Following the footsteps of Cristopher Columbus - private tour with guide / driver

    • Holguín City
    • Las Tunas Province
    • Las Tunas City
    • Bayamo
    • Santiago de Cuba City
    • Cayo Saetía
    • Holguín Province
    • Adventure
    • Beach
    • Camper
    • Culture

Columbus saw at a glance how dazzlingly beautiful the island was and described it in superlatives in his logbook.

In this tour you see the bays where he anchored, the beaches where he possibly disembarked but you will discover more. The impressive mountains of the Sierra Maestra, the unspoiled nature of the interior, the rivers meandering to the sea. You will discover beautiful cities, respectable in age but vital and lively due to the people who live there, a country even more beautiful than Columbus could have imagined in his days.

Columbus saw at a glance how dazzlingly beautiful the island was and described it in superlatives in his logbook.

In this tour you see the bays where he anchored, the beaches where he possibly disembarked but you will discover more. The impressive mountains of the Sierra Maestra, the unspoiled nature of the interior, the rivers meandering to the sea. You will discover beautiful cities, respectable in age but vital and lively due to the people who live there, a country even more beautiful than Columbus could have imagined in his days.

We do not know much more than the brief notes in the logbook of the Santa María, the ship on which he sailed. The journal describes a flattened mountain, a river and land, too good to be true. The journal describes friendly Aboriginals (Taíno Indians), who welcomed the Conquistadores as if they were sea gods.

At least 4 coastal towns claim that it must have been their bay and that it can only be their mountain or river that was described in the logbook.

Even among historians there is no agreement as to where the landing took place, which is favorable for this trip. Apart from Gibara, you will visit them all; Puerto Padre, Baracoa and Bariay, coastal towns situated in the lyrical landscape of Eastern Cuba. The oldest towns of the country are on your track, Baracoa (1511), Bayamo (1513) and Santiago de Cuba (1514), a path that winds through an overwhelming nature. A large part of El Oriente is protected nature or biosphere reserve.

Your driver knows the region and navigates you over the spectacular mountain and coastal roads. He is also your guide, your interpreter and your consultant, an initiate who knows the legends of Columbus. He tells stories from the past. He takes you to all the corners of the East.

As an exclusivity for you, almost everything has been included.

Day 1. Holguín - Las Tunas

• Arrival at Frank País International Airport Holguín.

• Greeting by your guide. VIP service included.

• Transfer (approx. 1.5 hours) to Hotel Villa Brisas Covarrubias.

• Check-in all-inclusive hotel.

• Dinner.

You have just landed and a few hours later you are already lying on an ivory white beach, having a cocktail in your hand. Looking over the navy-blue sea with coral and exciting caves. Enjoying the buffet restaurant, Hotel Brisas Villa Covarrubias offers an all-inclusive formula. Just like your travel menu. Welcome to Cuba!

  • «Accommodation: Hotel Villa Brisas Covarrubias
  • «Meals: Dinner (& drinks) are included in your all-inclusive hotel

Day 2. Punta Covarrubias - Province of Las Tunas

After breakfast you and your guide set off for Puerto Padre. Some historians claim that it must have been Puerto Padre where Columbus landed on October 28, 1492, but competition is fierce. Gibara is also in battle. Bariay and Baracoa are the other candidates, you will see them on your journey.

Perhaps the discussion could be better about what Columbus’ discovery has brought Cuba. Beautiful cities, monumental buildings, but also 400 years of colonial occupation.

You will visit the tobacco factory Fabrica de Tabaco Las Tunas, then the fortification Fuerte de la Loma with an exceptional view over the largest salt mine in Cuba.

Lunch is served in a local restaurant, La Bodeguita.

For centuries, until the end of the last era, along with coffee, tobacco, cigars and rum, sugar was the most important export product of the island.

You learn more about it during a visit to the sugar mill Antonio Guitieras.

Back to your comfortable hotel. The time is up to you. Eat, drink, swim, dance.

