Call us: +44 (0) 203 950 9928
Back
Classic Cuba

Cuba Insight

Classic Cuba

Cuba Insight

  • Duration 5 Days
  • Activity level Leisurely
  • Included accomodation meals staff

Discover Cuba’s historic and vibrant capital, Havana and the dramatic natural beauty of Western Cuba.

From £699.00 / per person
  • Day 1
    Day 1

    ARRIVAL IN HAVANA

    Welcome to Cuba! The largest island in the Caribbean, Hemingway’s much-loved abode and one of the last planned economies in the world. You’re soon to…

    • Casa particular, Havana
    • Dinner
  • Day 2
    Day 2

    HAVANA CITY TOUR

    After breakfast, your guide will take you on a walking tour of Old Havana, Cuba’s capital and the finest surviving Spanish colonial city in the…

    • Casa particular, Havana
    • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 3
    Day 3

    LAS TERRAZAS AND VIÑALES

    This morning we head west to Viñales via Las Terrazas, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve tucked away in the Sierra del Rosario mountains. Las Terrazas community…

    • Casa particular, Viñales
    • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 4
    Day 4

    EXPLORE VIÑALES VALLEY, NIGHT OUT IN HAVANA

    After breakfast we will head out on a walk through the beautiful valley of Viñales. Despite becoming a popular tourist destination over the last decade,…

    • Casa particular, Havana
    • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 5
    Day 5

    CLASSIC CAR TOUR OF HAVANA AND DEPARTURE DAY

    This morning get ready for the ultimate Cuban experience: a tour around town in one of Cuba’s iconic vintage cars. You will discover new Havana…

    • Breakfast
  • ?
    FAQ
    Ask us

    FAQ

  • Day 1

    Day 1: ARRIVAL IN HAVANA

  • Day 2

    Day 2: HAVANA CITY TOUR

  • Day 3

    Day 3: LAS TERRAZAS AND VIÑALES

  • Day 4

    Day 4: EXPLORE VIÑALES VALLEY, NIGHT OUT IN HAVANA

  • Day 5

    Day 5: CLASSIC CAR TOUR OF HAVANA AND DEPARTURE DAY

Ask us

FAQ

What is included?

  • Transfer from airport upon arrival.
  • Transfer of luggage throughout but not hotel porterage.
  • Accommodation in casas particulares.
  • Meals:  all breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners. 
  • Classic American car tour in Havana; cocktail making and salsa lessons; entrances to Las Terrazas Biosphere Reserve, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and Fabrica de Arte Cubano.
  • Staff:  Local English-speaking Cuban active guide throughout, specialist local guides for some activities, driver. 
  • Transport: all transfers in private air-conditioned vehicle.

What is not included?

  • Flights to and from Cuba.
  • Travel / medical insurance (compulsory to provide proof of cover for entry into Cuba).
  • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, phone calls etc).
  • Vaccinations.
  • Visas (Tourist Cards).
  • Tips for guide, driver and local staff. We recommend that each participant contributes a minimum of CUC 25 – CUC 30 to be shared between the local staff.

Is this tour right for me?

  • English speaking group with 2 – 18 people of mixed nationalities. Minimum age 18 years.
  • Busy days with a variety of activities, travel and exposure to Cuban culture.
  • Hot and humid conditions during summer months.

Essential packing list

  • Small day pack.
  • Lightweight cotton/linen clothes suitable for tropical climate.
  • Long sleeved shirts and light trousers for the evenings and a jacket/fleece for cooler evenings from November to March. Avoid bringing expensive or flashy jewellery.
  • High factor sun cream (50+), sunglasses and sun hat (wide-brimmed hats are best).
  • Camera.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Small personal first-aid kit and some tropical strength insect repellent and antihistamines in case of insect bites.
  • Swimming things and towel.
  • Trainers for walk in Viñales and for the optional zip-lining.
  • A sense of humour and patience are useful in Cuba!

