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Ultimate Cuba
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| Age range: 18-39

HAVANA,HAVANA

Ultimate Cuba

Explore a unique side of Cuba that few rarely uncover on this 15-day adventure through the island paradise. Cruise the streets of Havana in a classic convertible. Feel the rhythm of Cuban beats as you sip on Canchánchara cocktails in Trinidad. Dive into the depths of lush Sierra Maestra mountain ranges and learn of those who led the Cuban revolution. Then soak up the Caribbean sun on 20 kilometres of uninterrupted white-sand coastline in Santa Lucia! Go beyond the highlights of Cuba with this ultimate blend of culture, history, natural serenity, colourful music and colonial-flare!
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  • Duration
    15 Days
  • Starting From
    $1,649
    /person
    Twin sharing
  • Travel Operator
    Travel Talk
  • Flights
    Not Included
    Flight booking assistance will be provided.
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Itinerary

Day 1: Havana

Welcome to the island paradise of Cuba! Keep your eyes peeled at Havana airport for your shuttle transfer to the hotel. Explore the vibrant city of Havana at your own pace before an informal meeting with your new tour group and guide at 7.00pm, gathering at a casa. Afterwards, join in on an optional group dinner at a local restaurant and get to know your new travel mates. Accommodation Casa Particular Havana Included Activities Welcome Meeting Optional Activities Group Dinner 

  Hotel:  None

Day 2: Old Town Havana

There’s no city in all of Latin America with an Old Town quite like Havana’s. Today we'll hit the streets on an included walking tour through Old Havana and visit the main squares including Plaza de Armas, Templete, Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza Vieja and Revolution Square. Then hop on board a Coco Taxi (aka Havana’s quirky-looking TukTuks) for a zoom around the Old Town before cooling off with a mojito in hand at Hemingway’s favourite bar, La Bodeguita del Medio. The evening is yours to enjoy. Follow the rhythm of salsa throughout the streets or find a lively bar and get amongst the local atmosphere. Accommodation Casa Particular Havana Meals Included Breakfast Included Activities Havana Walking Tour Revolution Square Cocotaxi Sightseeing Tour (Havana's TukTuks) 

  Hotel:  None

Day 3: Havana, Vinales

Today we’ll follow the famed tobacco route to Pinar del Rio, the greenest of all Cuban provinces with the best tobacco-growing ground and dramatic limestone mountains. Soak in the serenity of Viñales Valley from Los Jazmines lookout before a tour of the tobacco fields and drying house of Casa del Veguero. Next up is the Mural de la Prehistoria. Your guide will explain the significance of this 120 metre long and 80 metre high mural. Finish up the day with a visit to the private gardens of Jardin Caridad. Located in the heart of Viñales, these private botanical gardens are amongst the most beautiful in Cuba with over 190 varieties of plant. Please note: Depending on the season, it may not be possible to see tobacco plants in harvest. In this case, the process of farming tobacco will be explained by local guides. Accommodation Casa Particular Villa Marilyn Meals Included Breakfast Included Activities Classic Convertible Car Ride in Havana Los Jazmines Lookout Point Tobacco Fields Visit Jardin Caridad Gardens Visit Entrance Fees Casa del Veguero ~ 4 USD Mural de la Prehistoria ~ 3 USD Jardin Caridad Gardens ~ 1 USD 

  Hotel:  None

Day 4: Viñales 

Enjoy a full day to explore the Viñales Valley and its breath-taking surroundings. Follow your guide taking the Ecotouristic Trail through the lush valleys to meet the local farmers and learn about their ways of life here in rural Cuba. During the hike you’ll have the opportunity to speak with locals, learn from your guide of farming traditions and learn about the endemic wildlife of the region. After a big day of hiking, enjoy the afternoon at your own pace. Accommodation Casa Particular Villa Marilyn Meals Included Breakfast Included Activities Ecotouristic trail: Valley to Valley Hike 

  Hotel:  None

Day 5: Viñales, Bay of Pigs in Girón, Cienfuegos

Kick start the day at Cuba's largest wilderness area - Zapata Peninsula National Park! We'll stop at the picture-perfect beaches of Playa Girón or 'Bay of Pigs' to check out the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean. Your guide will then give you a detailed tour of the Bay of Pigs museum here to learn of the failed attempts of the USA and their invasion on Cuba soil back in 1961. Then throw on your swimsuit for a visit to Cueva de los Peces - this pretty spot is a popular inland sinkhole filled with tropical fish, making it the perfect destination for a dip or a snorkel! We'll finish our day in the portside town of Cienfuegos - Cuba's 'Pearl of the South' - with French-architecture and feisty Carribeans spirit. Take a stroll through the elegant plazas of Parque Martí, visit the Terry Theater, and marvel at the historical ocean-front villa of Palacio del Valle with your guide. The night is yours to enjoy in Cienfuegos. Accommodation Casa Particular Cienfuegos Punta Gorda Meals Included Breakfast Included Activities Break at Finca Campesina Cuevo de los Peces Visit Bay of Pigs Visit Entrance Fees Playa Girón Museum ~ 4 USD 

