Discover the cobblestone streets of colonial Trinidad, learn some salsa steps in slow-paced Vinales, and take in the colours of Soroa, the valley known as the ‘Rainbow of Cuba’.. Walk in the glamourous footsteps of the famous and infamous during your feature stay at the iconic Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana.. Explore Havana’s main sights during a tour in a classic American car – a nod to the city’s colourful vintage past.. Visit the home of a local family in Trinidad where you’ll enjoy a festive homecooked dinner, paired with the local drink, Canchancharam, made from ‘fire water’, local honey and lime juice.
This Premium adventure through Cuba plays out to the soundtrack of a sizzling salsa beat, against a vibrant backdrop of colonial architecture, sweeping beaches and verdant countryside. Cuba’s colourful history still dominates most aspects of daily life, painting the country with an atmosphere like no other. Explore Havana in all its faded glory, uncover the easy beauty of rural Vinales, wander the cobblestoned streets of Trinidad and soak up the coastal vibe of Cienfuegos. Let Cuba’s charm wash over you on an unforgettable journey.
Breakfast Included: 8 Lunches Included: 3 Dinner Included: 3
Bienvenido! Welcome to Cuba. Your Premium adventure begins in Havana, the country’s captivating capital. You will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel where you’ll meet your leader and fellow travellers for a 6pm welcome meeting. If you arrive with time to spare, there are plenty of excellent museums to check out, including the Museo de la Revolucion and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. After your meeting, head to a lively local restaurant for a welcome dinner with your leader and small group. Sitting down to eat in Cuba means experiencing the country’s rich African and Spanish roots. Tonight your leader will introduce you to some classic dishes such as picadillo, a flavoursome beef and tomato stew, and ropa vieja, pulled beef with vegetables. You may like to toast to the beginning of a new adventure with a delicious daquiri, which is believed to have been invented in Cuba.
Start the day in style as you tour the city in a convoy of classic American vintage cars. Cruise down Havana’s grand old streets as your leader points out significant sights like the Malecon, Revolucion Square and Vedado. Finish your ride in Old Havana where you’ll continue your explorations on foot during a walking tour with your leader. Learn the history of the Havana cathedral and discover the city’s old-world charm when you stop by Plaza de Armas, San Francisco de Asis, Plaza Vieja and Central Park. Enjoy a free afternoon in this exciting neighbourhood – perhaps head to a rooftop bar for a local cocktail or take a leisurely stroll around the famously colourful streets.
This morning drive west to Soroa, where you will tour a beautiful orchid garden. Meet with a local expert on the flora and fauna of the region for a private tour of the gardens and learn about the vibrant array of plant and bird species from this diverse area – it’s not hard to see why this valley is known as the rainbow of Cuba. Take some time out for lunch then continue to Vinales, where tobacco and sugarcane fields lie side by side and limestone outcrops dot the landscape. Use this travel time to take part in an informal Spanish lesson so you can converse with the friendly locals throughout the rest of your trip. Check in to your guesthouses, then take a short orientation walk with your leader to get acquainted with this peaceful town. Later, perhaps enjoy the porch rocking chair and soak up the slow pace of rural Cuba as oxen plod gracefully along the streets.
Begin your day with a guided walk through the verdant farmlands of Vinales, where your leader will talk to you about the geography that makes up the area’s spectacular scenery. Vinales is known for its tobacco farms which still use traditional growing methods – learn more about the longstanding tobacco industry and watch a farmer whip up a world class cigar in seconds. Take some time to find a local place for lunch, then regroup in the late afternoon for a salsa dancing lesson. Find your feet and learn a few steps while embracing the electrifying rhythm of Cuba. After working up an appetite, head to the top of the valley for dinner at an eco-farm. Here you’ll enjoy an exceptional farm-to-table meal made entirely from organic produce grown on site – this is truly one of the freshest dining experiences in Cuba.
Prepare for a long travel day as you make your way to Cienfuegos. Drive back through Havana before stopping in the Bay of Pigs for lunch. After lunch, you may like to take a dip in the crystal clear water, or unroll your beach towel and sit back as your leader shares stories of the botched USA Military counter-revolutionary invasion in the Bay of Pigs. Now a tranquil spot for relaxing, it’s hard to imagine the chaotic battle that took place here in 1961. Then it is just a short drive to Cienfuegos, one of Cuba's prettiest coastal spots. Arrive in the early evening and join your leader on a short orientation walk before visiting the Palacio del Valle, Cienfuegos' architectural pride and joy. Its grandiose carvings in Venetian alabaster strike an impressive pose in this beautiful seaside city.
Enjoy a free morning in Cienfuegos – perhaps stop by a local cafe for a fabulous cup of Cuban coffee. Then make the journey to Trinidad, a brightly coloured town peppered with colonial influences. On arrival, your leader will introduce you to the town’s history and stunning architecture during a walking tour. Take in Trinidad’s eye-catching combination of cobblestone streets, colourful houses and old-fashioned locals. It's a great town to explore on foot, and almost every scene offers superb photographic opportunities – from residents relaxing with huge cigars on their doorsteps to old Chevrolets cruising by. In the evening take a trip out of town to a local house for a homely and festive dinner. Be welcomed with the local drink, Canchanchara, made from 'fire water', local honey and lime juice. There will even be a musician or two serenading you and your fellow travellers as you dine.
The day is yours to explore all that Trinidad has to offer. For some beachside fun and perhaps a little snorkelling, head down to Playa Ancon (just be careful you don't stand on a sea urchin!). The town is dotted with open-air venues where you can check out a folklore show that nods to Cuba’s rich and varied music and dance tradition. With roots in Spain, Africa and France the show is a delightful display of Cuba’s history. Be sure to speak to your leader who will be able to help tailor a wonderful day.
Head inland to the beautiful city of Santa Clara where you’ll enjoy an included lunch followed by a visit to the Che Guevara mausoleum. Here you’ll see the imposing statue of the iconic revolutionary leader. In the museum that accompanies the mausoleum, you'll find an intriguing spread of photos and other ephemera related to Che – letters, medical devices and firearms. Return to Havana and arrive at your feature stay accommodation – the iconic and infamous Hotel Nacional de Cuba. This 1930’s Art Deco hotel has played host to an illustrious roster of guests, including Frank Sinatra, Winston Churchill and Rita Hayworth. Walk in their glamourous footsteps as you explore the palm fringed property, boasting three restaurants, gorgeous gardens and a tranquil swimming pool. This evening, perhaps enjoy a final fiesta in the hotel’s buzzing bar.
Your Cuban adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. As there's a great deal to do in Havana, we recommend staying a few extra days to make the most of this exciting city. If you need help booking extra accommodation, our reservations team will be happy to assist.