Programs

SURPRISINGLY CUBA PROGRAM

A two week Cuba travel delight, full of surprises, adventure and learning!

TOUR DATES: Selected days on June, July, August, September & October

16 Days / 15 NightsMinimum 2 pax

Map of Program SURPRISINGLY CUBA PROGRAM
DESTINATIONS
HAVANA | VIÑALES | BARACOA | SANTIAGO DE CUBA | BAYAMO | CAMAGUEY | TRINIDAD | CIENFUEGOS
DURATION
16 Days / 15 Nights
› 7 days of colonial insight, 3 days of Eco-adventures, 7 nights of private house accommodations
SPECIAL INTEREST
Culture & History, Nature and Real Cuban Life Experience
ACCOMMODATION
City and Heritage tourist hotels, countryside hotels, Private house accommodation (Viñales, Trinidad & Baracoa)
MEALS INCLUDED
15 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 0 dinners
ENTRANCE
1 Entrance fee
TOUR STAFF
Specialised local guides. Private transfers are with driver only
HIGHLIGHTS
Old Havana, Viñales Valley, Baracoa Village, Santiago de Cuba city, Bayamo Wax Museum, Camaguey colonial centre, Topes de Collantes, Cienfuegos city
TRANSPORT
Private transfers, SIC transfers, boat
SUMMARY
From West to East this surprising multi-activity adventure will show you the most outstanding Cuban highlights, from the historic whereabouts of the capital city to the unique natural surroundings of Viñales Valley, the mountains and boutique village of Baracoa, the rebelliousness of Santiago de Cuba and Bayamo, the incredible World Heritage appeal of Trinidad and Camaguey and the architectural legacy and wonderful sea views of the city of Cienfuegos. Live Surprisingly Cuba in all dimensions, by walking its streets and chanting randomly with locals, tasting traditional food and refreshing cocktails, riding on a cayuca boat, learning how cigars are rolled or admiring local diversity by trailing through protected areas and reserves

PROGRAMME

DAY 1 » ARRIVING TO HAVANA

Upon arrival, you will be met at the Jose Marti International Airport and privately transferred to Santa Brigida hotel, in the heart of Old Havana. Accommodation is on a Bed & Breakfast basis.

DAY 2 » BEING SURPRISED A “NEW” OLD HAVANA

After a nice breakfast at your hotel, be ready for the first surprise of your trip. Wearing your comfortable clothes and shoes, you will grab your camera and your bottle of water (included), and you will start exploring Old Havana through its World Heritage’s colonial architecture and cobblestoned streets. The excursion will bring you to Plaza de Armas, Plaza de San Francisco de Asis, Plaza Vieja and Plaza de la Catedral. Wander through the small gift shops selling handmade souvenirs and photograph the magnificent buildings. Lunch will be at one of Havana’s restaurants. Meals are served on a set menu with one drink included. The afternoon will be yours to walk around as desired. You may follow your guide´s suggestions to make your own Havana holiday.

DAY 3 » TRAVELLING TO THE WEST IN SEARCH OF MORE SURPRISES

Your third morning will also be at leisure for you to discover a little more on beautiful Havana after your breakfast. But be careful not to lose notion of time because at 13:00 you´ll be privately transferred to the Havana Viazul bus station to board a coach heading to Viñales in Pinar del Rio, the most western of all Cuban provinces. There, a vehicle will collect you at the station and take you to a nice private house accommodation where the host family will be delighted to welcome you for two nights with breakfasts of their making.

DAY 4 » FALLING IN LOVE WITH VIÑALES

After the first meal of the day, your guide will take you on an 8000-metre length trail to enjoy the exceptional beauty of the Viñales Valley landscape, its fields with different crops, attractive haystack mountains, caves, rare fauna and endemic trees. You will also meet farmers from the region as well as visit a tobacco farm to learn about the growing process of this important crop, which is the main agricultural product of the region. After this rather low difficulty itinerary, you will return to your accommodation. You could use the afternoon as you please: biking or horse riding would be excellent choices for both your body and spirit!

DAY 5 » SAYING GOODBYE TO THE LAND OF TOBACCO

With some morning hours to spend in the activity of your choosing, at 13:15 you will be transferred to Viñales Viazul bus station to get on the coach to Santa Brigida hotel in Havana. We recommend an extended rest for you will have to wake up very early the next morning.

DAY 6 » FLYING TO THE EAST

After a very early breakfast, you will be driven (at 04:00 hrs) to the Jose Marti International Airport to take your flight to Baracoa, located on the eastern tip of the island. With accommodation booked at a private accommodation house for tonight, after freshening up a little and putting on your comfy outfit, you will be ready for your exploration of Cuba´s first village, embracing the legacy of Spanish settlers. This lively city is one of the most charming places to visit, with a waterfront lining the coast, considered by many, as one of the finest ocean drives in the world. Admire the town’s iconic fortresses, visible as you walk through the beautiful streets and picturesque church. Soak up the friendly atmosphere, colourful history and spectacular architecture.

