Cuba Private (overnight in homestay)
Book the beginning of your stay in Havana as you choose and after having explored the streets, squares, and terraces of the capital city, your journey to the mid-south of the country can begin.+ Read more
Book the beginning of your stay in Havana as you choose and after having explored the streets, squares, and terraces of the capital city, your journey to the mid-south of the country can begin.
Peaceful landscapes with friendly villages are interspersed within this tour, as well as visits to three top cities which are full of rich culture and history (Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Santa Clara). Hiking and snorkeling (Bay of Pigs) are scheduled as outdoors activities.
This 4 day tour will give you greater insight and different perspectives of Cuba beyond the exciting capital city or the beautiful blue of the many beach resorts.
Staying with a Cuban family in Casas Particulares (homestays in the Bay of Pigs, as well as in Trinidad) increases the socio-cultural level.
The city of Santa Clara - scheduled on the last day of the program - makes for a particularly convenient transfer location. Choose from 3 destinations where you want to be dropped-off. This can be the celebrated beaches of Varadero or Cayo Santa Maria or another spin around Havana.
Check out the day-to-day program below:
Availability and Prices
- Departure/Starting Time
- Private Tour: 09:00 - Weekly on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday
- Departure location
- Private Excursion
- English, French, Italian, Portugese, Russian, Spanish
There are two different car categories/versions:
- STANDARD: The BAIC BJ40 (4x4 Jeep - 2-Door) accommodates the driver/guide + three participants and their luggage (2 bags [75cmH]). Recommended for up to three adults of average size as well as for a family with (one) child.
- PREMIUM: You´ll travel in a Hyundai Tucson (SUV - 4-Door), seating (apart from the driver/guide) four participants and storing their luggage (2 large [75cmH]) + 1 small bag); ideal for a family with (two) children or four participants of average size.
Included in price:
- Transportation per air-conditioned jeep/SUV.
- Professional, multilingual driver/guide.
- Program (and entrance fees) according to description.
- 3 Nights in a single or double room in a homestay with private bathroom.
- Described meals.
Not included in price:
- Other consumptions.
- Other transfers and additional stays before and after the tour.
- Optional activities not included in the program (such as a visit to the dolphinarium).
- Expenses of personal nature.
- Cancellations made more than 10 days prior to the departure date of the program, will be charged with 25% of the paid sum.
- Cancellations made within 10 days to 24 hours before departure will be charged with a cancellation fee of 50% of the paid sum.
- For cancellations made within 24 hours before departure or in case of No Show (no presentation at pick up) there will be no refund (100% cancellation fee).
*Remark: booking fees and credit card surcharges cannot be refunded in case of cancellation.
Pick-up schedule and Itinerary
Day 1: Havana – Bay of Pigs
Take your breakfast at ease, the guide will pick you up at 09.00am, before taking Cuba´s ‘Autopista’. It´s a broad motorway with relatively little traffic and runs nearly diagonally from Havana to the Bay of Pigs (the distance between the capital and the Bay is approximately 200km).
Most people know the ‘Bay of Pigs’ (Bahia de Cochinos) from the US-backed covert operation that took place here on April 17, 1961. Visit the Museo de Playa Girón for a complete (and interesting) overview of the historic event that heated up the Cold War to dangerous levels.
Halfway between Playa Girón and Playa Larga is Cueva de los Peces. Teeming with an impressive variety of tropical fish, this is a cenote – a geological formation created when the roof of an underground river collapses, leaving a pool connected to the sea by a system of immersed tunnels.
Time to snorkel in Punta Perdiz; with easy access to the sea through a small beach and a pier. A simple lunch will be served here in the local restaurant on the beach.
Playa Larga is the headquarters of the Ciénaga de Zapata National Park (a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts [birdwatchers come from near and far to explore the excellent trails here]).
In Playa Larga you will stay in a Cuban family home. This type of private accommodation is called Casa Particular, and gives definitely a new dimension to travel through Cuba. This way you don´t only learn more about the country, but also about its people. Dinner will be served at your Casa, evening at leisure.
Meals: lunch, dinner are included
Destination(s): Bay of Pigs
Day 2: Cienfuegos
Breakfast. On the road, eastwards to Cienfuegos first. Cienfuegos is an elegant, pleasant, and spacious city. It was founded in 1819 by French immigrants from Bordeaux and Louisiana, about three centuries later than the most Cuban colonial cities and with a neoclassical architecture with French accents. This explains the difference in architecture and appearance between, for example, Cienfuegos and Trinidad. Cienfuegos was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
After a compact city tour through Cienfuegos, you'll travel towards Trinidad. There is the possibility of visiting the Cienfuegos’ dolphinarium. Let your guide know the night before if you do want a visit, in order to plan the schedule for that day. (For opening hours and entrance fees, see below under Remarks).
