Mingle with the Locals

Mingle with the Locals

9 days / 8 nights
Group Tour, guaranteed departures with a minimum of 2 participants
Start & Finish: Havana, Cuba

Destinations

  • Havana
  • Viñales
  • Cienfuegos
  • Trinidad
  • Santa Clara


Main attractions:

  • A perfect blending of cities and profound nature.
  • Stay with Cubans in their homes.
  • Gain insights into Cubans daily lives.
  • Discover the highlights of Cuba western geography.
  • Enjoy the excursion to Cayo Iguana.

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 (Varadero - Havana) when arriving in Varadero. Contact our staff for transfer rates.

 

Included meals today: -

Included services: Transfer

 

Day 2: Havana in a day

Immerse yourself in the everyday life of Cubans. Your day kicks off hopping on a bicitaxi that will take you to the Old Square in the historical center of the city. Climb to the Camara Oscura for a sweeping view of the urban scene, zeroing in on details that you would have missed elsewhere. From housewives sharing a cup of coffee at home to the characteristic pure-white bed sheets hanging from the crumbling balconies, the true spirit of Havana will be revealed to you. Continue for a tour of four iconic squares of Old Havana. In the afternoon, after combing by foot the main attractions of the old town get on what Cubans call a cocotaxi, a coconut-shaped vehicle that will take you to iconic sites like the Revolution Square and the not-so-well-known classic car repair shops. In the latter, you will be amazed by the ingenuity of the mechanics who keep those collectibles not just running, but in excellent shape thanks to home-made handcrafted spare parts. Your day will close in style with a tour on board of one of those beautiful cars to explore the modern part of Havana, ending with a panoramic tour along the breezy Malecón.

 

Included meals today: breakfast

Included services: Ride on a rickshaw, entrance to the Camera Obscure, visit to a farmers market, visit to several shops, cocotaxi trip, visit to a vintage car workshop, panoramic tour in a classic car.

 

Day 3: Havana - Viñales (220 km)

In the morning, head for Pinar del Río, the greenest of Cuba’s provinces and home to the best tobacco in the world. Stop at the lookout point Los Jazmines to appreciate the stunning Viñales Valley with its distinctive limestone outcrops called Mogotes. A traditional lunch awaits in a place full of nature, where you will also enjoy a cocktail session to learn the secrets behind the recipes of some of the most delicious Cuban cocktails. Back to Viñales, you will be able to admire one of the largest murals in the world, El Mural de la Prehistoria. Conceived by painter Leovigildo González, 21 local farmers helped in this monumental work that recreates life in Cuba in the times of the dinosaurs. Rest of the afternoon at leisure.

 

Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

Included services: Visit to the Mural of Prehistory, cocktail, panoramic trip through the Viñales valley, cocktail lesson.

 

Day 4: Viñales - Nature and Adventure

In Viñales, time seems to stand still. Nature, almost unspoiled, and the local fauna definitely contribute to the ideal portrait. Enjoy a morning walk by the lush greenery and cultivated fields. Chances are you will run across a farmer working the traditional way, with rustic tools and ox-drawn carts. You can look forward to a candid talk about his work and life experiences. After the trek, savour a delicious lunch, courtesy of Alberto Vitamina, a singular local farmer with a keen creole sense of humor. Your host rose to notoriety selling fruits, his trademark being his loquaciousness with guests. After the re-energizing pause, rid yourself of any source of stress in our special adventure: the canopy tour. With every stretch, enjoy the sensation of literary having the valley at your feet.

Important: The valley walk takes approximately 2-3 hours with a local guide.

 

Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

Included services: Hike through the Viñales Valley, Canopy.

 

Day 5: Viñales - Angerona - Cienfuegos (475 km)

Depart in the morning for Cienfuegos, only city in Cuba founded by the French. On your way there, stop at the ruins of the Angerona coffee plantation, an estate owned by the German immigrant Cornelio Souchay back in the 19th century. Vestiges of the property that have withstood the passing of time include parts of the manor house, the walls of the slaves’ quarters and the reservoirs used to water the plantations. The place is wrapped with a mystic atmosphere of legends and stories about slavery and love. Shortly after, visit an agro-ecological paradise where local food production is transformed into culinary delicacies in the hands of an experienced chef. After lunch and a 300 km haul, arrive to the charming maritime city of Cienfuegos, the Pearl of the South. Benny Moré, the most celebrated Cuban sonero, is among the many national idols born here. Do not miss the opportunity to snap a photo alongside his bronze statue in the Prado Promenade.

