Days
27
Price from
$7,785USD

Spot monkeys and sloths high in the cloud forests of Monteverde and lounge on the white sand of some of Costa Rica's finest beaches. Step back in time amongst the bewitching cities, towns and tobacco fields of Cuba

The national parks of Costa Rica are blessed with some of the greatest diversity of flora and fauna in the world. Depart for Tortuguero, where you can learn about indigenous turtle catching and conservation efforts. Explore the base of the mighty Arenal Volcano from your unique perch high in the trees. Relax on some of Costa Rica's finest beaches.  Experience Cuba’s finest on a 13-day journey across the colourful Caribbean island. Combining leisure, culture, coast and country, discover the depth of Cuba’s most fascinating traditions. Witness daily life in Vinales’ verdant tobacco fields, peel back the curtain on Santiago de Cuba’s ballet culture, wander the French-infused waterfront of Cienfuegos or dance to Cuban rhythms in Trinidad Finish it off with a cruise through Havana’s grand old streets in a classic American convertible.


Start
San Jose, Costa Rica
Finish
Havana, Cuba
Countries
Costa Rica, Cuba
Style
Peregrine
Code
PSCRC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 1
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • The stunning national parks of Costa Rica are endowed with some of the greatest diversity of flora and fauna in the world

  • Journey to Tortuguero National Park and learn about local turtle conservation projects

  • Discover untouched forests at Monteverde, considered by many to be one of the world's most outstanding tropical cloudforest and wildlife sanctuaries

  • Get behind the scenes and discover real Cuban life. Explore avant-garden sculpture with a local artist in Ciego de Avila, visit the tobacco fields for a snapshot of rural life in Vinales and take a private tour of a ballet theatre in Santiago de Cuba

  • See why Trinidad is a favourite among so many Peregrine travellers. Your time in this old-world Cuban town includes a salsa dance lesson and plenty of time for seaside leisure

  • Conclude your journey by riding through the streets of Havana in a vintage American convertible

Is this trip right for you?

  • Be mindful that Costa Rica has warm conditions all year round, with March, April and May being the hottest months of the year. Remember to pack light, breathable materials, sunscreen, and layers for cooler evenings.

  • This trip involves a number of long nature walks and its important to consider whether these conditions will be right for you. It's advisable to have a generally good level of fitness. 

  • Costa Rica and Cuba are perhaps the most expensive countries in Central America. The price of non included meals, drinks and activities are more in line with Weastern countries than Central American ones.

  • Cuba is different, and that's a big part of its allure. Things don't always go according to plan, and many things don't work the same way as back home. Patience and good humour will go a long way in this beautiful destination.

  • Cash is difficult to access in Cuba. Credit cards (not debit cards) are essential – ideally multiple credit cards from several different banks.

  • Luxuries such as air conditioning, and even kitchen sinks, are often scarce. Part of the experience here is learning to appreciate everyday Cuban resourcefulness.

  • The Cuban guesthouses (Casas Particulares) we use are much nicer than your average Cuban dwelling, and each one is unique, like a B&B. ‘Premium guesthouses’ are an upgrade from these. That said, power cuts and breaks in hot water are sometimes unavoidable, as in any developing country.

  • Internet in Cuba can be scarce, unreliable and expensive. Treat this trip as a holiday from emails and social media.

Itinerary

On arrival at San Jose airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel located in the heart of the city. In the evening you will meet your tour leader and the other members of the group for a pre-tour briefing. This is normally held at 6pm but please check the notice board at reception to confirm the time and place. Please bring your passport and travel insurance documents along with you. Following the briefing there is generally an optional group dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Costa Rica’s capital sits in the centre of a lush, wide valley which has a comfortable subtropical climate. The streets of the town are laid out along a grid iron pattern, with avenidas running east to west and callés running north to south. Many of the most interesting buildings are in the region of Avenida Central – the Teatro Nacional is an elaborate confection of marble staircases, statues, frescoes and mirrors. Artisan booths are common here and you never know when there'll be a spontaneous art fair.