The distance between Cienfuegos and Trinidad is only 86 km (53 miles), along a lovely (partial coastal) road. Trinidad is like a bowl, comfortably clamped for many centuries between the Caribbean Sea and the mountain range Sierra del Escambray. It is a cliche, but it really seems as if time has stood still here centuries ago. Winding streets let you climb and descend towards the Plaza Mayor, the City Museum, to the bar La Canchánchara, where a typical cocktail is served, afterwards lunch will be served in a popular private restaurant (Paladar La Esquerra), fabulously located on the corner of Plaza Mayor.
In Trinidad, you also stay with a Cuban family in a Casa Particular. The evening is at leisure, dinner has not been included in favor of your privacy. Enjoy Trinidad by night with your partner, family or friends. Look for suggestions below under ¨What to do at Trinidad at night¨.
Meals: breakfast, lunch are included
Destination(s): Trinidad, Cienfuegos City
Day 3: Trinidad - Sierra del Escambray - Trinidad
After breakfast, outdoors in the nature park Guanayara, situated at approximately 15 kilometers from Topes de Collantes and featuring various hiking trails. The trail, ‘Centinelas the Río Melodioso’, is approximately 5000 meters long and takes about 3:30 hours. The River Melodios has a special shape with impressive cascades and ponds, and the area is home to a rich endemic flora and fauna. More adventurous and experienced hikers can cross the river to Poza del Venado, to swim in the natural pool.
After alternating climbing, but mostly descending, and after having bridged rivers and defying waterfalls, you walk straight to the backyard of La Casa de la Gallega, a former farm, now a country restaurant, surrounded by a beautiful garden. Long tables are set, on which homemade chicken will be served.
The hike is of average difficulty and is generally accessible by all ages, including children (no toddlers) and the elderly, provided that you have an average physical condition. Participants who are unable to hike (e.g. due to medical problems), can settle with a book in the garden of the restaurant until the hikers return for lunch together.
In the afternoon onwards to the Valle de los Ingenios (Sugar Mill Valley), which was together with Trinidad declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO (1988). Visit the Manaca Iznaga tower, built in 1750 to control the slaves working on the sugar cane fields in those days, but today it is a most friendly setting. Return to Trinidad, choose again where you would like to dine. A second overnight at the Casa Particular.
Meals: breakfast, lunch are included
Destination(s): Topes de Collantes
Day 4: Trinidad - Santa Clara with drop-off options: Varadero, Cayo Santa María or Havana
Breakfast, and heading northwards to Santa Clara. The distance between Trinidad and Santa Clara is approximately 121km (75M), mainly over rural roads through the countryside.
Santa Clara (founded in 1685) is inextricably linked to Ernesto Che Guevara; a prominent and charismatic personality of the world history. Visit the Ernesto Che Guevara Square, home of the museum and memorial dedicated to ´El Che´. A visit to the Tren Blindado (armored train) provides more insight into the revolutionary victories and how Santa Clara played an important role. Lunch will be served in Santa Clara.
Rest is sweet after the travel work has been done. Return to the lively capital city of Havana, or opt for a laid back stay in one of Cuba´s paradisaical beach resorts. Besides Havana, you can be dropped off at Varadero or Cayo Santa Maria.
(Hotel accommodation during the extension of Cuba Private and transfer to the airport of your departure are not included, neither reserved, but we are happy to assist).
Meals: breakfast, lunch are included
Destination(s): Santa Clara
- A professional driver, and your guide at the same time, will drive the jeep/SUV, all vehicles are insured.
- It goes without saying that additional accommodation (before and after Cuba Private), as well as the return transfer to the airport of your departure, are not included, neither reserved, but we are happy to assist you if you want.
- Don’t forget to bring swimwear (and towel) for the hike on day 3. Sturdy footwear with grip (such as sneakers) is recommended, especially when one has to move over slippery river stones (pack a pair of dry shoes or flip-flops).
- Children are welcome on this tour, only child discount is not applicable, for which they have to be booked as adults. Children do count as an additional person sharing the jeep, resulting in a similar discount. Infants (0-2 years) travel free, but be aware that car seats or cots often are not available.
- Optional you can visit the Cienfuegos dolphinarium (entrance fee approx CUC 15,00 pp, closed on Wednesdays, the rest of the week they are open from 09:30am till 04:00pm [shows are at 10:00am and 02:00 pm]). Please tell your guide if you want to pay a visit.
- Triple rooms are not bookable on this tour. In the case of an uneven number of participants, twin and single rooms should be booked.
- Some dinners are not included, neither are they charged. This way you’ll have more flexibility to choose where to dine. Regarding the nutrition of the guide, no worries, this is taken care of.
- Che Guevara´s memorial and museum in Santa Clara are closed on Mondays. Therefore, Cuba Private has no departure scheduled on Fridays, so that this closure will not affect one of the highlights of this program.
- The programme can be subject to changes due to local conditions, including closure for repairs, weather, etc.
- Valid and original (no copy) ID (passport).
- Printed voucher, sent by Cuba Travel Network after having completed booking and payment procedure.
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