A taste of Cuba
A Taste of Cuba
9 DAYS/ 8 NIGHTS SMALL GROUP CUBA TOUR
9 days/ 8 Nights
Local english-speaking guide
Entrance fees to local attractions
Legal travel for U.S. citizens
Private air-conditioned transportation
Accommodation in Casa's and/or hotels
Breakfasts and selected meals
Group of 2-12 people
*Based on staying in Casa’s/B&B’s (Hotel upgrades available on request)
PRIVATE SINGLE ROOM
USD $1200 /PER PERSON
PRIVATE DOUBLE/TWIN ROOM
USD $1000 /PER PERSON
SINGLE WILLING TO SHARE
USD $1000 /PER PERSON
If you are into Cuban culture and History then this is the tour to share with other travelers. Starting in Havana, you’ll explore the land where the best tobacco in Cuba is grown: Viñales. We’ll make a stop in Bay of Pigs to learn about the infamous invasion and to enjoy some snorkeling in these superb waters. Then we’ll explore Cienfuegos, a French founded city and Trinidad, the best preserved colonial city in Cuba. Our last discovery will be Santa Clara, a great opportunity to learn about Che Guevara whilst visiting his mausoleum.
Private air-conditioned transportation
All the transportation needed to carry out the activities in your itinerary is warrantied, including transfers between destinations. Depending on the size of your party, we’ll be using different types of vehicles to ensure comfort.
Local English-speaking guide
You don’t speak Spanish? That’s not a problem. Your English speaking guide will be there for you every step of the way, like a long time friend showing you their magical country.
Your choice of accommodation
You should know that we have priced this tour staying in Casa’s (the Cuban equivalent of a B&B). We strongly believe this is an ideal way to gain an insight into the country and its people. Of course, you can always request to upgrade your accommodation to hotels.
We’ll get sorted your transfers from the airport to your accommodation and vice versa. Just relax and enjoy your flight, leave the rest in our hands.
A selection of Activities and excursions
We have hand selected a list of activities for you to enjoy while touring Cuba. We believe these activities will give you a good grasp at what Cuba has to offer. There is also enough flexibility for you to choose other options in order to fit your interests and expectations during the trip.
Where meals are included we aim to showcase the best of Cuban cuisine by frequenting the growing number of paladares (privately owned restaurants). Where meals are not included, your guide and our team will be happy to make recommendations and reservations as required.
Download our A Taste of Cuba tour brochure here:
(Click on each day to see description)
Welcome to Cuba!
A member of Cuba 360 will pick you up at the airport, look for our logo with your name on it (or the name of the person in your party who booked the holiday). Next, you will be transferred to your accommodation.
There are several options of places to check out during the evenings. After all, Havana’s nightlife is as unique as its culture and history. We’ll be happy to arrange some of them for you if you want us to. Here are some of the options:
– Visit the Cuban Art Factory (or FAC as locals call it), a space that joins together good drinks with some of the best Cuban contemporary art (Photography, Sculpture, Interior Design, Fashion, Painting, Music, Film, Theatre, etc.). The Cuban Art Factory only opens on weekends and sometimes closes for special events that happen in Havana.
– Head to San Carlos de La Cabaña fortress and witness the Cannon Shot Ceremony, a unique and picturesque show that has been happening every night for the last 300 years.
– Enjoy a unique show at world-famous Tropicana Cabaret, one of the few bastions of Havana’s Las Vegas–style nightlife to survive the revolution.
Take a walking tour around the heart of Cuba, Old Havana. Discover the magic that hides in every corner of this audacious city. More than 500 years of history make this the perfect place to unleash your curiosity. Hundreds of buildings from the 19th, 18th, 17th, and even 16th centuries spread around the narrow streets of this romantic city. Walk around this open air museum and delight yourself with the infinity of amazing views that go around in every direction, making impossible not to look and try to capture the moment with your camera. Wander around all the main squares, all of them with their own special places you shouldn’t miss. Also, have a look at the majestic cathedral that stands as an icon of the city, its history and architecture. Discover iconic places like the National Capitol, the Paseo del Prado, the Floridita, La Bodeguita del Medio, the Parque Central, etc.
