The Cuba Heritage Tour is a small group, 6 night escorted tour of western Cuba led by an experienced, English speaking guide.
The tour takes in all of the highlights of western Cuba including Havana, Vinales, Las Terrazas, Guama, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Santa Clara & Remedios.
Cuba Heritage Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Thursday, Arrive in Havana
Clients will be met at the airport and transferred to their hotel in the city, the Hotel Capri or similar. As flights from Europe arrive in Cuba from late afternoon onwards, this evening clients will be free to go for a stroll or relax on their own.
Day 2: Friday, Havana
After breakfast, the day begins with a morning tour of Old Havana including many of its key sites including the Capitolio, Calle Obispo, Plaza de Armas, Plaza de la Catedral, El Templete and Castillo de la Fuerza Real.
Also included will be a visit the Hotel Ambos on Calle Obispo, the hotel in which Ernest Hemingway stayed when he first arrived in Cuba and where he wrote ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’. His room, 511, is preserved as a small museum.
A short walk from the hotel is another of Hemingway’s old haunts, the iconic Bodeguita del Medio bar, famous for its mojitos.
After lunch there will be a drive through downtown Havana, taking in Revolution Square, the Hotel Nacional, the leafy neighbourhood of Miramar and, of course, the iconic seafront promenade, the Malecon.
Havana is home to some of the world’s best live entertainment and, that evening, there is the option of taking in the world-famous Tropicana show.
Day 3: Saturday, Havana to Las Terrazas via Vinales
This morning, after an early breakfast, the tour departs Havana and heads west into the beautiful province of Pinar del Rio.
After beginning with a visit to a cigar or liquor factory, the tour continues to the Vinales Valley, a UNESCO protected region that is famous for its limestone mogotes as well as the tobacco that is used to make Cuban cigars.
Included in the day will be the opportunity to meet a traditional tobacco farmer who will explain how the crop is grown and harvested, as well as visits to the Mural de la Prehistoria and Indian Cave where you will take a short, subterranean boat ride.
Leaving Vinales, the tour then turns back on itself and heads back down the quiet highway to the picturesque community of Las Terrazas in the Sierra del Rosario Biosphere, another UNESCO protected region. Accommodation will be at either La Moka hotel in Las Terrazas or at nearby Villa Soroa.
Day 4: Sunday, Las Terrazas to Cienfuegos via Guama
Skirting to the south of Havana, the tour heads south and east, stopping first at Guama. Located within the Zapata Peninsula, a vast mangrove forest and national park, there will be a speedboat ride across the lagoon to a replica Taino native village on a small island before enjoying lunch at the Punta Perdiz restaurant.
After lunch, the tour continues to the attractive, coastal city of Cienfuegos which, like Old Havana, is another UNESCO World Heritage site. On arrival, there will be a tour of the city’s key attractions including the famous Teatro Tomas Terry.
A short drive from the city centre, in the Punta Gorda area of the city, there are numerous, gracious old houses as well as the Moorish inspired Palacio de Valle where there will be an opportunity to take in beautiful views of Cienfuegos Bay from the roof and to enjoy a local cocktail.
Accommodation in Cienfuegos will be at either the Hotel Jagua in Punta Gorda or the Union Hotel in the city centre.
Day 5: Monday, Cienfuegos to Trinidad with the Valley of the Sugar Mills
From Cienfuegos, it is a short, one hour drive along the coast to the town of Trinidad.
Yet another UNESCO World Heritage site, the small town of Trinidad is like a living museum with its beautifully preserved colonial buildings and cobbled lanes. There will be a walking tour of this beautiful town, ending in the magnificent Plaza Mayor and a visit to either the Museo Romantico or Palacio Cantero.
Before heading out of Trinidad, there will first be a brief stop at the Canchanchara bar and an opportunity to sample their signature, honey-based cocktail, followed by lunch in a local restaurant such as Sol y Son.
Soon after leaving Trinidad, heading east, one enters what is known as the Valley of the Sugar Mills, once home to the sugar trade that made the area rich, now characterised by decaying haciendas and collapsing sugar mills. The most famous of these estates is Hacienda Iznaga, home to a chilling slave-tower which affords panoramic views of the beautiful, surrounding countryside.
Returning to Trinidad, accommodation will be at either Las Cuevas, on a hill overlooking town, or Finca Ma Dolores which is a short drive away. Dinner will be at a paladar (private restaurant) in town, after which there are numerous bars and live-music venues such as Casa de la Musica and Casa de la Trova.
Day 6: Tuesday, Trinidad to Remedios via Santa Clara
Departing Trinidad after breakfast, the tour heads north out of town and immediately begins its climb into the Escambray Mountains, one of the most beautiful drives in Cuba.
Descending from the mountains, the tour reaches the colonial-era city of Santa Clara, location of the final and decisive battle in the Cuban Revolution. As well as the iconic Tren Blindado, the outskirts of Santa Clara is home to Che Guevara’s monument and mausoleum which you will have time to visit.
Continuing north out east out of Santa Clara, it is then a short 40-minute drive to Remedios, yet another beautiful, little town. Famous for its Christmas celebrations, known as the Parandas, the town can easily be explored on foot and is centred around an attractive main square, at the heart of which is the beautiful church of San Juan Bautista.
Accommodation tonight, your last night of the tour, will either be at the Mascotte or Barcelona, both attractive hotels opposite the main square.
Day 7: Wednesday, Remedios to Havana or The Beach
This morning the Cuba Heritage Tour ends. Clients then have a number of options.
For those clients wishing to extend their holiday at the nearby beach resorts of Cayo Las Brujas, Cayo Ensenachos or Cayo Santa Maria, there will be a transfer after breakfast.
For everyone else, at around noon, there will be a transfer back to Havana via the beach resorts of Varadero and Jibacoa.