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

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 Havana airport. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner at own expense.

Overnight stay with breakfast included: Hotel Iberostar Parque Central.


Day 2: Havana: marvelous city 

The day will begin with a visit to a tobacco factory[1]. 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. The tour will then continue along the iconic Cementerio Colon to the Bosque de La Habana: Havana’s lungs. Bask in the glamour as you drive along 5th avenue through the exclusive Miramar neighborhood. 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.

[1] Tobacco factories are closed for regular visitors on public holidays, on Sundays, during the company holidays and the tobacco festival. Sometimes also on other days, without being announced beforehand. Caribbean Tours cannot guarantee that the factories are open. When closing, we will offer a replacement program (e.g. visit in Santa Clara´s tobacco factory).

Overnight stay with breakfast included: see former night. (B/L)


Day 3: Havana - Santa Clara (300 km)

After breakfast enjoy a ride on the national highway towards central Cuba, specifically to Santa Clara which is a historic city linked to the triumph of the revolution. It was here where the Argentine Guerrillero Che Guevara scored an important victory for the revolution with the derailment of an armored military train (visit of the train is included in the tour) in December 1958. After his body was found in 1997 in Bolivia it was moved to the Mausoleum in Santa Clara which you will get a chance to visit later in the day. Finally, visit Vidal Park which is a source of pride for the locals, the cultural center and the restored Teatro la Caridad. The rest of the afternoon will be free for leisure activities.

Overnight stay with breakfast and dinner included typical standard hotel, e.g. Hotel E Central (3*) or similar (B/D)


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

Early morning departure to the colonial city of Santi Spiritus which was founded in the 16th century. After arrival in Sancti Spiritus visit the Yayabo Bridge a colonial structure that seems to defy time. Stroll along the beautiful boulevard and the city’s colorful streets. Afterwards we will continue towards Camaguey the city of the Tinajones (clay jugs). Camaguey was founded in 1514 and due to frequent pirate attacks the town’s people decided to build the city with narrow streets and labyrinthine like alleyways to disorient the incoming invaders. Finally, enjoy an interesting bicitaxi tour through the most important plazas in the city.

Overnight stay with breakfast included: typical standard hotel, e.g. Hotel E Santa María (3*) or similar. (B) 


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

After breakfast, we will head to Holguin. Upon arrival visit Loma de la Cruz and stroll around the “city of parks”. Continue towards the small fishing town Gibara which is located 40km from the city. Gibara which is located on the northern coast is off the typical tourist track. It has become famous in the past few years due to its annual movie festival. The afternoon will be free for leisure activities.

Overnight stay with breakfast and dinner included typical standard hotel, e.g. Hotel Ordoño (3*) or similar (B/D)


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

Early morning departure to Cueto with a stop at the Finca Manacas in Birán. Birán was the birthplace of Fidel Castro and it has only been open to the public for a few years. The tour will offer interesting insights into the life of the Cuban leader. Continue through Moa, famous for its nickel mining via the bumpy coastal road with later turns into an embankment that borders the Alejandro de Humboldt Natural Park. This whole area is rich in impressive native species including the smallest bird and frog in the world. It also offers beautiful landscapes, exotic bays, huge rivers and high mountains. Finally reach Baracoa the first town to be founded in Cuba. It is also where Columbus landed in 1492. In the evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant which prepares authentic Cuban food. Baracoa is well-known for its seafood and coconut infused dishes.

Overnight stay with breakfast included: typical standard hotel, e.g. Hotel Castillo (2,5*) or similar. (B/D)


Day 7: Baracoa

Baracoa is located in front of the picturesque backdrop of the mountain El Yunque. Its lush tropical landscape is full of coffee, cocoa and banana plantations making the province a true Caribbean paradise. In the morning, there will be an excursion to the beautiful surroundings of the town. Drive to Finca Duaba where you will learn about cocoa cultivation. There will also be a boat trip on the Río Toa. Lunch will be served at the "Eco-Finca" which is surrounded by beautiful scenery. Afterwards, walk through the colonial city center to the church Nuestra Señora de Asunción. Be on the lookout for the wooden cross brought by Columbus in 1492. The rest of the day will be free for leisure activities.

