Cuban Discovery

  • days: 17
  • from $8,332

Flights Included

Types of travel:

Countries Visited:

  • Mexico
  • Cuba

Description

Castro’s Cuba is a fascinating step back in time, where you experience the ‘50s and ‘60s all over again! Cuba’s unique culture is a blend of Spanish, Caribbean, native Indian and African cultures all mixed together to create the Cuban way of life, full of dance and colour. Experience the ‘real’ Cuba before mass tourism changes its unique character forever!

Classic Havana

Our Cuba tour begins in the wonderful city of Havana. We take a fascinating tour of this colourful city. We’ll explore the historic old town, take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, and later return to our hotel by classic American car. From Havana, our tour continues to the coastal city of Santiago de Cuba, which is famous as the birthplace of Castro and Che Guevara’s revolution.

Get to know the real Cuba

The next stop on our tour is the beautiful colonial town of Baracoa, which dates back to 1511 and is where Columbus first set foot in Cuba. Here we visit the nearby Yumuro Indian village, and have lunch along the beautiful Tao River. We visit the town of Camaguey, which is famous for its Tinjas – large terracotta bottles used for storing water, oil and grain. Here we take a fun tour around the old town by rickshaw.

Swim in the beautiful El Nicho falls

The historic Cuban city of Trinidad is our next stop. Founded in 1514, it features many beautiful colonial-era buildings. From here we travel through the picturesque Escambaraye Mountains, where we enjoy a refreshing swim in the El Nicho waterfalls. From here we return to Havana, taking a day to explore the province of Pinar del Rio, home of the Cuban cigar and to a unique landscape of mountains, rocks and underground rivers.

Itinerary

EXPERIENCE THE "REAL" CUBA: Please note, a trip to Cuba is a unique & rewarding experience, and visitors over the next few years will be amongst the last to see the ‘real’ Cuba before mass tourism changes its unique character forever. However, part of Cuba’s current charm is it’s naivety. This means that hotels, transport and other facilities sometimes lack the creature comforts Australians are used to. So, a word of advice - our tour to Cuba requires an adventurous spirit!

DAY 1 DEPART AUSTRALIA - ARRIVE CANCUN

Welcome to Mexico! On arrival we will be transferred to our hotel.

DAY 2 CANCUN - HAVANA

This morning we leave Mexico and fly on to Havana, the capital of Cuba and home of Fidel Castro. Cuba is one of the most mysterious countries in the world, made up of a diverse range of people, cultures and customs. This evening, we take a stroll through the streets of Old Havana, before enjoying a group welcome dinner. [B,D]

DAY 3 HAVANA - BARACOA

SPECIAL EXPERIENCE: We fly to Baracoa which dates back to 1511, making it the oldest colonial destination in Cuba. Christopher Columbus is thought to have first landed at this spot, and locals claim that he planted a wooden cross here to mark his landing. On arrival we visit a local countryside farm where we learn about how cacao is made from the fruit of the tree and hear all about rural life in Cuba. [B,L]

DAY 4 BARACOA

Today we travel to scenic Yumuri Valley and explore the surrounds of Baracoa, we’ll also make a visit to the Matachin Fortress museum to learn about the oldest settlements and the native inhabitants. Enjoy the evening at leisure in Baracoa. [B,L]

DAY 5 BARACOA - SANTIAGO DE CUBA

A stunning day of coastal scenery as we travel to Santiago de Cuba via the notorious Guantanamo Bay, before visiting St Ifigenia Cemetery and Plaza de la Revolución. Tonight we visit a Casa de la Trova for some fun, live Cuban music. [B,L]

DAY 6 SANTIAGO DE CUBA

Santiago de Cuba is a beautiful Spanish colonial city, located high in the mountains at the entry to the bay. Our touring here includes the Museo Ambiente Cubano, the Museum of Carnaval, Plaza Cespedes and the marina. Later we enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, before visiting the impressive El Morro fortress. [B,L]

DAY 7 SANTIAGO DE CUBA - CAMAGUEY

Today we travel to Camaguey, with a brief stop in Bayamo en-route. Bayamo is the capital city of the Granma Province of Cuba, and is one of the largest cities in the region. Granma Island, also in this province, has strong ties to the revolution, as this is where it began. [B,L]

DAY 8 CAMAGUEY - TRINIDAD

This morning we explore Camaguey, including a tour of the historic centre and narrow, winding streets by bicycle taxi! Later we travel to Trinidad, stopping en-route to visit Sancti Spiritus and the Valle de los Ingenios. [B,L]

DAY 9 TRINIDAD

Today we explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed colonial city of Trinidad. This perfectly preserved Spanish colonial settlement has a truly magical atmosphere, and is one of Cuba's most enchanting cities. Here we will see bicycles and horse-drawn carts travelling along cobblestone streets lined with pastel-coloured houses.

