Visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites - Havana and Viñales

Swim in the San Juan river at Las Terrazas and go zip-lining through the canopy

Enjoy relaxing and fun family time on the beautiful beaches of Cayo Levisa

Day by Day

Day 1 ➤ Arrival in Havana

A Cubania representative will be waiting for you on arrival at Jose Martí International Airport in Havana. Once you’ve collected your luggage you’ll be transferred to your accommodation with time to relax after your long flight. You can have dinner in town a short walking distance away. (dinner not included)
Accommodation Havana

Day 2 ➤ Guided tour of old and new Havana

After an early breakfast, your guide will meet you at your casa/hotel to take you on your tour of Havana, Cuba’s capital and the largest city in the Caribbean. You’ll be taken by air-conditioned bus through the Vedado area and Miramar district, where you can see fine examples of grand mansions which were once homes to the rich and famous prior to the Revolution. We stop at the Plaza de la Revolución for an opportunity to take pictures at this famous square where many historic speeches and marches have taken place.   We head back to the old town where we start our walking tour around the historic district concentrating on the four main squares. Old Havana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 and millions of dollars have gone into this area in order to bring it back to its original splendour. It has the finest surviving Spanish colonial architecture in the Americas preserved by a combination of little war damage, post revolution restoration work and the current restoration project. After lunch we have the option to take a relaxing drive in one of the horse-drawn carriages or you can enjoy time for shopping before heading back to our accommodation. This evening you can eat dinner at your accommodation or at local restaurant in town. (dinner not included)
Accommodation, Havana (B,L)

Day 3 ➤ Swimming and zip-lining at Las Terrazas in the Sierra de Rosario biosphere reserve

After breakfast, we head for Las Terrazas, an eco-community tucked away in the Sierra del Rosario biosphere reserve where large numbers of endemic and migrating birds can be spotted in the woods that have been planted here.  After visiting the community we go to Rio San Juan, a popular swimming spot with the locals because of the crystal-clear waters of the river.   We have lunch in the reserve and then  have some time afterwards for the adventurous to have a go at zip-lining.  This is an 1500m course with 5 wires that takes you flying through the canopy over the Las Terrazas community and lake. In the afternoon we drive to Viñales and check into our local accommodation in family homes. You can have dinner at your casa or walk to the main street where there are a selection of restaurants. (dinner not included)
Casa particular, Viñales (B, L)

Day 4 ➤ Explore the underground river and cave system at Cueva del Indio and walk through tobacco growing countryside in Viñales

Viñales is famous for its dramatic scenery that is found in only two other places in the world, – Southern China and Thailand, – and for its world famous tobacco plantations. We visit La Cueva del Indio, a cave that is 4 kilometers long with an underground river where we also take a short boat ride, and also El Mural de la Prehistoria, Cuba’s largest mural depicting Cuba’s first indigenous inhabitants.  We’ll have a relaxed lunch at the restaurant near the mural where they serve a delicious roast pork lunch. Along the way to these destinations, we’ll be passing farms where malanga, maize, coffee, yucca and of course, the world’s finest tobacco is grown.  The evening is free to enjoy at your leisure and you can either have dinner at your casa or head into town. (dinner not included)
Casa particular, Viñales (B, L)

Day 5 ➤ Take a boat to the stunning island of Cayo Levisa with sandy white beaches and turquoise seas

This morning we drive to Palma Rubia where we take the morning boat to Cayo Levisa, an island with stunning white sand beaches and turquoise seas. A little slice of Caribbean heaven for you to relax and enjoy with the family for the next 2 days. You’ll be staying at the only hotel on the tiny island with full board service.
Hotel Cayo Levisa (B, L, D)

Day 6 ➤ Full day on Cayo Levisa island to enjoy the beach

Spend the day relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Cayo Levisa.
Hotel Cayo Levisa (B, L, D)

Day 7 ➤ Return to Havana with free afternoon for final souvenir shopping or exploring