DAY 7 » UNVEILING THE SECRETS OF COCOA CROPS

Right after breakfast, you will start this 6-hour expedition. Follow the Cocoa route to discover the secrets of the unique way of processing this plant in the region. The indigenous people used cocoa originally and referred to it as “the elixir of Gods”. You will have the opportunity to learn step-by-step how chocolate is obtained and marketed, from seed planting, harvesting, processing, storage and actual selling. Lunch is booked at a local restaurant. A complimentary drink is included as well as the cayuca boat ride. Afterwards, you will be returned to the private accommodation house for a well-deserved rest.

DAY 8 » CONTINUING YOUR JOURNEY ALONG THE EAST

Once you have your breakfast, you will have the morning at leisure until transferred privately to Baracoa Viazul bus station to take your bus heading to Santiago de Cuba. There, you will be collected by a vehicle that will drive you to Hostal San Basilio for your two-night stay on Bed & Breakfast basis.

DAY 9 - DISCOVERING THE LAND OF FIRE

On your ninth day in Cuba, breakfast will be followed by a walk around the streets of Santiago de Cuba to discover a warm and hospitable people and how the spirit of history is felt everywhere. Stroll around a former residential area. See La Loma de San Juan, the Revolution Square, the exterior of the Santa Ifigenia graveyard and the Moncada Barracks. Visit the Habanos House and the Caney Rum bar to get an insight of how these two products are processed. A stopover at the Cespedes Park for 50 minutes will give you the opportunity to see locals going around or simply check on the stores and take pictures. In the afternoon, you could continue to explore a little more and you could ask your guide for some advice.

DAY 10 » FOLLOWING A REVOLUTIONARY TRAIL

An early breakfast (07:00 hrs) will announce departure to Bayamo city. You´ll be driven to Santiago Viazul bus station to board a bus heading to Bayamo. In the afternoon you will discover the rebellious spirit of Bayamo on a walking tour featuring the city’s highlights. Wander around the town centre and whereabouts to learn about interesting episodes in the history of Cuba. Daily life here revolves around Céspedes Park, the Hymn Square and Céspedes birthplace (museum and monument). The tour includes a visit to Wax Museum and a drink. Entrance fee included. Accommodation will be at the Royalton hotel also on Bed & Breakfast basis.

DAY 11 » MOVING TO TINAJONES KINGDOM

You will leave Bayamo after breakfast on a Viazul coach with private transfers driving you from Royalton to the Viazul Bayamo bus station and from Viazul Camaguey to Gran Hotel. After checking in at Gran Hotel for one night, there is free time for you to enjoy hotel facilities or to wander around the city.

DAY 12 » DECIPHERING THE MYSTERIES OF THE CLAY POTS´ CITY

Enjoy a nice breakfast and get ready for a pleasant stroll along the rich colonial-style UNESCO heritage centre of Camaguey city. Discover its irregular, intricate street network while admiring the architectural beauty of San Juan de Dios Square, Ignacio Agramonte Park and the Worker’s Square among other local attractions. This tour includes a coffee break. In the afternoon, you will be privately driven to Trinidad where you will stay at a lovely private house accommodation for three nights.

DAY 13 » LIVING IN THE MUSEUM CITY OF CUBA

On your thirteenth day you will discover the beauties of this boutique town as well as a nature reserve park with strikingly impressive views. Once you had your brakfast, you will be guided through the historical centre of Trinidad, a city full of remarkable colonial architecture classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tour around Plaza Mayor and Museo Romántico. Stop at La Canchánchara bar to taste a Cuban cocktail made with rum, lemon and honey. There will be time to shop at the craft markets before lunch. Afterwards, travel to Topes de Collantes, a natural park nestled in the Escambray Mountains with beautiful endemic flora and fauna and magnificent views. Stop at La Casa del Café to taste some of Cuba’s best coffee. Lunch is included.

DAY 14 » RELAXING IN TRINIDAD

After the homemade breakfast prepared by your hosts, you will have a whole day to spend as you wish. You may go to the beach or ask your guide for further suggestions.

DAY 15 » TRAVELING TO "THE PEARL OF THE SOUTH"

After breakfast , you will be transferred privately to Cienfuegos, the so called „Pearl of the South“. Enjoy French colonial flair combined with Spanish architecture while you stroll to the Marti Park, the Tomas Terry Theatre, the Purisma Concepcion Cathedral, the Paseo del Prado and the town’s oldest house. After a brief rest at Meson El Palatino, continue to Punta Gorda where you could relish the amazing views of the bay and the Malecon. Then, visit the nautical club and Palacio del Valle, a jewel of eclectic architecture. A brief stop for by a refreshing cocktail is included and a box lunch including a sandwich and 1 drink will be provided in order to maximize your hours of sightseeing, for at 12:15 hrs you´ll need to catch your bus to return to Havana. Accommodation will be at Santa Brigida on Bed & Breakfast basis.

DAY 16 » SAYING GOODBYE TO CUBA

With breakfast included in your hotel, you will ready to leave this island full of surprises. A private vehicle will transfer you to the Jose Marti International Airport for your outbound flight. You may use your time in between to buy some nice souvenirs at the craft market or to visit to that restaurant that looked so nice but didn´t have the chance to try before!