Grand Tour of Cuba

Grand Tour of Cuba

15 days / 14 nights
Group Tour, guaranteed departures with a minimum of 2 participants
Start & Finish: Havana, Cuba

Discover the wonderful island that fascinated Humboldt during the 19th century. This emblematic tour will start in Havana the astonishing city, which has been shaped by 500 years of history. Travel through Cuba’s geography and visit historic cities such as Santa Clara and Santiago de Cuba. Walk through the intertwined streets of Camaguey and admire the great mansions and beautiful public squares in Trinidad. Learn about how Cuban cigars are made and visit Fidel Castro’s home. Yes, this tour really has a little of everything. Head off the beaten path to the unique fishing village Gibara and then explore Baracoa, which was the first city to be founded in Cuba. Soak in the view of El Yunque, which captivated Christopher Columbus and learn about the history of rum in Santiago de Cuba. As to be expected, this exceptional tour also allows time to enjoy the beautiful beach. Spend a whole day relaxing in the Caribbean breeze and turquoise waters of Playa Ancon.

Destinations

  • Havana
  • Santa Clara
  • Trinidad
  • Camagüey
  • Birán, Holguín
  • Gibara
  • Baracoa
  • Santiago de Cuba


Main attractions:

  • Detailed itinerary from the West to the East of Cuba.
  • Inspiring and unique experiences, like Hershey train.
  • Transcendental cultural and historic sites in Cuba.
  • Learn about how Cuban cigars are made.
  • Enjoy the beautiful beach Playa Ancon in Trinidad.

Day 1: Arrival in Havana

Welcome at the airport by a representative of Caribbean Tours. Transfer to hotel. Dinner at own expense.

Important: Surcharge for transfers from Varadero Airpot to Havana applies when arriving in Varadero. Please request transfer rates.

 

Included meals today: -

Included services: Transfer

 

Day 2: Havana: Wonder City 

The day begins with a visit to a cigar factory. Observe the skillful hands that create the world-famous Cuban cigars. Afterwards, enjoy a ride in a classic American car along the iconic Malecón promenade. See the legendary Hotel Nacional, Avenida de los Presidentes and Plaza de la Revolution where the portrait of Che Guevara and the Jose Marti monument are found. Continue along the iconic Cementerio Colón to the Bosque de La Habana: Havana’s lungs and traditional setting for Afro-Cuban rituals. Bask in the glamour as you drive along 5th Avenue in the exclusive neighborhood of Miramar. Take a short break to enjoy lunch at a Paladar (private restaurant) that offers authentic cuisine. Finally, continue to Old Havana in one of Havana’s famous coco taxis (Cuban tuk tuks). Stroll through the cobblestone streets and observe the enchanting people and beautiful colonial architecture. While in Old Havana, we will visit an impressive 16th century fortress, which formed an important part of Havana’s defense system.

 

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 meals today: breakfast, lunch

Included services: City tour of Havana in classic car and by foot, visit to a cigar factory

 

Day 3: Havana - Santa Clara

After breakfast, head east onto the national highway towards central Cuba. Arrive at Santa Clara, the historic city where the Argentinian guerrillero “Che” Guevara secured an important victory that effectively determined the triumph of the revolution. The decisive action entailed the derailment of an armored military train in December 1958. Visit the Mausoleum where his body, found in Bolivia in 1997, is put to rest. Finally, visit Vidal Park, cultural center of the city, and the restored Teatro la Caridad. The rest of the afternoon will be free for leisure activities.

 

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 meals today: breakfast, dinner

Included services:   Visit to the memorial of Che and train Blindado.

 

Day 4: Santa Clara – Sancti Spiritus – Camagüey (305 km)

Early morning departure to the colonial city of Santi Spíritus, founded in the 16th century. Upon arrival, visit the Yayabo Bridge, a time-defying symbol of the colonial city. Stroll along the beautiful boulevard and the city’s colorful streets. Continue to Camaguey, the city of the Tinajones (clay jugs). Founded in 1514, Camaguey was target of frequent pirate attacks, so the city was built with narrow streets and labyrinthine alleyways to disorient the invaders. Finally, enjoy an interesting tour on bicitaxi through the most important plazas of the city.

 

Included meals today: breakfast

Included services: City tour of Sancti Spiritus, Visit to the Yayabo-Bridge, Bici taxi tour

 

Day 5: Camagüey – Holguin – Gibara (255 km)

Holguin is dubbed the city of parks in Cuba. With a lively cultural life, it is known for its many festivals, such as Las Romerías de Mayo, which takes over the streets and plazas every year. Today you will discover the city in and out. Ascend to the iconic Loma de la Cruz for a spectacular panoramic view. Continue to the small fishing town of Gibara, located on the northern coast, well off the typical tourist path. Enjoy the absolute serenity, which is only interrupted by the Gibara International Film Festival. Afternoon at leisure to walk the town and meet its people.