Throughout the tour we stay in private accommodation (Casas particulares). In Havana, casas particulares range from family homes with a few rooms to larger guesthouses that operate more like small privately-run hotels. Those in the Old Town are in beautifully renovated old colonial buildings with ornate metalwork, small roof terraces, balconies or little internal courtyards. Those located in the quieter, greener Vedado area are usually in houses that were built during the early 20th century as a result of the wealth created by the booming sugar trade. Many have high airy ceilings, porches with rocking chairs or roof terraces, and are furnished with an eclectic mixture of beautiful antiques, art deco and contemporary furniture. In provincial towns such as Viñales, casas particulares are usually in family homes. The décor might be a bit dated, but most people love the opportunity this gives to stay in a relatively normal Cuban home and see how Cubans live.

The years of isolation, under-investment in the country’s infrastructure and effect of the US trade Embargo mean that the standard of Cuban accommodation in Havana and the provinces is not always comparable to that which you would expect in other countries: there might be the occasional power cut, and you may find that your water pressure isn’t all it could be. Fortunately, it’s warm enough most days that the lack of hot water is not a major problem!

All the casas have air conditioning and en suite bathrooms, the welcome is warm, the rooms clean, and you will be spoilt at breakfast in the mornings.

Cuba doesn’t have a great reputation for varied international cuisine but in recent years lots of privately run restaurants (paladars) have opened (particularly in Havana) offering a wider choice and better quality food than the government run establishments. We will be eating in some of our favourite paladars in Havana during this trip and you will be able to sample more traditional Cuban creole food at the restaurants in Las Terrazas Biosphere and in Viñales.

For those with special dietary requirements, be prepared for a very limited menu while you are in Cuba. There are very few vegetarians and vegans in Cuba so there are sometimes misperceptions as to what you can eat. Vegetarians often bring snacks and spreads to liven up their meals.

Cuba is the land of the Mojito, Daiquiri and Cuba Libre. You’ll find that plenty of rum-based drinks with prices ranging from 2-6 CUC for most cocktails. But beware, they don’t use measuring glasses, so they might be stronger than the ones you have tried at home!

All our guides at Cubania are Cuban nationals who are registered with and trained by Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism. They come from all kinds of different personal and professional backgrounds. They’ve been teachers, I.T. professionals, bakers, vets, army officers and even underwear salesmen! What they have in common is that they are all highly educated graduates who are passionate about guiding and proud of their beautiful country. They all speak excellent English and receive annual training in first aid.

Day 1: ARRIVAL IN HAVANA

  • Casa particular, Havana
  • Dinner

Welcome to Cuba! The largest island in the Caribbean, Hemingway’s much-loved abode and one of the last planned economies in the world. You’re soon to discover that Cuba is all that and much, much more, but first relax and enjoy your first night in Havana. We will kick things off with a cocktail making lesson at one of Havana’s most pioneering paladares (private restaurants). We will meet head chef Carlos before tucking into a delicious spread of Cuban/Asian fusion tapas.

Day 2: HAVANA CITY TOUR

  • Casa particular, Havana
  • Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, your guide will take you on a walking tour of Old Havana, Cuba’s capital and the finest surviving Spanish colonial city in the Americas. Havana is a bustling capital full of historic monuments, cathedrals and palaces. It has been preserved by a combination of very little war damage, post Revolution restoration work and the millions of dollars invested since it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. As well as visiting Havana’s four colonial plazas, we will stop into a few local businesses such as nail salons and barbers. We also have the choice of visiting various entrepreneurs in Old Havana such as Zulu, who make handmade leather bags, Dador, who produce beautiful linen clothing or Ciclo Eco Papel, a pioneering paper recycling initiative. We’ll then visit the Cuban collection at the Museo de Bellas Artes, where we’ll explore the best in contemporary Cuban art with the help of a local expert. We’ll have lunch in Old Havana in a local paladar after which you can carry on exploring Havana at your own pace. This evening loosen your hips in a salsa class with a local teacher.

Day 3: LAS TERRAZAS AND VIÑALES

  • Casa particular, Viñales
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we head west to Viñales via Las Terrazas, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve tucked away in the Sierra del Rosario mountains. Las Terrazas community was created in 1971 so that farmers in the area who had been living in desperate poverty and isolation could participate in reforestation of precious hardwoods. Nowadays Las Terrazas is a self-sufficient community surrounded by spectacular landscapes. On arrival we visit this small community with the option of trying out the ziplining course which soars over the village and through the forest. It’s an exhilarating way to see the beauty of this lush landscape.

