Guests arrive/transfer to their homestay accommodation
Free afternoon in Havana
Meet up with group
Walk through the old city of Havana, one of the best preserved colonial cites of the Americas
La Catedral San Christobal de la Habana
Palacio de los Marqueses de Aguas Claras
Dinner and drinks in the Old town
Overnight in Havana
Tuesday 5th December
Early morning the group departs for Cienfuegos (5 hour drive via Bay of Pigs)
On the way to Cienfuegos we firstly travel along the flat central plain of Cuba where there are lots of citrus plantations. We turn off the main highway and shortly after this the scenery changes to a densely vegetated swamp where the natural fauna includes boa snakes and crocodiles. We have the opportunity to visit a crocodile farm here at Guama.
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 here museum here that recounts the events of this conflict that resulted in the first defeat of a U.S backed take over in Latin America. There are some beautiful places to stop for a swim along the way including a sink hole which resembles a huge natural tropical fish tank, so make sure to pack your swim wear and snorkeling gear if you have any.
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 ambience to inspire Cuba’s most celebrated Son singer to write the words “Cienfuegos is the city I like best”.
After checking-in with your host family, you will have a short time in the afternoon to walk around the city and take in the atmosphere.
Go with the guide or explore on your own.
Dinner in a local paladar private home restaurant
Night out drinking in the bars of Cienfuegos
Wednesday 6th December
Depart Cienfuegos for Santa Clara
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.
Today is an interesting travel day as we visit the city of Santa Clara. Santa Clara was a key city in the triumph of the Revolution.
Upon entering Santa Clara there is a huge statue of Ernesto Ché Guevara, to commemorate his death and that of the revolutionaries that died with him in Bolivia.
We visit the museum here that is dedicated to his amazing life.
We take a walking tour of Santa Clara where we come across significant sites such as the armoured train derailed by Che and his troops.
Dinner and optional evening of local music. At dinner we will meet a veteran of the Cuban Revolution from Che times who will talk to us and answer questions about his experiences
Overnight in Santa Clara
Thursday 7th December
We leave Santa Clara for the scenic drive through the Escambray mountains
We stop at a very beautiful and famous waterfall on the way
We stop at a farmers house for an extremely local styled lunch
The beautiful colonial city of Trinidad is home to numerous churches and many beautiful colonial buildings. We are near the lovely Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar mills) and Playa Ancón, where you can enjoy long stretches of unspoiled, white sand beaches. Scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming in waterfalls, and horse-riding are other optional activities.
Group dinner in a local Cuban home, obviously accompanied by rum
The nightlife in Trinidad is probably the most accessible and intense in all of Cuba, with numerous live music venues and many dance performances everyday of the week, all amongst the enchanting setting of old colonial buildings and cobblestone streets.
Overnight in homestay
Friday 8th December
We head off on our tour of Trinidad.
La Villa de la Santisima Trinidad was founded by Velazsquez in 1514 and the defender of indigenous rights in the Americas, Fray Bartolome de Las Casas, attended over the settlement’s first mass. The future conqueror of Mexico, Hernan Cortes recruited sailors here for his future expedition into that land. It is a charming, small town with the green mountains in the background, and the turquoise waters and pure white, sand beaches of the Caribbean Sea just a short distance away. The town was fairly inactive until the 1800s, when French refugees fleeing a slave revolt in Haiti landed here en masse and brought with them sugar cane cultivation. The new residents settled and farmed in the Valle de Los Ingenios, just northeast of the town. Vast wealth flowed into the local economy from sugar cane cultivation and the area produced one third of the country’s sugar at one point. The sugar boom was terminated by the two wars of independence, but the wealth generated by the industry remains visible in the town’s once grand mansions, colourful public buildings, wrought iron grillwork and cobble-stoned streets. The town and area also saw a lot of action during and following the triumph of the Revolution, as gangs of counter revolutionaries hid out and struck from the safety of the mountains. –
Visit to The Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra los Bandidos and the Casa de los Mártires de Trinidad chronicles the struggles of this period in the town’s history.
