15 Day Cuba Tour - Canchánchara to Cucurucho

Starting at US$2390 / person See Tour Dates

Tour Summary

group size 12 travelers maximum
accommodation 14 nights in privately owned comfort class Bed & Breakfasts (casas particulares), double occupancy.
transport Private transportation in air conditioned bus.
license This tour complies with the general license category Support for Cuban People for individuals (515.574). The tour provides the basis and support for your compliance with the law. Special arrangements may be available for travelers who prefer to travel under the People to People category.
Included Activities Playa Giron museum & documentary film, Bay of Pigs snorkelling, Cienfuegos orientation Walk & visit to Castillo del Valle, Che Guevara Mausoleum, Walking tour of Trinidad historic center, Bartending Demo, introductory group Salsa Lesson, Walk to Javira waterfall, Camaguey walking tour involving Art Galleries & Market Garden, Camaguey bicycle taxi tour, Casa de la Trova music house visit, Camaguey Ballet School (or alternative dance school) visit, half-day Santiago city tour, Santiago Music Tour visiting traditional music houses with a local expert, Visit to Los Hoyos Conga school, Santiago group Dance Lessons (or attending a dance or music rehearsal, or visiting an art school), interactive night with local musicians and dancers in local club, Baracoa orientation walk, Visit to Toa River & Duaba farm, Cooking Lesson, Visit to locally owned Cacao Farm, Yumuri river canyon tour, El Morro castle entrance, Old Havana half-day guided walk visiting commercial centers & ration stores, local Havana urban organic farm visit.
other inclusions All breakfasts, 9 lunches, 7 dinners.  Airport arrival transfer. Private local Cuban guide throughout.
The country

Itinerary Summary

Day 1 Arrival in Havana
Map 15 Days Usa
Day 2,3,4 Trinidad
via Santa Clara
Day 5 Camaguey
Day 6,7 Santiago de Cuba
Day 8,9 Baracoa
Day 10 Holguin
Day 11 Sancti Spiritus
Day 12 Cienfuegos
Day 13,14 Havana via Bay of Pigs
Day 15 Havana Departure Day

PLEASE NOTE: Currently there are no domestic flights in Cuba, so the itinerary has changed to use ground transportation only. Consult our sales team for new itinerary. 

The purpose of this itinerary is to give you an idea of the types of activities you will engage in during the tour, however, it may change based on factors such as availability, weather, and to take advantage of spontaneous activities and events.

Tour requires a minimum of 2 passengers to depart. Please do not book international flights to Cuba until the tour is guaranteed.

See tour dates

Tour Description

This tour journeys from the west to the east of the island where you will visit cultural and historic sites and meet artists and musicians. In addition, you will experience the diversity of Cuba through food and drink. Many people are pleasantly surprised by the quality and variety of food available in Cuba (even for vegetarians!), and now that the government has legalized privately owned restaurants, Cuba’s culinary status is on the rise!  From the cosmopolitan cuisine in Havana, to the creole flavors of Baracoa, learn how the region’s history, geography, and industry reflect on the local cuisine.

The name..
Canchánchara and Cucurucho are fun to say, but even better to savor!  Both are delicious regional specialties, the former is a “healthy” drink made of lime, honey, and rum served in clay cups popular in Trinidad, the latter is a Baracoan sweet made of coconut and wrapped in banana leaves. 

Questions?

Visit our FAQ pages: US travelers FAQ here, Non-US travelers FAQ here

Day 1 - Arrive Havana

Welcome to Cuba! Settle into your B&B accommodations in the old city. Today you'll meet with your group and your local tour leader for have dinner together at a paladar (privately owned restaurant).

Meals: Dinner

Day 2 - Trinidad via Santa Clara

On the way to Trinidad we stop in at the town of Santa Clara, a key city in the Cuban Revolution. Upon entering Santa Clara, we will see the iconic statue of Ernesto Ché Guevara, built to commemorate his death and that of the revolutionaries who died along with him in Bolivia. We will have our lunch at a small family farm near Santa Clara before we continue on our journey to Trinidad where we will visit the pottery house Santander.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 - Trinidad

The beautiful colonial city of Trinidad is home to numerous churches and many beautiful colonial buildings and on our first day in Trinidad we will learn about the Afro-Cuban religion with a cultural tour around the city. Afterwards, we will head to a local dance school for a demonstration and lesson in the dances of Cuba. A visit to Trinidad wouldn’t be complete without a night of dancing and music, and what better way to burn calories and practice what you’ve learned!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Trinidad