Jump in a convertible car and explore the more modern parts of the city. Drive through different neighborhoods and discover the highlights of Vedado and Center Havana. Have a look at the Revolution Square, where Fidel Castro used to give endless speeches in front of thousands of his supporters. Drive by the Colon Cemetery, one of the biggest and most important in the world. Enjoy the breeze at El Malecon, Havana’s evocative 7km-long sea drive, a favored meeting place for assorted lovers, philosophers, poets, traveling minstrels, fishers and wistful Florida-gazers. Some of the landmarks we’ll see include the American Embassy, the Hotel Nacional, Havana’s Forest and many more.
Wander along the Callejon de Hamel, Havana’s high temple of Afro-Cuban culture. A whole street full of mural paintings and shrines. The project started back in the 90’s, when artist Salvador Gonzalez decided to repair the deteriorated facades of houses in the alley and covered them with murals related to the Afro-Cuban syncretism. Sunday is the best day to visit it, since it’s when the alley shows its true spirit. That day, the neighbors, dressed up as ancient gods of Yoruba Pantheon, Orishas, welcome visitors and drums go aloud.
Adventure into western Havana and discover Fusterlandia, a huge tilework masterpiece built by local artist Jose Fuster over the last 20 years. If Gaudí reincarnates and decides to go for a tropical spin, this is it. Fuster’s work has covered several suburban blocks with whimsical but highly stylized public art. The centerpiece is the artist’s own house, which you can explore as you check on the different galleries where some of his art is sold, including ceramic tiles and paintings.
Take a walk around the Las Terrazas Township, a small community and nature reserve hidden by the Sierra del Rosario mountains. Walk around and mingle with the locals and enjoy the nature surrounding you, including a small population of pink flamingos that have made a home of this place. Explore Cafetal Buenavista, Cuba’s oldest (now partially restored) coffee plantation, built in 1801 by refugees from Haiti. Much of the property (such as the dormitories that housed the slaves who worked the plantation) is now in ruin, but this adds to its haunting quality.
Continue to the small village of Soroa. Often referred to as The Gate to The Garden of Eden. Visit the orchid garden, which includes the biggest collection of the flower in the island. Have a look at Salto Arco Iris, a magnificent waterfall that forms part of the Rio Manantiades. The great river churns through the rainforest before cascading down 22 meters drop, creating an enclosed pool.
Discover Viñales Valley, one of Cuba’s most magnificent natural settings. Known for its fertile soil, which along with its natural micro-climate, make the land suitable to grow some of the finest tobacco in Cuba, hence, the world. Our first stop will be at Los Jazmines, a lookout point from where you can enjoy the beauty of Viñales’s landscape. In our day around this lovely town,
In our day around this lovely town, we’ll visit the Prehistoric Mural, stunning wall painting on the side of a mountain, and the Indian Cave with a boat trip through a subterranean section of the San Juan river. We’ll enjoy lunch at one of the local restaurants, where traditional dishes are made with ingredients that go straight from the farm to the table. After lunch, we’ll visit one of the local tobacco plantations where farmers will explain the process of (artisanal) cigar production. This visit is a great opportunity to witness how people live in the countryside, and the good impact tourism makes in their lives.
Head to Bay of Pigs, the same place where more than 50 years ago an invasion carried out by Cuban exiles and organized by the US government took place. Bay of pigs is in Zapata Swamp, the biggest natural reserve in Cuba and a place that boasts with wildlife. Some of the nicest features in the area are hidden underwater, making Bay of Pigs a terrific spot for snorkelling and diving. You can relax for the rest of the day in the local beach, where restaurants have their tables less than 10 meters from the water. Just picture yourself enjoying a mojito or a cold beer under a coconut tree whilst feeling the Caribbean breeze in your face, that’ll give you an idea of the magic of this place. Needless to say, seafood in here is as fresh as it gets and most private establishments have a wide selection of it.
We’ll head to the Cueva de los Peces, a 70m-deep cenote (sinkhole) on the inland side of the coast road halfway between Playa Larga and Playa Girón. It’s a pretty spot, as popular with swimmers as snorkelers, for spotting tropical fish. The brave can glide into the darker parts of the underwater cave with diving gear. Hammocks swing languidly around the crystal clear pool, while the beach opposite sparkles with aquatic promise.
