Days
13
Price from
R44,225ZAR
Map of Cuba Highlights including Cuba

Cuba’s rich tapestry, in all its colour and candour.

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. Look behind the legend of Che Guevara, 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, dance to Cuban rhythms in Trinidad and go snorkelling in the Bay of Pigs. Finish it off with a cruise through Havana’s grand old streets in a classic American convertible.


Start
Havana, Cuba
Finish
Havana, Cuba
Destination
Cuba
Style
Peregrine
Code
PSTV
Physical rating
Trip rating
41 reviews
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Get behind the scenes and discover real Cuban life. Explore avant-garde 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

  • History enthusiasts will not be disappointed. Visit the Che Guevara Mausoleum and Museum in Santa Clara, and learn about the Bay of Pigs Invasion at the Gion Museum

  • The French-founded port town of Cienfuegos is a real slice of heaven. Enjoy a drink on the roof of its crown-jewel building, the Palacio del Valle

  • 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

  • Never mind an impersonal bus tour. Be acquainted with Camaguey in true local style – on a bicycle taxi

  • Ride through the streets of Havana in a vintage American convertible

  • Your 2-night Feature stay at Hotel Nacional in Havana which is considered a symbol of history, culture and Cuban identity

Is this trip right for you?

  • Hotels in Cuba are government-run, which means renovations are few and far between. As for the guesthouses (Casas) we use, they are much nicer than your average Cuban dwelling but keep in mind that each and every room is unique. That said, regardless of where you stay, power cuts and breaks in hot water are sometimes unavoidable, as in any developing country.

  • Funds can be difficult to access in Cuba. Ideally bring multiple credit cards from several different banks just to be sure.

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

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

  • 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.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019.
View the 2018 itinerary
Welcome to Cuba's capital. Your tour begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early, the day is yours to explore. Consider a stroll through Old Havana to acquaint yourself with its colourful mix of '50s Americana, colonial architecture and budding modernity. There are plenty of good museums to check out, such as the Museo de la Revolucion (Musuem of the Revolution), which is housed in the former Presidential Palace, and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts). We recommend arriving a few days early to make the most of this exciting city.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Nacional or similar, Feature Stay (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Havana - Revolution museum - CUC5
  • Havana - National Museum of Fine Arts - CUC5
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Please see "Joining instructions" for more information about exiting the arrivals hall and connecting with your arrival transfer driver.