If arriving early, have a look at the Gold Museum, which has an amazing collection of indigenous gold art. If these cultural gems get you in the mood for a bit of shopping, head to the outdoor market in Plaza de la Cultura or the Central Market where you can buy anything from handicrafts to seafood.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Presidente or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Optional Activities
  • San Jose - National Museum - USD12
  • San Jose - Gold Museum - USD11
  • San Jose - Jade Museum - USD10
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Leave San Jose and descend to the Caribbean lowlands (approximately 4 hours). The final section of our journey to the port at La Pavona is on an unsealed road. There you'll take a boat to Tortuguero National Park (approximately 1.5 hours).

This area has long been associated with the catching of turtles (tortuguero means turtle-catcher). The original indigenous inhabitants used turtles as a sustainable resource, but the arrival of Europeans led to major exploitation.

Tortuguero National Park is home to 13 of Costa Rica’s 16 endangered mammals. Among them are manatees, ocelots and jaguars, as well as over 300 bird species. First and foremost, however, it is the nesting ground of the green turtle, which comes ashore between July and October to lay its eggs on the sandy beaches. Lesser numbers of the critically endangered hawksbill turtle, plus loggerheads, and giant leatherback turtles also nest within the park at different times of year.

This afternoon you'll meet Sibella and her son Cloied, descendant of the first Afro-Caribbean people who arrived in the area. Learn from them all about life in this corner of the world, from the secrets of Caribbean dishes to how life was before tourism came to this remote area. Your guide will particularly elaborate on the use of coconut and its many uses from paper to delicious candy.

After the presentation, head to the Sea Turtle Conservancy Museum to learn about the sea turtle conservation efforts in Tortuguero.

Accommodation
  • Mawamba Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tortuguero - Village tour
  • Tortuguero - Sea turtle conservancy museum visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today a local guide will take you through the park within the lodge to explain about the local flora and show you butterfly and frog gardens.

In the afternoon embark on a 2-hour boat tour through the canals of Tortuguero National Park, keeping eyes peeled for aquatic birds, monkeys, caimans, iguanas and bats.
Accommodation
  • Mawamba Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tortuguero - Mawamba Park visit
  • Tortuguero - Canals boat trip
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Set the alarm clock early because today you'll be visiting Sarapiqui, located in the heart of Costa Rica's banana growing region. To get there you'll transfer back to the port by boat (approximately 1.5 hours) and then continue to Sarapiqui by private minibus (approximately 3 hours).

On the banks of the Puerto Viejo River and next to the Braulio Carrillo National Park, Sarapiqui is surrounded by virgin forests, banana and pineapple plantations. Sarapiqui is also known as one of the richest areas in Costa Rica for bird watching. The diversity of lowland bird life is impressive. A biological research station and several nearby forest lodges have made this undisturbed habitat accessible to scientists and travellers.

Once you've arrived, enjoy a relaxing swim in the pool while listening to the sounds of the rainforest. The entire afternoon is free to enjoy.

Perhaps opt to visit La Sevla Bioalogical Station, a field station of the Organization for Tropical Studies, today one of the most important sites in the world for research on tropical rain forest. Over 240 scientific papers are published yearly from research conducted at the site.

Alternatively you could go for a walk along the 9km trails available at Tirimbina for a chance to see different habitats from old cacao plantations, secondary forest, wetlands and river banks to intriguing primary forest.

Prices listed below are entrance only, you will need to add the cost of transport which will depende on how many of you want to participate in these activities.
Accommodation
  • Selva Verde Lodge or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Sarapiqui - La Selva Biological Station (entrance fee) - USD35
  • Sarapiqui - Tirimbina trails (entrance fee) - USD17
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Begin your second day in Sarapiqui searching for some of the rainforest's 215 colourful bird species on a guided birdwatching tour.