We then head to the San Juan River for a refreshing dip in its natural pools. There is a simple restaurant on the banks of the river where we will enjoy a Cuban creole lunch. After lunch we will continue to Viñales in Cuba’s western-most province, Pinar del Rio. The Valley of Viñales forms part of the Los Organos mountain range, the oldest area in Cuba. The valley is famous for its mogotes, or karsts – rounded mountains that seem to bubble out of the ground. This striking phenomenon dates back to the Jurassic Period when the area was a cave system that collapsed, leaving steep walls that turned into these unique mountains. This dramatic landscape also happens to be where the best tobacco in the world is lovingly grown. This evening we will visit an organic farm and after a quick tour from one of the farm workers we will sit down to a sunset dinner with beautiful views across the valley.

Day 4: EXPLORE VIÑALES VALLEY, NIGHT OUT IN HAVANA

  • Casa particular, Havana
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast we will head out on a walk through the beautiful valley of Viñales. Despite becoming a popular tourist destination over the last decade, Viñales retains its laid-back, small-town feel. You will see farmers working the land to the stunning backdrop of the valley’s unique mogotes, children riding horses to school, farmers enjoying a cigar under the shade of an avocado tree and oxen slowly pulling carts. We will stop at a tobacco farm where we will learn all about the tobacco-growing process, from seedling to cigar. We will have lunch in a paladar in Viñales, enjoying fresh organic produce from the valley’s fertile soil. After lunch we will transfer back to Havana. This evening we will have dinner in a lovely Havana restaurant. We will then head to FAC (Fabrica de Arte Cubano) for a night out at Cuba’s iconic interactive art space. FAC is a multi-faceted arts venue that, on first impression, wouldn’t look out of place in East London or Berlin if it weren’t for the very Cuban influences and clientele – entrance is included for this evening. With an ever-rotating curation, no two weekends are the same at La Fabrica; expect to see photography exhibitions, improvised theatre, jazz ensembles, or electronic DJs. There are numerous indoor and outdoor areas to visit within the large venue, so depending on your tastes you are likely to find something to dance to! Whilst entry is included, you’ll receive a card that you use to record drinks purchases before paying your own bill at the main door upon leaving.

Day 5: CLASSIC CAR TOUR OF HAVANA AND DEPARTURE DAY

  • Breakfast

This morning get ready for the ultimate Cuban experience: a tour around town in one of Cuba’s iconic vintage cars. You will discover new Havana neighbourhoods from the backseat of a pristinely-preserved classic American car. Highlights include Plaza de la Revolución, the face of Fidel’s revolution, Parque Almendares, an unexpectedly lush forest in the middle of Havana and the Malecón, Havana’s romantic seawall. Afterwards enjoy some free time in Havana before your outbound flight.

And so it’s adiós from us, or as we prefer to think of it, hasta luego – see you later! Have a safe journey and we hope that you had a wonderful experience in Cuba.

What's included?

Accommodation

4 nights in casa particular

Meals

All Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners

Staff

English-Speaking Cuban tour guide, driver. Cubania office 24 hour contact

What's not included: Flights, travel insurance, vaccinations, visas, gratuities

What to bring

1. Sun protection

High strength sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat

2. Water bottle

with filter if you would like to be able to refill from the tap

3. Light Clothing

Light cotton and linen clothing suitable for tropical climates.

4. Personal toiletries

and any essential medication (including insect repellent and antihistamines).

Cubans dress casually but are always impeccably turned out. Avoid bringing expensive or flashy jewellery. 

Is this tour for me?

Travel style: Cultural trip

Explore the highlights of Cuba’s capital and Western region, discovering the country’s culture, colonial, revolutionary and contemporary history.

Group style: Small

English speaking. 2 - 18 people, mixed nationalities. Minimum age 18 years.

Difficulty Level: Leisurely

You enjoy discovering new cultures, exploring towns and natural environments. Busy activity-filled days, not physically strenuous. Suitable for all.

Notes:

Busy days with a variety of activities, travel and exposure to Cuban culture.

1. Select date
2. Passenger details
3. Billing details