A lo cubano

    • Havana
    • Viñales
    • Soroa
    • Bay of Pigs
    • Trinidad
    • Topes de Collantes
    • Santa Clara
    • Varadero
    • Art & Rhythm
    • Culture, Nature, History
    • Outdoors
    • Storytelling

‘A lo cubano’ (the Cuban way) is a phrase widely used on the island. It means, among other things, the way to find an ingenious solution to daily problems. Although the solutions may differ, the expression and mimicry always come with the unmatched Cuban sense of humor.

Stroll through Old Havana’s alleys, watching the daily life of the Habaneros passing by on their way to school, work or elsewhere. Admire the beautiful classic cars and the remarkable personal effort it takes to keep them running. Many technical solutions are also 'a lo cubano'.

The heartwarming socio-cultural community project of the artist Mario Pelegrín awaits you in the Pinar del Rio province. Support the bird preservation initiative on the patio of Bernabé or simply enjoy the untouched nature.
Get to know historic sites like the Bay of Pigs and charming cities such as Trinidad and Cienfuegos.   

What else is special about this private guided tour with daily departure?

  • Eat in private restaurants (paladares). Stay overnight in Casas Particulares, private (family) homestays, cozy and small-scale, friendly, and welcoming as the Cubans themselves.
  • With your visit you support several local projects, as well private enterprises such as casas particulares, paladares etc. 
  • Experience Cuban’s talent and spirit.
  • You can't hardly get any closer to Cuban art and rhythm in Havana. 
  • Green is the valley of Viñales.
  • Hike in the mountains of the Escambray, where time seems to pass slowly.
  • Snorkel in the Bay of Pigs. 
  • Wander through the small streets of Trinidad, along the avenues of Cienfuegos and over Santa Clara’s Museum square. 
At the end of the tour, you will better understand the magic of a lo cubano.

 
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Departure time
Flexible
Start/finish
Starts in Havana, ends in Havana.
Character
Private (possible as group tour or self-drive)
Languages
English, German, Spanish

Day 1: Arrival in Havana

Welcome at Havana airport. Transfer to your accommodation. 

Accommodation: Casa particular, Havana (e.g. San Lázaro 115)

    • Havana
    • No meals included today

Due to poor public transport, commuting in Havana creates a daily challenge for its residents. It's a real headache, to put it a-lo-cubano.
Today you will explore Havana by means of various vehicles on wheels. Like the bici-taxi. This tricycle is used by many to run errands and move around the neighborhoods.

In Old Havana, discover the city's colonial past on a guided walking tour to its four main squares. Avoid the midday heat when lunch and a refreshing Mojito will be served at a private restaurant.
A horse-drawn carriage takes you along the bay to the beating heart of the capital's historic center: Central Park.

Havana's architectural splendor is undoubtedly one of the finest in Latin America, if not the most beautiful. Famous buildings such as the Capitol, the Gran Teatro Alicia Alonso and Hotel Inglaterra give Havana its allure.

Numerous classic cars are inextricably linked to the street scene, fitting perfectly into today’s cinematic setting. Affectionately known by the population as 'almendrones', this car legacy from mainly the ‘50s is good for a huge dose of 'a lo cubano'. Get comfortably in the backseat for a panoramic tour of the entire city.
Visit the Revolution Square, the Metropolitan Park, the Miramar district with its 5th Avenue and the Malecón.

You will be dropped off at your host family.

Accommodation: Casa particular, Havana (e.g., San Lázaro 115)

    • Havana
    • Meals included: breakfast and lunch

The people you are going to meet today share a passion for arts.
After breakfast at your homestay, the Romerillo Museum welcomes you. It is a community initiative by Kcho (Alexis Leyva Machado), definitely one of Cuba's best contemporary fine artists. Kcho introduces the public to the finest art works by exhibiting incredibly precious pieces in rather ordinary settings, like grocery stores and public parks. 

Founded on April 2nd, 2012, the dance company Havana Queens has a comprehensive repertoire and its own style, characterized by the strength of women on stage.  
Visit a rehearsal of the company Havana Queens, a project of the Cuban choreographer Rosario Blanco together with the Swiss producer Patrick Hofer. Learn about the various Cuban rhythms and meet and greet the dancers.

San Isidro is a neighborhood in Old Havana, home to famous dissident artists. Graffiti painters have given new life to crumbling buildings with their murals. A thriving movement of young artists and entrepreneurs fuels the community dynamism with art galleries and local businesses. San José Warehouse is the largest craft market in Cuba. Nice to visit, convenient if you want to buy handicrafts.

You can spend the rest of the afternoon as you wish.

Dinner in the evening at restaurant Casa Miglis will be graced by an entertainment show by Havana Queens. Earlier you have met the dancers, now you see them in action. 

Accommodation: Casa particular, Havana (e.g., San Lázaro 115)

    • Havana
    • Meals included: breakfast and dinner

Havana's hectic charm blends into the laid-back tranquility of the countryside. 

After your last breakfast with your host family, set course for the province of Pinar del Río. The first stop is in Soroa, also known as the rainbow of Cuba. The beautiful orchid garden has a collection of more than 350 species. 

Just before the town of Pinar del Rio, lays the green Patio de Pelegrín, a community project by the artist Mario Pelegrín. His initiative channels the energy of youth into art and introduces them to a variety of art expressions. Together with Pelegrín, and his team you will prepare a traditional dessert.

A beautiful, winding road takes you to the lovely town of Viñales. The soil is red, nature is lush and green. From the Los Jazmines lookout point, you can overlook the breathtaking valley dotted with its iconic Mogotes.

In the house of a veguero (tobacco planter), you will be briefed about the world of tobacco.

