On Day 1, get picked up at Havana airport upon arrival. Check in to your casa particular and enjoy a free day to immerse yourself in the authentic atmosphere of Cuba. On Day 2 you take a local Havana walking tour with a fun local guide to learn the local way of life. Take a bus to colonial Trinidad on Day 3 and enjoy a salsa lesson. Ride horseback into a natural park where you can swim through a waterfall on Day 4. On Day 5 travel to the French founded city of Cienfuegos, known as Perla del Sur and enjoy an afternoon walking tour. Take a bus to Varadero on Day 6 and enjoy a free day to enjoy pristine beaches on Day 7. On Day 8 you will be transferred back to Havana, where your trip will end with an airport drop-off.
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Havana Airport Pick-up
You will be picked up from the Havana airport upon arrival and taken to your casa particular for the night.
Day 2: Local Havana Walking Tour (B)
Begin your authentic cultural experience in Havana, famous for its wonderful architecture, by going on an exciting tours with a fun local guide to get to see the real Cuba. Learn how to use the local peso, see the city's unknown gems and hop into local shared taxis and unusual forms of local transportation. Stop at a local shop for a coffee, snack or cold beer with your guide to immerse yourself in parts of Havana rarely seen by tourists. Overnight in Havana.
Day 3: Havana to Trinidad & Salsa Lesson (B)
Today you will catch a tourist-class bus to the beautiful colonial town of Trinidad, a perfectly preserved Spanish colonial settlement where time stopped back in 1850. Check-in to your new casa particular and in the afternoon take a salsa lesson with a local instructor! Overnight in Trinidad.
Day 4: Cubanito Natural Park & Waterfalls Excursion (B)
Depart your casa particular at 9am and begin your full day adventure with 1-2 hour horseback ride. (You may opt for biking, walking or taxi instead of horseback if you’d prefer--no extra charge. All options are accompanied by a guide.) Ride through the ancient streets of Trinidad and into the rolling countryside, arriving at Cubanito Natural Park. Enjoy a 30 minute hike along the scenic river with lots of opportunities for spotting birds and flora along the way. Arrive at the grotto and waterfall, where you can jump into the fresh clean waters of a deep pool surrounded by high rock walls. Swim through the waterfall and into the cave behind for a magical experience. After some chill time and a picnic or snack lunch (not included) we will walk back to the horses for the ride back to your casa particular, arriving around 3pm.
NOTE: Please remember to bring your swimsuit!!
Day 5: Trinidad to Cienfuegos & Afternoon Walking Tour (B)
Today, you will travel to the French founded city of Cienfuegos by bus, the so-called Perla del Sur (Pearl of the South), a town that has been seducing travellers from around the island with its elegance, enlightened French touch and Caribbean spirit. On arrival, check-in into your casa particular and enjoy an afternoon walking tour around this charming waterfront city, with its wide Parisian-style boulevard and elegant colonnades. Visit the “The Pearl of the South” and birthplace of Benny More, see Jose Marti Plaza, Tomas Terry Theater and the Valle Palace and to learn more about this musical city from your bilingual guide. Overnight in Cienfuegos.
Day 6: Cienfuegos to Varadero (B)
Today you will transfer from Cienfuegos to Varadero, a charming beach town on the Atlantic. Upon arrival please make your own way to your hotel for check-in. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure to relax, explore, and get settled in. Overnight in a Varadero hotel.
Day 7: Varadero Free Day
Enjoy a full free day to swim and soak up some sun at the beach, explore the town, and dig into some traditional Cuban food. Overnight in Varadero.
Day 8: Varadero to Havana & Havana Airport Drop-Off
Today, it is time to say goodbye to this wonderful country. After being transferred to the Havana airport today in order to catch your flight back home, this amazing trip will come to an end.
Please Note: This itinerary can change during the course of the year due to a variety of reasons. We are not always able to advise you in advance of these changes. We ask for your understanding and flexibility in these cases.
Visa Info: To enter Cuba, all foreign travellers will need to obtain a 'tourist card' (Cuban visa) and a valid passport (must be valid for at least 6 months past the date of travel). A tourist card can be obtained from a number of different places - at the airport, at their local Cuban consulate, from their airline company. Many travellers conveniently buy it at the airport - please check beforehand that your local airport actually sells it.
Accommodation Details: A Casa Particular is a private homestay accommodation in an authentic Cuban family home which is licensed by the Cuban government. Cuban families often rent some bedrooms to tourists and offer meals which are served in the family dining room. It is a wonderful way to experience the warm Cuban hospitality and learn about their unique way of life. In a society with limited TV and internet access, Cuban people are famed for their friendly attitudes and for making eager conversation with foreigners so they can learn about the outside world. They are also happy to share their insights about life in Cuba and there’s no doubt that the interaction at a Casa Particular will be enlightening and intriguing.