 

Included meals today: breakfast, dinner

Included services: City tour in Holguin

 

Day 6: Gibara – Birán – Baracoa (300 km)

Early morning departure in direction of Finca Manacas, in Birán. Birthplace of Fidel Castro, it has been only a few years since this place opened to the public. The tour of the old estate will offer interesting insights into the life of the Cuban leader. Head for Baracoa via Moa, famous for its nickel, through a bumpy coastal road. Turn onto the embankment that borders the Alejandro de Humboldt Natural Park. This whole area is rich in endemic species, including the smallest bird and frog in the world. It also offers beautiful landscapes, exotic bays, huge rivers and high mountains. Finally, arrive at Baracoa, the first town founded in Cuba. Columbus set foot here in 1492, leaving the first catholic symbol in the New World, the vine cross. In the evening, dinner at a local restaurant offering authentic Cuban food for which Baracoa is well-known, including delicious seafood and coconut infused dishes.

 

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 meals today: breakfast, dinner

Included services: Visit to Finca Manacas

 

Day 7: Baracoa

With the iconic El Yunque Mountain as backdrop, Baracoa is located amidst a picturesque landscape. Its lush tropical vegetation, full of coffee, cocoa and banana, makes it a true Caribbean paradise. In the morning, visit Finca Duaba to learn about the production of cocoa. Enjoy a boat trip down Río Toa and lunch at an Eco-Finca surrounded by beautiful scenery. In keeping with the eco-friendliness of the restaurant, typical dishes will be served in containers made with natural elements. Later, walk through the colonial city center up to the church Nuestra Señora de Asunción when you will have the opportunity to behold the iconic Vine Cross brought by Christopher Columbus. Rest of the day at leisure.

 

Important: Opening times of churches cannot be guaranteed.

 

Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

Included services: Visit to Finca Duaba, boat tour along Río Toa, city tour of Baracoa, visit to church Nuestra Señora de Asuncíon

 

Day 8: Baracoa – Guantánamo – Santiago de Cuba (240 km)

After breakfast, cruise through the tropical mountains via the breathtaking viaduct La Farola, one of the seven civil engineering wonders in Cuba. En route, you will appreciate the whole spectrum of Cuban climate, from tropical forests to semi-desert areas. Once in Santiago, head for the beautiful bay and the San Pedro de la Roca Fort, which was erected in the18th century to protect the city from pirate attacks. Later, visit Casa de Diego Velázquez, former residence of the Spanish conqueror. Built in 1515, this gem is said to be the oldest house in Latin America. Enjoy a delicious Cuban meal and witness a very special moment: Compay Ramón’s coffee ceremony. 

 

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

 

Included meals today: breakfast, dinner

Included services: visit to Casa Velázquez, visit to fortress El Morro

 

Day 9: Santiago de Cuba (30 km)

In the morning enjoy a scenic bus ride through the city. Appreciate the Moncada Barracks, target of Fidel Castro’s famous attack in 1953. Visit the lovely neighborhood of Vista Alegre, the historic San Juan Hill and Santa Ifigenia cemetery, final resting place of former president Fidel Castro, National Hero Jose Marti and members of the illustrious Bacardi family. Visit the city’s Rum Museum to learn about the typical Cuban spirit. Return to the city center to visit the Emilio Bacardi Natural History Museum. After lunch in a beautiful terrace, you will have some free time to explore on your own. In the evening, enjoy traditional Cuban music at the legendary Casa de la Trova where famous musicians such as Compay Segundo, from the Buena Vista Social Club, started their careers.

 

Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

Included services: Visit to Rum Museum, visit to Bacardí Museum, visit to Santa Ifigenia cementery, panoramic tour of Santiago de Cuba

 

Day 10: Santiago – Bayamo – Camagüey (350 km)

After breakfast, head for the Basilica Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre. Located atop a hill, Basilica is shrouded in a peaceful calmness that not even the frantic vendors can break with their cries to sell allegoric stamps and stones. More than one celebrity has commended to “Cachita”, as the Virgin is commonly known. Continue to the historic city of Bayamo. Famous for its horse-drawn carriages, it is here that the struggle for the independence from Spain began. Bayamo is also where the national anthem was composed and sang for the first time; fittingly it goes by the name of “La Bayamesa”. Upon arrival, enjoy a city tour in one of those carriages before proceeding to Camaguey. Visit a local gallery at the city of tinajones and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.

 

Included meals today: breakfast, dinner

Included services: visit to basilica El Cobre, City tour in Bayamo, Visit an Art Gallery

 

Day 11: Camagüey – Trinidad (275 km)

In the morning, leave for Trinidad, a city with cobblestone streets and unique colonial architecture. The 500-year-old Spanish villa recently added to its long list of accolades that of World Craft City, bestowed by the World Crafts Council. Enjoy a guided tour of the city’s Romantic Museum, former palace of the wealthy Brunet family. Stroll through the main square to see the magnificent mansions that used to belong to the town’s sugar barons in the early nineteenth century. Continue to your hotel in the Ancon peninsula, just a few kilometers from the city center.

 

Included meals today: breakfast, all-inclusive

Included services: Visit to Romantic Museum, City tour in Trinidad

 

Day 12: Trinidad to relax

Take the day off to relax in the all-inclusive hotel in Trinidad. Enjoy the warm, crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea.

