Grand Tour of Cuba

Get to know Cuba on a must-see tour through destinations that highlight people, history and culture.


Description

Two weeks in Cuba - this BEST OF trip includes Cuba´s main attractions and cities. The tour includes the major natural regions: the sustainable community Las Terrazas, the Viñales Valley with its imposing Mogotes, the wild Sierra Escambray in the center and the mountains of the tropical Baracoa. Moreover, the main cities with their cultural and revolutionary highlights: starting from vibrant Havana, to Che Guevara’s Santa Clara, the colonial towns of Trinidad and Camagüey to Santiago de Cuba, capital of the rhythm.


Places visited during this trip

Day
Place
Place
Activities:
  • Welcome at the airport by a representative of Caribbean Tours. Transfer to hotel. Dinner at own expense.

    Included services:

    • Transfer

    Included meals today: -

  • Accommodation:

    Iberostar Parque Central***** or similar in Old town, Havana

Activities:
  • Visit one of the well-known cigar factories (H. Upmann, La Corona, Romeo y Julieta or Partagas) in classic American cars. Panoramic tour through the Havana of the 19th and early 20th centuries: along the Malecón, past the legendary Hotel Nacional de Cuba and down Avenida de los Presidentes to the Revolution Square with the portrait of Che Guevara and the monument of José Martí. Continue to the famous cemetery Colón and Capitolio. See more important sights during the drive along the Prado. Lunch in a restaurant in Havana’s old town. In the afternoon, enjoy a walking tour through Havana’s old town - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - past the most important sights such as Plaza de Armas and Palace of the Spanish Governors General, Cathedral square, and much more. Later in the evening, possibility to attend the world-famous Tropicana show.

    Important: Cigar factories are closed in the afternoon and on weekends. In case the cigar factory cannot be visited in Havana, we will try to arrange another visit. During holidays (January/February) only the cigar shops at the factories can be visited.

    Included services:

    • City tour Havana in classic car and by foot,
    • Cigar factory

    Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

  • Accommodation:

    Iberostar Parque Central***** or similar in Old town, Havana

Activities:
  • Drive along the tobacco route to the Pinar del Rïo province. Visit a Casa del Veguero (house of a tabacco farmer). Enjoy spectacular views from the Los Jazmines viewpoint over the Mogote valley with its limestone rocks. Lunch at “Finca Paraíso” within splendid nature. Later, visit the Mural de la Prehistoria, a mural on the side of a cliff where you will enjoy a delicious cocktail. In the late afternoon, drive to Las Terrazas and enjoy a short walking tour through the sustainable community which was built during a reforestation project in 1968.

    Included services:

    • Visit to a Casa de Veguero,
    • Prehistoric Wall,
    • Cocktail

    Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

  • Accommodation: Hotel Moka***(*) or similar, Las Terrazas

Activities:
  • Early in the morning, long drive to the center of the island. Head towards the historic Bay of Pigs to the Cueva de los Peces. This place was formed by karst lagunas and a comprehensive system of underwater caves with an expansion of more than 30 km between Playa Larga and Caleta El Toro. Continuation to the historic city of Santa Clara, where Che Guevara obtained his most important victory. Visit to the Che Guevara mausoleum and the monument of the armoured train, a relic from the revolutionary war, which marked the victory over Batista’s regime.

    Important: The mausoleum of Che Guevara is closed on Mondays and can be closed on other days without prior notice. Caribbean Tours assumes no guarantee for the opening times. However, the monumental memorial itself with an imposing statue of Che alone is worth a visit.

    Included services:

    • Visit to Cueva de los Peces,
    • Che Guevara memorial,
    • Armored train

    Included meals today: breakfast, dinner

  • Accommodation:

    E Central*** or similar in Santa Clara

Activities:
  • In the morning, visit the attractive harbour city of Cienfuegos, inspired by French colonial architecture. Cocktail on the rooftop terrace of the Moorish “Palacio de Valle” on the peninsula Punta Gorda. Later, stroll over the main square José Martí with the nostalgic Terry theatre where Caruso and Sarah Bernhardt once performed. Lunch at a private restaurant. In the afternoon drive to Trinidad a UNESCO World Heritage Site with unique colonial architecture, still detained in time maintaining its soul and essence! Guided tour through the municipal museum. Walk across the main square surrounded by the magnificent mansions of the sugar barons and visit the quaint "Canchánchara” bar to taste their honey cocktail.

