Mingle with locals

Experience the real Cuba: meet its locals, amidst their everyday life as you delight in the classics of the country.


Description

On this rather special round trip you will experience the colourful, lively Havana, the picturesque valley of Viñales, Cienfuegos, the pearl of the south, Trinidad, the UNESCO world heritage site and Santa Clara, famous for its Che Memorial, among others. After this varied round trip where you stay with Cuban families in their private homes, you have the possibility to extend your trip on one of the magnificent beaches of this island.


Places visited during this trip

Day
Place
Place
Activities:
  • Reception at the airport in Havana and transfer to the hotel. Dinner at own expense.

    Included services:

    • Transfer

    Included meals today: -

  • Accommodation:

    Casa Particular in Havana

Activities:
  • This day starts with a drive to the other side of the bay for a panoramic view over Havana’s old town. At the famous statue of Jesus Christ you can capture a beautiful picture of the day at large. Cross the bay on the ferry Lancha de Regla which is used mostly by locals. Afterwards a very special city tour: The old town of Havana and its most beautiful places from a bird’s-eye view. Beyond others: visit to the Cámara Oscura at Plaza Vieja for a 360 degree view of the old town.

  • Lunch in a private restaurant. Subsequently by bicitaxi to Centro-Habana. Visit to one of the largest farmer´s markets in Havana. Amidst the bursting life you can buy fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat and spices. Visit to different shops which give an insight into the real life of the Habaneros far away from tourism. In between stop for a refreshing cocktail. Dinner at own expense.

    Included services:

    • Ferry ride,
    • Entrance Cámara Oscura,
    • Visit to a farmer´s market,
    • Ride by bicitaxi,
    • Visit to different shops,
    • Cocktail

    Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

  • Accommodation:

    Casa Particular in Havana

Activities:
  • The day starts with a panoramic tour through the Havana of the 19th and early 20th century: past the imposing Capitolio, Gran Teatro and Barcardí building, along the Malecón, past the legendary Hotel Nacional through the Avenida de los Presidentes to the Revolution square with the portrait of Ché Guevara and José Martí memorial, followed by a visit to the legendary cemetery Colón with the largest amount of statues in Cuba, a miniature city of marble, bronze, angels, crosses and allegories.

  • In the afternoon drive along the tobacco route to Pinar del Río, the greenest of all Cuban provinces with the best tobacco soil in the world. Visit Patio Pelegrín, an aid program of the artist Mario Pelegrín especially for kids and teenagers. With the access to artistic creation not only the development of their own creativity is stimulated but also they are offered recreational activities. While the visitors learn more about the program fresh fruits and coffee are served.

  • Further on to Viñales village where time seems to stand still. Panoramic tour through Viñales valley with its imposing limestone rocks (Mogotes), passing e.g. the prehistoric wall and photo stop at the viewpoint Los Jazmines. In the evening you will learn how to make the famous Cuban cocktails during an exclusive course and dinner.

    Included services:

    • Panoramic tour through Havana,
    • Visit to cemetery Colón,
    • Visit to Patio Pelegrín,
    • Panoramic tour through Viñales valley,
    • Cocktail class

    Included meals today: breakfast, dinner

  • Accommodation:

    Casa Particular in Viñales

Activities:
  • In the morning hike through the unique landscape of the Viñales valley with a high biodiversity of flora and fauna. The valley is a real mosaic of ecosystems. The path passes by typically local vegetation, tobacco cultivation and limestone rocks. On the way encounter with farmers during their field work, as well as visit to a Casa de Veguero (tobacco drying house). Lunch at Alberto Vitamina`s private restaurant (Paladar) Bella Vista. Enjoy a real Cuban meal prepared by one of Alberto´s family members and experience the real Cuban cuisine. The owner mostly welcomes you personally at his little restaurant, set a bit outside of Viñales. Back in Viñales, visit of Caridad’s small botanic garden, a beautiful, very well looked after private garden with a large number of different plants. Rest of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner at own expense.

    Included services:

    • Hike through Viñales Valley,
    • Visit to a Casa de Veguero,
    • Visit to botanic garden

    Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

  • Accommodation:

    Casa Particular in Viñales

Activities:
  • Drive towards the center of the island to Cienfuegos, characterized by French colonial architecture. On the way visit to the old sugar village Australia. Ride on a train pulled by a steam locomotive that was used at Australia Sugar Mill in the early years of the 20th century with a stopover at the fields. Demonstration how to make sugarcane juice "Guarapo" with degustation afterwards.

  • In the afternoon arrival in Cienfuegos, a charming coastal city located on the wide bay of the same name. Inspired by the picturesque surrounding scenery, Cienfuegos is also called pearl of the south. The magnificent building ensembles are an architectural highlight and part of the UNESCO world cultural heritage. The legendary Cuban musician Benny Moré, a son of Cienfuegos and one of the most famous musicians of Cuba, gives a special glamour to this town, his bronze statue stands in a prominent location on Prado street.

