Best of Cuba

Perfect overview of the entire island - not too long and not too short, with all relevant highlights one need to see.


Description

This varied journey provides a perfect overview of the entire island - not too long, not too short, with all the relevant highlights one should see. Discover the island from west to east, explore the important cities and natural regions and end the tour reflecting on your memorable experiences while on the beach of Santa Lucía. Experiences of the nostalgic, vibrant Havana, the stunning tobacco landscape of Pinar del Rio, the significant cultural cities of Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Camagüey and more.


Places visited during this trip

Day
Place
Place
Activities:
  • Welcome at the airport. Transfer to hotel. Dinner at own expense.

  • Included services: Transfer

    Included meals: -

    Accommodation: Middle class hotel ****, Hotel in Old-Havana, Vedado or Miramar

Activities:
  • In classic American cars, drive to one of the well-known cigar factories (H. Upmann, La Corona, Romeo y Julieta or Partagas) and enjoy a panoramic tour through the Havana of the 19th and the early 20th centuries. Drive along the Malecón, past the legendary Hotel Nacional de Cuba, up the Avenida de los Presidentes to the Revolution Square with the portrait of Che Guevara and the monument of José Martí, onwards to the Capitolio and the Gran Teatro de la Habana and finally along the Prado to the Cathedral Square.

  • Lunch at the restaurant “La Imprenta” situated on the famous street Calle Mercaderes – said to be the most beautifully renovated street in Havana.

  • In the afternoon, take a walking tour through Havana’s old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visiting the most important highlights such as Plaza de Armas, El Templete and the Palace of the Spanish Governors General. In the evening possibility to attend the famous Tropicana show.

  • Important Cigar factories are closed in the afternoon, on Saturdays and Sundays, on public holidays, during plant closure and during the festival of cigars. Sometimes the factories are closed any other day without prior notice. In case the cigar factory cannot be visited we will try to arrange an alternative program.

    Included services: Walking tour City tour in a classic American car Visit to a cigar factory

    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Middle class hotel ****, Hotel in Old-Havana, Vedado or Miramar

Activities:
  • Drive along the Tobacco route to the province of Pinar del Rio. Visit a Casa del Veguero (house of a tobacco farmer).

  • Enjoy the spectacular view from Los Jazmines viewpoint over the Mogote valley with its limestone rocks.

  • Lunch at the “Mural de la Prehistoria” immersed in beautiful nature. Afterwards, visit the small, well-kept botanical garden of Caridad (privately owned) in Viñales with a wide variety of plants and fruits.

  • Included services: Visit to a Casa del Veguero visit to the Prehistoric Wall visit to the botanical garden

    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Middle class hotel ****, Hotel in Old-Havana, Vedado or Miramar

Activities:
  • Pick up at hotel and transfer to Madruga in the province of Mayabeque. Visit the sugar factory “Boris Luis” where you will learn about the different working processes involved in the sugar production from sugar cane to sugar. Taste the juicy ‘Guarapo’ (sugar cane juice) and continue to Escaleras de Jaruco.

  • After lunch, you can enjoy the magnificent view from the terrace before heading to the little train station of Jaruco.

  • The short train ride takes you to Hershey, named after the American “king of chocolate”, who led his sugar empire in Cuba until the 40s. Short walk with a specialized guide through the Hershey village with its interesting history. See the remains of the former sugar factory and the surrounding buildings in ‘Pennsylvanian’ style. Enjoy a ‘Fiesta Cubana’ in the gardens of Hershey with open bar (beer, Cuban cocktails, water and soft drinks), dance performances and live music with the group ‘Hershey Son’.

  • Included services: Visit to a sugar factory Glass of Sugar Cane Juice Ride on an old train Walk through the Hershey village Fiesta Cubana

    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Middle class hotel ****, Hotel in Old-Havana, Vedado or Miramar

Activities:
  • In the morning drive in direction of central Cuba to Cienfuegos, an attractive harbor city characterized by French colonial architecture, located on the wide bay of Cienfuegos. Stroll over the main square Parque Martí with the nostalgic Terry theatre, where Caruso once sang.

  • Later, enjoy a cocktail at the Moorish “Palacio de Valle” at Punta Gorda.

  • In the evening, possibility to enjoy the romantic nightlife by listening to traditional music and dancing with the locals or visiting the Casa de la Trova or the Casa de la Música near the main square.

  • Lunch at a paladar (private restaurant). Leave for Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with unique colonial architecture - Trinidad is a city detained in time preserving its soul and essence! Founded in 1514, this town peaked during the sugar boom era in the 19th century.

  • Included services: City tour of Cienfuegos Visit to the Tomás Terry theatre Cocktail Visit to one of Trinidad’s famous nightlife spots

    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Hotel Las Cuevas **(*) or similar in Trinidad

Activities:
  • In the morning, take a city tour with a visit to the Plaza Mayor, surrounded by splendid mansions.

  • Enter the museum in the Palacio Cantero and take a break at the rustic “Canchánchara” bar to taste the local honey cocktail.