  • «Accommodation: Hotel Villa Brisas Covarrubias
  • «Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included

Day 3. Punta Covarrubias - Bayamo - Santiago de Cuba

Everything is ready for you, your breakfast, your car and your driver. Straight through the interior and mountains heading to Bayamo, the beauty of the East. It is, after Baracoa, the second settlement that the Spaniards founded in Cuba (November 5th, 1513). The historic center is a national monument. Bayamo is seen as the birthplace of Cuban identity, a proud resistance to former oppression. The Cuban national anthem was performed here for the first time.
Today, it is a lovely and pure town. Princely seated, you will see Bayamo from a carriage pulled by horses. A collective of local craftsmen honors the horse-drawn carriage and the craftsmanship of the coachmaker.

Before lunch at the elegant Hotel Royalton, you visit the City Museum and the Céspedes park.

There is music in this journey. You should not miss the Casa de la Trova. Sensitive songs, boleros, ballads from Bayamo.

On the road again. To Santiago de Cuba. Where soul and spirit of the Caribbean feeling of life exuberantly lives. Santiago was once an important port for the slave trade, as well as for the export of colonial plunder and for sugar, coffee and tobacco. Santiago is the second city of Cuba but is the capital of El Oriente.

With a rich history and packed with landmarks, this ‘historic’ city is inspiring and surprising. The greatest miracle can be found in the atmosphere, in the people; an exotic mishmash of multi-ethnic groups, a cross-over of the cultures they cherish. Santiago is a carnival. Santiago is music. Santiago is a festival. Santiago is unique.

You dine and sleep in Hotel Rex. The evening is an invitation for a wander through the streets, a beer on the square, or a dance in one of the many venues.

  • «Accommodation: Hotel Rex - Santiago de Cuba
  • «Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included

Day 4. Santiago de Cuba - Guantánamo - Baracoa

Santiago in morning light. You can see Santiago’s splendor during a nice city walk. The Céspedes square, the Historical Museum. Stroll through Calle Heredia, a picturesque and sizzling street. Historically, the fort El Morro, perched on a cliff, has a magnificent view of pirates. A legendary place for your lunch.

On the way to Baracoa you make a stopover in Guantánamo. Guantánamo is surrounded by mountains and the road to it is a jubilant song of nature. The Aboriginal name for Guantánamo means ‘land between rivers’.

More music on the menu. You hear the traditional Changüi music, the expression of the Guantánameros, rhythmic songs of life, exposing the soul of the musicians in a heartbreaking way. Accompanied by instruments as the Cuban tres, xylophone and guayo, they express the joy and sorrow of Guantánamo.

The road to Baracoa is pure pleasure. Maybe not for the driver. You just have to pay attention to the view.

In Baracoa there has been booked a dinner, a room and an overnight stay for you at Hotel Porto Santo or Hotel El Castellito.

You are in the Far East of Cuba, in the oldest city, smelling the sea. No reason to stay in your hotel in the evening.

  • «Overnight at Hotel Porto Santo or Hotel El Castellito in Baracoa
  • «Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner are included

Day 5. Baracoa - Cayo Saetía - Pinares de Mayarí

Baracoa was founded in 1511 by Spanish conquistadors, as the first colonial settlement in Cuba. Until the 60s of the last century, it was only accessible by sea. The oldest city in Cuba was an island in an island and it still carries that atmosphere. You can taste it in the local kitchen, spiced with Spanish, African and Haitian ingredients.

Low wooden houses with weathered palm roofs flank the cobblestone streets.

And ... Columbus was here. In Baracoa, they say that Columbus himself has set foot here, where elsewhere he only sent scouts to search for gold and the Chinese emperor. Here in Baracoa, he paddled to the coast to plant a cross. You will see the cross from 1492 tomorrow.
The area is dominated by El Yunque, a table mountain. Columbus described a flattened mountain and a river in his logbook. That could only have been in Baracoa, they say in Baracoa.

In the morning, the guide takes you on a tour through this colonial coastal town. You see the Fort Matachín and in the parish church you will see La Cruz de la Parra, the cross that Columbus erected there. He has planted 29. This is the only one left.

Before lunch you will hike the Chocolate Trail and visit the Finca Duaba farm. Cocoa is the most important product in the region. See how it works? Want to taste it? Here you learn more. Sail a little over the Tao River to El Rancho.

Lunch will be welcome.

