Cuban Discovery

  • days: 15
  • from $10,321

Flights Included

Types of travel:

Countries Visited:

  • Mexico
  • Cuba

Description

Castro’s Cuba is a fascinating step back in time! Its 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!

Back to nature

Travel along the ‘tobacco route’ through the lush, green Pinar del Rio region and learn about the country’s most famous export - cigars. Visit the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage-listed reserve of Las Terrazas home to the earliest surviving coffee plantations in Cuba, and over 700 varieties of orchid in its botanical gardens. Then discover the ‘Pearl of the South’, the spectacular natural bay of Cienfuegos and the beautiful El Nicho waterfalls that cascade over rocks into cool swimming holes.

Traditional Trinidad

Continue to the charming UNESCO World Heritage-listed site of Trinidad, Cuba’s best preserved colonial city. Experience real Cuban culture with an evening of live music and classic cocktails and enjoy a traditional Cuban lunch in Sancti Spiritus.

Classic Havana

Quirky and colourful Havana will beguile you with its charm. Explore the city by classic car, discovering the murals and sculptures in the streets of Jaimanitas, Casa Fuster and Callejon de Hamel, and take a leisurely horse-drawn carriage ride. Soak up the liveliness of the old-town and enjoy a special dinner at famous Paladar La Guarida – location of the Oscar nominated film ‘Fresa y Chocolate’.

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!

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 1 DEPART AUSTRALIA - ARRIVE CANCUN

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

DAY 2 CANCUN - HAVANA

We fly onward to Cuba where we will meet this evening for dinner. [B,D]

DAY 3 HAVANA - VINALES - LAS TERRAZAS

We take the ‘tobacco route’ through the beautiful, green region of Pinar del Rio, stopping enroute to learn about the tobacco growing and the drying process, integral to the country’s most famous export - cigars. We visit the small village of Vinales where we see the colourful Mural de la Prehistoria - one of the world’s biggest, outdoor paintings. [B,L]

SPECIAL EXPERIENCE: We enjoy a real Cuban lunch prepared for us by a local family at their paladar (private restaurant).

DAY 4 LAS TERRAZAS

Las Terrazas is a UNESCO biosphere reserve in the Sierra del Rosario Mountains, and site of the earliest surviving coffee plantations in Cuba. We’ll spend the day exploring this stunning area including a visit to the botanic garden which contains more than 700 different types of orchid. [B]

DAY 5 LAS TERRAZAS - CIENFUEGOS

Today we travel to Cienfuegos, the ‘Pearl of the South’, situated on Cuba’s most spectacular natural bay. We enjoy lunch at the elegant Palacio del Valle, the most famous building in Cienfuegos, then visit the Teatro Tomás Terry and the historic town centre. [B,L]

SPECIAL EXPERIENCE: At sunset we enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Bay of Cienfuegos.

DAY 6 CIENFUEGOS - TRINIDAD

This morning we take a short hike to the beautiful El Nicho waterfall, cascading over rocks into cool swimming holes - we might even take a quick dip! We’ll have lunch in the El Nicho restaurant then continue on to Trinidad. Later we’ll experience some real Cuban culture with an evening of live music. [B,L]

DAY 7 TRINIDAD

Founded in 1514, Trinidad is Cuba’s best preserved colonial city and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Our city walking tour includes the Plaza Mayor and Museo Romantico, a former palace and home of an 18th century sugar baron. [B,L]

SPECIAL EXPERIENCE: Enjoy one of Cuba's lesser known cocktails, the 'Canchanchara'.

DAY 8 TRINIDAD - SANCTI SPIRITUS - REMEDIOS, CAYO SANTA MARIA

Today we drive through the Escambray Mountains to visit the Manaca Iznaga tower, with its wonderful view over the ‘valley of the sugar cane mills’. We’ll enjoy a typical Cuban lunch in the colonial town of Sancti Spiritus, which remains largely untouched by mainstream tourism. We stop in the town of Remedios where we stroll through the idyllic main square and admire it’s splendid 16th century church. Then travel over a 37km-long causeway to the nature island paradise of Cayo Santa Maria. [B,L,D]

DAY 9 CAYO SANTA MARIA

The day is yours to relax and enjoy the beautiful beach setting. [B,L,D]

DAY 10 CAYO SANTA MARIA - SANTA CLARA - HAVANA

On our journey back to Havana we stop in the town of Santa Clara, where Che Guevara celebrated his greatest victory and was also laid to rest. We’ll see the Che Guevara Mausoleum which houses the remains of the executed Marxist revolutionary. [B]

DAY 11 HAVANA

Riding in classic cars, we explore the city of Havana including the artistic areas of Jaimanitas, Casa Fuster and Callejon de Hamel where many of the streets feature murals and sculpture. We’ll also tour the modern neighbourhood of Vedado with it’s wide range of architectural styles. Later we take a leisurely horse-drawn carriage ride back to our hotel. [B,L]

DAY 12 HAVANA

Spend the day at leisure exploring the quirky and colourful city of Havana. Tonight we’ll share a special farewell dinner at the Paladar La Guarida - some say the hardest table to get in Havana, and the location of the Oscar nominated 1992 film, ‘Fresa y Chocolate’. [B,D]

DAY 13 DEPART HAVANA

We are transferred to the airport to begin our journey home. [B]