Day 4 - Trinidad

Today's theme is local industry and biodiversity as we take a short hike to a waterfall outside of the city. On the way we stop in a very simple campesino’s home to learn about life in the rural areas of Cuba. After cooling off in the natural pools, we return to Trinidad to relax and explore before setting our sights on the Trinidad foodie scene including a bartending demonstration and discussion of the history behind Cuba’s most popular cocktails. Later in the day we head to the beautiful Ancon beach. Tonight we will have a special meal with live music and a delicious array of Cuban specialties.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 - Camaguey

Cuba’s third largest city lies about half way between Havana and Santiago de Cuba - about a 5 hour drive from Trinidad. Camaguey was designed in the 17th century to disorientate potential invaders such as pirates and plunderers, so the street layout is a jumble of narrow alleys where no two streets are parallel. The guided tour will take you to the large parks, various private art galleries, and a thriving market garden. We continue to explore Camaguey on a bicitaxi tour of the city- a fun way to navigate the labyrinth of streets.This is also a university town and has a rich cultural tradition, and like just about everywhere in Cuba, there is plenty of night time entertainment to be had! In the evening we will visit Casa de la Trova (optional) to listen to live performances from legendary local artists.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 - Santiago de Cuba

Today we take an early morning visit to the Camaguey ballet school en route to Santiago de Cuba.  Santiago is the place of origin to much of Cuba’s famed music, like the Son. We will explore Santiago’s museums, colonial churches and buildings of more recent historical importance, such as the Moncada Barracks. Santiago also holds the title of “Hero City of the Republic of Cuba” for its leading role in significant events during the revolution. The city’s half million residents are also proud of their cultural traditions and you will find many museums and cultural associations and clubs around the city.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7 - Santiago de Cuba

Today we will explore Santiago’s museums, colonial churches and buildings of more recent historical importance. Santiago also holds the title of “Hero City of the Republic of Cuba” for its leading role in significant events during the revolution. The city’s half million residents are also proud of their cultural traditions and you will find many museums and cultural associations and clubs around the city.  We will visit Cuba’s most famous cemetery Santa Ifigenia where famous musicians and revolutionaries are buried and see the change of the guard. Today we will also visit the Bacardi museum and the beautiful fortress with a curious history and stunning views looking out to sea.
The day will end with an unforgettable night of music and dance with local Santiagueros.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8 - Baracoa

A spectacular 6 hour drive through Eastern Cuba’s hugely varied landscape brings us to the Cuba’s first capital. On the way we pass by the city of Guantanamo and its infamous bay nearby. There is a lookout from where you can see the highly controversial U.S. Navy Base - Mirador los Malones - this has been closed to the public for the last few years but we will see if we can arrange for you to take a peek! We will also stop at a local home and learn about cucurucho, a sweet treat made of honey, nuts, and coconut that is as much fun to eat as it is to say! After the long bus ride, you’ll need to stretch your legs.  Luckily, the best way to get around town is on foot and we will visit places like the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, with the impressive bust of the Indigenous leader Hatuey (burned at the stake for his refusal to accept either the Spanish, or their Catholic religion). In the evening we will meet with a local chef for a delicious demonstration in Baracoan cuisine. Baracoa is known for its excellent creole cooking and seafood. Vegetarians can enjoy calalú, a typical Baracoan dish made with vegetables and coconut milk.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9 - Baracoa

When Christopher Columbus first encountered Cuba it was here in Baracoa, and he duly noted in his log-book that this was the most beautiful land that human eyes could set upon. You will understand what he meant when you see the beaches and verdant mountains that surround the city.  Today we visit one of the local farms, where you’ll get a lesson in all the plants and trees grown in Baracoa and the ingenious uses for them. Baracoa grows some of the most delicious fruits found on the island; including cacao. We will have a fun (and delicious!) chocolate making demonstration from local farmers.  Later we take a relaxing ride down Yumuri River and take a swim. Today you’re free for dinner, we suggest you feast on tetí, tiny fish that are a regional specialty very unique to Baracoa. Save room for dessert or a chocolate mojito at Casa del Chocolate!

