Traces of a Revolution

Traces of a Revolution

13 Days/12 Nights, Cuba tour from/to Havana

Destinations:

  • Havana
  • Trinidad
  • Santiago de Cuba
  • Camagüey
  • Santa Clara
  • Holguín

Main Attractions:

  • Learn about the unique history of the Cuban revolution.
  • Tour the entire island visiting its most outstanding regions. 
  • Visit important museums and learn about world icons such as Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. 
  • Journey with a driver and private guide, in order to gain clarity on any doubts about Cuba including the current reality. 
  • Accommodation in charming hotels and private homes to understand current life.
  • Visit the main cities of the country: Havana, Trinidad, Santiago de Cuba, Camaguey and Santa Clara.

Six decades of a socialist revolution just 180 km from the United States is not an easy phenomenon to explain. However, the challenge to achieve independence was not only during Fidel Castro's guerilla struggles in the Sierra Maestra. In this tour we reveal to you the Cuban revolution from the colonial times to the present day. Visit Fidel Castro's birthplace and headquarters in the Sierra Maestra to learn about his childhood and his prime years as a guerrilla. Listen to the bells of the Demajagua estate where Céspedes released his slaves and the wars for independence began. Tour the beautiful heroic city of Santiago de Cuba and the vast Havana, with its colonial streets and avenues along the sea. During the tour you will learn about the U.S. invasion in Playa Girón, the fight against the criminal gangs in Trinidad at the beginning of the revolution and the capture of Santa Clara by Che Guevara. It will be a journey to learn and understand Cuban patriotism throughout its history and geography.



Day 1: Arrival Havana 

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

Accommodation with breakfast in a selected private house in Havana: E.g. Casa Viceversa

Day 2: Havana - Holguín

Today, we will take a flight from Havana to Holguín. Due to the varied weekly schedules and the low availability of planes, we cannot guarantee a fixed schedule. You will have today free to enjoy the city of Havana or Holguín, depending on the time of the flight. The accommodations in both places are located in central locations, ideal to explore the cities. Reception by the guide or our local representative at Holguín airport and transfer to the hotel. 

 
Accommodation in a standard room with breakfast included at the Hotel Caballeriza or similar (3*)


Day 3: Holguín - Birán - Segundo Frente (230 km)

To understand the life of such a controversial figure such as Fidel Castro, leader of a socialist revolution for almost 6 decades and a key figure during trying times for humanity, such as the Missile Crisis, it is necessary to take a look at his childhood. Today we will visit the farm where the Cuban leader was born; his father was a wealthy Spanish landowner who had a hidden romance with Fidel's mother, whom he later married. Later the journey continues to the Sierra Maestra, where former President Raul Castro, together with other guerrillas, formed El Segundo Frente in 1958. Tour of the area and accommodation at the Segundo Frente hotel surrounded by spectacular nature and a beautiful infinity pool. 

Accommodation in a standard room with breakfast and dinner included in the hotel Segundo Frente (3*)

Day 4: Segundo Frente - Santiago de Cuba (92 km) 

Many refer to Santiago de Cuba as the city of fire; this is an accurate reference. It is the hottest city in Cuba and the cradle of the Fire Festival, an international artistic event that celebrates Caribbean cultural manifestations. However Santiago is also known for its heroic battles. Today, we will visit the small farm Siboney and the former Moncada Barracks, two key places in the attempted coup d'etat by Fidel Castro in 1953. We will pass through the Arbol de la Paz, where the Spanish troops surrendered to the Americans in 1898 and we will make a stop in the Santa Ifigenia cemetery to see the mausoleum of our national hero Jose Martí as well as the unique stone-shaped tomb of Fidel Castro. In the afternoon you can walk through the Céspedes Park to learn more about the buildings that surround it and visit the Bacardí museum founded by Emilio Bacardí, which treasures interesting objects from the war of independence.

Accommodation in a standard room with breakfast at the Imperial Hotel or similar (3*)

Day 5: Santiago de Cuba - Bayamo - Santo Domingo (200 km)

Bayamo is the cradle of the nation. It was the second city founded in Cuba in 1513, the first to sing the Cuban National Anthem, the first to be liberated and the first to be burned almost entirely by its inhabitants so as not to fall into the hands of Spain. Today, in the city, we will visit the birth house of the father of the country, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes. This house is one of the few buildings that survived the fire and a rare example of a mixture of architectural styles. Stroll through the historical centre and see dozens of horse-drawn carriages that represent the colonial past and are a symbol of this city. We will then continue to Santo Domingo, to a small hotel located in the middle of the Sierra Maestra surrounded by a lush natural environment. Rest of the afternoon free.