Learn about the history of Bay of Pigs invasion at Playa Giron’s museum. This well-kept museum with its gleaming display cases evokes a tangible sense of the history of the famous Cold War episode that unfolded within rifle-firing distance of this spot in 1961. The museum offers two rooms of artifacts from the Bay of Pigs skirmish plus numerous photos of the combat.
Continue south-east to Cienfuegos, one of Cuba’s youngest cities, founded in 1819 by French emigrants from Bordeaux and Louisiana, its elegant classical architecture earned it a UNESCO World Heritage Site listing in 2005. Due to its beauty, economical importance and strategical placement, this city has always been known as the pearl in Cuba’s south coast. Have a walking tour around the city and have a look at the local landmarks, including Tomas Terry Theatre, one of Cuba’s oldest and best preserved. Visit Cienfuegos’s Cathedral, Palacio de Valle, Muelle Real, Jose Marti square and many other iconic spots of the city.
Discover Trinidad, a perfectly preserved Spanish colonial settlement where the clocks stopped in 1850 and other than by the watches of tourists have yet to restart.
Have a walking tour around the city with the opportunity to visit local museums and art galleries. Wander around the Plaza Mayor, one of Cuba’s most charming squares and the center of the town. Stop at the Canchanchara House, a place dedicated to this local drink, very popular around Cuba.
Today, you can build your own day by choosing two of the following activities:
– Take a salsa lesson. If you love salsa, then you sure know there is no place like Cuba to master this contagious rhythm. In a country where people are born with music in their blood, dancing salsa is just part of every day’s life. So taking a salsa lesson with one of our virtuous salsa instructors is a must if you are in Trinidad or Havana. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or you already know how to dance, the lesson will be personalized to your skill level.
– Take a horse ride around the countryside of Trinidad, making stops for some coffee, a dip at a crystal-clear river and later for lunch at one of the local farmers’ improvised restaurants. The duration of the trip depends on the phase and the duration of the stops, you should expect no less than 3 hours total.
– Adventure into Playa Ancon, less than 15 min away from Trinidad. Ancon is known as the best beach in Cuba’s south coast. Actually, the Cuban government in partnership with Spanish hotel chains Melia and Iberostar are heavily investing in the construction of resorts in the area, so now is a good opportunity to enjoy it before it gets too crowded.
Head to the Valle de los Ingenios (literally, Sugar Mills Valley) right outside Trinidad. This area is where the wealth of the city was produced. Most of the mills were destroyed during the War of Independence and the Spanish-Cuban-American War, when the focus of sugar-growing in Cuba shifted west to Matanzas. This valley offers one of the most beautiful natural settings in Cuba. Stop at Manaca-Iznaga’s plantation and climb the imposing tower that used to serve as a place the overlook the slaves and prevent them from running away. In your way to Havana, stop at Santa Clara, a city with a very close connection to Che Guevara. At the final days of the fight for the Cuban communist revolution, back in 1958, a series of combats happened here that decided the course of history. Visit Che Guevara’s mausoleum, where his remains are kept, along with the ones of his comrades in arms. Santa Clara is also known for being kind of an “edgy” city, with a local cultural scene that contrasts with the rest of the country. Santa Clara has the first drag show in Cuba and one of the most prestigious rock festivals in the area.
Transfer to Havana’s International airport. It’s time to say goodbye to Cuba, at least for now. It’s sad to see you go back to your country, but this adventure together has come to an end. We hope to see you again in our country, until then: Take care, we’ll miss you 😊.
Interested in this tour?
Some useful information
Estimated travel times
- Havana’s Airport to accommodation: 30 minutes
- Havana to Viñales: 3 hours
- Havana to Bay of Pigs: 2 hours
- Bay of Pigs to Cienfuegos: 2 hours
- Cienfuegos to Trinidad: 1 hours
- Trinidad to Santa Clara: 2 hours
- Santa Clara to Havana: 3 hours
Spending money on tour
Everyone spends money at different rates, and in addition to that, many of your major expenses such as accommodation, private transportation between destinations, airport transfers, entrance fees to activities, tour guide and two lunches are already included. You’ll just need enough money to cover the rest of your meals, drinks, tips and souvenirs.
