Local Living - West & Central Cuba

Experience the real Cuba, get to see and meet its inhabitants amidst their everyday life.


Description

On this rather special round trip you will experience the real Cuba, get to see and meet its inhabitants amidst their everyday life as well as delight in the classics of the country. The colourful, lively Havana, the picturesque valley of Viñales, Cienfuegos, the pearl of the south, Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Santa Clara, famous for its Che Memorial, are all part of this memorable journey. After this varied round trip where you stay with Cuban families in their private homes.


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: Casa Particular, Havana

Activities:
  • This day starts with a very special city tour through the old town of Havana, witnessing its most beautiful sights from a bird’s-eye view. Highlights include a visit to the Cámara Oscura at Plaza Vieja for a 360-degree view of the old town and the Maqueta of Havana. The latter contains a surprisingly detailed mock-up representation of the city at a scale of 1:500 and through sound and light effects, reflects the daily life quite authentically.

  • End the walk at the beautiful cathedral square and lunch in a small private restaurant.

  • Later, visit to one of the largest farmer´s markets in Havana. Here, where life is bustling, you can buy fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat and spices. Continue by bicitaxi to Centro-Habana. Visit a variety of shops to gain insight into the real life of the Habaneros far away from tourism. Take a break for a refreshing cocktail. Afterwards, 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, mostly used by locals. In the evening possibility (optional) to attend the “Havana Queens” dance show.

  • Included services: Entrance to the Cámara Oscura Entrance to the Maqueta of Havana Visit to a farmer´s market Bicitaxi ride Visit to various shops Cocktail Ferry ride

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch

    Accommodation: Casa Particular, Havana

Activities:
  • The day starts with a panoramic tour through the Havana of the 19th and early 20th centuries. 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 Che Guevara and José Martí memorial. Stop for a visit to the legendary Colón cemetery with the largest number 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 created by the artist Mario Pelegrín aimed for children and teenagers. With the access to artistic creation, not only the development of their own creativity is stimulated but also, they are offered meaningful recreational activities. While the visitors learn more about the program, fresh fruits and coffee are served.

  • Continue to the Viñales village where time seems to stand still. Panoramic tour through the 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 famous Cuban cocktails during an exclusive course. Dinner at the Casa Particular.

  • Included services: Panoramic tour through Havana Visit to the Colón cemetery Visit to the Patio Pelegrín Panoramic tour through the Viñales Valley Cocktail class

    Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Accommodation: Casa Particular, 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 winds through typically local vegetation, tobacco cultivation and limestone rocks. Along the way encounter with farmers during their fieldwork, as well as visit to a Casa del Veguero (tobacco drying house). Back in Viñales, visit Caridad’s small botanical garden, a beautiful, very well maintained private garden with a large variety of plants. Rest of the afternoon at leisure.

  • Included services: Hike through the Viñales Valley Visit to a Casa del Veguero Visit to the botanical garden

    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Casa Particular, Viñales

Activities:
  • Drive towards the centre of the island to Cienfuegos, characterized by French colonial architecture; 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. Dinner at the Casa Particular.

  • Included services: City tour of Cienfuegos

    Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Accommodation: Casa Particular, Cienfuegos

Activities:
  • In the morning, visit an authentic Cuban finca. Here, gain insights into the cultivation of fruits and vegetables, cattle breeding as well as into life in the countryside. Possibility to take a swim. Back in Cienfuegos stroll through the city centre over the main square Parque Martí with the nostalgic Tomás Terry theatre.

  • Visit the Casa de la Cultura Benjamin Duarte. This cultural centre in a palatial building organises out-of-school activities such as dancing and music lessons for local pupils. After this interesting visit, enjoy a cocktail on the roof top terrace of the Moorish “Palacio de Valle” on the peninsula Punta Gorda. Dinner at a private restaurant.

  • Included services: Visit to a Cuban finca City tour of Cienfuegos Visit to the Tomás Terry theatre Visit to the Casa de la Cultura Benjamin Duarte Bicitaxi ride Cocktail

    Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Accommodation: Casa Particular, Cienfuegos

Activities:
  • Drive along the coastal road to Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with unique colonial architecture. Sightseeing walk through the romantic cobbled streets, passing over 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, participate in a guided tour through the Museo Municipal and enjoy the beautiful view from its tower.

  • Taste the typical honey cocktail at the quaint bar Casa de la Trova. In the afternoon, feel Cuba’s rhythm during a typical dance lesson. Professional dancers will teach you the Salsa Cubana. Dinner at the Casa Particular.

  • Included services: City tour of Trinidad Visit to the Casa del Alfarero Visit to a museum Cocktail 2 hour dance lesson

    Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Accommodation: Casa Particular, Trinidad

Activities:
  • The day begins with a drive to the national park Topes de Collantes at Sierra Escambray and continues along adventurous paths to the starting point of the trail. Hike amidst vibrant flora and fauna. Depending on the path, there may be opportunities to bathe in a natural pool under waterfalls. Rustic lunch at a finca immersed in lush nature. In the afternoon, drive back to Trinidad and rest of the day at leisure. 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 guides groups may be merged. A private tour cannot be guaranteed.

  • Included services: Hike in Topes de Collantes

    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accommodation: Casa Particular, Trinidad

Activities:
  • Drive from Trinidad through the Sugar Mill Valley to the hacienda Iznaga, home of the former sugar barons with its legendary slave tower. Opportunity for a thrill on the optional zip lining adventure; enjoy breath-taking views over the Sugar Mill Valley while gliding along the five zip lines.

  • 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.

  • Included services: Visit to the memorial of Che Visit to the Tren Blindado Transfer

    Included meals: Breakfast

    Accommodation: -

Additional information

Minimum number of participants: 2 persons Maximum number of participants: 12 persons

Services not included:

• Transfer Havana airport - Casa Particular Havana - Havana airport • All meals and drinks not mentioned in the program • Optional excursions • Personal expenses and tips

Important On surcharge several activities during the tour are available:

-Nightlife visits in Trinidad (e.g. Casa de la Trova): Enjoy a cocktail while listening to live music on the stairs of Trinidad.

-Canopy in Trinidad: A spectacular adventure in Trinidad. Enjoy the breath-taking view over the sugar mill valley while you glide along the five zip lines.