In the afternoon, learn about one of humankind's tastiest obsessions during a chocolate tour in La Tirimbina Biological Reserve (2.5 hours). The production of cacao plays an important role in preserving this ecological site and supporting the local community.
Accommodation
  • Selva Verde Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sarapiqui - Chocolate tour at Tirimbina
  • Sarapiqui - Guided birdwatching tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive to La Fortuna by private vehicle (approximately 3 hours). Huddled in the shadow of the looming Arenal Volcano, the small town of La Fortuna is an ideal location from which to explore the surrounding region.

The volcano's almost perfect cone, which soars 1,633 metres above sea level, has a crater 140 metres deep formed over an ancient caldera.

In the evening you will visit hot springs in the area. Surrounded by lush foliage and naturally heated by the Arenal volcano, the springs are the perfect way to relax.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Casa Luna or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • La Fortuna - Hot springs
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Get a different perspective of the Arenal ecosystem on a walk around its hanging bridge system. Hidden among the trees, you'll be in a unique position to observe the wildlife below.

With a free afternoon to enjoy, perhaps visit the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Casa Luna or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • La Fortuna - Arenal hanging bridges
Optional Activities
  • La Fortuna - Cano Negro boat tour - USD80
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today take the scenic route to Monteverde (approximately 4 hours in total).

Travel by shared minibus to Lake Arenal, which you'll then cross by boat. On a clear day you'll get fantastic views of the surrounding area. On the other side of the lake, re-board the minibus and continue to your destination.

Monteverde was founded as an agricultural community in 1951 by a group of North American Quakers who cleared virgin forest to create pastures ideal for dairy farming. These environmentally aware settlers were way ahead of the game in being conscious of the danger that unrestricted settling and farming could cause to habitats. Consequently, they established a small privately-owned wildlife sanctuary which has since grown to become the internationally-renowned Monteverde Cloudforest Biological Preserve. These forests are similar to rainforests, but instead of relying on rain for essential moisture, receive water comes from semi-permanent cloud that covers the region. Lush and full of wildlife, this is truly a nature lover's paradise. More than 2,000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different types of mammals call Montverde home.
Accommodation
  • Ficus Sunset Suites or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you'll have the opportunity to join your leader on a guided walking tour through the Monteverde National Park. Be sure to keep an eye out for the resplendent quetzal, one of the world's most elusive birds.

The afternoon is free for you to enjoy at leisure. Sit back with your favorite book or take on some of the optional activities in the area. Perhaps walk through the canopy on suspension bridges or watch butterflies at play in the specially created butterfly garden. The local guides are very knowledgeable about the area and passionate about conservation. There are also several cooperatives worth visiting in the local communities.
Accommodation
  • Ficus Sunset Suites or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Monteverde - Cloud Forest Reserve
Optional Activities
  • Monteverde - Butterfly garden and insects farm - USD30
  • Monteverde - Suspension bridges tour - USD35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
In the morning, visit the Ramirez family and their small coffee farm, which produces the coffee brand locally known as Cafe San Luis. Learn from this charismatic family the traditional coffee-making process still employed today.

After an afternoon set aside for relaxation, embark on a evening hike in search of some of the rainforest's nocturnal inhabitants. Some of the wildlife you might see includes porcupines, toucans, owls, agoutis, coatimundis, snakes, stick insects, tarantulas and katydids. Animal sightings can of course never be guaranteed, but this time of day offers a good chance to both spot diurnal animals returning from the day's hunting and nocturnal animals setting out to start it.
Accommodation
  • Ficus Sunset Suites or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Monteverde - Coffee tour
  • Monteverde - Night walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
From Monteverde it is a four to five hour drive to Manuel Antonio National Park.

Situated on the Pacific Coast, the area of mangrove swamps and beaches now known as the Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio was first documented by Spanish Explorer Ponce de Leon in 1519 during his (unsuccessful) search for the Fountain of Youth.

