuba, who will be holding up 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.

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. You experience the contrast between the newly-renovated and well-maintained streets and buildings, as well as the more dilapidated areas that make 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 Catedral with its beautiful cathedral.

You have the afternoon and evening to yourself.

Day 3: Havana on your own – Pick up your car
Day 4: Havana – Viñales Valley

The self-drive programme starts today, and it’s time to leave Havana and drive to Viñales Valley, where stunning scenery awaits you.

The landscape is dominated by fertile valleys with banana palms, mango trees, tobacco fields and enormous limestone hills known as “mogotes”. Farmers still cultivate crops and tobacco in the old-fashioned way with ox-drawn carts. The Viñales area is known to have some of the best tobacco plants, and the leaves from this area are later rolled at Havana’s cigar factories to become world-renowned brands such as Cohiba and Montecristo.

Dinner is included at your casa particular. Look forward to a dinner made from delicious organic ingredients from the region.

The day’s mileage: approx. 210 km

Day 5: Viñales on your own
Day 6: Viñales – Zapata Peninsula – the Bay of Pigs

You drive from Viñales valley to the peninsula, Peninsula de Zapata, one of the country’s most important ecosystems and the most expansive wetlands in the Caribbean. The peninsula is known for its abundant flora and fauna, including 900 different plant species and 171 different bird species, among them parrots and hummingbirds. There are also lots of crocodiles in the wetlands.

You continue to the Bay of Pigs, which has great historical significance for Cuba. This was where the US’s unsuccessful invasion took place in 1961. Learn all about the exciting story with a visit to the Girón Museum.

There are two lovely beaches by the bay, Playa Larga and Playa Girón, where you can enjoy a refreshing dip.

After a long day of driving, you can look forward to dinner, which is included at your casa particular.

The day’s mileage: approx. 380 km

Day 7: The Bay of Pigs – Cienfuegos

It’s a relatively short drive day today, so you can head for the beach before driving on to the city known as the “Pearl of the South”, Cienfuegos.

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. Take a walk down to Parque Marti, the city’s central square, where you will find sights such as the well-preserved “Tomas Terry” theatre from 1890, and the spectacular mayor’s office.

You can also walk or drive along the seafront to Punta Gorda, where you will find some of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Enjoy lunch or a drink at Palacio de Valle, which is a stunningly beautiful building that looks as if it came from an Arabian fairytale.

The day’s mileage: approx. 120 km

Day 8: Cienfuegos – Trinidad

Today, the tour continues to Trinidad, which is another highlight of your holiday.

Cars are not allowed in Trinidad’s old town, so put on your good walking shoes and go for a walk through the cobblestoned streets and take in the beautiful, colourful colonial buildings. The city’s pleasant central square, Plaza Mayor, buzzes with life. This is where you will find one of the largest churches in Cuba, “Iglesia Parroquial de la Santisima Trinidad”, not to mention Casa de la Musica where you can dance salsa and listen to Cuban rhythms in the evening.

Dinner is included at your casa particular tonight.

The day’s mileage: approx. 90 km

Day 9: Trinidad on your own
Day 10: Trinidad – Santa Clara - Varadero

Today, we recommend that you get an early start from Trinidad to give you enough time to stop off at Santa Clara en route to Varadero. Santa Clara is where Cuba’s national hero Che Guevara is buried.

Wherever you are in Cuba, you will find reminders of the revolution in the form of large signs with slogans as well as pictures of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.

On Revolution Square in Santa Clara, you will see the great bronze statue of Che Guevara bearing his famous words “Hasta la victoria siempre”. Behind the statue is his mausoleum and an exciting museum about his life.

Please note: Che Guevara’s mausoleum and museum are closed on Mondays and Cuban public holidays.

The car is returned in Varadero in the afternoon.

The day’s mileage: approx. 350 km

Days 11-12: Varadero

Welcome to the beach paradise, Varadero, where a stunningly beautiful beach, swaying palms and azure waters await you.

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, above and under the water.

Day 13: Departure day

The time has come to say goodbye to Cuba. You are picked up at the hotel and driven to the airport in Havana.

Day 14: Arrival back home

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

Single supplement (when two or more travelers) £480
Single supplement (when single traveler) £930
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