  Hotel:  None

Day 6: Cienfuegos, Trinidad

Set the alarms early for a morning walking tour through Cienfuegos to see the with your guide before hitting the coastal roads as we make tracks to Trinidad. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed city was once a thriving port and sugar town. Today, Trinidad gives a glimpse of eclectic architecture and authentic Cuban lifestyle. Follow your guide on a walking tour through the cobble-stone city to unmissable sites including the Casa Templo de Santería Yemayá and restored sugar barons for a glimpse into the way wealthy families once lived in Trinidad. After a big day exploring, park up at La Canchánchara bar and enjoy one of Cuba’s lesser-known cocktails – the Canchánchara – made of water, lime, honey and sugar cane liqueur! Accommodation Casa Particular Trinidad Meals Included Breakfast Included Activities Cienfuegos Walking Tour Trinidad Walking Tour Entrance Fees Palacio de Valle ~ 5 USD Casa Templo de Santería Yemayá ~ 3 USD Cocktail at the Canchánchara ~ 3 USD 

  Hotel:  None

Day 7: Trinidad, Sancti Spíritus, Camagüey

In the morning, drive through Del Valle de los Ingenios (aka Sugar Mill Valley) and listen carefully as your guide explains how the boom of sugar production boosted the economy and changed history in Cuba! Then, visit one of the oldest examples of a sugar mill at Ingenio San Isidro de los Destiladeros near Trinidad. Afterward, hop back on board your private coach and continue through the Sancti Spíritus province nestled in the mountain ranges of Sierra del Escambray. Still untouched by mainstream tourism, the well-endowed province of Sancti Spíritus boasts beautiful nature, hiking trails, and mountain ranges waiting to be explored. Stroll through the quaint streets and visit one of the main symbols of the city – Yayabo Bridge – before continuing east towards the trendy city of Camagüey. On arrival, we’ll check in to our hotel before an afternoon walking tour to explore the best sites. Camagüey is covered in pastel-coloured buildings, hidden plazas and is a unique blend of Havan and Trinidad, without the tourists. Enjoy a taste of the ‘real’ Cuba at its very best. Accommodation Casa Particular Camagüey Meals Included Breakfast Included Activities Lookout Valle de los Ingenios (Sugar Mill Valley) Visit Ingenio San Isidro de los Destiladeros Visit Yayabo Bridge Visit Camagüey Walking Tour Entrance Fees Ingenio San Isidro de los Destiladeros ~ 1 USD 

  Hotel:  None

Day 8: Camagüey, Bayamo, Santo Domingo, Sierra Maestra

Hit the road as we head to the home of the fight for independence against Spanish colonials – Bayamo! This elegant, old city is the perfect oasis from chaotic Cuba. Follow your guide on a walking tour through the city. Then grab a window seat back on board the coach and enjoy the scenic views of Sierra Maestra mountain ranges. On arrival, join an excursion to the tiny village of Santo Domingo, nestled within the deep green mountain valleys beside the pristine Yara River. Discover the charming village, its museum and if time allows; swim in the natural pools along the river. Tonight, we’ll stay in an authentic Cuban hotel encompassed by the majestic Sierra Maestra mountain range. Accommodation Hotel Villa Santo Domingo Meals Included Breakfast Included Activities Bayamo Walking Tour Optional Activities Santo Domingo Village & Museum ~ 10 USD 

  Hotel:  None

Day 9: Sierra Maestra, Santiago de Cuba

Throw on the hiking shoes and head into the Pico Turquino National Park near Santo Domingo for a hiking tour through dense jungle to La Comandancia de la Plata. Made up of 16 wooden building set along the Sierra Maestra mountain ridges, this pioneering camp was established by the father of the Cuban Revolution - Fidel Castro. The well-camouflaged rebel Head Quarters was chosen for its inaccessibility, making it a fantastic hide-out away from Batista soldiers. Highlights on this hiking tour include the small museum, the legendary Radio Rebelde towers where the rebel’s early broadcasts were aired, and the hospital. After a taste for Cuba’s revolutionary history, we’ll continue towards Santiago de Cuba – the capital of culture! Join your guide for a visit Cuba’s only basilica - Basílica del Cobre El Cobre - perched on top of a hill overlooking the mountain ranges and city below. The evening is yours to explore the vibrant city drench in live music, rumba beats, and lively restaurants. Accommodation Casa Particular Santiago de Cuba Meals Included Breakfast, Lunch Included Activities Comandancia de la Plata Excursion Basílica del Cobre Visit 