If you are looking at the possibility of booking some extra activities you should bring some additional money for that too. Also, some souvenirs are more expensive than others, you might want to bring some nice cigars and rum back home, make sure you include those in your budget calculation as well.
All in all, we recommend bringing around 60 CUC per person per day. The CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso) is valued 1:1 with the US dollar (not taking into consideration exchange fees, which tipically take the exchange rate down to 87 cents of a CUC for each US dollar).
Accommodation on tour
This tour is priced to stay in Casa’s/ B&B’s. The Casa’s we have hand selected are not exactly as the standard Casa’s you will find in Cuba, we have chosen to partner with them because of their excellent, friendly and reliable service. They are run more like your traditional B&B’s but still offer a unique cultural experience. While they shouldn’t be compared to modern Western hotels, the rooms will have air-conditioning, private en suite facilities, hot and cold water and have generally been recently renovated to a beautiful standard. Location is another important factor; The Casa’s we use are always within walking distance of the city centers, which will give you easy access to restaurants, bars , museums, etc.
Staying in cuba’s casas particulares is an ideal way to gain an insight into the country and its people.
Not sold on staying at a Casa?
That’s OK, we can certainly look to upgrade your accommodation to 4* or 5* properties, depending on your budget. It is worth noting some accommodation providers in Havana are to be found in older buildings without elevators. If you believe that your physical capabilities will make it difficult to climb stairs, simply let us know. We will be able to find you a suitable alternative.
Travel to Cuba from the U.S.
All of our Cuba Tours are dedicated to supporting the Cuban people, patronizing privately owned small businesses across Cuba. Your itinerary is compliant with current U.S. travel restrictions and is designed to introduce you to the local Cuban people and steer funds towards its citizens. On our Cuba Tours you will stay in Casa Particulares (privately run Cuban B&B’s) and eat at Paladares (privately run restaurants). You will also have the chance to interact with Cuban’s from all walks of life, listening to their stories, and sharing your own.
For those traveling to Cuba from the U.S. (regardless of nationality), please note that the documentation we will include with your booking (itinerary and receipt of deposit payment) ensures your compliance with current U.S. travel restrictions (515.574 Support for the Cuban People). In addition to retaining your itinerary, please keep records of your booking receipt, airline receipt, and any supplemental insurance purchased. You should retain these copies for 5 years after your travel. Some of our travelers have been asked to furnish these upon application for Global Entry, Pre-Check, and other programs with TSA oversight.
Select a date for your tour
BLUE – Several spots are still available. Only two people required to guarantee departure.
GREEN – 100% Guaranteed departure.
ORANGE – Only a few spots are still available. Secure your spots now!
RED – The tour is fully booked for this date. No spots available.
Visiting: Havana + Bay of Pigs + Cienfuegos + Trinidad + Santa Clara + Varadero
Duration: 9 days, 8 nights
Price: starting at $900 / per person
Visiting: Havana + Soroa + Las Terrazas + Viñales + Bay of Pigs + Cienfuegos + Trinidad + Santa Clara + Varadero
Duration: 14 days, 13 nights
Price: Starting at $1650 / per person
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REAL CUBA EXPERTS
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We are committed to making your tour in Cuba as amazing as possible. We have amassed many fantastic reviews over the years, with clients citing our expertise, attention to detail and professionalism as reasons for their high ratings. Don’t just take our word for it, see what our clients have to say…
“We did a 7 day experience with Cuba 360 – Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Varadero. Engaged with Cubans throughout and learned tons. Cesar made it so outstanding, right down to learning how to make the very best mojito! Muchas muchas gracias and here’s to a positive future for the people of the US and Cuba!”
“If I could give Cuba 360 more starts I would. These guys go far beyond to make sure you have the best trip. I’m from South Carolina and had a ton of questions about being an American. Cesar was always very quick to provide insight and answer any questions we had…”
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We’ll be sharing a lot of great photos of our tours around Cuba. Check out the best travel pictures and behind the scenes shots taken by our Cuba 360 team.