SPECIAL EXPERIENCE: We discover the historic delights of Trinidad, including the Plaza Mayor and the Museo Romantico - a real must-see in Cuba.

We are in for a fun evening tonight as we enjoy live music and dancing at a local Casa de la Trova. [B,L]

DAY 10 TRINIDAD - CIENFUEGOS

We head along the coast to Cienfuegos, and first stopping at El Nicho National Park. Here we enjoy a refreshing swim in one of its many waterfalls, before lunch in the park. Later we visit the historic centre of Cienfuegos and the Theatre Tomas Terry. [B,L]

DAY 11 CIENFUEGOS - HAVANA

Today we travel to Havana via Santa Clara, where we stop for a photo opportunity to view the Che Guevara mausoleum (the hero of the revolution). [B,L]

DAY 12 HAVANA

A great day where we tour the western province of Pinar del Rio. Considered to be one of the most beautiful regions in Cuba, it has a natural underground water system which assists in growing tobacco. Our touring includes a visit to the La Cueva del Indio, an extensive cave system, where we enjoy a boat trip on the underground river with magnificent views of the caves. [B,L]

SPECIAL EXPERIENCE: Today we learn about the world famous Cuban cigars and how they are rolled.

DAY 13 HAVANA

Our day is dedicated to touring the city of Havana, passing by the Institute of American Affairs, before venturing into the modern neighbourhood of Vedado, with its wide range of architectural styles. We travel to the artistic area of Callejon de Hamel, Jaimanitas and Casa Foster where we explore the local streets featuring many murals and sculptures. Tonight we enjoy a group farewell dinner before going to Gato Tuerto, where we enjoy the local Cuban rum and live music and dancing – Cuban style! [B,L,D

DAY 14 HAVANA - PLAYA DEL CARMEN

We fly to Playa del Carmen, where we will be met and transferred to our hotel. [B]

DAY 15 DEPART PLAYA DEL CARMEN

Today we are transferred to the airport of Cancun to begin our journey home. [B]

DAY 16 IN TRANSIT

DAY 17 ARRIVE IN AUSTRALIA

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy class flights from Australia to Mexico (taxes Included)
  • Return economy class flights from Mexico to Cuba
  • All internal flights within Cuba
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring conducted in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Pre paid tips - $130pp

Accommodation & Meals

  • 14 nights accommodation in good quality hotels with private facilities (3-4 star)
  • 14 breakfasts, 11 lunches and group welcome and farewell dinners

A comprehensive sightseeing program is included in the price.

Highlights include:

  • English-speaking locally based guides
  • Spend 4 nights in Havana including a visit to Santa Clara, Mausoleum of Che Guevara, Monument of the Blinded Train and the historic centre
  • Cruise around Havana in classic cars for an evening tour
  • Stay 2 nights in the coastal city of Santiago de Cuba
  • Visit Sta Ifignenia cemetery where the national hero Jose Marti is buried and also see Plaza de la Revolucion, the site of Fidel Castro’s speeches
  • Travel through Yumuri Valley, one of the most picturesque landscapes in Cuba, on the way to Baracoa
  • Visit Moa, a small seaside town in the province of Holguin
  • Spend 2 nights in Trinidad, a city of colonial-era charm
  • A brief visit to Sancti Spiritus, including a visit to the lush Valle de Los Ingenios and the 44 metre high Manaca Iznaga Tower
  • Explore Trinidad on a morning tour including the Plaza Mayor, the Museum of Romance, and the Bar Canchanchara, with some free time to explore on your own
  • Enjoy 1 night in Cienfuegos, a chief seaport of Cuba, and visit the beautiful El Nicho Falls with some free time to swim, we also visit Theatre Tomas Terry and enjoy a city tour
  • Visit Vinales, the Cueva del Indio, Mural de la Prehistoria and take a short visit to Pinar, the tobacco plantations, drying huts and cigar factory

Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices

Starts Ends Save Total Cost* Status Book
05/06/15 21/06/15   $8,332 Guaranteed Departure book now
25/09/15 11/10/15   $8,332 Available book now
23/10/15 08/11/15   $8,332 Fully Booked  
04/12/15 20/12/15   $8,332 Guaranteed Departure book now
25/12/15 10/01/16   $9,132 Available book now
19/02/16 06/03/16   $8,332 Available book now
18/03/16 03/04/16   $8,332 Guaranteed Departure book now
Valid From: Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane
Other departure cities: Clients ex Hobart add $176pp, Adelaide add $264pp, and Perth add $396pp
Tips: Total cost includes - Tipping Made Easy amount of $130pp
Taxes: Total cost includes - air taxes of $1,245pp
Single supplement: $900
  • Day/Date Variations: Due to airline flight schedules day of arrival and day of departure may vary depending on your city of departure
  • Taxes & Fuel Costs: Total cost includes air taxes. Taxes and fuel surcharges change regularly so above levies shown as a guide only
  • T&C: All prices shown are per person based on twin share and include airfares, all taxes and tips. Prices and itineraries correct at current time but are subject to change. Please call for more details. View our full terms & conditions here.