    Included services:

    • City tour through Cienfuegos,
    • Ride on a train pulled by a steam locomotive,
    • Sugar Cane Juice

    Included meals today: breakfast, dinner

  • Accommodation:

    Casa Particular in Cienfuegos

Activities:
  • In the morning drive with jeeps or trucks to El Nicho. This small national park east of Cienfuegos is home to the most beautiful waterfall in Cuba. Guided hike amongst lush, untouched nature to the waterfall which cascades down into a small lake. Possibility to swim. Lunch at the restaurant „El Nicho“.

  • Back in Cienfuegos stroll through the city center, see the main square Parque Martí with the nostalgic theatre Tomás Terry. Visit to the Casa de la Cultura Benjamin Duarte. This cultural center in a palatial building organizes out-of-school activities such as dancing and making music, for local pupils. After this interesting visit, have a cocktail on the roof terrace of the Moorish “Palacio de Valle” on the peninsula Punta Gorda. Dinner at own expense.

    Included services:

    • Guided hike in the National Park El Nicho,
    • City tour through Cienfuegos,
    • Visit to theatre Tomás Terry,
    • Visit to Casa de la Cultura Benjamin Duarte,
    • Ride by bicitaxi,
    • Cocktail

    Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

  • Accommodation:

    Casa Particular in Cienfuegos

Activities:
  • Drive along the coastal road to Trinidad UNESCO World heritage site with unique colonial architecture. Sightseeing walk through the romantic cobbled roads, passing the main square surrounded by the splendid mansions of the former sugar barons and visit to the Casa del Alfarero, a pottery workshop. In continuation be part of a guided tour through Museo Municipal and enjoy the beautiful view from its tower.

  • Taste the typical honey liquor at the quaint bar “Casa de la Trova”. In the afternoon you will get to feel the rhythm of Cuba during a typical dance lesson. Professional dancers will teach you the Salsa Cubana. Dinner at the casa in Trinidad.

    Included services:

    • City tour through Trinidad,
    • Visit to the Casa del Alfarero,
    • Visit to a museum,
    • Cocktail,
    • 2 hours dance lesson

    Included meals today: breakfast, dinner

  • Accommodation:

    Casa Particular in Trinidad

Activities:
  • The day begins with a drive to national park Topes de Collantes at Sierra Escambray and further down on adventurous paths to the view point of the trail. Hike amongst vibrant flora and fauna. Depending on the path, with opportunity to take a swim in a natural pool under waterfalls. Rustic lunch at a finca admist lush nature. In the afternoon drive back to Trinidad, rest of the day at leisure. Possibility to swim in Playa Ancón or free time in the city center. Dinner at own expense. Enjoy the romantic night-life 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 get merged. A private tour cannot be guaranteed.

    Included services:

    • Hike in Topes de Collantes,
    • Transfer to Playa Ancón

    Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

  • Accommodation:

    Casa Particular in Trinidad

Activities:
  • Drive from Trinidad to Santa Clara, the capital of the province. This town is inseparably linked with Che´s history. With the famous battle of Santa Clara, Che marked the final victory over Batista’s regime and became the hero of the revolution. It is here where he found his last rest. Visit to the mausoleum and the armored train, a relic from the revolutionary war.

  • Continue to Santa Clara, the capital of the province. This town is inseparably linked to Che´s history. With the famous battle of Santa Clara, Che marked the final victory over Batista’s regime and became the hero of the revolution. It is here where he found his last rest. Visit to the mausoleum and tren blindado, a relic from the revolutionary war. In the afternoon head to the hotel/airport in Havana.

    Important Climb the slave tower at own risk. 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 is worth a visit. Connection to an international flight cannot be guaranteed. We do not recommend booking an international flight on the last day of the round-trip.

  • In the afternoon head to Varadero (for beach extension) or to the hotel / airport in Havana. (For beach extension in Cayo Santa María / Cayo Ensenachos transfer to the beach hotel).

    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.

    Transfer to Cayo Santa María/ Cayo Ensenachos in the afternoon on day 9 is included. The transfer back to the hotel/ airport in Havana, Varadero or Santa Clara will be charged separately.

    Included services:

    • Visit to the memorial of Che,
    • Visit to the armored train (Tren Blindado),
    • Transfer,

    Included meals today: breakfast

Additional information

Minimum number of participants: 2 persons

Maximum number of participants: 12 persons

Services not included:

  • All meals and drinks that are not mentioned in the program
  • Personal expenses and tips
  • Extending nights e.g. in Varadero or Cayo Santa María
  • Transfer to Havana airport after the extending nights