    Important: If the museum is closed, another one will be visited.

    Included services:

    • Cocktails,
    • City tour Cienfuegos,
    • Tomás Terry theatre,
    • City tour Trinidad,
    • Visit to a museum

    Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

  • Accommodation:

    Casa Particular in Trinidad

Activities:
  • Early departure up the scenic winding road to Topes de Collantes, past coffee plantations and through the wild landscape of the Sierra Escambray. Continue with local guide by jeep to the starting point of the trail. Hike amongst vibrant local flora and fauna. Depending on the trail, possibility to take a refreshing dip in a natural pool under a waterfall. Rustic lunch at a Finca amidst lush nature. In the late afternoon, drive back to Trinidad, rest of the day at leisure. Dinner at own expense. Enjoy the romantic nightlife by listening to traditional music and dancing e.g. at “Casa de la Música” near the main square.

    Important: Hike 2 - 3 hours with local guide. Due to the limited number of English-speaking local guides, groups might be merged. A private tour cannot be guaranteed.

    Included services:

    • Hike in Topes de Collantes

    Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

  • Accommodation:

    Casa Particular in Trinidad

Activities:
  • Drive through the Sugar Mill Valley with the remains of small 19th century sugar mills, including warehouses, milling machinery, slave quarters and manor houses. Visit the home of the former sugar barons Iznaga with its legendary slave tower. Continue to Sancti Spiritus, hardly touched by tourism, with its romantic Yayabo bridge, built by the Spaniards. Lunch in a local restaurant e.g. “Taberna Yayabo”. Later, drive through green, flat sugar cane fields to Camagüey, known for its tinajones (clay pots that provided a supply of cool water during droughts). Birthplace of the famous Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén. Afternoon at leisure.

    Important: Climb the slave tower at own risk

    Included services:

    • Visit to the salve tower,
    • City tour Sancti Spíritus

    Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

  • Accommodation:

    Middle class hotel*** or similar in Camagüey

Activities:
  • Camagüey was founded as Santa Maria del Puerto del Príncipe. As a result of many pirate attacks, the inhabitants built up the city with narrow streets and maze-like alleys. In the morning, walk through these streets and over the Plaza Agramonte, with a visit to the house where the freedom fighter of the same name was born. Transfer to the small fisherman town, Gibara. The coastal town has been barely touched by tourism and famous for its "Festival de Cine“. In the afternoon, time at leisure.

    Included services:

    • City tour Camagüey

    Included meals today: breakfast, dinner

  • Accommodation:

    Middle class hotel*** or similar in Gibara

Activities:
  • Early departure in direction Cueto, short excursion to Finca Manacas near Birán. The birthplace of Fidel Castro was opened to the public only in recent years and offers an interesting insight into his life and the living conditions before the revolution. Later, head to Moa (nickel mining site) and continue to Baracoa where Columbus first landed along the adventurous coastal road. Arrival in the afternoon and dinner in a private restaurant in the evening.

    Important: If the museum is closed another one will be visited (e.g. in Baracoa, Santiago de Cuba or Havana). Please note: The road between Baracoa and Moa is partly in bad condition. Thus, it must be driven slowly and the journey can take up to 4 - 5 hours. However, there is no alternative route if one wants to get to know this very scenic, interesting and very typical part of Cuba off the beaten track. We do not recommend this trip to guests who shy away from long bus rides and cannot bear bumpy road conditions. Due to bad weather, the bridge over Río Toa might be flooded and closed. In this case, the route will be via Santiago de Cuba.

    Included services:

    • Visit to Finca Manacas

    Included meals today: breakfast, dinner

  • Accommodation:

    Middle class hotel*** or similar in Baracoa

Activities:
  • Baracoa is located in front of the picturesque Mountain El Yunque, nestled in lush tropical nature landscape with coffee, cocoa and banana plantations - pure Caribbean! In the morning, stroll through the colonial heart with the church of Nuestra Señora de Asunción. Afterwards, trip to the beautiful surroundings of Baracoa. Drive to Finca Duaba where you will receive explanations relating to cocoa. Enjoy a boat trip along the Río Toa. Lunch on a rustic eco Finca. Rest of the day at leisure

    Important: Opening times of churches cannot be guaranteed.

