Cuba - Lost in Time

Viva La Revolucion! This is the quintessential journey of Cuba tracing its charming colonial cities, Cuban rhythms, revolution history and the essence of the old school. Explore Cuba in depth with this immersive sojourn to this amazing Central American nation, seemingly lost in time. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Stay in the best current hotels in all of Cuba

Experience the colonial charm and insiders experiences of Cuba

Savour exquisite Cuban gastronomy 

Visit Che Guevara's resting place in Santa Clara

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE HAVANA

Arrive Havana Jose Marti Intl Airport and begin our exploration of Havana. Havana is unlike any other city in the world. Get acquainted with this intriguing Cuban city and meet the friendly locals by taking a walk through its sweeping boulevards and elegant plazas. We explore La Habana Vieja (old Havana) witnessing the Plaza de Armas, the oldest square in Havana and the site of the city's foundation, El Templete - the oldest neoclassical building, the La Catedral San Cristobal de la Habana and the Museo de la Revolucion.

 

 

 

We then stop for lunch at at an authentic Cuban "paladar", family-run restaurant to experience Cuban hospitality before hopping onto a classic Chevy for a truly astonishing way to explore the New Havana, Old Havana, the affluent neighborhood of Miramar and the famous Colon Cemetery area. Drive past the famous Malecon in style, the sea boulevard which stretches for 7km through the most historic areas and as we near the end of our tour, enjoy a classic Cuban cocktail watching the glorious sunset. 

Overnight: Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski, Havana

Meals: NIL

DAY 2: HAVANA (EXCURSION TO VINALES)

Set off this morning to Vinales where we take a scenic drive along the "Ruta del Tobaco" into the lush surroundings of the Pinar del Rio Province. It is hard not to be taken away by the stunning views of the Mogote Valley, made famous for its pin-cushion shaped hills, tobacco fields and green vegetation. Arriving at the lively town of Vinales, you will be greeted by hospitable locals on horse-back and a wonderful vibe that is unique to this town. Enjoy a splendid lunch again in a local authentic "paladar" where you can sit back relax and watch the world go by. In the afternoon, we make a visit to a tobacco farm and watch a cigar rolling demonstration. There is also the opportunity to visit the "Prehistoric Wall" as well as take a boat ride to Cuevas del Indio, a network of underground caves and waterways before returning to Havana. 

Overnight: Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski, Havana

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 3: HAVANA / CIENFUEGOS

Today, we travel to Cienfuegos via the "Bay of Pigs" (Playa Giron) where former Cuban exiles used to gather plotting their reclamation of Cuba. Continue to Cienfuegos, loosely translated as "one hundred fires" to describe the warm and bright nature of the town. In addition to the Spanish, a large number of French settlers made their home in Cienfuegos and hence the French influence in architecture and some districts bearing striking resemblance to the arrondissements in Paris. Enjoy a walking tour of this charming town, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its immaculate collection of neoclassical buildings. Consider a visit to the Teatro Tomas Terry, a theatre built by the sons of the Venezuelan industrialist Tomas Terry which caters to famous operas and shows performed in the past by Caruso, Pavlova and Bernhardt. We also visit the pink Moorish Palace which resembles a wedding cake with its small turrets, domed roof, battlements and assorted tiles. 

Overnight: Hotel La Union, Cienfuegos

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4: CIENFUEGOS / SANTA CLARA / TRINIDAD

Despite the fact that Che Guevara was born in Argentina and died in Bolivia, he will forever be associated with Cuba and its revolution. Santa Clara was chosen as the location for his final resting place as the city was one of the fiercest last battles of his revolution, a battle led by Che himself. Witness the iconic Che Monument as well as Tren Blindado and the Museo Historico de la Revolucion, which chronicles the Battle of Santa Clara. We will meet some members of a piquette, who will demonstrate how these small bands once played behind silent movies.

 

Continue our journey next to the UNESCO-listed city of Trinidad with some of the most thrilling unique colonial architecture. In the evening, we make a visit to Casa de la Trova. For nearly four decades, the site has been the centre of culture and nightlife in Trinidad. This bar performance space is home to some of Cuba's finest singers and musicians and we have the opportunity tonight to enjoy and soak in the laid back rhythms of these unique music. 

Overnight: Iberostar Grand Hotel, Trinidad

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5: TRINIDAD (EXCURSION TO SIERRA DEL ESCAMBRAY)

In the morning, we visit the unbelievable beauty of the Sierra del Escambray adorned with immaculate beauty of nature with steep peaks, deep valleys, caves, beautiful landscapes and picturesque waterfalls. We take the Guayanara trail to hike along the Melodioso River. Take a refreshing dip in a natural pool with waterfall. In the afternoon, we have time to stroll through the cobblestone streets of Trinidad.

