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Classic Cuba

Salsa Cubana

Classic Cuba

Salsa Cubana

A week long holiday discovering Cuba’s vibrant history and culture through the highlights of the West and Central Cuba

  • Duration 8 Days
  • Activity level Leisurely
  • Included Accommodation Meals Staff
  • Day 1
    Day 1

    ARRIVAL IN HAVANA

    You’re soon to discover that Cuba is all that and much, much more, but first relax and enjoy your first night in enchanting Havana.

    • Casa Particular, Havana
  • Day 2
    Day 2

    TO VIÑALES

    Today we travel to Viñales Valley in western Cuba stopping on the way to visit a cigar factory in the town of Pinar del Rio.

    • Casa particular, Viñales
    • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 3
    Day 3

    TO PLAYA LARGA

    Today we have breakfast early and set off towards Central Cuba, stopping first in Las Terrazas Biosphere Reserve for a visit.

    • Casa particular, Playa Larga
    • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 4
    Day 4

    TO TRINIDAD

    Departure to Cienfuegos this morning to visit to this beautiful coastal town founded by French migrants in the early 19th century.

    • Casa particular, Trinidad
    • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 5
    Day 5

    TRINIDAD

    Today you have a free day in Trinidad.

    • Casa particular, Trinidad
    • Breakfast
  • Day 6
    Day 6

    HAVANA VIA SANTA CLARA

    We leave Trinidad early this morning and head east to the city of Santa Clara, the site of the last battle of the Cuban Revolution.

    • Casa particular, Havana
    • Breakfast
  • Day 7
    Day 7

    HAVANA

    We have a city tour of old and new Havana, Cuba’s vibrant capital and the largest city in the Caribbean.

    • Casa particular, Havana
    • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 8
    Day 8

    Departure day

    Morning free to wander through the Old Town before transferring to the airport in time for your flight.  And so it’s Adios, or, as we…

    • Breakfast
  • ?
    FAQ
    Ask us

    FAQ

  • Day 1

    Day 1: ARRIVAL IN HAVANA

  • Day 2

    Day 2: TO VIÑALES

  • Day 3

    Day 3: TO PLAYA LARGA

  • Day 4

    Day 4: TO TRINIDAD

  • Day 5

    Day 5: TRINIDAD

  • Day 6

    Day 6: HAVANA VIA SANTA CLARA

  • Day 7

    Day 7: HAVANA

  • Day 8

    Day 8: Departure day

Ask us

FAQ

What is included?

  • Transfers from airport upon arrival and departure
  • Transfer of luggage throughout but not hotel porterage
  • Accommodation:   7 nights in casas particulares on B&B basis
  • Meals:  all breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners
  • Entrances to the cigar factory in Pinar del Rio, walk in Viñales Valley, Las Terrazas Biosphere Reserve, Che Guevara’s Mausoleum and two salsa classes.
  • Staff:  English-speaking Cuban guide throughout. 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 40 – CUC 50 to be shared between the local staff.

Is this tour right for me?

  • Group Size 4 – 18 people of mixed nationalities. Minimum age 16 years (accompanied by an adult).
  • 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
  • Swimming things and beach towel
  • Lightweight cotton / linen clothes suitable for tropical climates. A jacket or fleece for the cooler evenings from November to March. Avoid bringing expensive or flashy jewellery.
  • Trainers for walk in Viñales
  • High factor sun cream (50+), sunglasses and cap or sunhat (wide-brimmed hats are best)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Small personal first-aid kit and some tropical strength insect repellent and antihistamines in case of insect bites
  • Camera
  • A sense of humour and patience are useful in Cuba!

Optional items

  • Torch
  • Binoculars

Throughout the tour we stay in private accommodation (Casas particulares).

It’s fair to say that the standard of Cuban accommodation is not always comparable to that which you would expect in other countries owing to years of isolation, under-investment in the country’s infrastructure and effect of the US trade Embargo. Anyone travelling to the island should be prepared to rough it a bit at times! Décor tends to be a little dated, 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!

However, most people love the opportunity that staying in casas particulares gives to stay in a relatively normal Cuban home and see how Cubans live. These homes are simple compared to ours but the welcome is warm and rooms clean. All the casas also have air conditioning an en suite bathrooms. You’ll be spoilt at breakfast in the mornings.

Cuba doesn’t have the same variety of international cuisine we might be used to although 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. Think soul food – rice, black beans, slow roast pork and chicken, fresh fish, lobster and plenty of tropical fruit.

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 all over the country 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!

GUIDES

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

Welcome to Cuba! A Cubania representative will meet you upon arrival at the airport and transfer you to your accommodation in the heart of Havana. 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 enchanting Havana.