If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive in time for today's welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand.
Take a day trip to Vinales. Located in the beautiful province of Pinar del Rio, Vinales is a landscape of tobacco and agricultural fields dotted with limestone outcrops. Enjoy a walking tour of verdant farm lands and tobacco crops for insight into rural life, then have lunch at an organic eco-farm with sweeping views over the valley. Spend the afternoon here before returning to Havana.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Nacional or similar, Feature Stay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vinales - Guided valley walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Spend the morning cruising the city in style in a classic American car. In a convoy of vintage cars, you and your fellow travellers will cruise through Vedado via the Avenida de los Presidentes, passing by the Malecon and Plaza de la Revolucion (Revolution Square) along the way. Next, you leader will take you on a walking tour of Old Havana which includes Plaza de Armas, San Francisco de Asis, Plaza Vieja and Central Park. In the afternoon, take a two hour flight to the opposite end of the island. Santiago de Cuba in the hottest place in Cuba – arguably in terms of atmosphere and vibrations as much as climate. This ‘cradle’ of the revolution is home to a large Afro-Cuban population and a vibrant music scene.
Accommodation
  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Havana - Vintage American car tour
  • Havana - Revolution Square
  • Havana - Guided walking tour of Old Havana
Optional Activities
  • Havana - Jose Marti Memorial Tower - CUC2
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Due to safety concerns with Russian-made planes used by some domestic Cuban airlines, Peregrine groups only uses French-made ATR planes. If French-made ATR planes are not available or if the flight is delayed or cancelled, alternative arrangements will be made, and occasionally this may not be known to us right up until boarding time. Alternatives include, completing the entire leg from Havana to Santiago by land, flying to a nearby airport and travelling the remainder of the journey by land, or in some cases, it will be run in reverse.
Today your leader will take you on a three-hour city tour of Santiago where you’ll learn about the town’s vital role in the revolution while visiting sites such as El Morro Castle, Santa Ifigenia Cemetery and the Moncada barracks. Santiago's half million residents are proud of their cultural traditions, so you'll find plenty of museums and cultural clubs around the city. The city is also famous for its energetic Carnaval celebrations and lively Festival of Caribbean Culture. In the evening, you’ll get the unique chance to dine with a local family in a humble Cuban home. Here you will sample local food for a real slice of Cuban life. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know the locals and perhaps learn some Spanish.
Accommodation
  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Santiago de Cuba - half day city tour
  • Santiago - Dinner in a Casa Urbana
  • Informal Spanish lesson with leader
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Enjoy a free day in Santiago de Cuba. If you want to delve into Santiago’s sizzling music scene, perhaps learn a few moves in a salsa dancing class. For a taste of the city’s vibrant Carnaval celebration, visit to Museo del Carnaval (Carnaval Museum) to see floats, costumes and the occasional dance show. Those looking to get active may want to climb the 452 steps to La Gran Piedra (The Big Rock), a natural viewing platform 1,225 metres (4,019 feet) above Santiago for stunning panoramic views of surrounding hills and mountains. In the evening, there are plenty of atmospheric venues with good Cuban rum and even better music for locals and tourists to showcase their dance moves.
Accommodation
  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Santiago de Cuba - Music instrument lesson - CUC12
  • Santiago de Cuba - Salsa lesson (1 hour) - CUC15
  • Santiago de Cuba - La Gran Piedra Mountain (Entrance only) - CUC1
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, head west along the Carretera Central to Camaguey. The drive (about six to seven hours) is broken up with a stop in Bayamo, where you can stretch your legs on walking tour and enjoy an included lunch. Those hoping to brush up on their Spanish can also benefit from an informal Spanish lesson with your leader during the bus ride. When you arrive in Camaguey you’ll soon notice that the city has maintained much of its colonial heritage. It is also characterised by winding streets, which are a joy to explore. Get acquainted with the city on a leader-led walking tour, including a stop at the Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Soledad (Church of Our Lady of Soledad) to see its Baroque frescoes.
Accommodation
  • Gran Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bayamo - Orientation Walk
  • Camaguey - Orientation walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today you’ll tour the sights of Camaguey the same way the locals get around – from the back of a bicycle taxi. Hope on and visit parks, plazas and local markets. Each taxi carries two passengers and the tour is led by an English-speaking local guide. Enjoy a free afternoon after the tour. The town is home to an excellent farmers market brimming with colourful vegetables, tropical fruits, herbs and lively local merchants. Later, visit an esteemed ballet theatre for a fascinating glimpse behind the curtain. Meet some of the people who keep the school running like the seamstresses, shoemakers and costume designers. As it is not possible to purchase things such as ballet shoes in Cuba, everything for the ballet school is made on the premises.
Accommodation
  • Gran Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Camaguey - Bicycle taxi city tour
  • Camaguey - Ballet school tour
Optional Activities
  • Camaguey - Casa de la Trova - CUC3
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel through the centre of the country today as you make your way to Trinidad (approximately 5-6 hours), a well-preserved colonial town that sits on the scenic Caribbean coast. Stop at Ciego de Avila to visit a well-known local gallery that showcases sculptures made with silver cutlery along the way. Arrive in Trinidad and acquaint yourself with its colourful streets on a leader-led orientation walk.
Accommodation
  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ciego de Avila - Pauyet Gallery Visit
  • Trinidad - Orientation walk
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.
Delve into Trinidad’s sultry Latin rhythms with a salsa class. Afterwards, the day is yours to explore. Perhaps enjoy some swimming at Playa Ancon. Alternatively, cycle Trinidad’s colourful streets past once-grand mansions, pastel buildings and wrought iron features. Attending a traditional Cuban dance show is also a fine choice.
Accommodation
  • Premium Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Trinidad - Salsa Dance Lesson
Optional Activities
  • Trinidad - Traditional Cuban Dance Show - Free
  • Trinidad - Massage - CUC25
  • Trinidad - Ancon beach shuttle bus - CUC4
  • Trinidad - Bicycle rental (full day) - CUC5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Continue along the picturesque coast to Cienfuegos, a slice of Paris in the Caribbean. Take an orientation walk through its charming streets, before stopping at the opulent Palacio del Valle, hopefully in time for a sunset rooftop drink. Enjoy free time to perhaps stroll the promenade before reuniting with your tour leader for an included group dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel union or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cienfuegos - Visit to the Palacio del Valle
  • Cienfuegos - Orientation Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Begin the day by travelling to a peaceful sandy arc on Cuba’s southern coast, commonly known as the Bay of Pigs. Stop for a dip in its tranquil waters, either at Playa Larga or Playa Giron. With a deep underwater wall just off the shore and an outstanding variety of coral and fish, it just might be Cuba’s best-kept secret. Continue to Santa Clara to the final resting place of Cuba’s most famous son, Che Guevara. Visit the Che Guevara Mausoleum and Memorial where letters, firearms, medical devices and other interesting artefacts are on display.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Nacional or similar, Feature Stay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bay of Pigs - Visit & swim
  • Santa Clara - Visit to Che Guevara Mausoleum and Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a free day in Havana. The former stomping ground of Ernest Hemingway (the author wrote some of his most acclaimed novels in Cuba and lived near Havana for almost 22 years), literary-types may want to visit some of his favourite haunts, like his bar of choice for a mojito, La Bodeguita del Medio. Alternatively, you may opt to visit a local Cuban cigar factory.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Nacional or similar, Feature Stay (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Havana - Buena Vista Social Club - CUC30
  • Havana - Cigar factory tour - CUC12
  • Havana - Ernest Hemingway tour - CUC70
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

