15 Day Original Tour

£1135 GBP Per Person
£1135 GBP
A Cuban Adventures tour group poses with the Cuba sign in Santiago de Cuba

PLEASE NOTE:
Due to the pandemic the domestic flights services have been suspended in Cuba. We have therefore changed this tour itinerary to avoid further disruption to our customers. Tour Itinerary is valid as of 04 Feb 2022 - click here to see the old itinerary.

Itinerary Summary

Day 1 Arrival Day Havana
Map 15 Day Package 2022
Day 2 Cienfuegos via Bay of Pigs
Day 3 Camaguey via Santa Clara
Day 4 Holguin
Day 5,6 Baracoa
Day 7,8 Santiago de Cuba
Day 9 Bayamo
Day 10,11,12 Trinidad
Day 13,14

Havana

Day 15 Departure Day

Tour Description

The 15 day Original Cuba tour package is our most long-standing itinerary. It packs into 2 weeks what we consider the most fascinating elements of this unique country. As well as visiting many of Cuba's more interesting and popular destinations, our focus is on contact with the Cuban people and their culture, in understanding the Cuban history and society, and having a lot of fun along the way. Accommodation is in guesthouses, which are Cuba's version of b&b accommodation. They are small privately owned businesses in Cuba typically run by a local family. An English speaking local Cuban tour guide accompanies the group throughout.

Tour Summary

style
O Original. Small groups. Standard guesthouses
duration 15 days / 14 nights
group size minimum 2 / maximum 16 / average 9
accommodation Guesthouses throughout. Twinshare.
single supplement Single Room for the tour - £295 GBP extra (read more)
transport Private land transport - minibus or taxi (depending on group size)
activities included

Walking tour of Old Havana, Che Guevara Museum, Ballet School visit in Camaguey, Music & dance night in Santiago, visit to El Cobre.

other inclusions 14 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner, airport arrival transfer, Tour Leader throughout, some local specialised guides.
suggested combinations Western Cuba Tour, a Vinales Short Stay or a Beach stay package!
Can Americans join this tour? Yes! This tour forms a great base for a legal trip to Cuba. Read more about how to make your trip to Cuba legal.

Itinerary Details

You are free to arrive in Havana at whatever time you can today. We have set aside this first day for this purpose, so you won't miss out on anything, even if you arrive late in the evening. Your included airport arrival transfer will be provided. This will be either a government taxi or a private car, and will take you directly from the Havana airport to your guesthouse for the first night in Havana.

Your tour guide will leave a note for you in the guesthouse with some information for you to get settled and details of any tour group meeting times. The first of these will be a get together for dinner on the first night for those tour group members that have arrived in time.

If you do happen to arrive earlier in the day, you may have time to go and explore some of Havana. At some stage during the tour, your tour guide will include a walking tour of Old Havana. After confirming your tour booking with us, we will also send you a set of maps for each city you will visit in Cuba. This is like a mini guide book that we update every year - so it is usually more up-to-date than a typical guide book. We do recommend the guide books for Cuba however, especially for the background historical and cultural information sections.

A yellow classic American 50’s car in front of the Alicia Alonzo theatre in Havana

On our way to Cienfuegos, we drive along the beautiful coastline of the Bay of Pigs. This is where the landing of a counter-revolutionary exile militia occurred in 1961. The ensuing battle with the Cuban Revolutionary forces resulted in the first defeat of a U.S backed take-over in Latin America. Your guide will explain in more detail the dramatic events. If the conditions are favourable, we can stop for a swim at a beautiful spot on the bay that is ideal for snorkelling. Snorkelling masks are available at a small cost.

