Viva Cuba 14 days - Small Group Tour - Cost Saver
Day 1: Havana
Arrival date. Bienvenidos a Cuba! (Welcome to Cuba). We will greet and welcome you at the Havana airport. Look for one of our Experience Cuba Tours representatives. Look for our logo and your group leader name, which is usually the person that made the booking. The transfers to your accommodation are part of the inclusions in this tour. Take this opportunity to go for a little wonder around your accommodation. Havana (and Cuba in general) is incredible safe, and Cubans are welcoming and warm people. or perhaps take this opportunity to rest from your journey (the calm before the storm!).
Day 2: Havana
Old Havana Walking Tour and Classic Convertible Ride
Enjoy a walking tour of the colonial district Havana Vieja (Old Havana) accompanied by your private local guide. UNESCO declared Old Havana a World Heritage Site in 1982, a genuine living museum, in which more than 144 buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries are conserved. This colonial and historic center is a museum at open air of architecture, art and culture. This tour is a real treat for history and culture enthusiasts.
Bask in a beautiful Classic Vintage Convertible Car while you take in the highlights of Havana.
Day 3, 4: Santiago de Cuba
Santiago de Cuba Tour
Domestic flight to Santiago de Cuba. Discover Santiago de Cuba and their genuine and welcoming people in a cultural panoramic tour of the city. Visit Céspedes Square, a lively park named for Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, a Cuban planter who freed his slaves and declared Cuban independence in 1868. Parque Céspedes is the spiritual centre of Santiago. On the south side of Parque Céspedes is the handsome Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. The first cathedral in Santiago was built on this site in 1522, but repeated run-ins with earthquakes and pirates – in 1606 English privateer Christopher Myngs even stole the church bells after blowing the roof off – made their mark, and Santiagueros started work on a second cathedral on the site in 1674, only to see the building demolished by an earthquake just three years later. A third cathedral was erected in 1690 but was wiped out by another earthquake in 1766. Overnight in Santiago de Cuba.
Free day in Santiago de Cuba. Refer to our Optional Services for activities ideas.
Day 5: Bayamo and Camaguey
Panoramic and cultural tour of Bayamo and Camaguey cities
Cultural panoramic tour of Bayamo. Learn about the rebellious spirit of Bayamo on a walking tour offering the city’s highlights. Accompanied by your local guide, stroll around the metropolis centre to learn about fascinating chapters in the history of Cuba. Regular everyday life in Bayamo rotates around Céspedes Park, the Hymn Square and Céspedes birthplace. The city has a rich tradition of Cuban national pride and is often referred to as “the Birthplace of Cuban Nationality” and “the Cradle of Cuban Revolution.” Additionally, Bayamo has always been a centre of philosophy and maintains a rich intellectual and artistic tradition. Gain exposure to its strong base of Afro-Cuban. It was an early stronghold of revolutionary Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, who freed his slaves and declared war against colonialist Spain. During the ensuing battles, Bayamo exchanged hands several times and was once burned to the ground by Cuban rebels as the city was being sacked by the Spanish. Travel to Camaguey and enjoy a cultural panoramic tour of this city. Enjoy a stroll along the UNESCO heritage and rich in colonial-style Camaguey city centre. Learn from the guide and the local community to uncover its asymmetrical and complex street web while admiring the architectural attractiveness of San Juan de Dios Square, Ignacio Agramonte Park and the Worker’s Square among other local attractions. Camagüey’s historic centre – considered the largest as well as the best preserved on the island – has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our guide will help you to delight in the city’s many lavish churches and the twisted maze of streets, formerly designed to confound marauding pirates. Camagüey is the birthplace of former National Poet of Cuba Nicolás Guillén and the home of the world-renowned Ballet de Camagüey. It is full of charming cobblestone plazas, historic statues and intriguing museums. You’ll find plenty of tinajones [earthenware jars] decorating the streets. The people of Camagüey originally produced the jars to collect rainwater during a drought. Today, they are one of the city’s decorative hallmarks. Overnight in Camaguey.
Day 6,7: Trinidad
Panoramic and cultural tour of Trinidad
Continue to the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Trinidad. Panoramic tour of Trinidad city. The “Villa de la Santisima Trinidad” was the third village founded by the Spanish Crown in Cuba in early 1514. The conservation and restoration work undertaken by specialists has made Trinidad one of the best preserved colonial cities not only in Cuba but also of South America. Overnight in Trinidad.
Free day in Trinidad. Refer to our Daily Activities page for ideas of what to do.
Day 8: Trinidad - Santa Clara - Cienfuegos
Santa Clara and Cienfuegos Panoramic Tour. Che Guevara Mausoleum Visit.
Departing from Trinidad continue by travelling Santa Clara, the city of Che Guevara. Founded in 1689 Santa Clara was militarily taken by Che Guevara in December 1958, during the Cuban revolution. Visit to Che Guevara Mausoleum, where his remains are kept.
Continue to Cienfuegos and enjoy a cultural tour of the city known as well as the Pearl of the South. Founded in 1819 by French settlers from Bordeaux and Louisiana, the city is arranged around the country’s most spectacular natural bay. Cienfuegos is a nautical city founded in 1819 by French émigrés, whose homogeneous grid of elegant classical architecture earned it a Unesco World Heritage Site listing in 2005. The city is split into two distinct parts: the colonnaded central zone with its stately Paseo del Prado and graceful park; and Punta Gorda, a thin knife of land slicing into the bay with a clutch of outrageously eclectic palaces built by the moneyed classes in the 1920s. Wander along the avenue to visit Beny Moré’s monument, one of Cuba’s most treasured musicians. Visit the Cathedral as well as one of Cuba’s oldest and most beautiful theatres: Thomas Terry. Overnight in Cienfuegos.