Here, long, white beaches extending around the Punta Catedral headland are backed by evergreen forests that grow up right up to the high tide mark. The park, which is made up of 12 small islands and countless lagoons and mangrove swamps, is home to 109 kinds of mammal and 184 species of bird, also boasts turquoise seas perfect for swimming, kayaking, sailing or fishing in.

The afternoon is at your leisure. Perhaps relax at the beach and get ready for tomorrow's exploration of the National Park.


Accommodation
  • Hotel Almendros or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Accommodation in Manuel Antonio is at Hotel Almendros. This property is below the standard of accommodation we prefer to include in Peregrine trips. We have chosen this property because:

- It's clean and comfortable enough
- It's one of the few hotels that accepted working within Peregrine standard booking condition policies
- It has an unbeatable location, meters from the beach, Manuel Antonio's National Park entrance and local restaurants
Led by a local guide whose family helped establish the park, head out on a hike through Manuel Antonio in search of the resident wildlife. Monkeys, armadillos, sloths and hundreds of birds are some of the species you might be lucky enough to spot.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Almendros or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Manuel Antonio - National Park guided visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take advantage of a late morning rise and sleep-in or wake early and listen to the jungle stirring to a new day.

In the afternoon, haul anchor, hoist the sails and set off on a memorable sunset sail across the park's turquoise waters.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Almendros or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Manuel Antonio- Sunset sail
Optional Activities
  • Manuel Antonio - Mangrove tour by kayak (with lunch) - USD80
  • Manuel Antonio - Surf/boogie board rental - USD10
  • Manuel Antonio National Park - entrance - USD16
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel back to San Jose (approximately 4 hours).

Arrive back in time for some last-minute souvenir shopping at the city's vibrant markets. In the evening you might like to head out for a final group dinner and sampling of the city's night scene.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Presidente or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you will be transferred to San Jose International airport in time to catch your flight to Havana. The international flight from San Jose to Havana is not included in the price of the trip and you need to purchase it separately. Please contact us if you need assistance making this arrangement.

On arrival to Havana you will be transferred to your guesthouse.