Meals: Breakfast

Day 10 - Holguin

Today we leave Baracoa and head northward to Holguin. The State of Holguin is famous for it’s beautiful beaches and we will have a chance to see this beautiful coastline as we travel from Baracoa to Moa. Bring your swimmers as we will stop at Maguana Beach on our way and enjoy a glorious swim and lunch at the beach.
Holguin was founded in 1752, and is a city known for its rich colonial architectural structures, for its many lush green parks and spaces, and for its vibrantly painted buildings. On arrival in Holguin we will have a walking tour around town before heading to the Loma de la Cruz, a historic hill overlooking the city where we can enjoy breathtaking views.
Holguin has a great variety of restaurants for dinner tonight. For later in the evening there are some popular venues for dancing and live music to discover.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11 - Sancti Spiritus

Today we leave the ‘Oriente’ (the Eastern states of Cuba) and head to Sancti Spiritus which is situated right in the middle of the country. The city was established in 1592 on the Yayabo river, and on our walking tour we will visit the large bridge that spans the river built in 1817. The bridge is the heritage symbol of the city and has many stories connected to its construction. Sancti Spiritus is steep in history and is preserved in its colonial building and architecture from the 17th to 19th centuries. We visit the oldest church in Cuba and a National Monument - the Parroquial Mayor Church. The main entrance of the church is known as the forgiveness gate with a curious story. Sancti Spiritus is a fascinating city with much to discover!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12 - Cienfuegos

On arrival to Cienfuegos the Pearl of the South we meander through the city to learn its history.
We will visit the well known Palacio de valle and In the evening we will eat at a family owned paladar where they have an excellent vegetarian paella.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13 - Havana via Bay of Pigs

On the way to Havana, you will see the picturesque Bay of Pigs where there is a museum here that recounts the events of this conflict which resulted in the first defeat of a U.S backed take-over in Latin America. There are some beautiful places to stop for a swim along the way, including a sinkhole which resembles a huge natural tropical fish tank or you can snorkel in the bay.You’re free for dinner today and then tonight we will attend the famous cannon ceremony that dates back to the 17th century.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 14 - Havana

Back in Havana it’s time to explore the Old City, with the picturesque malecon and iconic architecture. In the morning we take a guided walking tour of Old Havana. In addition to visiting historical sites, we will learn about the dual currency system and how it plays out in the local food scene, from Cuban street food to the finest restaurants. As we wander the city, sampling a few of Havana’s delicious treats, we’ll discuss the way the legalization of private enterprise has made way for a culinary renaissance in Havana. In the afternoon we visit one of the local organoponicos, urban farms that turn unused space into healthy and affordable food for a community.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15 - Departure day

Say good-bye to Cuba as you head home to the U.S., or wherever your travels will take you. We hope you'll come visit again soon!

Meals: Breakfast

Summary of Travel Times

Havana to Cienfuegos 5 hours
Cienfuegos to Trinidad 4 hours
Trinidad to Camaguey 6 hours
Camaguey to Santiago 7 hours
Santiago to Baracoa 6 hours
Baracoa to Holguin 4.5 hours

Holguin to Sancti Spritus

6 hours
Sancti Spritus to Cienfuegos 2 hours
Cienfuegos to Havana 5 hours

PLEASE NOTE: Travel times may vary. Times shown include stops.

Price

Prices start at US$2390 per person. Optional Single Supplement US$410

We welcome solo travelers! You don't pay a single supplement unless you want to guarantee your own room.  Read more about the single supplement.

We require a US$400 per person non-refundable deposit to reserve your place on the tour. The remaining balance is due 60 days before the tour departs.

Budget for Additional Costs

Spending money for meals, souvenirs, additional gratuities: US$500-700

Medical Insurance (Required by Cuban Government): US$60-105
Note: Insurance is included in airfare for direct flights to Cuba from the U.S.

Roundtrip flights from Cancun to Havana: US$300-450

Roundtrip flights from Miami to Havana (including medical insurance): US$200-300. Read more here

Cuban Tourist Visa (Tourist Card): US$50 - 100

Travel insurance: Price Varies.  We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance in case of unforeseen circumstances that cause you to cancel or delay your trip.  We do not sell travel insurance but you can shop for insurance policies online at www.insuremytrip.com

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not included in the tour

  • International airfare (Tour starts and ends in Havana)
  • Cuban Tourist Visa (aka Tourist Card) - Read more HERE
  • Mandatory medical insurance (included in flights from USA)
  • Meals not included - 4 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Drinks
  • Gratuities for guide and optional activities
  • Airport departure transfer (approx 25 CUC in taxi)
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