Day 1: UK to Havana Depart from the UK on your daytime flight to Havana. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel where you will spend two nights. Stay: Melia Habana (or similar).
Day 2: Havana Begin the day in Old Havana. As well as wandering through the Plaza de Armas, the Plaza de la Cathedral and Plaza de San Francisco de Asis, you’ll visit the National Museum of Fine Arts. Following a welcome lunch at a local restaurant your group will visit the modern portion of the city to see Revolution Square and the Capitol Building. This evening you’ll travel through the city by classic car, arriving at a local restaurant for dinner. Stay: Melia Habana (or similar). B, L, D.
Day 3: Havana The day will be spent following the ‘Hemingway trail’ starting at the Hemingway’s House Museum, where the famous author wrote the best selling novel The Old Man and the Sea. Continue on to the small fishing town of Cojimar. where Hemingway joined his best friend Don Gregorio on fishing trips. You’ll then visit Las Terrazas Bar where you can sample a Don Gregorio cocktail. Back in the heart of the city enjoy the views of the Ambos Mundos Hotel where Hemingway once lived and head to the Floridita cocktail bar for a cocktail. This rather unassuming bar has over 200 years of history and it is the birthplace of the famous Cuban drink, the daiquiri. Following lunch at a local restaurant there will be some free time to explore before you return to your hotel to freshen up for your evening activities. The night will begin at the famous Tocororo Restaurant, where dinner can be enjoyed to a soundtrack of live jazz music. Continue on to La Cabaña Fortress on the harbour’s eastern side, where you will witness the 9 o’clock cannon ceremony. This traditional ceremony once marked the end of the day and the closure of the city gates. Stay: Melia Habana (or similar). B, L, D.
Day 4: Havana to Bayamo Today, begin your journey east with a morning flight to Holguin (approx. 7am pick up from your hotel) followed by a one hour road transfer to the city of Bayamo, one of the original seven cities of Cuba, which is described as the ‘cradle of the Cuban Revolution’. This is a city where the Cuba’s ‘stuck in a time-warp’ status is truly evident – many of the locals still get around by horse and cart. On arrival you’ll have lunch at a local restaurant. Later visit the colonial building Casa de la Trova la Bayamesa, where you can hear the beats of traditional trova music, and Plaza del Himno – or Anthem Square – which sits at the heart of the city. Dinner this evening will be served at the hotel. Stay: Royalton hotel (or similar). B, L D.
Day 5: Bayamo to Santiago Continue south to the city of Santiago where you will spend two nights. En route, stop at Basilica del Cobre – Our Lady of Charity – which is one of the island’s most important religious sites. Following lunch at a local restaurant, the exploration of Santiago de Cuba will begin with a visit to the 26 de Julio Museum, located in the Moncada Barracks. This fascinating museum charts the failed attack of 100 rebels on the barracks that occurred on the 26th July 1953. The next stop is one of Cuba’s oldest museums – the Museum Municipal Emilio Bacardí Moreau – which was founded by Emilio Bacardí and features a collection of his treasures from around the world. Before your free evening to explore the city independently, you can wander the lively streets of Enramadas and Aguilera, and Céspedes Park – the main square which is bordered by the city’s main buildings and is a popular meeting place for locals. Stay: Melia Santiago (or similar). B, L, D.
Day 6: Santiago This morning the tour focuses on the region’s role in the Cuban Revolution. Begin the day at the modest farm house of La Granjita Siboney where Fidel Castro and many of his fellow revolutionaries planned the attack on the city’s Moncada Barracks. Today the farm house is home to a museum that documents and commemorates the event with images, news articles, weapons and more. You’ll then continue on to the Valle de la Prehistoria where you will witness one of the islands alternative sights – life size models of dinosaurs, mammoths and cavemen set out over a 26 acre recreational park. Lunch will be served at the restaurant El Cayo which is located on a tiny island in the Bay of Santiago. This afternoon head to the fortress Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca before visiting the Santa Efigenia Cemetery, the final resting place of many of Cuba’s most famous historical figures. Stay: Melia Santiago (or similar). B, L, D.
Day 7: Santiago to Baracoa This morning drive north to the city of Baracoa, another of Cuba’s cities that feels like it’s stuck in time. Having been cut off from the rest of the country – except by sea – until the 1960s, it is no wonder that the city retains an unspoilt charm. On arrival there will be a city tour and a visit to the 19th-Century Matachín Fortress. Following lunch at the local farm Finca Duaba, the afternoon will be at leisure to explore this hidden gem independently. Stay: Villa Baracoa (or similar). B, L, D.
Day 8: Baracoa You will have some more time at leisure in this unique city. The architecture of the city today is mainly from the 18th and 19th Centuries, but the cultures of the aboriginal Indians who lived here before the European settlers arrived still survive. If you wish to learn about the lives of the indigenous Taínos people then a visit to the Museo Arqueológico is a must. Following a riverside lunch you’ll be able to see some of the natural beauty that surrounds the city during a trip along the Rio Toa on a native Cayuka canoe. Stay: Villa Baracoa (or similar). B, L, D.
Day 9: Baracoa to Guardalavaca Travel back to the north coast and the resort town of Guardalavaca where you will spend five nights. Stay: Paradisus Río de Oro Resort & Spa (or similar). ALL (on arrival in Guardalavaca).
Days 10-13: Guardalavaca Enjoy one of Cuba’s best beaches and all that this adult only resort has to offer. Stay: Paradisus Río de Oro Resort & Spa (or similar). ALL.
Day 14: Guardalavaca to Havana Transfer to the airport for your flight to Havana. On arrival you will transfer to your hotel for your final night in Cuba. Stay: Melia Habana (or similar). B.
Day 15: Havana The morning is free to relax before you visit a local craft market and enjoy a farewell meal at a local restaurant. Later transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK, arriving the following day. B, L.
Is this for you?
This is a leisurely tour that visits eastern Cuba’s unspoilt towns, and is ideal for second-time visitors who have already seen the main sights or those seeking to explorer Cuba’s lesser visited areas.
Accommodation on tour
The accommodation on this tour can be basic. Due to the nature of the island’s infrastructure, the standards of the hotels – especially outside Havana and Varadero – are often not up to the standard you may expect compared to the rest of the world. Hotels are also subject to change at late notice depending on availability. When local homes are used you can gain an insight into local life, however they are of a simple standard.
Single room supplement from £1040
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Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £1119 per person.
This tour is specifically tailored for those who may have already visited Cuba and seen its iconic sights, or those looking to escape Cuba’s main tourist areas. From Havana the tour heads to the lesser-visited eastern regions of the island. It offers a more rustic and rural experience and gets you off the beaten track and concludes with a relaxing stay on one of Cuba’s best beaches.