In the evening, at approximately 6pm, you will meet your leader and the other members of your group for a pre-tour briefing. Once in Havana your leader will contact you to confirm the time and place of your meeting. The briefing is generally followed by an optional group dinner.
Accommodation
  • Deluxe Guesthouse or Similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Havana - Morro Castle - CUC3
  • Havana - La Cabana Fortress canon blast ceremony - CUC8
  • Havana - Buena Vista Social Club - CUC30
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning your leader will take you on a walking tour of the lovely Old Havana. You'll go to the cathedral, Plaza de Armas, San Francisco de Asis, Plaza Vieja and Central Park. Your entry fee to the Camera Obscura lookout at Plaza Vieja is included. After an optional group lunch you will participate in an informal Spanish lesson. Then, jump in classic american style cars for a Havana city tour (1 hour urban adventure) that cruises via points of intrerest such as the Malecon, Revolucion Square and ending in the suburb of Vedado to drop you at the infamous Hotel Nacional. Your leader will take you around the historic grounds and the photo wall of fame. The rest of the afternoon and evening is free for your own exploration.
Accommodation
  • Deluxe Guesthouse or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Havana - Guided walking tour of Old Havana
  • Havana - Camera Obscura entrance
  • Havana - Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Havana - Vintage American car tour
  • Havana - Visit to Plaza de la Revolucion
  • Havana - Visit to Hotel Nacional
Optional Activities
  • Havana - José Martí Memorial Tower - CUC2
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a flight to the opposite end of the island and Santiago de Cuba. Santiago is the hottest place in Cuba – both with respect to the temperature and the atmosphere! As well as being the 'cradle' of the revolution, Santiago has a large Afro-Cuban population and a vibrant music scene. It is the home of son music, which is a mix of Spanish guitar and African percussion. This is great place for even the shyest dancer to learn some salsa moves. This evening get a slice of real Cuban life with dinner in a very humble average Cuban home. Here you will sample local food on the beautifully decorated patio of a simple family home. listening to a local Cuban band, maybe dancing, or just sitting in the rocking chairs and watching the neighbours go about their business as evening falls. This is a home far from the touristic centre of town and a place where foreigners do not visit, so it's a very authentic look at regular Cuban life.
Included Activities
  • Santiago - Dinner in a Casa Urbana
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today your leader will take you on a three-hour city tour of Santiago. You'll visit El Morro Castle, Ifigenia cemetery and the Moncada barracks. For nearly a century, the city was the island's seat of power. It also played a vital role in the Revolution. Santiago has a large Afro-Cuban population and a vibrant music scene. It is the home of son music, which is a mix of Spanish guitar and African percussion. This is great place for even the shyest dancer to learn some salsa moves. Santiago's half million residents are proud of their cultural traditions, so you'll find many museums and cultural clubs around the city. The city is also famous for its energetic Carnaval celebrations and its lively Festival of Caribbean Culture.
Included Activities
  • Santiago de Cuba - half day city tour
Optional Activities
  • Santiago - Dance lesson (1 hour) - CUC15
  • Santiago - Entrance to La Gran Piedra Mountain - CUC1
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, head west along the Carretera Central to Camaguey. Today is the longest travel day of the trip. Depending on how many stops are made, this usually takes six to seven hours. Despite its size, Cuba's third largest city has managed to retain much of its colonial heritage. Exploring the city's winding streets is half the fun. The city was planned in a deliberately confusing pattern to disorient any would-be assailants. As you walk through the city you may still see tinajones – large clay pots used for collecting water. On your explorations, stop by the Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Soledad to see its baroque frescoes. Camaguey has a rich tradition of cultural and technological leadership within Cuba. It is the birthplace of poet laureate Nicolas Guillen and home of the Ballet de Camaguey. Cuba's first radio and television emissions were broadcast from Camaguey, and the country's first airport and commercial flights were planned and executed here.
Accommodation
  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bayamo - Orientation Walk
  • Camaguey - Orientation Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you’ll take a tour of Camaguey by bicycle taxi. Cycling is a popular form of transport in Cuba, and bicycle taxis are very common. In the confusing streets of Camaguey, it's a particularly good way to get around. On the tour, you'll visit a local market, parks, plazas and an art gallery. Each taxi carries two passengers and the tour is led by an English-speaking local guide. Your leader may suggest visiting a local farmers' market, where you’ll get a fascinating insight into daily Cuban life and the local economy. This is where farmers can sell their produce after meeting the quota they have to sell to the state. Camaguey's is a particularly busy and colourful market. There are separate areas for produce sold by the state and produce sold by farmers directly to the public. There are plenty of interesting tropical fruits, vegetables and herbs available. This is where the locals come to buy their food once their monthly food ration runs out. Then you will take a a marvellous tour of the famous ballet school in Camaguey, the precursor to the National Scool of Ballet. From here the majority of dancers go onto the National Ballet company or other large national and international dance companies. Meet some of the important people who keep this school running: the directors, the dancers (we can sit in on a rehearsal) the seamstresses, the shoe makers, the costume designers – it takes a large team of people to keep the ballet school operating. As it is not possible to purchase things such as ballet shoes in Cuba, everything for the ballet school is made on the premises. This is a truly fascinating experience.
Accommodation
  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Camaguey - Bicycle taxi city tour
  • Camaguey - Ballet school tour
Optional Activities
  • Camaguey - Casa de la Trova - CUC3