Cienfuegos appeal lies partly in the European flavour of its colonial hub, with a wide Parisian-style boulevard and elegant colonnades, and there is an ambience to inspire Cuba’s most celebrated Son singer to write the words “Cienfuegos is the city I like best”. You'll have time to take in the ambience with a pleasant stroll along the boulevard and to the main square.

cienfuegos

Before reaching Camaguey we first drop in on the historic inland city of Santa Clara. It's here that we encounter a huge statue of Ernesto Ché Guevara. We take time to visit the museum that is directly under the statue, and which tells the story of Ché's fascinating life. There is also a mausoleum with an eternal flame that commemorates his death and that of the revolutionaries who were with him in Bolivia.

Cuba's third largest city lies about halfway between Havana and Santiago de Cuba. 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. There are large parks, various private art galleries, and a thriving market garden, and one will enjoy strolling through this city. 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.

Camaguey is a proud and cultural city, and has some of the best schools and institutions in Cuba.

A statue of Che Guevara and child in Santa Clara, Cuba

Before we set off for Holguin we will start the morning with a guided visit to the ballet school in Camaguey. We then head to the province of Holguin - the third largest province in Cuba. While Holguin is popular mostly as a beach resort destination, it is also known for its rich architectural structures that date back to the 19th century, among many other historical places in the city which we will see on our walking tour. The rest of the day is free to wander this interesting city and visit some of the many historical sites and museums, take a cultural trip to learn more about the original inhabitants of the island, or visit some of the beautiful parks and green spaces or walk to the Loma de la Cruz (the hill of the cross) well worth a visit with spectacular views. Holguin has a number of places related to a Cuban hero called Calixto Garcia. There are numerous great venues for music and to enjoy the nightlife, and many good places to eat.

When Christopher Columbus first encountered Cuba it was here, 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 mountain landscape that surround Baracoa. Situated on a beautiful bay with the mountains of the Sierra del Purial in the background, Baracoa was the first settlement founded by the Spanish in Cuba, and was only accessible by sea until the end of the 1960s.
There are numerous options for outdoor activities in the nearby mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and beaches. Baracoa is also known for its variety of fresh seafood, and chocolate made from local cacao plantations.

  • Lunch will be included on Day 5.
baracoa hike

A spectacular drive through lush mountains of eastern Cuba, then along a rugged and beautiful section of coast, and later past the region’s most controversial leasehold of Guantanamo Bay, brings us to what is known as the “cradle of Cuba's Revolution”. Santiago is home to much of Cuba’s famed music, like the Son. There are also museums, colonial churches and buildings of more recent historical importance, such as the Moncada Barracks, which are well worth exploring.

Santiago de Cuba has a very vibrant traditional music scene, and it's here that we include what we call a Noche Santiaguera. It's an interactive night of music and dance where we invite some local Santiago friends of ours to come with us to a local traditional music venue, and they will invite you to join them on the dance floor to learn some dance moves. For those that are willing, you'll have the chance to get up on stage and play an instrument with the local Cuban band. Culturally, Santiago has a different feel to the rest of Cuba, undoubtedly coming from the mix of French speaking slaves from Haiti and its proximity to Jamaica.

Santiago de Cuba car

Today we head to Bayamo from Santiago de Cuba, via  the Sanctuary of El Cobre. El Cobre is a small town with a significant statue to Cimmaron, commemorating the copper mine slave uprising in the 17th century.  It is also the most important place of worship in Cuba and the home of the patron Saint of Cuba - Our Lady of Charity. This is a fascinating stop and insight into Cuba culture, religion and customs.

After we leave El Cobre we continue onto Bayamo, a small quiet town, not what you would expect for the capital of this province. The people in Bayamo are very laid back and it is a pleasant contrast to the hustle and bustle of vibrant Santiago de Cuba. Bayamo is the second Spanish city founded in Cuba (1513) as was named Villa de San Salvador de Bayamo”. During the 17th and 18th century, the idea of Cuban Independence began here with Cespedes who freed his slave and formed a small army, starting the War of Independence against Spain. Rather than surrender, the rebels famously held Bayamo for three days before burning it to the ground. There is an interesting wax museum we will visit during our walking tour.

