Cuban Walking & Cultural Holidays

PASSIONATE ABOUT CUBA

 

 

DEPARTURES 06 & 27 November 2014

16 DAYS

 Special Offer  – 16 Days
from £950.00 exc Flights

single supplement 95GBP

An Unforgettable Journey

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“Thanks for arranging such a wonderful holiday.  I had a fantastic time” Aileen Chantel, April 13

Why Travel with Us?  We are a family run specialist walking tours company established in 2002.  Our holidays are specially tailored to meet the needs of active people who are looking for something a bit different away from the tourist trail but who also appreciate comfort and relaxation in a stress-free environment.  We offer a friendly personal service and a trouble-free holiday.  The local guides will ensure you explore and enjoy the colour, history, music, culture and gastronomy of this fascinating country.   Check out this holiday on The Guardian!!

If you wish to travel independently and not as part of a group, please contact us for more information and a quotation.


HIGHLIGHTS

  • Enjoy the amazing history, culture and night life of Havana
  • Visit the famous orchid gardens at Soroa
  • Walk amongst the limestone karsts of the Vinales Valley
  • Explore the cobbled streets and colonial grandeur of Trinidad
  • Swim and snorkel on the beautiful Caribbean island of Cayo Macho
  • Walk through the old slave plantation at Codina now a natural park

 

DAILY ITINERARY (subject to variation)

Day 1 :
Transfer from the Airport to the Hotel Plaza

20:00  Welcome Drink with Tour Guide.  Your Tour Guide will make suggestions for dining.  There are many delightful private restaurants in Havana.  Check out the Paladores – the best places to eat in Havana.

Overnight at the Plaza Hotel  


Hotel Plaza, Havana
Day 2 : Morning tour of Havana with private guide (included)Afternoon 2 hour excursion in old American car (included)

Evening Options include:

Teatro Central
Tropicana
Buena Vista Social Club

Overnight at Plaza Hotel

Day 3 : Drive to Vinales (2 hrs 19 minutes, 118 miles)Today we drive through the Vinales Valley, a picturesque region of small farms and small villages.

Afternoon free to explore this beautiful area or laze by the pool.

Overnight at the Rancho San Vicente Hotel

 

Day 4 : Leisurely walk  in the Tobacco Valley  (picnic lunch included)Distance: 5 km
Duration: 5 hours

This unforgettable walk gives a fascinating insight into Cuban rural life. Visit a tobacco farm, learning about making Cuban cigars, taste home-grown coffee, walk through beautiful rural countryside, see ages-old agricultural techniques, enjoy an authentic Pina Colada made with pineapples and coconuts grown on the farm, and of course local rum!

Dine at the El Olivo Restaurant or La Cocinita del Medio.

Overnight at the Rancho San Vicente Hotel

 
 

OR: Optional trip to Cayo Levisa (Cost £35) off the coast of Pinar del Rio where there are opportunities for scuba diving and snorkelling, or just relax on the wonderful beaches and swim in the warm Caribbean waters.

 

 
Cayo Levisa
Day 5:  Walking in Coco So lo Palmarito (picnic lunch included)Distance: 11 km
Duration: 7 hours

This walk takes us through a spectacular forest where you will see local flora unique to Cuba and you will have a chance to see some spectacular views.  Watch out for the bird life!

Overnight at the Rancho San Vicente Hotel

 

 

 
Day 6 : Morning Drive to Soroa  (74 km, 1.5 hours)Afternoon walking visit to local Botanical Gardens, with an impressive collection of local orchids.

After lunch (not included) we will climb the Mirador de Soroa. The hike to the top is around 1.5 km.  There will also be an opportunity to walk down to a local waterfall and swimming hole and/or climb to the top of a mogote with incredible views.

Your Tour Guide will advise on dining options.  There are a range of private houses in Soroa which offer delicious home cooked food in leafy gardens.  Don’t  miss the local hog roast!

Overnight at the Hotel Soroa

 Hotel Soroa Pool
Day 7 : Walk to follow in the footsteps of the pastDistance: 8 km approx
Duration: 5-6 Hours

This is a medium level walk through the mountains with your guide, Alberto, who is incredibly knowledgeable about the ecology, history, politics and culture of Cuba and is anxious to share this knowledge with you.  Lunch will be taken at Rey Paladar (private restaurant – not included, cost approx. $5).

Alternatively you may just want to spend the day relaxing and  enjoying  the weather and the pool.

Overnight at the Hotel Soroa

 
Day 8 : Walk with  local guide -Your guide will give information about the local   flora and fauna.  He will also introduce you to aspects of local history and Culture and explain about  communities whose ancestors were slaves during the settlement of the French coffee plantations during the XIX century.  You will also receive an introduction to local flora and fauna focused on herbs and birds.  You will have the chance to learn how these  resources are managed in the transitional zone of the Biosphere Reserve Sierra del Rosario. Lunch at  traditional forest house (not included) – this is an amazing opportunity to see how people have lived in this area for centuries and how they are self-supporting.Alternatively you may just want to relax, enjoy the weather and the pool.