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today travel through the centre of the country to Trinidad (approximately 5-6 hours), which sits on the scenic Caribbean coast. Stop on the way at Ciego de Avila to visit a well-known local gallery. The Pauyet group was founded by Víctor Rafael Blanco Montaño in 1998 and showcases sculptures made with silver cutlery peices. Enjoy a guided tour of the gallery with one of the artists. You will be encouraged to ask questions about their own art and Cuban art in general. Continue on to Trinidad – for many visitors to Cuba, this is a standout destination. No other colonial city in Cuba is as well preserved, and the local residents are extremely friendly and festive. Trinidad is steeped in religion, including the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria, which has connections to Voodoo. You'll have over two days to explore the area and soak up the atmosphere.
Accommodation
  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ciego de Avila - Pauyet Gallery Visit
  • Trinidad - Orientation walk
  • Trinidad - Santeria Priest Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today's included lunch will be a packed lunch prepared by a guesthouse in Camaguey. It will include a sandwich, drink and a snack or piece of fruit.
There's no doubt that this is one of Cuba's most alluring destinations – a great place to wander around, with almost every scene offering a photo opportunity. Watch as locals casually smoke their huge cigars on the doorsteps of their homes, and hear the old Chevrolets rumbling by. Start with an orientation walk today, see the former wealth generated by the sugar industry in the town's once-grand mansions, colourful public buildings, wrought iron grill-work and cobble-stoned streets. In the afternoon, dive into the sultry rhythms of Trinidad with an informal salsa class.
Accommodation
  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Trinidad - Informal Salsa Dance Lesson
Optional Activities
  • Trinidad - Disco in a cave - CUC5
  • Trinidad - Cayo Blanco island catamaran cruise - CUC45
  • Trinidad - Massage - CUC25
  • Trinidad - Live music venues - CUC5
  • Trinidad - Bicycle rental (full day) - CUC5
  • Trinidad - Snorkelling trip - CUC15
  • Trinidad - Traditional Cuban Dance Show - Free
  • Trinidad - Ancon beach shuttle bus - CUC4
  • Trinidad - Trek to El Nicho Waterfall (taxi, entrance fee & guide) - CUC27
  • Trinidad - Train ride - CUC10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Take a final day to explore Trinidad and the surrounding area. Spend it snorkelling and swimming at Playa Ancon (just watch carefully for sea urchins, which can be a problem here), or simply wandering the cobblestoned streets in town and photograph some of the colourful buildings. No other colonial city in Cuba is so well preserved, and the local residents are very friendly. At some point while you're here, why not take in a folklore show at one of the town's numerous open-air venues. Cuba has a hugely rich and varied dance and musical tradition that draws its roots from Africa and France. Many styles that have greatly influenced music worldwide originated in Cuba, such as Mambo, Cha-cha-cha, son and rumba.
Accommodation
  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
On the way to Cienfuegos today, you'll drive north through the Topes de Collantes National Park to the final resting place of Cuba’s most famous son. In Santa Clara (approximately 1 hour), you'll visit the Che Guevara mausoleum and memorial. Che's remains were brought here after they were found in a remote corner of Bolivia in 1997, where he was assassinated by the CIA-backed Bolivian army. Here you'll get a rare insight into the legacy of the revolutionary leader, with some interesting ephemera and artefacts on display – letters, firearms, even medical devices. Then it’s a short drive south (approximately 1.5 hours) to Cienfuegos, known affectionately as 'The Pearl of the South'. have a short orientation of this port town who's unique culture is attributed its ancestry as a French enclave. The final stop for the day is the Palacio del Valle where you will hopefully get to rest with a drink while watching the sunset descend into the ocean from the rooftop bar, before checking in to your accommodation for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Union or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Santa Clara - Visit to Che Guevara Mausoleum and Museum
  • Cienfuegos - Orientation Walk
  • Cienfuegos - Visit to the Palacio del Valle
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Perhaps rise early to walk along the promenade or stroll alongside the broad colonnaded avenues. On the way back to Havana today, you’ll stop at the peaceful sandy arc of either Playa Giron or Playa Larga (approximately 2.5 hours), which sits on the eastern side of the Bahia de Cochinos, better known as the Bay of Pigs. It was famously here that the CIA sponsored a failed invasion by exile forces in 1961. Today you’ll discover the story of the Cuban victory at the Museo Giron, which holds displays of various military equipment and photos of the men who fought here. It’s not just the history that’s the attraction here – with crystal clear Caribbean waters, a deep underwater wall, and an outstanding variety of coral and fish, it’s a lovely place for a swim. There are beach-side restaurants that provide a perfect opportunity to reflect on the history that took place here while enjoying an included lunch. Return to Havana for the evening.
Accommodation
  • Deluxe Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Playa Giron - Museum Giron Entrance and Film
  • Bay of Pigs - Visit & swim
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Take a day trip to another province, beautiful Pinar del Rio. On the way out of Havana, stop by the neighbourhood of Jaimanitas, also known as Fusterlandia. The artist Jose Fuster has brightened up the area by rebuilding and decorating over 80 houses (including his own) with ornate murals and domes. The project includes a park with giant chess boards and an Artists’ Wall, which has been compared to Antonio Gaudi's mosaic wall in Barcelona. Unfortunately there isn't time to enter Fuster's house but the area is still well worth a visit. Continue on to Vinales, where tobacco and agricultural fields lie side by side and limestone outcrops dot the landscape. This is some of Cuba's best scenery. Enjoy a walking tour of the verdant farmlands for an insight into rural life and see the tobacco destined for the most expensive cigars. Dine at an organic eco-farm for lunch with sweeping views over the valley. Spend the afternoon here before returning to Havana.
Accommodation
  • Deluxe Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Havana - Visit to Jaimanitas
  • Vinales - Guided valley walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today is departure day. As there are no activities planned for today, you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Check-out time from the guesthouse is by 10am.
Optional Activities
  • Havana - The Cigar Trail Tour - CUC60
  • Havana - Tourist bus day pass - CUC5
  • Havana - Ernest Hemingway tour - CUC70
  • Havana - Cigar factory tour - CUC12
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