Overnight: Iberostar Grand Hotel, Trinidad

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6: TRINIDAD / VALLE DE LOS INGENIOS / SANCTI SPIRITUS / CAMAGUEY

Today we travel to the Valle de los Ingenios, a valley near Trinidad that was once the centre of Cuba's sugar production as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site and continues Cuba's theme of a place lost in time where there are dozens of disused sugar mills that has been transformed into country homes. See some crumbling old slave accommodation ruins where sugar production in the last demanded the heavy employment of slaves. Visit the hacienda Iznaga, home of the former sugar barons Iznaga before continuing to Sancti Spiritus with its romantic Yayabo Bridge. Then drive through green, flat sugar cane fields to Camaguey, known for its tinajones clay pots. We explore Camaguey's maze of streets built originally to thwart pirate invaders. Walk to Plaza Agramonte - birthplace of Ignacio Agramonte, a rebel who was killed in action fighting against the Spaniards. 

Overnight: Gran Hotel, Camaguey

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7: CAMAGUEY / BAYAMO / EL COBRE / SANTIAGO DE CUBA

We continue further east today making our first stop in Bayamo, city of the national anthem where national hero Manuel Cespedes proclaimed the independence from Spanish colonial rule. We visit Cespedes's Birth House, Anthem's Square and Bayamo Cathedral before continuing to El Cobre, a small mining village where copper has been mined since pre-Columbian times. We make a visit to Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Cobre, set in the midst of imposing nature - is Cuba's most sacred pilgrimate site where its virgin, La Virgen de la Caribad is the patron saint of Cuba. Finally, we arrive into Santiago de Cuba, second-largest city in Cuba with a vibrant music tradition and adorned with beautiful plazas. 

Overnight: Melia Hotel, Santiago de Cuba

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8: SANTIAGO DE CUBA

We start our exploration of Santiago de Cuba today at Parque Cespedes where you will see a bronze statue of Manuel Cespedes who made the declaration of Cuban independence in 1868. You will also see the neoclassical town hall where Fidel Castro appeared on the balcony to announce the Revolution's triumph in 1959. Right next to this, you will see the oldest house in Cuba, the "Casa de Diego Velazquez" dating back to the 15th Century. Another highlight will be the Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion where it has been a cathedral since 1516. Branching off from the square, you will find the Calle de Herrida which is worth a visit. The street is home to the Casa del Estudiante, the Casa de la Trova dance halls and the Casa Natal de Jose Maria Heredia, birthplace of the romantic poet. You will also find the Museo 26 de Julio situated in the former Moncada Barracks which tells the history of Cuba since its discovery by Christopher Columbus. Finally, climb the Padre Pico Steps for a sweeping view of the city. 

Overnight: Melia Hotel, Santiago de Cuba

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9: SANTIAGO DE CUBA / HAVANA

This morning, transfer to Santiago de Cuba Antonio Maceo Airport for a short flight return to Havana. On arrival, we visit Ernest Hemingway's Finca Vigia where the famous traveller and writer spent 21 years and wrote two of his most celebrated novels. Thereafter, we take a cocktail walking tour beginning in the lobby of the beautifully-restored Hotel Ambos Mundo where Hemingway lived for several years. Then, we visit the Bodeguita del Medio - the famous birthplace of the mojito and where Hemingway spent many a contented hour at this very bar. Continue to El Floridita where Hemingway played a pivotal role in the invention of the Daiquiri. Our final stop will be Dos Hermanos, the most beautiful bar in Havana. 

Overnight: Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski, Havana

Meals: Lunch 

DAY 10: DEPART HAVANA

Adios Cuba and transfer to Havana Jose Marti Intl Airport for your onward journey. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Experience re-defined luxury hospitality in the heart of Havana's old city. Originally built between 1894 and 1917 as the first European style shopping arcade in Cuba, Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana is situated in the heart of the old Havana with a direct view of the Capitol and the Great Theater of Havana 

Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski, Havana

Founded in 1869 and restored in 2000, Hotel La Unión is excellently located right in the heart of the old part of the city of Cienfuegos. Its distinctive style of architecture, its welcoming atmosphere and its beautiful inner courtyards have throughout history made it the choice of prominent figures on their visits to the city. The hotel has a restaurant, two bars and a pool, a meeting room and panoramic lift, as well as spacious rooms with colonial-style furniture.

Hotel La Union, Cienfuegos

The Iberostar Grand Hotel Trinidad sets the standard for service and amenities for Cuba's boutique properties. Guestrooms are classically-furnished and arranged over two floors where you have priceless views of the plaza and Trinidad's colonial buildings. 

Iberostar Grand Hotel, Trinidad

Refined and sober, the Gran Hotel Camaguey raises captivation in the historical neighborhood of the city of Camaguey, famous for its tinajones. The Gran Hotel opened its doors in 1939 and is accustomed to construction with an excellent colonial style.

Gran Hotel, Camaguey

Melia Hotel Santiago de Cuba is an iconic hotel and the best hotel in the city overlooking the beautiful historical centre and offering authentic cuisine and hospitality, modern and spacious rooms. 

Melia Hotel, Santiago de Cuba

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