 

Included meals today: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Included services: All Inclusive

 

Day 13: Trinidad – Cienfuegos – Havana (335 km)

Your day begins with a drive along the coastal road to the port city of Cienfuegos, the only city in Cuba that was founded by the French. Stroll across the main square and see the iconic Teatro Terry, a local art symbol where the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso once sang. Continue to Punta Gorda to enjoy a cocktail at the emblematic Palacio de Valle, a gem of Moorish-style Cuban architecture. Lunch at a local paladar and leave for Havana. Dinner at own expense.

 

Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

Included services: City tour in Cienfuegos, cocktail, Visit to Terry´s Museum 

 

Day 14: TransHershey - Nostalgic Adventure on the historic train

Live an authentic experience aboard Hershey’s electric train. Being the only of those artefacts still in use, this journey will take you back to the 1920s. Look forward to a Cuban party full of joy, drinks and traditional music. Arrive at Hershey to explore this forgotten town, once centre of the empire of the North-American sugar baron Milton Hershey. 

 

Important: This program item is only for group clients with departure date on Monday. Clients doing the private tour, have the day free.

The excursion is collective, so only client of the group can enrol. Due to age of the train, technical issues could happen, leading to the cancellation of the tour. In which case, there will be full refund and an alternative excursion would be offered. 

 

Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

Included services:  TransHershey excursionv

 

Day 15: Havana (30 km)

Morning at leisure to purchase souvenirs. Check-out at the hotel and transfer to the airport three hours prior to the departure time of your flight home.

Guests extending their stay on the beach in Varadero can book a private transfer from the hotel in Havana to the hotel in Varadero for an extra charge. 

 

Included meals today: breakfast

Included services: Transfer to the Airport

 

Cuba Real Tours guarantee this tour departure every Friday with a minimum of 2 pax! It means that if you book "Grand Tour of Cuba" trip, you'll definitely be heading off on the adventure of explore Cuba’s kaleidoscope of colour and charisma.

Guaranteed Departures - 2021 & 2022:

10/01/2022 *last minute offer applies

24/01/2022

14/02/2022

28/02/2022

14/03/2022

28/03/2022

11/04/2022

25/04/2022

09/05/2022

13/06/2022

11/07/2022

25/07/2022

15/08/2022

12/09/2022

10/10/2022

24/10/2022

Please note PRIVATE version is available any day of the year!

Services Included:

  • Roundtrip in air-conditioned vehicle (taxi/microbus/bus) in customary quality with chauffeur:
    • With 02 participants by taxi (Please note that max. 1 piece of luggage p.p. fits into the car boot.)
    • With 03 - 06 participants by minivan/microbus (6-10 seats)
    • Transfer Havana airport to hotel Havana and transfer back to Havana airport if the transfer is on the last day of the round trip. If not, the transfers have to be booked separately.
    • Private roundtrips include the airport transfer to the hotel in Havana in case of a pre-night in Havana.
  • Excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees according to the program.
  • During the roundtrip (day 1 - 15) English speaking Cuban guide. (Due to possible guide shortage, the airport transfer might be carried out by a Caribbean Tours representative.)
  • 14 overnight stays at the mentioned accommodation (according to availability).
  • 14x breakfast, 5x lunch, 5x dinner, 2x All Inclusive


Services Not Included

  • All meals and drinks not mentioned in the program.
  • Optional excursions and shows incl. transfers (see supplements).
  • Extending nights e.g. in Varadero.
  • Transfer to Havana airport after the extending nights.
  • Personal expenses and tips.

If you're looking for a personalized experience, consider a guided private tour. Please check here the modifications to the original itinerary, defined for private bookings.

Day 14: TransHershey - Nostalgic Adventure on the historic train

Clients who begin their trip on Thursdays and Sundays will get a chance to live an authentic experience aboard Hershey’s electric train[1]. Our journey will take you back to the 1920s aboard the only electric train from that time that is still in use. In addition, enjoy a Cuban party full of joy, drinks and traditional music. Explore the forgotten town of Hershey once the center of the northern American sugar baron Milton Hershey’s empire. 

Clients who begin their trip on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays will enjoy an unforgettable trip to the beach by e-bike. Pedal through different parts of the city along the Malecón to Old Havana before hopping on a Ferry to cross the bay. Upon arrival on the other side, take in the spectacular view of Havana from the Christ statue. We will then continue with a ride through Hemingway’s favorite neighborhood and visit the peculiar gallery of a local artists which is full of artwork made from recycled materials before heading to the beach to soak in the Caribbean sun. 

Overnight stay with breakfast: Hotel NH Capri (B/L)

[1] This is an excursion in group.


Havana ⇢ Santa Clara ⇢ Sancti Espíritus ⇢ Camagüey ⇢ Holguin ⇢ Gibara⇢ Biran ⇢ Baracoa ⇢ Guantanamo ⇢ Santiago ⇢ Bayamo ⇢ Camaguey ⇢ Trinidad ⇢ Cienfuegos ⇢ Havana