On this suggested 10-day cross island trip, you not only visit the iconic cities of Havana and Trinidad but you head way off the beaten path to the eastern half of the Island. Here you get a real sense of Cuba life. Hike to the rebel headquarters of Fidel Castro outside of Bayamo, as well as, visit the vibrant Santiago de Cuba. Let yourself be carried away on this unforgettable trip.
Day one: Old Havana and Cuban Cuisine
After arriving in Cuba you are met by our local guide and whisked off to your accommodations. The afternoon is spent getting your first glimpse of Old Havana, experiencing some of the culture and visiting the historic sites of the city. As night falls get ready to embrace Cuban cuisine at one of the many outstanding family-run paladares in Havana.What else can you do?
- Attend El Cañonazo at Castillo del Morro
- Visit community art project
- VIP rum & cigar tasting
- Havana by night with your salsa instructor
Day two: Havana, Inside and Out
Today you’ll get to check out the iconic sights of Havana, as well as visit Partagás Tobacco Factory. After learning everything about cigars, it is time to hop in a vintage American convertible for a cruise along the Malecón and tailored to your personal interests. Finish the day visiting the community art project of Fusterlandía. This evening experience Havana’s famously vibrant nightlife and dancing in a salsa bar, or check out some of the up and coming talent at one of the legendary Troubadour sessions.What else can you do?
- Private Cuban cooking class & market adventure
- Private visit to artist studios
- Shop for vintage jewelry and handmade artisan products
- VIP entrance tickets to über-cool Fabrica de Arte
Day three: Colonial Trinidad & Cienfuegos
Time to explore more of Cuba, starting with a stop at Finca Vigia, a fifteen-acre estate on the outskirts of Havana where Ernest Hemingway lived for 20 years. Continue to Cienfuegos, for a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage City. Venture into the deep blue sea for some snorkeling with a local diver before lunch. Finish the day heading to Trinidad.What else can you do?
- Guided visit of Cienfuegos by bike
- Cienfuegos kayak adventure
Day four: Get to Know Trinidad
Take an immersive walking tour around Trinidad takes you on a stroll through the cobblestone streets seeing the classic colonial buildings while learning how this gem of a city, was once of the wealthy places in Cuba. At the end of the walk, you can visit the Santander family pottery workshop known as Casa Chichi which was founded four generations ago.What else can you do?
- Explore the lively streets of Trinidad
- Visit one of the interesting museums
- Shop for local art at one of the many galleries
- Spend the afternoon at one of the local beaches just outside of Trinidad.
Day five: Day Excursion to National Park Topes de Collantes
Discover Cuba’s natural side at the National Park Topes de Collantes, a place of extraordinary beauty where the Sierra Escambray mountains and sea collide. Relax, have a picnic lunch and bathe in one of the waterfalls after hiking (moderate in difficulty) around this little piece of paradise.
If hiking isn’t your thing, you can experience Valle de lo Ingenios by horseback or car.What else can you do?
- Private Salsa classes with a professional dance instructor
- Private cooking class with a chef
- A day at a local beach
Day six: Camagüey in Central Cuba
Today you continue your trip to Camagüey. Once there you meet a local guide for a walking tour of this colonial city. The spirit of Camagüey lies in its maze of dusty streets, built with the intention of confusing the ravaging pirates who frequently attempted attacks. Today, you won’t see any pirates, but you can still explore the unique layout of the city, filled with plazas and winding streets.
In the evening, definitely grab a seat at the rooftop bar of the Gran Hotel for watching the sunset.What else can you do?
- See the works of art at Martha Jimenez studio workshop
- Relax as a local at Santa Lucia beach
- Catch a baseball game
- Attend a ballet
Day seven: Sierra Maestra Mountains
If you visit just one market in Cuba, make it Mercado Agropecuario Hatibonico, this is a classic example of Cuban-style free enterprise and a taste of local life.
After saying goodbye to central Cuba, you are driven high into the Sierra Maestra mountains in the east to the small village of Santo Domingo. Situated along the Yara River, from here you can enjoy horseback riding, hikes and walks along trails of historical and natural interest and beauty. Santo Domingo is also the venue of lively Guateques, where the typical music of the region enraptured its listeners.
Since all of our trips are custom designed, you can also stop for the night in Bayamo to enjoy Fiesta de la Cubanía, an ebullient street party, the likes of which are found nowhere else in Cuba.
Day eight: Follow Fidel's Castro Steps to La Comandancía
Today you embark on a gentle trek through the Sierra Maestra mountains to reach Fidel’s hideout – the staging ground for the Cuban revolution. Here you can see the completely preserved huts where Fidel and Che Guevara led the group of revolutionaries to ultimate victory in the Cuban revolution. After your hike, you’ll be driven to your base in the heart of Santiago de Cuba.
Day nine: Get to Know Santiago de Cuba
Today, you have an immersive privately guided visit of Santiago – you visit the main historical and cultural places of the urban historic center of the city, such as the Moncada Barracks and museum, the Revolution Square, as well as other historical, religious, and cultural sites.What else can you do?
- Excursion to Cobre Sanctuary and Cimarrón monument
- Witness a tumba francesa performance, declared an intangible cultural heritage by Unesco.
- Visit the tiny island of Cayo Granma in Santiago Bay
- Snorkel experience to a the sunken boat Almirante Oquendo
- Enjoy an ice cold beer on the veranda of Hotel Granda
Day ten: Say Goodbye to Cuba
Today you catch your flight home full of memories of Cuba and wishing your stay had been longer.
Since all of our trips are custom designed, why not extend your stay to include Baracoa or relax at one of the many white-sand beaches along the north coast.
We use a variety of accommodation styles from charming casas particulares to boutique style B&Bs or hotels. All ¨casas¨and B&Bs in our portfolio have private bathroom facilities and air conditioning, and we have hand picked our accommodations to ensure the highest standards and are well located.
Experience the real Cuba
It’s a given that during your trip, you see the highlights and historically important sites but what really sets the experience apart is our local guides. Our five star guides bring Cuba to life through their personal stories and life experiences, They are all about showing you the real Cuba to discover things you won’t find out about any other way.
Why travel with us?
Customized and private trip
We’re full of ideas and we take time to design a trip for you that ticks all the boxes. We have the knowledge and contacts to ensure that your trip is a once in a lifetime. Our five star guides bring Cuba to life through their personal stories and life experiences, They are all about showing you the real Cuba to discover things you won’t find out about any other way.
We pride ourselves on delivering an enriching ‘local’ experience in Cuba– and therefore we feel it’s our responsibility to leave a positive impact as well as reduce negative impacts. We are committed to working in a socially and environmentally conscious way, and making a positive difference. Click here for more details about our responsible travel journey.
What our clients have to say?
Over the years we’ve been creating inspirational and immersive trips for our clients, and what better testament to this than to hear the great things they have to say about their experience, and our service. We have plenty of great reviews to share, be sure and click here to read some.