  Hotel:  None

Day 10: Santiago de Cuba

Enjoy a full day in Santiago de Cuba. Explore the Afro-Cuban city on an included walking tour. Visit the Parque Cespedes, Calle Heredia and Plaza Dolores, Revolutionary Square. Moncada Barracks and Cemetery Santa Ifigenia. Then, visit the Museum Casa Diego Velázquez – one of Cuba’s oldest Houses. Next up, Fábrica de Tabaco Santiago de Cuba where you’ll get a full tour of the Cuban cigar factor and watch the art of Cuban cigar rolling by the ‘Torcedores’ (aka Cigar rollers). Finish up with a visit to the Museum San Pedro del Morro fortress towers over the bay of Santiago de Cuba. Please note: Tobacco factories are closed to regular visitors during holidays, weekends, company holidays and festivals. We cannot guarantee factory hours and in the case of closure an alternative itinerary will be discussed with travellers. Accommodation Casa Particular Santiago de Cuba Meals Included Breakfast Included Activities Santiago de Cuba Walking Tour & Sightseeing Entrance Fees Casa de Diego Velazquez Museum ~ 4 USD Fábrica de Tabaco ~ 7 USD Museum San Pedro del Morro ~ 7 USD Santa Ifigenia Cemetery ~ 3 USD 

  Hotel:  None

Day 11: Santiago de Cuba, Holguín, Santa Lucia

Say your farewells to Santiago de Cuba as we make tracks towards Santa Lucia on the northern coast. Along the way, stop in Holguín for a guided walking tour past an overabundance of shiny vintage Chevys and through the city’s elegant plazas and colonial buildings. The afternoon is yours to enjoy on the coastal paradise of Santa Lucia. Accommodation Hotel Brisas Santa Lucía - 3 Star Plus Meals Included Breakfast, Dinner Included Activities Holguin Walking Tour 

  Hotel:  None

Day 12: Santa Lucia

With over 20 kilometres of golden sand, Santa Lucia beach offers some of the best dive sites in Cuba! Enjoy a free day to enjoy the exceptional swimming, snorkelling and diving along the coastline. Soak up the Caribbean sun on a beach chair or enjoy a refreshing cocktail and meal at your beach-front 4-start resort. Accommodation Hotel Brisas Santa Lucía - 3 Star Plus Meals Included Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

  Hotel:  None

Day 13: Santa Lucia, Santa Clara

A long drive from Santa Lucia to Santa Clara! On arrival in Cuba’s most revolutionary city learn about the iconic leader Che Guevara and his biggest victory in Cuba. Visit the Memorial, Mausoleum and Museum of Ernesto Che Guevara where his remains now rest, after he was assassinated by the CIA-backed Bolivian army. Then continue your tour through Santa Clara to the Tren Blindado (Taking of the Armoured Train) to learn the incredible story of how Guevara and his guerrilla troops derailed a train loaded with weapons for the Batista Army. The afternoon and evening are yours to explore at your own pace. Please note: The Che Guevara mausoleum and museum are closed on Mondays. Accommodation Casa Particular Santa Clara Meals Included Breakfast Included Activities Ernesto Che Guevara Memorial & Museum Santa Clara Walking Tour Entrance Fees Tren Blindado Museum ~ 3 USD 

  Hotel:  None

Day 14: Santa Clara, Havana

Leave Santa Clara for the busy capital of Havana! We’ll arrive in the lively city by afternoon and tick off a few of the city’s unmissable sites. Visit the Cristo de La Habana Statue (Christ of Havana), standing majestically on the hilltop overlook the city and bay below. Then, check out the wave-lashed fortress and impressive lighthouse of the Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro. The fort withstood numerous attacks by French, Dutch and English privateers and is the largest defensive complex constructed by the Spanish in the new world! Tonight, we’ll get set to rumba our way through Havana with an included Cuban-style Salsa class at Casa del Son Salsa! Accommodation Casa Particular Havana Meals Included Breakfast Included Activities Cristo Statue Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro Visit Cuban Salsa Lesson in Casa del Son Entrance Fees Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro ~ 6 USD 

  Hotel:  None

Day 15: Havana

After breakfast at the hotel, our trip will end in Havana as we say goodbye to our new travel mates and check-out of the hotel by 11.00 am. Feel free to discover Havana on your own pace until your departure transfer to the airport. Meals Included Breakfast 

  Hotel:  None

Inclusions

 Accommodation: 3 Star Plus Hotel and Casa Particular

 Meals: 14 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 2 Dinners

 Transportation: Private Air-Conditioned Vehicle

 Airport Transfer(s): Arrival and Departure transfers on first and last day of the trip

 Tour Guiding: Services of experienced Travel Talk local guides licenced by the Ministry of Tourism

 Free Wi-Fi: Complimentary hotel Wi-Fi access ( where available )

Not Included

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