  • Later, drive to the Sugar Mill Valley and visit the Hacienda Iznaga, home of the former sugar baron Iznaga and the legendary slave tower. Lunch at a restaurant near the tower. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

  • Important If the city museum is closed another one will be visited. Climb the slave tower at own risk.

    Included services: City tour of Trinidad Visit to a museum Cocktail Visit the sugar mill valley Visit the slave tower

    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Hotel Las Cuevas **(*) or similar in Trinidad

Activities:
  • In the morning, drive through the Sierra Escambray to the colonial Sancti Spíritus, barely touched by tourism, with its romantic Yayabo Bridge.

  • Continue through the green sugar plantations to Camagüey, city of Tinajones (clay pots that provided a supply of cool water during droughts). Stroll through the city and visit the birthplace of Ignacio Agramonte, now a museum. Former cattleman Agramonte fought bravely against the Spaniards in the 19th century and is still one of the most famous heroes in the region. Afterwards, drive to the beach of Santa Lucía.

  • Included services: City tour of Sancti Spíritus Visit to the Yayabo Bridge City tour of Camagüey

    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accommodation: Hotel ROC Santa Lucía*** or similar in Santa Lucía

Activities:
  • Santa Lucia’s 21 km long white sandy beach and the crystal-clear turquoise water invites you to relax. Take this time to digest the first impressions of the last few days. A few kilometers away from the coast you find a breath-taking coral reef with sunken ships from the 19th century. Perfect place for a dive or to snorkel (optional).

  • Included services: -

    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accommodation: Hotel ROC Santa Lucía*** or similar in Santa Lucía

Activities:
  • In the morning, drive to Bayamo, where the fight of the independence from the Spanish crown started and the national anthem “La Bayamesa” was composed.

  • After strolling through the city, drive through Sierra Maestra to the pilgrimage site of El Cobre. Visit the impressively situated basilica with the patroness of Cuba.

  • Late in the afternoon, arrival in Santiago de Cuba, city of the revolution, cradle of the Cuban Son and a melting pot of colors and cultures.

  • Included services: Ride in a horse-drawn carriage visit to El Cobre

    Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Accommodation: Hotel Meliá Santiago**** or similar in Santiago de Cuba

Activities:
  • Panoramic drive past the revolution square and the historic Moncada barracks that were attacked by Fidel Castro and his men in 1953. Visit the cemetery Santa Ifigenia with the graves of the famous Cuban poet and national hero José Martí, the members of the Bacardí family and the former president of Cuba, Fidel Castro.

  • Take the ferry to Cayo Granma, situated in the bay of Santiago, for lunch. Enjoy the stunning views on a visit to the El Morro fortress. Walk through the historic city center and visit the main sites: Parque Céspedes, Casa Velázquez (the oldest house in Cuba), Calle Heredia and Plaza Dolores.

  • Later, enjoy a tour through the rum museum. Encased in a beautiful colonial house, this museum accounts the history of Cuban rum through displays of old machinery, barrels, bottles and labels throughout the last century.

  • In the evening enjoy live music at the popular “Casa de la Trova”, at Patio Artex or at “Casa de los Abuelos”.

  • Important If the Casa Velázquez museum is closed, another one will be visited.

    Included services: City tour of Santiago de Cuba Visit to the cemetery Santa Ifigenia Ferry ride Visit the El Morro fortress Visit to the Casa Velázquez museum Visit to the rum museum Visit to one of Santiago’s famous nightlife spots

    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Hotel Meliá Santiago**** or similar in Santiago de Cuba

Activities:
  • In the morning, drive towards Guantánamo, the stronghold of the Afro-Cuban Santería religion, also known for the U.S. Navy base located close by.

  • Continue through a desert-like landscape with cacti onwards to tropical green mountains and drive over the breath-taking pass, La Farola, down to Baracoa, where Columbus once landed. In the late afternoon, visit the city museum, Matachín, and walk over the main square with the church of Nuestra Señora de Asunción and the cross of Columbus.

  • Important Churches can be closed due to irregular opening times.

    Included services: City tour of Baracoa Visit to the Matachín museum Visit to the Nuestra Señora de Asunción church

    Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Accommodation: Hotel Castillo**(*) or similar in Baracoa

Activities:
  • Baracoa is located in a picturesque scenery at the foot of the Table Mountain El Yunque, amidst lush tropical landscape with coffee, cocoa and banana plantations – the pure Caribbean. Excursion into the beautiful surroundings of Baracoa. After a short introduction into the world of cocoa, drive to the Río Toa where you will enjoy a rowboat excursion. Lunch at a rustic Eco-Finca in the middle of magnificent nature. Rest of the day at leisure.

  • Included services: Boat ride along Río Toa Visit to a Finca

    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Hotel Castillo**(*) or similar in Baracoa

Activities:
  • After breakfast drive to Santiago de Cuba and flight back to Havana.

  • Included services: Transfer

    Included meals: Breakfast

    Accommodation: -

Additional information

Minimum number of participants: 4 persons Maximum number of participants: 16 persons

Services not included:

• All meals and drinks not mentioned in the program • Transfer Havana airport - Hotel Havana - Havana airport • Personal expenses and tips