Day 1: Fly from UK
Fly from the UK, arriving in Cuba mid-afternoon. Your English speaking guide and driver will transfer you to the hotel in a vintage 1950s car (no seat belts) – both are at your disposal during your time in Havana. Check into your junior suite at The Hotel Saratoga
; an elegant building newly reconstructed in neoclassical/eclectic style that lies at the heart of an attractive corner in Old Havana. Meet with our representative and discuss your itinerary – there are numerous optional restaurants and visits which can be added and paid locally.
Day 2: Havana
Explore Havana´s colonial past on a two hour walking tour through the city, including the four key squares of Old Havana, a UNESCO world heritage site. In the afternoon you will visit 4 Cuban artists in their studios, according to your particular interests in photography, sculpture or painting. At sunset, cruise the ocean road Malecón in a convertible American classic car (Yank Tank), admiring the sunset glow on the crumbling buildings facing the sea.
Day 3: Bay of Pigs
Rise early for the 4.5 hour drive to historic Playa Girón and the Bay of Pigs on the southern, swamp-bound coast of Matanzas province. You will be warmly welcomed by the local dive master and his wife at Casa Ronel
, where your bedroom has a private bathroom and you can make yourself at home in the house. Take an optional trip to the Bay of Pigs Museum (payable locally) and enjoy a home cooked meal made with fresh local produce and fish caught just yards from the house (pay locally).
Day 4: Trinidad
Snorkel or dive in the glistening Caribbean waters off Playa Girón before your transfer (3.5 hour drive) to the beautifully preserved Spanish colonial town of Trinidad. Check into the stately, pistachio green Grand Hotel Iberostar Trinidad
, where you will stay for two nights in a double room with spacious balcony. In the evening, you’ll walk around the city with a guide to enjoy the spectacular atmosphere of town at night, visiting a local bar and popular music venues.
Day 5: Trinidad
This morning visit Cuba’s beautiful nature park, Topes de Collantes, which is 200 sq. kilometres and a protected area. In the afternoon you’ll take a tour of the local sugar plantations and discover how slavery related to the sugar industry, and the enormous impact sugar had on this area. You will also see working plantation homes of the sugar barons.
Day 6: Trinidad
Trinidad is a UNESCO world heritage site. Our local expert guide will talk you through the history of the town by visiting its architectural high points and give you some insight into its complex history both in the colonial period and in the years after the revolution.
Days 7: Havana
Your driver will collect you and drive to Havana via Santa Clara. No trip to Cuba is complete without a trip to the Che memorial, where this charismatic leader of the Cuban revolution fought and won the battle of Santa Clara. Transfer Time to Santa Clara about 2hrs then 4hrs to Havana. Stay in Havana at the Suite Plaza Vieja, a small bed and breakfast right in the heart of the oldest Plaza in the historic centre.
Day 8: Baracoa
Fly to Baracoa, where your new English speaking guide/driver will collect you and transfer you to the Porto Santo Hotel
. A medium car and driver are at your disposal for 10 hours a day (more by arrangement) throughout your 6 day stay outside of Havana, giving you complete flexibility and a full time guiding experience. Later you’ll take a guided walking tour around the city, visiting fortresses and taking in the wonderful panoramic views.
Day 9: Baracoa
An unforgettable day today – a jeep safari in the Alejandro Humboldt National Park, a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the most biologically diverse tropical island sites on the planet. You will climb to the top of El Yunque, (the highest point of Baracoa) in about 3 hours, resting by a small waterfall. After lunch at the Duaba farm you can relax on a boat ride along the Toa River, Cuba’s biggest river.
Day 10: Santiago
Transfer by car to Santiago de Cuba where you will stay at the Gran Hotel Encanto
Hotel. In the afternoon you will enjoy a tour of the city, the main historical centre of which was declared a National Monument in 1978. Visit the Moncada Barracks and its museum of July 26, the Revolution Square and other historical, religious and cultural sites and relax in the Céspedes Park.
Day 11: Santa Domingo
Your driver will collect you for the three hour drive to the Villa Islazul Santo Domingo
. High in the Sierra Maestra mountains, this is a picturesque tourist villa situated along the Yara River. An optional excursion is to Comandancia de la Plata – a 2-3 hour gentle hike through the mountains to reach Fidel’s hideout – the organising and staging post for the Cuban revolution (payable locally).
Day 12: Guardalavaca, Holguin
This morning you will be driven around 3.5 hours to Guardalavaca, Holguin. You will be staying for two nights in a luxury junior suite in the ultra all- inclusive Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa
situated in the Bahia de Naranjo Natural Park – an unforgettable treat for adults only.
Day 13: Gaurdalavaca
At leisure to relax on the beach, by the pool or maybe to do some diving. Perhaps treat yourself to some of the world’s most exclusive beauty treatments prepared with the exotic aromas and flavours of Cuba.
Day 14 : Havana
Take an internal flight back to Havana, where you will stay at Suite Pena Pobre, a beautiful one bedroom apartment in Old Havana with two bathrooms and a lounge.
Day 15: Havana - U.K
You have a final morning in Havana before your private transfer to José Martí airport in the afternoon. Relax in the VIP departure lounge before your flight back to the UK.