Overnight at the Hotel Soroa

 

 
Swimming Hole
Day 9 : Drive to Trinidad (422 km, 262 miles)In the afternoon enjoy a City Tour.

For dinner we recommend the Sol Y Son at Simon Bolivar Street .

After dinner, you will find Trinidad is one of the best places to experience open air nightlife – live music and salsa are everywhere.

Overnight at Maria Dolores Hotel

 

 

 
Trinidad
Day 10 :  Hacienda Codina Tour -  Excursion starts at 09:00, pick  up at 08:00 in Trinidad.  First stop a coffee centre and tasting inTopes followed by a walk on foot into the mountains.  Hike is about 3-4 hours and includes a visit to the open cave of La Barata where you can swim, walk or climb to several small waterfalls.  After a traditional lunch at Hacienda Codina (lunch included),  visit local orchid garden and bamboo garden before returning to the hotel Maria Dolores at around 4 pm.Overnight at Hotel Maria Dolores  Hacienda Codina 
Day 11:  : 1 day tour by Catamaran to the beautiful Caribbean island of Cayo Blanco.  Try snorkelling on the beautiful coral reef.  BBQ lunch included.Overnight at Hotel Maria Dolores

 

 
Day 12 : Optional visit to Santa Clara to see Che’s Mausoleum.  Price minimum 4 persons $35 per person (lunch not included).

Alternatively, you can go to the beach or laze by the hotel pool.For dinner we recommend El 1830 Restaurant at Plaza Mayor.

Overnight at Ma Dolores Hotel.

 Casa de la Musica, Trinidad
Day 13 : El CubanoA pleasant spot 5 km from Trinidad with a ranchon style restaurant that specialises in pez gato (catfish).  Here there is a fish farm, and a trail to a refreshing waterfall. There are also stables with opportunities to partake in horseback riding.  Lunch included.

For dinner we recommend the restaurant David Mar at Anastacia Cardenas Street.

Overnight at Ma Dolores Hotel

 

 El Cubano
Day 14 : Return to Havana (335 km, 208 miles)Stop at Cienfuegos plus City Tour (2 hours)

Overnight at the Plaza Hotel

 
Day 15 : Morning visit to the Museo de la Revolucion (Optional £5)The Museum of the Revolution (Spanish: Museo de la Revolución) is a museum located in the Old Havana section of Havana, Cuba. The museum is housed in what was the Presidential Palace of all Cuban presidents from Mario García Menocal to Fulgencio Batista. It became the Museum of the Revolution during the years following the Cuban revolution.
Afternoon Return
 
Museo de la Revolucion, Havana

 

 

 


*Single Supplement £95

CLIENT REVIEWS

“Just a quick note to  thank you for the great holiday in Cuba.  We wanted to feedback on  how much both Briad and I enjoyed our trip.  For us there were a  number of highlights.  The car trip in Havana, staying in the Casas, the walks in Soroa and Vinales, visiting Santa Clara and meeting the Cubans.  Most of all we liked the variety of what you showed us and appreciated the choices.” Paul McCallion, March 2013

 

MAP

INCLUDED

  • Airport Transfers
  • All accommodation with breakfast
  • Other meals where indicated
  • All transportation between locations by air conditioned bus
  • The services of an English speaking guide throughout the trip
  • The additional services of a walking guide or tour guide where indicated

NOT INCLUDED

Flights are not included but we can advise on flights.  Please contact us for more details).
Optional excursions
Lunches and evening meals (except where specified) – please estimate $35 per person per day for food
EATING

Evening Meals are not included in our Cuba holidays as often hotel food is bland and uninteresting and a highlight of your holiday will be the opportunity to visit a wide range of private restaurants and houses where the local people will go out of their way to ensure that you enjoy their hospitality and food.

Our recommendations include:

The Casa de la Rosa, the El Olivo and the La Cocinita de Medio at Viñales

At Soroa we recommend the Paladar del Rey although you will find a number of private houses close toyour hotel where you can enjoy a delicious and freshly prepared al fresco meal. Don’t forget to ask your guide about these.

For Trinidad our recommendations include Sol Y Son, El 1830 Restaurant and the David Marr.

In Havana your guide will give you advice each day on the best places to eat in Havana.

All restaurants will be happy to suggest a vegetarian option.

 

ACCOMMODATION

Cuba is a popular holiday destination but unfortunately the number of hotel rooms sometimes exceed demand.  Hotels occasionally cancel bookings at the last minute but they will always find alternative accommodation for the group, albeit sometimes in nearby towns or in private houses with bed and breakfast.  This overbooking is affecting all tour operators to the country and you should be aware of this because it may affect your trip.