Overnight stay with breakfast included: see previous day. (B/L)


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

After breakfast, continue through the tropical mountains via the breathtaking La Farola road one of the 7 marvels of Cuba’s civil engineering towards Santiago de Cuba a vibrant melting pot of ethnicities and cultures. While in route you will be able to see both tropical forests and semi-desert areas. Upon arrival in Santiago we will head towards the entrance of the beautiful bay of Santiago and the San Pedro de la Roca Fortress which was constructed in 18th century to defend the city from pirate attacks. Afterwards, visit Casa de Diego Velázquez the former residence of the Spanish colonizer. Built in 1515 this colonial jewel is said to be the oldest house in Latin America. Enjoy a delicious Cuban meal and witness a very special moment: the unique coffee ceremony.

Overnight stay with breakfast included: typical standard hotel, e.g. Hotel Imperial (3,5*) or similar. (B/D)


Day 9: Santiago de Cuba (30 km)

In the morning enjoy a scenic bus ride through the city and see the Moncada barracks which was assaulted by Fidel Castro in 1953. Visit Vista Alegre, the historically important San Juan Hill and the Santa Ifigenia cemetery the final resting place of former president Fidel Castro, national hero Jose Marti and members of the Bacardi family. Learn about rum at the city’s Museo del Ron before returning to the city center to visit the Emilio Bacardi natural history museum. After lunch which will be served at a restaurant with a beautiful terrace you will have some free time to explore on your own. If you fancy traditional music in the evening, visit the legendary Casa de la Trova where famous musicians such as Compay Segundo from the Buena Vista Social Club started their careers.

Overnight stay with breakfast included: see previous day. (B/L)


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

After breakfast, we will head to the basilica Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre. The Basilica is located on a hill and the peace and serenity of the area is only interrupted by the local merchants selling religious stamps and stones. Many famous stars and artists have paid tribute to the virgin or “Cachita” as she is commonly known. Afterwards we will continue to Bayamo the city of the horse carriages. Bayamo is where the struggle for independence from the Spanish throne began and it is also where the national anthem “La Bayamesa” was composed. Upon arrival, enjoy a city tour in a horse carriage. Finally, head to Camaguey where you will have the chance to visit a local gallery.

Overnight say with breakfast and dinner included: standard hotel, e.g Hotel E Santa Maria ( 3.5*) or similar. (B/D)


Day 11: Camagüey – Trinidad (275 km)

In the morning, we will head towards Trinidad a city with cobblestone streets and unique colonial architecture. Trinidad was recently declared a World Craft City by the World Crafts Council. Enjoy a guided tour of the city’s Romantic Museum the former palace of the wealthy Brunet family. During a stroll through the main square see the magnificent mansions that used to belong to the town’s sugar barons during the early nineteenth century. Finally, we will continue to the hotel in the Ancon peninsula which is just a few kilometers from the city center.

Overnight stay with breakfast and AI: Hotel Memories Trinidad del Mar (B/AI)


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.

Overnight with All Inclusive: (AI)


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

The day will begin with a morning drive along the coastal road to the port city of Cienfuegos, which is 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 performed. Afterwards, continue to the Punta Gorda bay to enjoy a cocktail at the emblematic Palacio Del Valle a jewel of Moorish-style Cuban architecture. Lunch will be served in a local paladar. Finally we will head towards Havana. Dinner at own expense.

Overnight stay with breakfast included: e.g. Hotel NH Capri (B/L)


Day 14: TransHershey - Nostalgic Adventure on the historic train

Today you 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. 

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

[1] This is an excursion in group.


Day 15: Havana (30 km)

Take the morning to prepare and buy souvenirs. Check-out at hotel and transfer (depending on return flight time) to airport for check-in for your flight. (B)

Guests who extend 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.


Cuba Real Tours guarantee this tour departure 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 - Winter 2020 / 2021:

Friday 27.11.20

Friday 11.12.20

Friday 15.01.21

Friday 29.01.21

Friday 12.02.21

Friday 26.02.21

Friday 12.03.21

Friday 26.03.21

Friday 09.04.21

Friday 23.04.21

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⇢ Camagüey ⇢ Gibara⇢ Baracoa ⇢ Santiago ⇢ Trinidad ⇢ Havana