12 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Plane

Accommodation

Hotel Feature stay (4 nights), Comfortable Hotel (3 nights), Premium Guesthouse (5 nights)

Included Activities

  • Vinales - Guided valley walking tour
  • Havana - Vintage American car tour
  • Havana - Revolution Square
  • Havana - Guided walking tour of Old Havana
  • Santiago de Cuba - half day city tour
  • Santiago - Dinner in a Casa Urbana
  • Informal Spanish lesson with leader
  • Bayamo - Orientation Walk
  • Camaguey - Orientation walk
  • Camaguey - Bicycle taxi city tour
  • Camaguey - Ballet school tour
  • Ciego de Avila - Pauyet Gallery Visit
  • Trinidad - Orientation walk
  • Trinidad - Salsa Dance Lesson
  • Cienfuegos - Visit to the Palacio del Valle
  • Cienfuegos - Orientation Walk
  • Bay of Pigs - Visit & swim
  • Santa Clara - Visit to Che Guevara Mausoleum and Museum

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time.
2. To have a private room on this trip, a single supplement is bookable; subject to availability.
3. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
4. For the included internal flight ticket, please provide your full name exactly as per passport, at the time of booking or at least 45 days prior to travel.
5. Please advise bedding configuration requests to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
6. A visa or tourist card, organised prior to arrival, is required for all nationalities visiting Cuba.
7. The Cuban government has declared that travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers. Proof of insurance may be requested at Havana Airport by immigration officials.
8. 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 services. To help set your expectations correctly, please read the ‘Is this trip right for you?’ and ‘Joining point description’ sections in the Essential Trip Information Document.
9. Certain aircrafts used by domestic Cuban airlines do not meet our safety standards. For your safety and that of our staff, we plan trips so that only approved aircrafts are used. Regardless of this, unfortunately Cuban airlines may change the aircraft from an approved to a non-approved one at last minute (i.e. at time of boarding). Should that be the case, alternative arrangements will be made. Alternative arrangements include, flying to a nearby airport and travelling the remainder of the journey by land, running the itinerary in reverse, or in some cases, completing the intended flight leg by land. The safest and most time efficient alternative will be preferred. Flight delays or cancellation may trigger similar alternative arrangements too.
10. Hurricane season in this region is June to November, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Intrepid monitors any situations that arise, and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to these natural weather occurrences.

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.

View Essential Trip Information

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