26 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 5 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Boat, Shuttle bus

Accommodation

Hotel (13 nights), Lodge (4 nights), Deluxe Guesthouse (4 nights), Premium Guesthouse (5 nights)

Included Activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Tortuguero - Village tour
  • Tortuguero - Sea turtle conservancy museum visit
  • Tortuguero - Mawamba Park visit
  • Tortuguero - Canals boat trip
  • Sarapiqui - Chocolate tour at Tirimbina
  • Sarapiqui - Guided birdwatching tour
  • La Fortuna - Hot springs
  • La Fortuna - Arenal hanging bridges
  • Monteverde - Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Monteverde - Coffee tour
  • Monteverde - Night walk
  • Manuel Antonio - National Park guided visit
  • Manuel Antonio- Sunset sail
  • Havana - Guided walking tour of Old Havana
  • Havana - Camera Obscura entrance
  • Havana - Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Havana - Vintage American car tour
  • Havana - Visit to Plaza de la Revolucion
  • Havana - Visit to Hotel Nacional
  • Santiago - Dinner in a Casa Urbana
  • Santiago de Cuba - half day city tour
  • Bayamo - Orientation Walk
  • Camaguey - Orientation Tour
  • Camaguey - Bicycle taxi city tour
  • Camaguey - Ballet school tour
  • Ciego de Avila - Pauyet Gallery Visit
  • Trinidad - Orientation walk
  • Trinidad - Santeria Priest Visit
  • Trinidad - Informal Salsa Dance Lesson
  • Santa Clara - Visit to Che Guevara Mausoleum and Museum
  • Cienfuegos - Orientation Walk
  • Cienfuegos - Visit to the Palacio del Valle
  • Playa Giron - Museum Giron Entrance and Film
  • Bay of Pigs - Visit & swim
  • Havana - Visit to Jaimanitas
  • Vinales - Guided valley walking tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Airport transfers are included in San Jose and Havana (arrival only). Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip.
3. There are unprecedented changes happening in Cuba right now. It is an exciting time but it also means some patience and understanding is required for the heightened demand of infrastructure, accommodation and crowds.
4. The international flight from Guatemala City to Havana on day 15 is not included in the price of this trip and it needs to be purchased separately. Contact us if you need assistance making this arrangement.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.