Lunch in city
Return to homestay for some rest and free time
Free afternoon to explore the city
Group dinner and night out in Trinidad, we will be visiting the extremely famous Cave Club for a great night out
Overnight in homestay
Saturday 9th December
Scenic drive back to Havana
En route we stop at some beautiful scenery for pictures as well as for some simple Cuban lunch in the Caribbean sun
On our return to Havana we check into our home stay for the rest of the trip located in central Havana
Visiting San Carlos de la Cabana fortress where Che had his office.
We visit the former house where Che lived post revolution
Free time for to look around this iconic city
Meet up for dinner and evening out at the iconic Hemingway Bar amongst other places
Overnight in home stay
Sunday 10th December
City tour of Havana, tour encompasses the Plaza de Armas, complete with a statue of Manuel de Cespedes, one of the leaders of the independence movement. There are plenty of good museums we will pass (and can visit later if you would like to)
We visit the famous Museo de la Revolucion today to learn more about the revolution and it’s history.
Lunch in city
Visit to the Havana Club Museum of Rum! Free samples optional
Afternoon free time for some rest and relaxation or to wander some more.
Dinner at our favourite secret restaurant
Goodbye drinks around the new bars that have been shooting up since the reforms
Overnight in homestay
Monday 11th December
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. YPT Cuba can arrange a private taxi to the airport for you if you wish. For those joining the Cuba Extension we can arrange an extra 2 nights accommodation at a discounted rate.
Monday 11th December
A late start so we can recover from the previous night’s party!
We head off west from Havana, stopping at the Memorial to the Soviet Internationalist Soldier. A certain V.V. Putin visited this site last
year, but otherwise this very grand white marble monument, complete
with eternal flame, is rarely seen by foreigners.
We may also try to visit the former Soviet Military Headquarters complex, where until recently there was a high-tech electronic signals intelligence station, using the latest technology to monitor exactly what Uncle Sam is doing less than 100 miles away across the Florida Straits.
From here we’ll head to Viñales, a small town in an idyllic mountain valley setting, surrounded by luscious green fields. We’ll spend the night there with an optional visit to Cuba’s second famous night club in a cave.
Tuesday 12th December
In the morning we’ll visit a tobacco plantation, where the process of creating the finest cigars in the world starts. We’ll see how the tobacco is grown from seed, how the leaves are harvested, aged, and find out whether Cuban cigars really are rolled between the thighs of virgins!
In the afternoon we’ll visit one of Cuba’s quirkiest sites, the Mural de la Prehistoria, where Fidel Castro commissioned a team of artists to painstakingly hand paint a towering cliff with scenes of the beasts that roamed the earth before humankind.
Wednesday 13th December
We’ll head back to Havana and the airport.
Time permitting we’ll make a stop at the location of the secret bunker where the Soviets concealed the nuclear warheads whose arrival triggered the Cuban Missile Crisis back in 1962. This spot was so secret that the Americans were not able to pinpoint its location until years after the crisis was over.
Cuban Pioneers is a separately run company independent of YPT Group LTD.
Payment for all tours booked with YPT Cuba LTD follow their own set of terms and payment conditions.
Cuban Pioneers cannot under any circumstances accept payment by Paypal, Moneybookers, US backed credit cards, or US based bank transfers.
•Accommodation: Every night of the tour.
•Transport: To complete the itinerary.
•Breakfasts: for each day of the tour, except the arrival day.
•Dinner: 1 group dinner in a local homestay.
•Local guide: throughout.
•All entrance fees as per itinerary
•Unlimited Rum in Homestay
•Visa (we will advise you depending on your passport and country of residence)
•All meals (except for 7 breakfasts, and homestay group meal)
We have expert guides ready to help answer any questions you may have.