The most curious residents of Cuba live at the entrance to the Bay of Nipe, on an island. The island is called Cayo Saetía and is connected to the mainland by a bridge. That bridge stops access for the residents, but you can continue with your car and your guide. Giraffes, zebras, antelopes, water buffalos, etc. roam free. You witness a safari park on a forested island in the sea.

You will dine and spend the night in one of the rustic bungalows of Hotel Pinares de Mayarí. The hotel is located 2300 foot above sea level in La Mensura Natural Park, an eco-tourism project of the first hour. Cuban style.

  • «Overnight at Hotel Villa Pinares de Mayarí in Mayarí
  • «Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included

 

Day 6. Pinares de Mayarí - Bay of Bariay - Holguín

It is beautiful around Mayarí, bio-diverse as life itself, with more than 445 plant species and 90 species of birds. Mountains, forests, pine forests, creeks, freshwater lakes and waterfalls. Nearby is the El Capiro waterfall. Too good to pass by.

And just when you don't think about him for a moment, he pops up again, Columbus.

In Bariay, such a beautiful bay on the north side. Of all the historians, who aren’t sure, Bariay has the most supporters. You can't get anywhere closer to the footsteps of Columbus.

You make a tour through the Parque Nacional Bariay with a visit to Fortín Español, Casa del Guardabosque (house of the forester), a monument dedicated to both indigenous and Spanish culture, an archaeological site and a recreated Taíno village. You see a performance that represents the life of the Taíno, the original inhabitants, who greeted Columbus like a sea god.

You have lunch in a local restaurant.

Table and bed are set at Hotel El Bosque in a quiet suburb of Holguín.

  • «Overnight at Hotel El Bosque in Holguin city
  • «Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner are included

Day 7. Holguín – homewards or a beach stay?

The last day of this trip. Do you want to extend your stay? For example, at the beach? Guardalavaca is nearby. Please contact us. The driver can drop you off there, or at the airport of Holguín in case you will fly from there.

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Why book with us
  • Your trip, your way
  • Booked and organised in Cuba
  • Our local roots, we live in Cuba
  • 24/7 support by our local hosts

Price per room from

Opening hours

Opening hours
Phone number

Recommended for
Adventure, Children/family activities, Coffee and cocoa, Culture, History, Nature
Departure time
Flexible
Start/finish
Begins (and ends) in Holguín.
Character
Private Excursion
Languages
Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Nederlands, Spanish
Activity level
Easy (light walking)
Insider's tip
• Local circumstances can cause a change of accommodation. Think about overbooking or temporary closure. In that case accommodation of the same standard will be booked. • The program may also be subject to changes due to local conditions such as closures due to repair work, weather and road conditions, etc.

Day 1: Day 1. Holguín - Las Tunas

You have just landed and a few hours later you are already lying on an ivory white beach, having a cocktail in your hand. Looking over the navy-blue sea with coral and exciting caves. Enjoying the buffet restaurant, Hotel Brisas Villa Covarrubias offers an all-inclusive formula. Just like your travel menu. Welcome to Cuba!

• Arrival at Frank País International Airport Holguín.
• Greeting by your guide. VIP service included.
• Transfer (approx. 1.5 hours) to Hotel Villa Brisas Covarrubias.
• Check-in all-inclusive hotel.
• Dinner.

    • Holguín City
    • Las Tunas City
    • All Inclusive

After breakfast you and your guide set off for Puerto Padre. Some historians claim that it must have been Puerto Padre where Columbus landed on October 28, 1492, but competition is fierce. Gibara is also in battle. Bariay and Baracoa are the other candidates, you will see them on your journey.

Perhaps the discussion could be better about what Columbus’ discovery has brought Cuba. Beautiful cities, monumental buildings, but also 400 years of colonial occupation.

You will visit the tobacco factory Fabrica de Tabaco Las Tunas, then the fortification Fuerte de la Loma with an exceptional view over the largest salt mine in Cuba.

Lunch is served in a local restaurant, La Bodeguita.

For centuries, until the end of the last era, along with coffee, tobacco, cigars and rum, sugar was the most important export product of the island.

You learn more about it during a visit to the sugar mill Antonio Guitieras.

Back to your comfortable hotel. The time is up to you. Eat, drink, swim, dance.