Optional Excursions

We believe Australian travellers deserve better which is why we include all the important sights within our itineraries rather than presenting you with a long list of optional tours.

It’s part of our family tradition of giving our travellers genuine value for money and a holiday to remember.

Accommodation

Accommodation

Accommodation is subject to change and every effort is made to avoid this. However if a change does become necessary, accommodation of a similar standard will be used.

Iberostar Parque Central, Havana

The Iberostar Parque Central Hotel is nestled in the heart of Havana and is close to iconic sites such as the Capitol Building, the Paseo del Prado and the Havana Pier. Its 427 rooms are decorated in a cosy, classic style and are distributed among two buildings connected by an enclosed walkway, a unique feature of the hotel. Amenities include: satellite TV, safe, air conditioning, and hair dryer. Choose from 3 dining options - the Buffet Restaurant specialising in local and international cuisine, an Italian restaurant or the Steakhouse. Relax in one of their bars where you can sip on an ice-cold mojito or a hot Cuban-style coffee - they even have a cigar lounge! After a day's sightseeing you can take a dip in the stunning rooftop pool which provides an amazing view of the city below.

El Castillo, Baracoa

This modern hotel was built on the site of Seburoco Castle a colonial fort which was built in 1739. It is located at the top of a steep elevation with splendid views of the mountains, the city and the bays surrounding it. Parts of the castle walls, including a turret still remain. The famous El Yunque of Baracoa can be clearly seen from the hotel. Guest rooms are simple with colonial-style furnishings, and are set around the pool. All rooms have air-conditioning, a fridge, satellite TV, telephone and safe. Hotel facilities include a bar with a great view of the bay, a restaurant, shop and a lovely swimming pool.

Melia Santiago de Cuba Hotel, Santiago de Cuba

The Meliá Santiago Hotel is strategically located near the historical quarter of the city. Situated right on the busy Avenida de las Americas you will be close to shopping, restaurants and the historical city centre. There are several cafes, bars and restaurants within the hotel itself that offer a variety of International dishes. They have a beautiful swimming pool where you can take a refreshing dip as you unwind after your day's sightseeing.

Gran Hotel, Camaguey, Cuba

Gran Hotel of Camaguey is a time-warped city centre hotel opened in 1939. The hotel offers comfortable rooms equipped with air conditioning and mini bar. Enjoy the great views of the city from the 5th floor restaurant or from the gorgeous rooftop bar. A piano bar is accessed through the lobby and an elegant renaissance-style swimming pool shimmers out back.

Hotel Las Cuevas, Trinidad

The Hotel Las Cuevas is located on the grounds of lush gardens close to the mountains and only a short distance from the historic centre of the old town of Trinidad. All rooms come with air conditioning, telephone, satellite TV and safety boxes.  

Casa Zenia Wanda, Trinidad

The recently renovated Casa Zenia-Wanda offers you a fantastic local Cuban experience. Located a short distance from the centre of town it provides you with the perfect opportunity to explore and discover Trinidad.

With the US embargo soon to be lifted and a large influx of new visitors from across the globe already travelling to Cuba it has meant that hotel options in some locations have become limited due to lack of infrastructure. One such destination is the beautiful colonial city of Trinidad. Where it can be very difficult to confirm hotels in the downtown area.

To ensure that our groups get the best out of their time here we use a number of smaller hotels or ‘Casa Privada Stays’ that will give you first-hand experience of Cuban life. The casa’s are part of a Government managed program and have been inspected and provided permits by Government officers, ensuring their suitability.  Each room has private bathroom facilities, air-conditioning and fans. The casa’s have 2 to 6 rooms and a private room or central patio where meals such as breakfast are served. They are essentially the Cuban equivalent to a B&B!

Hotel La Ronda, Trinidad

Located in the Parque Cespedes (Plaza Carrillo) in the heart of the beautiful city of Trinidad de Cuba, a jewel of World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO declared in 1998, and the second ring of heritage protection, its construction dates back to 1868. Its comfortable rooms have air conditioning, telephone, satellite TV, safety box, mini bar and internet facilities.

