Note – Cuba tours are run by UK-based Cuban Pioneers, and are not associated in any way with Young Pioneer Tours.
Join Cuban Pioneers to celebrate with the Cuban people the quintessential person of the Cuban revolution, and symbol of revolutionary struggle around the world Ernesto “Che” Guevara.
Our trip starts in Old Havana, before we go off to the Bay of Pigs, the mausoleum of “Che”, where we not only see his final resting place, but the legendary train that he derailed, as well as take part in the celebrations of his life, before visiting Trinidad, after which we return to Havana, where we not only take in iconic places such as the revolutionary museum, but also continue with our Che based theme by visiting the San Carlos de la Cabana, where Che held his office (and allegedly shot people sentenced to execution), but also his home in the city.
For those familiar with YPT’s DPRK tours, we stick with the revolutionary theme of these, but also incorporating the much more relaxed environment that Cuba offers us by giving ample time for free exploration as well as providing a great chance to party the night away as much as you wish.
The tour is accompanied by YPT’s local representative and Cuban guide Roger, as well as one western guide, and our very own bus that will stay with us for the duration of the journey, meaning lots of flexibility and chances to get very off the beaten Cuba track.
Northing stays the same forever, and Cuba is changing rapidly day by day, so see it with YPT now! As with all tours we can offer excellent discounts for YPT members, old customers, and group bookings.
Group arrive at own leisure and transfer from Jose Martí International Airport to the Vedado part of Havana.
An official taxi from the airport is CUC $25. Alternatively Cuban Pioneers can arrange pick in an old 1950s American car for USD $50, or arrive in real style in a classic convertible for USD $95.
On arrival at the casa your guide will show you to your home stay (all have A/C and hot shower), where you will be free to relax, or meet up with other group members to drink some cool beers.
The group assemble at around 8pm for our introduction into the contemporary night scene of modern Havana.
We head for dinner at Cafe Laurent, one of the oldest, and we feel best private restaurants, with a range of options to fit all budgets
We finish the night in classic Cuban style by grabbing a carton (or two) of rum, and going to people watch on the Malecón – Havana’s famous sea wall, known as the “sofa of the city”
Overnight in Vedado
Tuesday 6 November
Breakfast in Casa
We head for a relaxed walking tour of Old Havana which includes various churches and some of the best Spanish colonial era architecture available anywhere in the world, including our favourite, the Bacardi building!
No trip to Old Havana would be complete without the bucket list trip to Hemingway’s favourite bar, the birthplace of the daiquiri cocktail.
We head back to the casa for some rest and a change after the early start, or for those not so tired some beers on the Malecón
Lunch in Old Havana
In the afternoon we continue our city tour of Old Havana, including the Plaza de Armas, where the city of Havana was founded almost 500 years ago. We visit the famous Museo de la Revolución to learn more about the revolution and its history.
In the evening we head for dinner at the famous Soviet-Cuban fusion restaurant, one of the legacies of Cuba’s Cold War past complete with borscht, pierogi and more Soviet propaganda than you can shake a stick at
Drinks in Havana
Wednesday 7 November
Early morning the group departs for the historic city of Cienfuegos
On the way to Cienfuegos we stop off at a few places of interest such as the Australia Sugar Mill which is where Fidel commanded activities during the Bay of Pigs invasion.
Depending on timing we take a stop at a famous crocodile farm which a chance to feed the friendly reptiles and even have photos with them (optional extra charge)
Once reaching the Caribbean coast we travel along the picturesque Bay of Pigs past the site where the landing of counter-revolutionary exile militia occurred in 1961.
Today we visit the museum here that recounts the events of this conflict which resulted in the first defeat of a US-backed takeover in Latin America. There are some beautiful places to stop for a swim along the way including a sinkhole which resembles a huge natural tropical fish tank, so make sure to pack your swim wear. SCUBA diving and snorkelling are optional activities here.
We take our lunch Cuban style by the beach, before carrying on the journey
On arrival you move in with your host family, we will then have an opportunity to have a walking tour of the city. Cubans are known to be very proud people, and the citizens of Cienfuegos call their town La Perla del Sur (the pearl of the south). Founded by the French, Cienfuegos’ appeal lies partly in the European flavour of its colonial hub, with a wide Parisian-style boulevard and elegant colonnades, and there is an ambiance to inspire Cuba’s most celebrated Son singer to write the words “Cienfuegos is the city I like best”.