  • «Accommodation: Hotel Villa Brisas Covarrubias
  • «Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included

    • Las Tunas Province
    • all meals

Everything is ready for you, your breakfast, your car and your driver. Straight through the interior and mountains heading to Bayamo, the beauty of the East. It is, after Baracoa, the second settlement that the Spaniards founded in Cuba (November 5th, 1513). The historic center is a national monument. Bayamo is seen as the birthplace of Cuban identity, a proud resistance to former oppression. The Cuban national anthem was performed here for the first time.

Today, it is a lovely and pure town. Princely seated, you will see Bayamo from a carriage pulled by horses. A collective of local craftsmen honors the horse-drawn carriage and the craftsmanship of the coachmaker.

Before lunch at the elegant Hotel Royalton, you visit the City Museum and the Céspedes park.

There is music in this journey. You should not miss the Casa de la Trova. Sensitive songs, boleros, ballads from Bayamo.

On the road again. To Santiago de Cuba. Where soul and spirit of the Caribbean feeling of life exuberantly lives. Santiago was once an important port for the slave trade, as well as for the export of colonial plunder and for sugar, coffee and tobacco. Santiago is the second city of Cuba but is the capital of El Oriente.

With a rich history and packed with landmarks, this ‘historic’ city is inspiring and surprising. The greatest miracle can be found in the atmosphere, in the people; an exotic mishmash of multi-ethnic groups, a cross-over of the cultures they cherish. Santiago is a carnival. Santiago is music. Santiago is a festival. Santiago is unique.

You dine and sleep in Hotel Rex. The evening is an invitation for a wander through the streets, a beer on the square, or a dance in one of the many venues.

  • «Accommodation: Hotel Rex - Santiago de Cuba
  • «Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included

    • Las Tunas Province
    • Bayamo
    • Santiago de Cuba Province
    • Meals are all included

Santiago in morning light. You can see Santiago’s splendor during a nice city walk. The Céspedes square, the Historical Museum. Stroll through Calle Heredia, a picturesque and sizzling street. Historically, the fort El Morro, perched on a cliff, has a magnificent view of pirates. A legendary place for your lunch.

On the way to Baracoa you make a stopover in Guantánamo. Guantánamo is surrounded by mountains and the road to it is a jubilant song of nature. The Aboriginal name for Guantánamo means ‘land between rivers’.

More music on the menu. You hear the traditional Changüi music, the expression of the Guantánameros, rhythmic songs of life, exposing the soul of the musicians in a heartbreaking way. Accompanied by instruments as the Cuban tres, xylophone and guayo, they express the joy and sorrow of Guantánamo.

The road to Baracoa is pure pleasure. Maybe not for the driver. You just have to pay attention to the view.

In Baracoa there has been booked a dinner, a room and an overnight stay for you at Hotel Porto Santo or Hotel El Castellito.

You are in the Far East of Cuba, in the oldest city, smelling the sea. No reason to stay in your hotel in the evening.

  • «Overnight at Hotel Porto Santo or Hotel El Castellito in Baracoa
  • «Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner are included

    • Santiago de Cuba Province
    • Baracoa
    • all meals
    • Hotel Porto Santo, Baracoa

Baracoa was founded in 1511 by Spanish conquistadors, as the first colonial settlement in Cuba. Until the 60s of the last century, it was only accessible by sea. The oldest city in Cuba was an island in an island and it still carries that atmosphere. You can taste it in the local kitchen, spiced with Spanish, African and Haitian ingredients.

Low wooden houses with weathered palm roofs flank the cobblestone streets.

And ... Columbus was here. In Baracoa, they say that Columbus himself has set foot here, where elsewhere he only sent scouts to search for gold and the Chinese emperor. Here in Baracoa, he paddled to the coast to plant a cross. You will see the cross from 1492 tomorrow.

The area is dominated by El Yunque, a table mountain. Columbus described a flattened mountain and a river in his logbook. That could only have been in Baracoa, they say in Baracoa.

In the morning, the guide takes you on a tour through this colonial coastal town. You see the Fort Matachín and in the parish church you will see La Cruz de la Parra, the cross that Columbus erected there. He has planted 29. This is the only one left.

Before lunch you will hike the Chocolate Trail and visit the Finca Duaba farm. Cocoa is the most important product in the region. See how it works? Want to taste it? Here you learn more. Sail a little over the Tao River to El Rancho.