    Included services:

    • Visit to Finca Duaba,
    • Boat tour along Río Toa,
    • City tour Baracoa,
    • Church Nuestra Señora de Asuncíon

    Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

  • Accommodation:

    Middle class hotel*** or similar in Baracoa

Activities:
  • After breakfast, continue through the tropical mountains via the stunning mountain pass La Farola and along the coast through an arid, desert-like landscape towards Guantánamo - a stronghold of Afro-Cuban Santería and Haitian voodoo cult. Arrival in Santiago de Cuba in the afternoon - city of the revolution and the birthplace of Cuban son, a melting pot of colours and cultures. City tour with the main attractions: Parque Cespedes, Casa Velázquez, Calle Heredia and Plaza Dolores. Dinner in a private restaurant.

    Important: If Casa Velázquez is closed, another museum will be visited.

    Included services:

    • City tour of Santiago de Cuba,
    • Visit to Casa Velázquez

    Included meals today: breakfast, dinner

  • Accommodation:

    Iberostar Imperial**** or similar in Santiago de Cuba

Activities:
  • In the morning drive to the city of pilgrimage El Cobre, located outside of Santiago de Cuba. Visit to the Basilica of the patroness of Cuba. Afterwards, drive to the bay of Santiago to take the ferry over to the island of Cayo Granma for lunch and visit the fortress El Morro. In the afternoon, panoramic tour past the Moncada barracks, attacked by Fidel and his men in 1953, pass through the former residential area Vista Alegre, San Juan Hill and the Revolution Square. Visit the Santa Ifigenia cemetery with the graves of national heroes José Martí and Fidel Castro. Visit to the legendary “Casa de la Trova”, where many famous musicians (among others Compay Segundo of Buena Vista Social Club) started their career.

    Included services:

    • El Cobre,
    • Ferry ride,
    • Fortress El Morro and Moncada barracks,
    • Panoramic tour of Santiago de Cuba

    Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

  • Accommodation:

    Iberostar Imperial**** or similar in Santiago de Cuba

Activities:
  • In the morning, transfer to the airport in connection with your flight to Havana (or transfer to Guardalavaca and end of the tour for the guests who extend their stay at a beach hotel in the region of Holguín / Guardalavaca. See price reduction below). In the afternoon arrival in Havana and time at leisure. Optional daytrip opportunities available.

    Included services:

    • Airport transfer
    • Domestic flight

    Included meals today: breakfast

  • Accommodation:

    Iberostar Parque Central***** or similar in Old town, Havana

Activities:
  • The World of Sugar starts in the morning with the drive to Madruga in the province of Mayabeque. Visit the sugar factory “Boris Luis” and learn more about the different working processes involved in the sugar production from sugar cane to sugar. Following, get an introduction into cutting and pressing of sugar cane, including a Guarapo (sugar cane juice) tasting. Continue to the stairs of Jaruco.

  • Have lunch enjoying the magnificent views from the terrace before heading for the little rail station of Jaruco. A short train ride leads to Hershey, named after the American “king of chocolate”, who led his sugar empire in Cuba until the 40’s. Take a short walk through the Hershey village with its interesting history. Visit the remains of the former sugar factory and the surrounding Pennsylvanian style buildings. Enjoy a Fiesta Cubana in the gardens of Hershey with local drinks and Cuban music.

    Included services:

    • Sugar factory,
    • Sugar cane juice,
    • Hershey village,
    • Cuban party with music and local drinks

    Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

  • Accommodation:

    Iberostar Parque Central***** or similar in Old town, Havana

Activities:
  • In the morning, time at leisure for last minute shopping. Checkout from the hotel at noon. Transfer to the airport (pick up time depends on the flight schedule). Guests who extend their stay at the beach in Varadero can book (at a surcharge) a private transfer from the hotel in Havana to the hotel in Varadero.

    Included services:

    • Transfer to the airport

    Included meals today: breakfast

Additional information

Minimum number of participants: 2 persons

Maximum number of participants: 16 persons

Services not included:

  • All meals and drinks that are not mentioned in the program
  • Optional excursions: Shows incl. transfers
  • Extending nights e.g. in Varadero
  • Transfer to Havana airport after the extending nights
  • Personal expenses and tips