Day 9: Bay of Pigs
Playa Larga Orientation Tour
Travel to Playa Larga in Bay of Pigs. This is a cute, cosy little village. It’s small but lovely beach has casas particulares right on the beach in some instances. There are some restaurants too where you can have breakfast lunch or dinner with your toes in the sand. Very chill relaxed destination for those who want to mingle with locals. Playa Larga was one of two beaches invaded by US-backed exiles on April 17, 1961 (although Playa Girón, 35km further south, saw far bigger landings). Nowadays, it’s the best base for exploring the Zapata peninsula, Cuba’s largest wilderness area, and is also known for its diving. Overnight in Playa Larga.
Day 10, 11: Viñales
Viñales Orientation Tour
Today you travel with your local guide to the Western province of Pinar del Rio. An area of great importance, though it may not have the large cities and infrastructure that you would normally associate with importance, to Cuba as it is an area that produces some of the world’s finest tobacco. Still stereotyped as a simple area with pure country folk it has withstood the temptation to adopt the big tourist developments and remains an area of simple houses and homes in basic small villages and towns. Viñales in the Viñales valley where you will be based has an almost prehistoric feel to it thanks to the Mogotes, or flat-topped mountains. The Valle de Viñales is a fabulous national park abundant in fertile red soil, incrusted in green fields of tobacco plantations. Viñales offers Cuba’s best hiking, mounting, caving and landscapes views, based around the serene farming town on the edge of the park. This is Cuba at its most attractive. Overnight in Viñales.
Free day, refer to our Daily Activities page for ideas of what to do.
Day 12, 13: Havana
Transfers to Havana and free day
Refer to our Daily Activities page for ideas of what to do.
Day 14: Havana
Departure date. We are sorry we have to say goodbye…for now ;-P
Adiós muchachos, compañeros de mi vida,
Barra querida de aquellos tiempos.
Me toca a mi hoy emprender la retirada
Debo alejarme de mi buena muchachada.
by Carlos Gardel.
Goodbye guys, companions of my life,
Bye dear bar, memories of these times.
It’s my turn today to undertake the withdrawal,
I must get away from my good companions.
- Transfers from Havana airport on arrival.
- Transport/transfers in car or minivan as specified in the itinerary.
- Domestic flights to Santiago de Cuba from Havana.
- Twin-share standard accommodations in casas particulares (Cuban term equivalent to guesthouses, home-stays, B&Bs). Single Supplement upgrade available.
- Daily breakfast.
- Same local tour guide throughout the tour.
- Activities/excursions as specified in the itinerary.
- Travelers Information Package with lots of practical advice (PDF).
- Cuba Tourist Map, advised by MINTUR, Minister of Tourism in Cuba (hard-copy) on arrival in Cuba.
- ECT personnel tips and gratuities.
- Old Havana walking tour.
- Classic Convertible Car tour of Modern Havana.
- Panoramic and cultural tour of Santiago de Cuba, Bayamo, Camaguey, Trinidad and Cienfuegos.
- Santa Clara, Che Guevara Mausoleum visit (entry fees included).
- Bay of Pigs, Playa Larga orientation walk.
- Viñales Valley orientation walk.
- Transfers to the airport on departure. This can be arrange for additional costs.
- International flights.
- Travel insurances (required to participate in our tours).
- Visas and passport fees. Visas can be arranged for additional costs and subject to our Terms and Conditions.
- Additional meals (except daily breakfasts).
- Additional optional activities not specified in the tour. They can be added, incurs surcharges.
- Tips and gratuities (except ECT personnel).
Low season (15th of March to 14th of November): $1,999 AUD per person.
High season (15th of November to 14th of March): $2,104 AUD per person.
Single Supplement: If you prefer a single room for the tour, incurs an additional supplement of $696 AUD.
Departures: Every Saturday. Tour departure is guaranteed with 2 persons minimum. Contact us for availability and further details.
- It is an exciting time in Cuba with rapidly changing legislation and local conditions. Cuba has seen a massive increase in tourism, which has put a strain on local tourist infrastructure. While we will strive to operate our tours as closely to published itineraries as possible, conditions often change from one day to the next, and minor tour modifications may be necessary with no advance notice.
- Casa Particulares can refer to home-stays, B&B’s, guesthouses, self contained apartments or entire villas. They are family run businesses that are legal and formalised to provide accommodation to foreigners in Cuba. Though much nicer than general Cuban homes they can seem a bit rustic and simple compared to what most international travellers are used to back home.
- Cuba as a developing country is subject to power outages and it is common to have low water pressures in the showers and sinks.
- If understanding and expectations are kept in check staying at Casa Particulares is a very personal and pleasurable way to accommodate yourself in Cuba.
- The transport system in Cuba is in many ways different to anywhere else in the world. We (Experience Cuba) are restricted in a large way by the local transport laws. We use privately owned transport with approved licences to provide taxi services to tourists and the state-owned transport services of TRANSTUR, the only inter-provincial taxi provider in Cuba. The privately-owned transports vary between classic vintage cars (hardtop and convertible) and more modern models of cars, all in good condition. It is not law in Cuba for cars to be fitted with seat belts and neither is it against the law to use a mobile phone while driving. This is not condoned or encouraged by Experience Cuba but when travelling to other countries it is customary to abide by the local laws.
- While it is hard to know what every individual’s expectations might be, we do remind travellers that Cuba is in most respects a third world country and as such considerations should be made and understood.