Bayamo sits at the foot of the Sierra Maestra,  where you can do an optional hike into the mountains to visit Fidel’s hideout & rebel radio encampment as it was during the 1950’s. If you prefer not to visit the Sierra Maestra you can relax in Santo Domingo from where the hike begins. Santo Domingo is located at the entrance to the Pico Turquino National Park and on the banks of the Yara river where you can take a swim in the cool water. There is one hotel here in Santo Domingo where you can sit and enjoy the fresh, crisp mountain air overlooking the river. Read more about this Sierra Maestra excursion here .

Bayamo

Trinidad is home to numerous churches and many beautiful colonial buildings. We are near the lovely Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of Sugarmills) and Playa Ancón, where you can enjoy long stretches of unspoiled, white sand beaches. Scuba diving, snorkelling, swimming in waterfalls and horse-riding are other optional activities.

The nightlife in Trinidad is probably the most accessible and intense in all of Cuba, with numerous live music venues and many dance performances everyday of the week, all amongst the enchanting setting of old colonial buildings and the cobblestone streets.

  • Dinner will be included on Day 12.
Trinidad

The Caribbean's largest and most exciting urban concentration, Havana is one of the oldest cities in the Western Hemisphere, and was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. Options are to take the included walking tour of the Old town with the guide or to find your own adventure.

Shorkelling in the shallow waters in the Bay of Pigs

If you have more time to spend in Cuba before flying out, the tour guide can suggest a number of excellent options for spending a few extra days, and give you details on how to get there and where to stay.

Itineraries for the tour of Cuba can and do change during the course of the year due to a variety of reasons. We are not always able to advise you in advance of these changes. We ask for your understanding and flexibility in these cases.

Summary of Travel Times

Havana to Cienfuegos via Bay of Pigs 5 hours
Cienfuegos to Camaguey via Santa Clara 7 hours
Camaguey to Holguin 8 hours
Holguin to Baracoa 3.5 hours

Baracoa to Santiago de Cuba

5 hours
Santiago to Bayamo 2.5 hours
Bayamo to Trinidad 5 hours
Trinidad to Havana 6 hours

Arrival and Departure Accommodation in Havana

Guesthouses in Havana

The first and last nights of the tour in Cuba will be in Guesthouse Accommodation, centrally located in either Old HavanaCentral Havana, or Vedado.

  • We include an arrival transfer from the Havana airport (or from anywhere else in Havana if you are already in Cuba) to the joining Guesthouse Accommodation.
  • On the booking form, you can request extra nights before or after the tour in the same guesthouse you will have for the tour. Click here to see prices.

We also offer other accommodation options in Havana for before or after the tour.

Late Arrivals or Early Departures

Late Arrival - If you plan to arrive on Day 2 or after, we can arrange for you to catch up to the group. This may involve you paying transport costs to do so.

Early Departure - The group will arrive back in Havana, late in the afternoon of Day 13, so a departure from Cuba late in the evening of Day 13 is possible. An earlier departure than this is also possible and may involve you paying transport costs for us to send you back to Havana by yourself.

Spending money

We estimate you will need between €610 and €840 EUR (equivalent for £530 and £730 GBP) for local expenses during the tour, such food and optional activities. Click here to see details of expenses you will have while on the tour in Cuba.

Not Included in the Tour

Explainer: Why are there no Cuba tours on tourradar?

Flexible Bookings
Flexible Bookings!
With our flexible bookings policy, you can book your place on a tour for only $100 USD and change your departure date anytime at no cost. Read more...

Tour Dates & Availability

Available
Dates open for bookings. No reservations made yet for these departures. Minimum 2 travelers required to guarantee departure
On Hold
One traveler is booked on the tour, only one more is needed to guarantee.
Guaranteed
These tour groups are guaranteed to depart and space is still available.
Wait Listed
Group is full, however not all travellers have confirmed, so there is a chance space may become available.
E
Special Event included in this tour.
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