Accommodation in a standard room with breakfast and dinner included in Villa Santo Domingo. (2*)


Day 6: Santo Domingo - Excursion to: La Comandancia de la Plata (16 Km)

In the morning, enjoy a very special excursion. Travelling in 4x4 Jeeps along steep slopes and sharp turns, we will arrive at Alto del Naranjo. From here, for about 3 km, travel along mountain roads used by Fidel in the Sierra Maestra, surrounded by  stunning flora and views of the highest peaks of Cuba, until reaching Fidel’s former hiding place and headquarters of the revolutionary high command during the war. Here, the hospital, press house, Radio Rebelde station and a museum are all preserved. You will be able to observe common objects used by the revolutionaries and documents of the time and you will also enjoy a light lunch. Return to the villa in the afternoon.

Travel TipAppropriate walking shoes, protection from strong sunlight, water and good physical shape are required for this excursion.

Accommodation in a standard room with breakfast and dinner included in Villa Santo Domingo. (2*)


Day 7: Santo Domingo - Ingenio La Demajagua - Camagüey (304 km)

Today's route towards the La Demajagua sugar mill will start very early in the morning. It was at this sugar mill that Carlos Manuel de Céspedes released his slaves on October 10th, 1868, also asking them to join the beginning of the wars for independence. The future Major General of the independence army lost everything, including his life and property, for the freedom of Cuba. Then, along the central highway, you will continue your trip to the city of Camaguey. Camaguey is known as the city of the tinajones, large earthenware vessels formerly used as a water reservoir that adorn the large Camaguey courtyards. The city is also known for its labyrinth-style lanes that confused pirates and corsairs who attacked it in search of its rich treasures. City tour and accommodation in a downtown hotel.

Accommodation in a standard room with breakfast at the Hotel E Santa Maria (3 *) or similar.


Day 8: Camagüey - Sancti Spiritus - Santa Clara (280 km)

Today we will leave the eastern side of the island and head towards central Cuba, the most important agricultural area in the country. Explore the colonial city of Sancti Spiritus and its Yayabo Bridge, the oldest in use in Cuba, and enjoy lunch in a tavern by the river. Just before that, you will stop by the Guayabera Museum; the Guayabera is a traditional piece of clothing from this city used by the Cuban diplomatic corps around the world. If you wish to, you can purchase one at the La Alforza store. In the afternoon, arrival in Santa Clara, the heroic city where the triumph of the Cuban revolution was achieved. In December 1958 the Argentine guerrilla Ernesto "Che Guevara" attacked an armoured train that was advancing to the east, which caused the flight of the dictator Batista and later, the entry of Fidel Castro into Havana. Today this place is a museum, which we will visit, and then relax at the Café Revolución, an interesting private bar full of stories, documents of the revolution and photographs of the city. Later, arrival at the accommodation in a private house.

Accommodation in a standard room with breakfast included in Hostal Colibrí Azul or similar.


Day 9: Santa Clara - Trinidad (95 km)

After breakfast and before leaving Santa Clara, you will make an obligatory stop at the Plaza de la Revolución Ernesto Che Guevara, located on the Avenida de los Desfiles on the outskirts of the city. The magnificent complex has a huge statue of the guerilla fighter and a memorial where the remains of the icon rest. We will then take the mountainous route to Trinidad through Manicaragua. This area is known in Cuba for its extensive coffee plantations and its high quality plains located near the mountain. It is also a protected forest area which served in the years following the revolution to hide the armed gangs that planted terror and death among the peasants. You can learn about this history in Trinidad during a visit to the Museum of the fight against Bandits. 

Trinidad is a colonial jewel captured in time. The majestic mansions are still preserved as well as the cobbled streets and small squares where locals find shade from the tropical heat. The town is known for its many local crafts and recently won the award for the Artisan City of the World. Arrival in the city in the afternoon and tour of the historic centre.

Accommodation in a standard room with breakfast included in Hostal Casa de la Trinidad or similar.


