A different island

    • Havana
    • Cienfuegos City
    • Trinidad
    • Bay of Pigs
    • Santa Clara
    • Villa Clara Province
    • Matanzas Province
    • Culture
    • E-bike
    • History
    • Nature
There is a Cuba that has not yet been discovered. It lies in small towns, well off the trodden path, where people are exceptionally hospitable and pure. This tour is about finding that hidden gem. Engage with people through unique, exciting activities. Explore Sagua la Grande, a forgotten city that used to be one of the wealthiest in the 19th century. Visit the port town of Isabela de Sagua to savour seafood delicacies at a restaurant built on stilts over the water. Hike the spectacular-yet-unsung Jumaguá mogotes and appreciate the quirky flora species. Kayak across the waters of the beautiful Bay of Cienfuegos.
Relax on the white sand beach of Ancón after a tour through the colonial architecture of Trinidad. In Santa Clara, a city marked by “Che” Guevara’s deeds, learn about the history of the revolution. Jump into the deepest cenote in Cuba, situated in Playa Larga. Wrap up your adventure in Havana. Tour the city on an e-bike to admire its colourful, decaying buildings. Hop on a cocotaxi, then an American classic car, to take in iconic sites such as the Revolution Square and the Malecón. Your memories and pictures will be the envy of your friends.
Highlights:
- Fascinating route linking places untouched by tourists
- Environment-mindful activities, such as hiking the Jumaguá Mogotes and an e-bike tour of Havana
- Unique marine experiences, such as kayaking across the Bay of Cienfuegos and swimming with fish in Bay of Pigs
- Sun bathing at Playa Ancón
- Thoughtful combination of accommodations in small boutique hotels and casas particulares
- Group departures guaranteed between 2 pax minimum and 12 pax maximum (see dates below)
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Departure time
Flexible
Start/finish
Starts and ends in Varadero
Character
Private or group
Languages
English, German, Spanish

Day 1: Arrive at Varadero Airport -- Matanzas (50 km)

Welcome at the airport. Transfer to your hotel in Matanzas City. Dinner at own expense.
Accommodation with breakfast included: Louvre Hotel (3*)

Matanzas is dubbed the Athens of Cuba for its profusion in literature and arts. Due to the many water channels, it is also referred to as the city of bridges. In the morning, walk through the historical centre. Visit an old French drugstore dating back to the 19th century, now a pharmaceutical museum with an impressive collection of utensils and formulations. Before leaving the city, admire the spectacular view of the Yumurí Valley and the bay of Matanzas from La Ermita de Monserrate. Visit La Finca, a charming natural spot where arts, pottery and organic farming thrive. The owners will guide you through the estate, explaining the concept of the project, and will offer a delicious lunch prepared with produce from the farm. Continue to Sagua la Grande. En route, appreciate the rural life while cruising through farming towns that have not been touched by tourism. Tour the city in the evening. (B/L)
Accommodation with breakfast included: Sagua Hotel (3*)

Sagua la Grande in largely unknown when it comes to tourism, and very few know of its glorious past. Home to businessmen, artists and casinos, the city was one of the most prosperous in the 19th century. Nowadays, it is the archetype of a Cuban countryside town. In the morning, explore the natural park Mogotes de Jumaguá1 , an interesting formation highlighted by 8 mogotes, which play host to a significant number of endemic species, including the very rare Jumaguá palm tree. Visit a cave and climb to the top of one of the mogotes to admire the spectacular landscape dominated by the palm trees. Enjoy a natural fruit juice prepared by local farmers. Continue to Isabela de Sagua by a road that runs alongside the second oldest railroad in Cuba. This fishermen town is known for its seafood, and that you are welcome to enjoy for lunch (not included) at a picturesque restaurant built on stilts. Look forward to freshly caught oysters or crabs, depending on the season, while enjoying the unmistakable sea air. In the afternoon, leave for Santa Clara to visit Vidal Park, the social and cultural heart of the city. (B)
Recommendation: Check out with your guide the night program at El Mejunje, a cultural centre known for its ample selection of acts, which range from Cuban ballads, to rock to drag shows.
Accommodation with breakfast included: Hotel E Central (3*) or a casa particular