 

Included meals today: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Included services: Visit to the Angerona coffee plantation, tour of the city of Cienfuegos

Day 6: Cienfuegos

The natural park El Nicho is one of the most amazing places in Cuba. Arrive there after an hour drive through mountainous roads full of rural life. A rather easy 2-hour trek leads to a spectacular waterfall forming numerous small natural pools. Take a refreshing dip and return for lunch at a wooden restaurant surrounded by pure nature. Back to the city in the afternoon, stop at the Martí Park. There you will find the Terry Theater, where the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso once sang. Cap your day off with a delicious cocktail on the rooftop of Palacio de Valle, an iconic building at the south end of the city where you can enjoy a fabulous sea view.

Important: The walk in the park lasts approximately 1 hour with a local guide.

 

Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

Included services: Visit to the "El Nicho" National Park, visit to the Terry Theater, cocktail.

 

Day 7: Cienfuegos – Trinidad (85 km)

Leave in the morning for Trinidad, one of the wealthiest villas of the 19th century, where the unique colonial architecture remains essentially untouched to this day. A tour through the old cobblestone streets of the city will suffice to understand why it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Walk by the Plaza Mayor and appreciate the magnificent mansions. One of them is the Brunet Palace, nowadays the Romantic Museum, where you will be able to appreciate a collection of pieces that belonged to the sugar estate owners back in the 19th century. To crown a day of traditions, learn about the Trinitarian pottery-making heritage in La casa del Alfarero. In the evening, after tasting the local cuisine at an authentic paladar you will have the opportunity to dance to the rhythm of the Cuban music at Casa de la Trova.

 

Included meals today: breakfast, dinner

Services included: City tour of Trinidad, visit to the Potter's House, visit to a museum, cocktail.

 

Day 8: Trinidad - Cayo Iguana (40 km)

Today is all about the Caribbean Sea. Leave the fishing village of Casilda on a catamaran. Sail in the Caribbean Sea and see the southern Trinitarian shore slowly draw away until you arrive in Cayo Iguana. There will be a stop so you can jump into the crystal clear water and enjoy some time for snorkelling. Both, on the boat and at Cayo Iguana you will have the opportunity to sunbathe and relax while listening to the Cuban rhythms. A typical creole style lunch will be offered on the island before returning to Trinidad in the afternoon with the feeling of having revived Robinson Crusoe’s deeds.

 

Included meals today: breakfast, lunch

Included services: Excursion to Cayo Iguana

 

Day 9: Trinidad - Santa Clara - Varadero / Havana (330/400 km)

Traveling through the Sugar Mills Valley, where the iconic Iznaga Tower stands, you will head for Santa Clara. This city witnessed the most important victory of the iconic guerrilla fighter Ernesto “Che” Guevara. To learn about this clash, visit the place where his troops derailed an armoured train in an action that effectively determined the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. Continue for a refreshing drink at Café Revolución, where you will find an interesting collection of objects from that battle. Visit the “Che” Guevera Memorial, the final resting place of the epoch-making revolutionary.  En route to Havana, stop in Varadero to drop off clients opting for a beach extension

Important: The mausoleum (Che Guevara monument) is closed on Mondays and may be closed on other days without prior notice.

 

Included meals today: breakfast

Included services: Visit to the Che monument, Armored Train, transfer

 

(We cannot guarantee the connection with a national or international flight and therefore it is not recommended to book a departure flight on this same day. For that reason, we recommend booking an additional night).

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

Guaranteed Departures - 2021 & 2022:

Every Saturday!

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

Services Included:

  • Tour in air-conditioned vehicles (car/van/bus) with chauffeur service. The quality of vehicles is based on the country´s local standards.
    • 2 pax in a car (1 piece of luggage maximum per person)
    • From 3-7 pax in a minivan/microbus (6-10 seats)
    • From 8-10 pax in a minibus (15-16 seats)
    • From 11-12 pax in a bus (24 seats)
  • Transfer from Havana airport to Havana accommodation on the starting day of the tour. (If necessary, transfers from/to the airport may be carried out by a Caribbean Tours representative)
  • During the tour, from day 1 to day 9, local guide service.
  • Excursions, visits, and entrances to places based on the itinerary.
  • 8 night-stay at privately-owned houses previously described (based on availability).
  • 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners


Services Not Included:

  • All meals and beverages not mentioned in the program.
  • Beach extension; for example in Varadero.
  • Transfer to Havana airport after the extension in Varadero.
  • Personal expenses and tips


Havana ⇢ Viñales ⇢ Angerona ⇢ Cienfuegos ⇢ Trinidad ⇢ Santa Clara ⇢ Varadero/Havana