We head for dinner at a very famous Cuban family restaurant that is very unpretentious and serves great food
Night out drinking in the bars of Cienfuegos, with clubs available for the truly thirsty ones.
Thursday 8 November
Depart Cienfuegos for Trinidad which is a short 90 minute journey
The beautiful colonial city of Trinidad is home to numerous churches and many beautiful colonial buildings. On arrival here we stop for lunch at a trendy new pizza restaurant whilst your guides arrange our casa in the city
After checking in to our rooms in the old part of the town we head out for a walking tour of the historic city of Trinidad, including the old town centre, an official cigar shop, and a slightly dodgy back alley one where cheap cigars are available. We finish off with another classic revolutionary museum before heading for some refreshments, which consists of the local Trinidad cocktail.
We take some time to relax and get changed before heading out for the evening
We head to a restaurant called La Redacción which serves contemporary fusion cuisine
The nightlife in Trinidad is probably the most accessible and intense in all of Cuba, with numerous live music venues and many dance performances every day of the week, all amongst the enchanting setting of old colonial buildings and cobblestone streets.
Overnight in homestay
Friday 9 November
In the morning we head to the Valle de los Ingenios, the valley of the sugar mills, where the wealth of Trinidad came from in the 1800s.
In the afternoon we offer a number of optional activities such as horse riding to a waterfall, salsa lessons, or free time to explore Trinidad at your own leisure.
After a hard day in the sun we offer a few hours to relax before again hitting the town
There are a number of options for dinner depending on the hunger and mood of the group
At night we head to one of our favourite places in the world, the infamous Cave Nightclub (one of the most legendary in Cuba) for a night of debauchery.
Overnight in Trinidad
Saturday 10 November
Today we travel to the city of Santa Clara, which was a key city in the triumph of the Revolution (3 hour drive)
Depending on road conditions we can take a number of different routes around or through the Sierra del Escambray perhaps making a few stops along the way.
We stop at a genuine tobacco farm to see the process of how farmers make the world’s most famous cigars, and for the adventurous try a little of the produce ourselves. This is a very uniquely Cuban experience
Upon entering Santa Clara there is a huge statue of Ernesto Che Guevara, beneath which is the mausoleum where his remains are buried, as well as seeing the museum that is dedicated to “Che” the most iconic of all revolutionary figures
We stop at one of the highlights of Santa Clara, the train that Che derailed during the revolution, which not only makes for a great picture stop, but if you like Che hats and t-shirts this is heaven.
Santa Clara is a nice town to spend the evening in, so after dinner we head to El Mejunje, which is a famous local cultural centre with live music, comedy, and cabaret that very few foreigners visit.
Overnight in Santa Clara
Sunday 11 November
We head back to Havana in the morning, stopping at the open air October Crisis museum overlooking Havana bay, featuring Soviet nuclear missiles (thankfully now inert!) of the period in 1962 when the world came closer than ever to the brink of nuclear war.
Lunch in city
Visit to the Havana Club Museum of Rum! Free samples optional
We head back to our casa to freshen up for our last night in Havana
Tonight we go to FAC, the Cuban Art Factory. This is one of the most happening places on the planet right now. This converted factory now serves as an art gallery which doubles as a night venue incorporating various bars, restaurants, DJs and a dance floor.
Overnight in homestay
Monday 12 November
End of tour! It is completely fine to leave your things at the homestay whilst you either wait for your flight, or go exploring the city further. Cuban Pioneers can arrange a private taxi to the airport for you if you wish.
For those joining our Viñales extension we will be leaving at 11.00 am
•Accommodation: Every night of the tour.
•Transport: To complete the itinerary.
•Breakfasts: for each day of the tour, except the arrival day.
•All lunches (excluding arrival and departure day)
•Local English-speaking guide throughout.
•Experienced, western Cuban Pioneer guide throughout.
•All entrance fees as per itinerary
•Visa/Tourist voucher (we can advise/provide depending on your passport and country of residence)
•All dinners (unless otherwise stated)
•Tips (we suggest $8 per day for guides and drivers)
•Optional activities, day-tours and excursions (such as horse-riding and crocodile farm)
We have expert guides ready to help answer any questions you may have.