 Santa Clara exudes history. The last battle that effectively determined the triumph of the revolution was fought here on 1958 Christmas. Che, as was known the famous Argentinian guerrilla fighter Ernesto Guevara, was the mastermind of that victory. Visit the monument dedicated to the key action of that clash, the derailment of the armoured train, which feature the original wagons. Continue to the cigar factory to learn about the art of the hand rolling of the famous Cuban puros. En route to Cienfuegos, stop at the monument of Che Guevara. Arrive at the “pearl of the south”, a city founded by the French, with a marked classic style. Kayak across the large bay, once a hotbed of pirates, to enjoy a unique perspective of the city skyline. In the afternoon, visit the gorgeous Palacio de Valle, an eclectic, Moorish style palace. Built by Don Asisclo del Valle to live with his wife, you will enjoy here a delicious cocktail at sunset. Rest of the day at leisure. (B)
Accommodation with breakfast included: Casa particular Bella Época or similar

The image of Trinidad resembles an engraving dating to the 19th century. Frozen in time, the third villa founded by Spaniards in Cuba, is a must when visiting the island. Neglected for decades, the city has been restored and brought to life by a thriving tourism industry. Your trip there takes you along the south coast, circumventing the Escambray mountain range. Stroll through the old squares, cobblestone streets and craft markets of the UNESCO World Heritage city. Taste the local cuisine at a paladar. Continue to the white sand beach of Ancón to swim and tan. Well into the afternoon, return to Cienfuegos. Dinner will be arranged at your accommodation. (B/L/D)
Accommodation with breakfast included: Casa particular Bella Época or similar

Leave for the nation’s capital city. En route, cruise through Bay of Pigs, the battleground where the nascent Cuban Revolution defeated the infamous invasion planned by the CIA and executed by Cuban exiles in 1961. Visit the Playa Girón Museum to revive those dark moments through the exhibition of objects, weapons and even a plane that took part in the battle. Nearing PlayaLarga, stop at La Cueva de los Peces, the most famous cenote in Cuba. Enjoy some time for swimming and snorkelling (not included), as well as a typical lunch. You are welcome to feed the fish with breadcrumbs to enjoy a colourful spectacle. Continue to Havana. Night at leisure. (B/L)
Accommodation with breakfast included: Casa Boutique 504 or similar

Your day begins by hopping on a cocotaxi (coconut shaped mode of transportation) for a transfer to offices to pick up the e-bikes. Look forward to a tour of Havana like no other. Pedal along the Malecón, Havana’s maritime balcony. Arrive at Old Havana to walk your e-bike through the gorgeous plazas. Admire the colonial architecture that tells the story of the 500-year-old historical city. Continue your ride in direction of Centro Habana for a lunch at the famous paladar “La Guarida”, a place that served as shooting set for the Oscar-nominated Cuban film “Fresa y Chocolate”. In the afternoon, visit a favourite of the mob in the 1940s: Hotel Nacional. Discover the myths behind the mafia in Havana, the underground trenches build during the Missile Crisis, and the halls that hosted the greatest celebrities of the 1950s. After a refreshing mojito, go back to the starting point of the tour to drop off the bicycles. From there, an American classic car will take you through the beautiful mansions of the neighbourhoods of Vedado and Miramar, all the way to your accommodation. (B/L)
Accommodation with breakfast included: Casa Boutique 504 or similar

Morning at leisure. You might want to further explore Old Havana on your own and purchase souvenirs. At noon, transfer to Varadero airport to catch your flight home or continue to your accommodation in Varadero for a beach extension. (B)


- Roundtrip in air-conditioned vehicle (taxi/microbus/bus) in customary quality with chauffeur:
  With 02 participants by taxi (Please note that max. 1 item of luggage p.p. fits into the car boot.)
  With 03 - 07 participants by minivan/microbus (6 - 10 seats)
  With 08 - 10 participants by minibus (15 - 16 seats)
  With 11 - 16 participants by bus (24 seats)
- Transfer Varadero Airport to accommodation in Matanzas and return transfer to Varadero Airport, if this takes place on the first/last day of the round trip.
- Excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees according to the program
- During the roundtrip day 1 - 8 English speaking local guide
- 7 overnight stays at the mentioned accommodation (according to availability)
- 7x breakfast, 4x lunch, 1 dinner