Day 2: TO VIÑALES

  • Casa particular, Viñales
  • Breakfast, Dinner

Today we travel to Viñales Valley in western Cuba stopping on the way to visit a cigar factory in the town of Pinar del Rio. The Viñales Valley is filled with palm trees and tobacco farms where traditional farming methods are still used, amid some of the most impressive scenery in Cuba. Huge limestone karsts known as ‘mogotes’ (sheer-sided, flat-topped hills) rise from the valley floor, riddled with caves and covered in forest. After free time for lunch, a local guide will take us on a light trek through the ‘Valley of Silence’ where we will be able to admire the mogotes and soak up rural Cuban life. The world’s finest tobacco is grown here so we will walk through tobacco plantations and learn how it’s grown. After checking into our overnight accommodation in Casa Particulares, we will visit an organic farm for a sunset dinner overlooking the valley.

Day 3: TO PLAYA LARGA

  • Casa particular, Playa Larga
  • Breakfast, Lunch

Today we have breakfast early and set off towards Central Cuba, stopping first in Las Terrazas Biosphere Reserve for a visit. The 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. Nowadays it is a self-sufficient community set on a lakeside and surrounded by spectacular tropical forests, teeming with birdlife. Before lunch there will be the option to try the Las Terrazas zip-line which gives an adrenaline-fuelled panoramic view of this lush biosphere. After lunch we continue our journey towards Playa Larga, a small town situated on the Bay of Pigs which became famous in 1961 owing to the failed CIA backed invasion. We check into our accommodation for the night by the beach.

Day 4: TO TRINIDAD

  • Casa particular, Trinidad
  • Breakfast, Dinner

Departure to Cienfuegos this morning to visit to this beautiful coastal town founded by French migrants in the early 19th century. It is set on a large natural harbour and the city centre has fine colonial buildings around a pretty square, including the beautiful Tomas Terry Theatre. After time for lunch we continue on to Trinidad which has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988 and is perhaps the best-preserved colonial town on the island. Trinidad is a place of real charm, little touched by modern times, even by Cuban standards. The colourful buildings, cobbled streets, shady plazas and horse drawn transportation whisk you back to the colonial era. It is as the sun sets that Trinidad really comes to life and in the early evening we’ll enjoy an introductory salsa class with local teachers in a Cuban home close to your casa particular. The class will last about 1 hour and will give you the confidence to try your moves tonight!

Day 5: TRINIDAD

  • Casa particular, Trinidad
  • Breakfast

Today you have a free day in Trinidad. Wander through the streets, visit the former home of a sugar baron or sit in a café and listen to live music. Other options are: to take a walk along the “Cubano” trail in a national park just outside Trinidad, where you can swim in beautiful waterfall; spend a day on a white sand Caribbean beach at nearby Playa Ancon enjoying lobster for lunch and a fresh coconut cocktail, or take a catamaran trip that includes snorkelling, to a nearby island. Trinidad is a hub for local handicrafts and you can buy fine examples of local embroidery, ceramics, jewellery and artwork in the plentiful street stalls and shops around town.

Day 6: HAVANA VIA SANTA CLARA

  • Casa particular, Havana
  • Breakfast

We leave Trinidad early this morning and head east to the city of Santa Clara, the site of the last battle of the Cuban Revolution. In December 1958, Che Guevara and his troops ambushed an armoured train carrying arms to Santiago de Cuba and this was a major turning point in the Revolution. We visit the Mausoleum of Che Guevara and his comrades who died in Bolivia. The museum attached to the Mausoleum has many of his former belongings and is a fascinating insight into one of the 20th Century’s most revered icons. After a break for lunch we return to Havana, arriving late afternoon to check into our accommodation for our last 2 nights.

Day 7: HAVANA

  • Casa particular, Havana
  • Breakfast, Dinner

We have a city tour of old and new Havana, Cuba’s vibrant capital and the largest city in the Caribbean. Havana was founded in the 16th century and is the finest surviving Spanish colonial complex in the Americas. Post-revolution restoration work and the millions of dollars invested since it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982 mean that Old Havana has been well-preserved and is often referred to as a “living museum”. The many impressive monuments, cathedrals and palaces of the city’s historical centre are brought to life by a constant hustle and bustle and the unmistakable sound of Cuban son. We also visit the glitzier Miramar district and the Plaza de la Revolution with its images of the Cuban Revolution. We’ll have time for lunch in Old Havana and a free afternoon to explore at your own pace. In the early evening we meet up with some local dancers for another salsa class which includes a cocktail to help loosen you up! We’ll enjoy dinner together in a local paladar and share stories of a fascinating week in Cuba.

Day 8: Departure day

  • Breakfast

Morning free to wander through the Old Town before transferring to the airport in time for your flight.  And so it’s Adios, or, as we prefer to think of it hasta luego, see you later! Have a safe journey and we very much hope to see you in Cuba again soon.

What's included?

Accommodation

7 nights in casas particulares

Meals

All Breakfasts, 1 Lunches, 3 Dinners

Staff

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

What to bring

1. Sun protection

high strength sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat/cap

2. Swimming things

Swimming things and beach towel

3. Light Clothing

Light cotton and linen clothing suitable for tropical climates

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

Is this tour for me?

Travel style: Cultural tour

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

Difficulty Level: Leisurely

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

GROUP STYLE: SMALL

4 - 18 people, mixed nationalities. Minimum age 16 years (accompanied by an adult).

Notes:

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

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2. Number of passengers
3. Billing details
4. Payment details