La Union Hotel, Cienfuegos

The 4-star La Union Hotel, located in the heart of the city of Cienfuegos, combines the charm of its neoclassical architectural structure and colonial surroundings with modern facilities. The La Union Hotel was originally a colonial mansion built in 1869 and features marble pillars, antique furniture, two inner patios, a pool, bar, restaurant and a great roof top terrace offering delightful views of the town below. It's also just a short stroll from Parque Jose Marti in downtown Cienfuegos. Its 49 comfortable guest rooms are equipped with satellite TV, IDD phone, hair dryer, safe and mini-bar. In the interior courtyard there is an inviting pool and open air bar which is a great area to just sit back and relax. A massage service is also available.

Hacienda Paradise, Playa del Carmen

The Hacienda Paradise offers a unique and memorable holiday experience in the idyllic setting of the cosmopolitan and coastal city of Playa del Carmen. Hacienda Paradise is located close to the famous 5th Avenue with its numerous shops, restaurants and bars. Their guestrooms are beautifully decorated and have been thoughtfully fitted out with comfort and eco sustainability practices in mind. Lending a sense of calm and sheer relaxation, each room features elegant hardwood furniture inspired from the Spanish Haciendas, plush bedding and quality mattresses. They also include: a hair dryer, wi-fi, organic bath amenities, cable TV, mini bar and safe. Dine by the pool and unwind in their spa which is nestled in a tropical garden.

Weather

Weather

Mexico City

At sea level the weather in Mexico remains hot and warm all year round making this a great destination for any time of the year, although the months between October to May tend to be the most popular.

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Havana

Cuba has a subtropical climate with warm, sunny weather all year round. There are two seasons, wet and dry. The dry season runs from November to April and these months tend to be the most popular for travel.

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Currency

Currency

Mexico, Mexican Peso

The local currency in Mexico is the Mexican Peso (CM$)

  • 1 Mexican Peso = 100 centavos
  • Notes are in denominations of M$1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20
  • Coins are in denominations of M$100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10 and 5 centavos

Cuba, Peso

The local currency in Cuba is the Convertible Peso (CUC$)

  • 1 Convertible Peso = 100 centavos
  • Notes are in denominations of $100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 3 and 1
  • Coins are in denominations of $1, and 50, 25, 10, 5, and 1 centavos
  • No USD dollars accepted in Cuba, not Credit cards issued by USA banks

Levels of Fitness

Levels of Fitness

Levels-of-Fitness-sml

Our tours have been designed for the ‘not too young & not too old’ and while we do not discriminate on age, you do need to have a good level of fitness and mobility. Sightseeing includes lots of walking, getting into and out of boats and other forms of transport and extended periods at high altitude. You should be able to carry your own bags, as porter services are not always available at all hotels, and you should be able to walk apx. 3.5km on uneven ground and climb several flights of stairs. Passengers who are 70 and over will be required to obtain a doctor’s clearance before travelling.

Tour Extensions

These optional extras can be included in your tour.

Reviews for Cuban Discovery

This tour has a rating of 4 stars based on 2 reviews.

Here's what others have had to say about this tour.

Cuban Discovery Experienced Cuba before embargo lifted - fantastic 4
Cuba was amazing. Bunnik Tours delivered by taking us everywhere and letting us experience everything. Loved the horse and cart and the classic car in Havana, the sunset cruise in Camaguey and everything else. The accommodation was brilliant. Loved the casa particular in Trinidad, the colonial hotel in Havana and everything in between. The sightseeing surpassed my expectations. Claire Woodhall - March 2015
Cuban Discovery This was my third trip with you guys and I will be back and will keep recommending you to my friends. 4
Mirta was FABULOUS! Enthusiastic, accommodating and went above and beyond the call of duty. A delight. The music and dancing - everywhere you looked! Havana, To see the vintage cars and a place steeped in history and stopped in time! Baracoa - everything about it! Cuba and its history generally - walking through paths trod by Che & Fidel. Susan Casali - May 2014

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Unique Experiences!

  • Tour the colourful city of Havana, the Cuban Capital
  • Tour the western province of Pinar del Rio, home to the famous Cuban cigar
  • Swim in the refreshing waters of the El Nicho waterfalls

Trip Info

Group Size

Max: 20

Transportation

Coach, Plane, Catamaran & Classic Cars

Tips

Total cost includes - Tipping Made Easy amount of $130pp

Tour Highlights

Cancun, Havana, drive along the Malecon in a classic car, Baracoa, Santiago de Cuba, Bayamo, Camaguey, Trinidad, El Nicho National Park, Cienfuegos & Santa Clara

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Bunnik Tours Reviews for Cuban Discovery

This tour has a rating of 4 stars based on 2 reviews.