Check-in at a Cuban family home in the town of Viñales.

Accommodation: Casa particular, Viñales (e.g. Los Tres Caballeros)

    • Soroa
    • Pinar del Río Province
    • Viñales
    • Meals included: breakfast and lunch

The roosters in Viñales crow at all hours of the day. You automatically wake up for a fresh breakfast. 

Nature continues to amaze. The Zapata marshes are the largest wetlands in the Caribbean. 
After lunch en route, parking will take place in front of Zunzún's House with the private patio of Mr. Bernabé. It was in 2006, when a Zunzún (hummingbird) first visited Bernabé. He fed the small bird, healed him and since then his terrace has been the favorite refuge for many hummingbirds and other species, using the area as a migratory route.

The Cueva de los Peces is nearby. The cave is known as the deepest and most beautiful cenote in Cuba. A lagoon connects to an extensive system of underwater caves, covering more than 30 kilometers from Playa Larga to El Toro Cove.

You might want to spend the rest of your day chilling on the beach near your homestay. 
In the evening, enjoy a home-cooked dinner in your casa particular. 

Accommodation: Casa particular, Playa Larga (e.g. Casa Costa Azul)

    • Bay of Pigs
    • Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner

An early start will take you to the road adjacent to the Bay of Pigs in the direction of Playa Girón.

The Cold War was chillingly cold, and the Bay of Pigs (Bahia de Cochinos), this innocent landscape, has been thrilling the world. It was the fuse in the powder keg of the explosive situation between America and Russia at the time. Fortunately for the world, the dreaded third world war was averted. The museum in Playa Girón gives you interesting insight into this heart-pounding event.

Cienfuegos is a city with distinctive wide avenues and neoclassical architecture, founded and designed to the smallest detail by French settlers. Visit the Tomás Terry Theater, built in 1890, the Martí, Park and the boulevard.

After lunch at a paladar (private restaurant), continue along the south coast to Trinidad - as well as Cienfuegos an UNESCO World Heritage Site - for its well-preserved colonial architecture dating back to the golden years of the sugar industry in the 19th century.

More than 500 years old, Trinidad is considered by many to be the most beautiful and certainly one of the most authentic colonial towns on earth. The cliché has it that time has stood still, but that only applies to the decor, not to the liveliness in the streets and the beautiful center.

Accommodation: Casa particular, Trinidad (e.g. Casa Zenia Wanda)

    • Cienfuegos City
    • Trinidad
    • Meals included: breakfast and lunch

Cuba has many natural parks. One of them is the protected natural landscape of Topes de Collantes. This beautiful place is home to almost half of the endemic plant species in Cuba, and of the best Arabic coffee bean in the country. 

To visit it, depart from Trinidad in the morning. A winding road leads to the sundial, located exactly in the highest part of the park. Then, board a robust vehicle before starting your hike in Guanayara Park. You will see coffee plantations, trek through dense vegetation, descend to the beautiful waterfall El Rocío and swim in the Poza del Venado.

A traditional lunch is served in the gardens of the Casa de la Gallega, formerly a farm before being transformed into a restaurant in the wake of ecotourism.
In the afternoon you will return to Trinidad.

Accommodation: Casa particular, Trinidad (e.g. Casa Zenia Wanda) 

    • Trinidad
    • Topes de Collantes
    • Meals included: breakfast and lunch

When Trinidad gets smaller in the rear-view mirror, you're already reached the Valle de los Ingenios (Sugar Mills Valley). Here, sugar cane grew on vast fields, a product of fertile soil and slave labour. The former slave tower Manaca Iznaga recalls both prosperous times and its dark side.

Continue to Santa Clara, the city that witnessed the most significant victory of the iconic guerrilla fighter Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, one that effectively defined the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. Visit his memorial, the final resting place of El Che.

Stop at Café Revolución to enjoy a refreshing drink and appreciate an interesting collection of objects and photos from those early years of the revolution.

Hereafter, we will head to Havana. Unless you have opted for an extension at the stunning beaches of Varadero. In that case, we say goodbye in this seaside resort.

    • Santa Clara
    • Varadero
    • Havana
    • Meals included: breakfast


  • Arrival transfer from Havana airport to Havana accommodation (on first day of the tour).
  • Local guide service all 8 days of the tour (transfers from airport might be attended by a representative).
  • Private tour with daily departure in air-conditioned vehicle with professional chauffeur. Type vehicle:
    - Passenger’s car/taxi: with 2 participants (1 piece of luggage maximum per person)
    - Minivan/microbus (6-10 seats): with 3 to 7 participants (1 piece of luggage maximum per person).
    Quality of vehicles based on the country’s standards.
  • Excursions, visits, and entrance fees as per program.
  • 7 Nights in privately-owned guesthouses (double room).
  • 7 Breakfasts, 5 lunches, 2 dinners.
Services not included in the price of the tour 
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the program.
  • Any extension after the tour.
  • Departure transfer to airport.
  • Personal expenses and tips.

 

  • It is also possible to make this trip in a group. Weekly departures (fortnightly in the summer months).
  • Would you like to drive yourself? The same program can be booked in combination with one of our rental cars. In that case, guide or driver are not included, nor are entrance fees, lunches, or dinners.
More remarks
  • The published price concerns a private trip, is per person, based on room occupancy with 2 people, and does not include international flights and any extension. The minimum number of people is 2.
  • Not all Casas Particulares have a triple room. In that case, a double and single room will be reserved. 
  • Bring a pair of sturdy or sports shoes with grip. Think of any swimsuit (and towel).
  • Che Guevara's Mausoleum and Museum in Santa Clara is closed on Mondays.