We take the morning boat back to Palma Rubia where our bus will be waiting to take us to Havana for our last day in Cuba. The rest of the day is free to do some last minute souvenir shopping or exploring the old town and re-visiting some of your favourite spots. Alternatively, (and time permitting), if you fancy another beach day you can head to the eastern beaches of Havana which are around a 40 minute drive out of the city.
Accommodation Havana (B)

Day 8 ➤ Departure day

On the final morning of your stay in Cuba you’ll have the morning free to enjoy at your leisure before your transfer to the airport for check-in 3 hours prior to flight departure.
(B)

Trek Route

Activity Level

Trekking Profile

*all distances shown are approximate
Day 1
arrival day
Day 2
km
Day 3
km
Day 4
km
Day 5
km
Day 6
km
Day 7
free day
Day 8
departure day

Essential Information

L

Health & Medical Insurance

No need for any complicated jabs to visit Cuba but you will need to ensure you have medical insurance in order to enter the country. Pack a copy in your hand luggage along with your passport in case Immigration asks for proof of insurance on arrival in Cuba. Drink bottled water and pack a good insect repellent and you should have a problem free trip.
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Passports, Visas, Departure Tax

You´ll need a visa (Tourist Card) to enter Cuba which can be obtained from the Cuban Consulate. Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months beyond your entry into Cuba. Make sure you keep 25CUC per person for a departure tax which is payable in cash after check in for all passengers leaving Cuba.
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Money Matters

Cuba currently runs a complicated 2 currency system: the CUC (Convertible Peso) has the same value, more or less, as the USD. Most of your transactions will require this currency. The CUP (Moneda Nacional ) is used by Cubans to buy food, pay utility bills and buy certain goods. It’s unlikely you’ll use these at all during your trip.

Cuba’s economy is cash driven so make sure you bring plenty of money in small denominations (GBP, EUR and CAD are the best options). Only exchange cash at a bank or the official exchange house CADECA (Casa de cambio) on arrival to avoid being ripped off. There is very little variation in exchange rates as all banks and CADECAs are government owned!
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Food & Drink

Cuba is as famous for its delicious rum cocktails as it is infamous for its dreary food. Luckily the food is improving and you can now expect to eat, as well as drink, quite well! However, expect little variety and plenty of rice and black beans, especially when you’re travelling in the provinces. Cuba’s repertoire of ingredients is quite limited and those with special dietary requirements (especially gluten free, vegetarians and vegans) should consider bringing some extra food with them to supplement their diet.
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What to Bring

Light cotton and linen clothing suitable for tropical climates.  A jacket or fleece for cooler evenings. Cubans dress casually but are always impeccably turned out.  Avoid bringing expensive or flashy jewellery. Ensure you bring all necessary medication as well as a good insect repellent and some antihistamines in case you get bitten. We also recommend you bring a small first aid kit to cover any basic needs you may have, and plenty of sunscreen!
See trip notes for a more detailed packing list
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Safety Matters

Cuba is one of the safest destinations to travel to and it’s highly unlikely you will feel threatened during your stay. However, common sense dictates that you take the usual precautions and avoid backstreets and uninhabited areas. Dress down and keep jewellery to a minimum.

During your stay you’ll almost certainly have an encounter with a friendly local trying to sell you cheap cigars, or take you to a local restaurant/casa particular and possibly even try to set you up with one of his family members! Known locally as “jineteros” these Cuban hustlers earn their living from commissions made from steering tourists towards the services they offer. A polite refusal is usually all you need to get rid of them!
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Tipping

Tipping is part and parcel of everyday life in Cuba. Wages here are very low so people who look after tourists expect a tip for good service. 10% is the minimum expected amount when eating out, and if you have a guide and/or driver you should budget for a tip which you can give them at the end of your tour. Usually we will recommend you on the amounts but when in doubt, set aside CUC5 per guide/driver per day for each person. Tip the bell boy 1CUC for carrying your bag to your room.
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