Lunch will be welcome.

The most curious residents of Cuba live at the entrance to the Bay of Nipe, on an island. The island is called Cayo Saetía and is connected to the mainland by a bridge. That bridge stops access for the residents, but you can continue with your car and your guide. Giraffes, zebras, antelopes, water buffalos, etc. roam free. You witness a safari park on a forested island in the sea.

You will dine and spend the night in one of the rustic bungalows of Hotel Pinares de Mayarí. The hotel is located 2300 foot above sea level in La Mensura Natural Park, an eco-tourism project of the first hour. Cuban style.

  • «Overnight at Hotel Villa Pinares de Mayarí in Mayarí
  • «Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included

 

    • Baracoa
    • Cayo Saetía
    • Pinares de Mayarí
    • all meals
    • Hotel Villa Pinares de Mayarí, Pinares de Mayarí

It is beautiful around Mayarí, bio-diverse as life itself, with more than 445 plant species and 90 species of birds. Mountains, forests, pine forests, creeks, freshwater lakes and waterfalls. Nearby is the El Capiro waterfall. Too good to pass by.

And just when you don't think about him for a moment, he pops up again, Columbus.

In Bariay, such a beautiful bay on the north side. Of all the historians, who aren’t sure, Bariay has the most supporters. You can't get anywhere closer to the footsteps of Columbus.

You make a tour through the Parque Nacional Bariay with a visit to Fortín Español, Casa del Guardabosque (house of the forester), a monument dedicated to both indigenous and Spanish culture, an archaeological site and a recreated Taíno village. You see a performance that represents the life of the Taíno, the original inhabitants, who greeted Columbus like a sea god.

You have lunch in a local restaurant.

Table and bed are set at Hotel El Bosque in a quiet suburb of Holguín.

  • «Overnight at Hotel El Bosque in Holguin city
  • «Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner are included

    • Pinares de Mayarí
    • Holguín Province
    • all meals

The last day of this trip. Do you want to extend your stay? For example, at the beach? Guardalavaca is nearby. Please contact us. The driver can drop you off there, or at the airport of Holguín in case you will fly from there.

    • Holguín Province
    • all meals

• Transport by air-conditioned vehicle (car or minivan)

• Accommodation and hotel meals:

  1. Hotel Brisas Covarrubias - all-inclusive package x 2 nights
  2. Hotel Rex in Santiago de Cuba, including breakfast and dinner x 1 night
  3. Hotel Porto Santo or El Castillito in Baracoa, including breakfast and dinner x 1 night
  4. Hotel Pinares de Mayarí, including breakfast and dinner x 1 night
  5. Hotel El Bosque in Holguin, including breakfast and dinner x 1 night

• Lunches:

  1. Lunch in La Bodeguita - Puerto Padre (including 1 drink)
  2. Lunch at Hotel Royalton - Bayamo (including 1 drink)
  3. Lunch at El Morro - Santiago de Cuba (including 1 drink)
  4. Lunch at Rancho Toa - Baracoa (including 1 drink)
  5. Lunch in Parque Bariay - Bariay (including 1 drink)

• Activities according to the program:

  1. Fábrica de Tabaco Las Tunas
  2. Fort de La Loma
  3. City tour by horse-drawn carriage in Bayamo
  4. Casas de la Trova in Bayamo
  5. Museum Ambiente Histórico Cubano in Bayamo
  6. Fortress El Morro de Santiago de Cuba
  7. Fort Matachín
  8. Chocolate Trail in Finca Duaba
  9. Rancho Toa boat trip on the river
  10. Jeep Safari in Cayo Saetía
  11. By truck to El Capiro waterfall in Pinares de Mayarí
  12. Christopher Columbus Park in Bariay with Aldea Aborigen show

• Multilingual guide / driver services

Not included in the price

• Drinks during meals in the hotel restaurants

• Other optional excursions

• Tips

 

  • You can adapt this travel program to your personal wishes. You can add or remove destinations, you can extend or shorten the trip. Do you want alternative accommodation or upgrade the car category? Do you need any other travel services? We are happy to help you.

Contact us. With your specific wishes and our knowledge, together we create the perfect trip.