Day 10: Trinidad - Playa Girón - Playa Larga (196 km)

On the southern highway along the coast from Trinidad there are many rivers that flow into the sea crossed by long bridges and small beaches where you can fish and snorkel. This coastal road continues through the south of Cienfuegos until it meets the town of Playa Girón. Unfortunately the waters of this place were not always so calm. In 1961, with the aim of overthrowing the nascent revolution led by Fidel Castro, a group of exiles financed by the US government carried out an invasion of the Ciénaga de Zapata area. In Girón you can visit the museum that retells the story of those days and you can see some of the weapons and war equipment used. Then get ready for lunch and rest on the good Caleta beach where you can go snorkelling. Later transfer to the town of Playa Larga and accommodation.

 Accommodation in a standard room with breakfast and dinner in Villa Playa Tropical or similar in Playa Larga.


Day 11: Playa Larga - Havana (175 Km)

After exploring all of Cuba, today we will return to Havana, the wonder city, the centre of commerce for the Spanish colony, the city taken by the English and longed for by the Americans as the gambling capital when Las Vegas was still a vast desert. The capital of Cuba is the political centre of the island and has witnessed many great events. Arrival in Havana midday and lunch at the Tocororo restaurant. In the afternoon, visit to a unique location: El Memorial de la denuncia. In this place, tribute to the more than 3,000 victims of sabotage actions by the United States against the people of Cuba is ridden and in its halls shocking acts are shown against this country. Acts such as the explosion of the Cubana plane, the blasting of the La Coubre steam ship or the famous Peter Pan operation to remove more than 15,000 minors from the island. After the visit to this place, transfer to the accommodation and rest of the afternoon free.

Accommodation in a standard room with breakfast in Casa La Siguaraya or similar in Central Havana.

Day 12: Havana - 500 years of history

Touring Havana is like living a history of 5 centuries. Its architecture reflects the passage of time, the different periods where the city always had a leading role in the history of America. Early in the morning, a Cocotaxi will pick you up at your accommodation, a curious 3-wheeled transport that will take you all along the Paseo del Prado to the Central Park to appreciate our national Capitol building and see, from the outside, the beautiful Alicia Alonso Theatre in honour of Cuba’s most famous dancer. Then, as we walk through the 4 squares of Old Havana, embrace the beautiful colonial legacy that is still preserved here. At the end of the morning visit the Museum of the Revolution, an obligatory stop on this tour that will retell the events in the old Presidential Palace, including the assault in 1957 to assassinate Batista. You can also learn about historical events of the modern era such as the first congress of the Communist Party and the 1976 Constitution. After the visit, lunch at a nearby Paladar (private restaurant). In the afternoon, relive the golden age of the automobile in Cuba from the back seat of a classic car as you take a tour of modern Havana through the Malecon, the Plaza de la Revolución, the Havana forest and Fifth Avenue, the most beautiful of all urban streets in Cuba. Return to the accommodation and rest of the afternoon free.

Accommodation in a standard room with breakfast in Casa La Siguaraya or similar in Central Havana.


Day 13: Hasta siempre Cuba!!

Today you can do the last of your shopping and enjoy the beautiful view of the sea on Havana’s Malecon (ocean wall). The private transfer back to the Havana airport is included and will be arranged to pick you up 3 hours before the departure of your international flight.

Services Included:

  • Air conditioned vehicles (taxi/micribus/bus) meeting quality standards by country, with driver service:
    • With 02 pax in taxi (1 piece of luggage per person)
    • From 03 to 06 pax in minivan/microbus (6-10 seats)
  • Transfer from Havana airport to accommodation in Havana.
  • Excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees according to the program.
  • During the roundtrip day 1 - 13 English speaking local guide.
  • 12 overnight stays at the mentioned accommodation (according to availability).
  • 12x breakfast, 5x lunch, 4x dinner.


Services Not Included:

  • All meals and drinks that are not mentioned in the program.
  • Optional shows and excursions including transfers.
  • Personal expenses and tips.
  • Extending nights in Varadero or Havana.
  • Transfer to the airport after extensions.
  • Personal expenses and tips.
Havana ⇢ Holguin⇢ Biran⇢ Segundo Frente ⇢ Santiago de Cuba⇢ Bayamo⇢ Santo Domingo ⇢ Camagüey ⇢ Sancti Spiritus ⇢ Santa Clara ⇢ Trinidad ⇢ Playa Giron ⇢ Playa Larga