DAY 14 IN TRANSIT

DAY 15 ARRIVE IN AUSTRALIA

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to Mexico and Cuba (taxes included)
  • One way economy-class flight from Mexico to Cuba
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring conducted in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Tipping Made Easy, $130pp AUD prepaid

Accommodation & Meals

  • 10 nights in good quality hotels (3-4 star)
  • 2 nights in Casa Particulars in Trinidad
  • 12 breakfasts, 6 lunches and group welcome and farewell dinners

Sightseeing

  • Visit a local tobacco field and drying house.
  • Visit the Cueva del Indio and enjoy an underground boat tour
  • Travel through Pinar del Rio and enjoy lunch with a local family
  • Tour Vinales and visit the Mural de la Perhistoria
  • Stop at Los Jazmines lookout for a view of the Vinales valley
  • Visit a French Coffee Plantation and even have the opportunity to soak in the natural pools of the San Juan River
  • Enjoy a city tour of Cienfuegos including the Tomas Terry theatre
  • Enjoy a sunset cruise in the Bay of Cienfuegos
  • Swim in the refreshing waters of the El Nicho waterfalls
  • Explore Trinidad and visit the Museum of Romance
  • Enjoy one of Cuba’s lesser known cocktails the ‘Canchanchara’
  • Enjoy evening visits to the Casa de la Trova in Trinidad
  • Travel through the Valley of the Sugar Cane Mills
  • Visit Santa Clara including the Mausoleum of Che Guevara and the Monument of the Blinded Train.
  • Spend 2 night relaxing on Cayo Santa Maria
  • Discover the sights of Havana in classic cars

Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices

Starts Ends Save Total Cost* Status Book
18/09/16 02/10/16   $10,621 Closed  
02/10/16 16/10/16   $10,621 On Request  
23/10/16 06/11/16   $10,321 On Request  
06/11/16 20/11/16   $10,321 Closed  
20/11/16 04/12/16   $10,321 Closed  
04/12/16 18/12/16   $10,321 Guaranteed Departure book now
29/01/17 12/02/17   $10,721 Limited Seats Call
26/02/17 12/03/17   $10,721 Closed  
12/03/17 26/03/17   $10,721 Closed  
26/03/17 09/04/17   $10,721 Limited Seats Call
09/04/17 23/04/17   $10,721 Fully Booked  
Valid From: Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane
Other departure cities: Clients ex Hobart add $180pp, Adelaide add $270pp, and Perth add $405pp
Tips: Total cost includes - Tipping Made Easy amount of $130pp
Taxes: Total cost includes - air taxes of $1,151pp
Single supplement: $1,550
  • 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.
  • Cuba Accommodation: Cuba is changing since the USA lifted their embargo with many US citizens now enjoying travel here. The increasing popularity of this destination is impacting the availability of Hotels, general accommodation, coaches and tour guides. Because of limited local infrastructure it’s possible your final accommodation options may change without notice, as these are still controlled by the Government of Cuba. As this is outside of Bunnik Tours control, we are not able to guarantee our normal standard of accommodation during your stay in Cuba. However you will experience the unique charm of yesteryear Cuba – something likely to change soon with the rapid growth in tourism.

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

Important note on Cuba Accommodation

Cuba is changing since the USA lifted their embargo with many US citizens now enjoying travel here. The increasing popularity of this destination is impacting the availability of Hotels, general accommodation, coaches and tour guides. Because of limited local infrastructure it’s possible your final accommodation options may change without notice, as these are still controlled by the Government of Cuba. As this is outside of Bunnik Tours control, we are not able to guarantee our normal standard of accommodation during your stay in Cuba. However you will experience the unique charm of yesteryear Cuba – something likely to change soon with the rapid growth in tourism.

Hotel Telégrafo

Located at the intersection of Prado and Neptuno, Hotel Telégrafo is just steps from the Gran Teatro and the Capitolio and within walking distance of the historic centre. The famous El Floridita bar and Museo Nacional de las Bellas Artes are just a stone's throw away. The rooms are comfortable, stylish and modern, with well-appointed bathrooms. Double glazed windows filter sounds of horn happy drivers and late-night revellers. Contemporary artwork adorns the walls.

Victoria Hotel, Havana

Any cosmopolitan city is proud to have a small, elegant, central hotel with unique features and cozy areas where travelers and professionals can relax in comfort, plus receive personal attention. In Havana, that place is the Victoria hotel. Located in Vedado, it is walking distance from the main banks, close to Hotel Nacional de Cuba, airlines and local and foreign companies’ offices. Wi-Fi is available from the lobby and restaurant. Rooms offer attractive vistas of Vedado and have air conditioning, phone, satellite TV, safety deposit box, hairdryer and fully stocked mini-bar.

Hotel Moka, Las Terrazas

Hotel Moca is set amid the forested hills of Las Terrazas and is 49 miles west of Havana. The design is contemporary Spanish-colonial and features a multi-tiered atrium lobby built around a large lime tree - its branches disappear through the skylight. Some of the units actually have trees growing through their balconies and ceilings! Each room has floor-to-ceiling glass windows with French doors leading onto a terra-cotta tiled balcony with a spectacular view of the forest. In-room amenities include: air-conditioning, safe, minibar, satellite TV and hairdryer. Hotel Moka also has a restaurant, bar, and a lovely swimming pool surrounded by trees.

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.

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 Melia Cayo Santa Maria

Traditional and refined, the Meliá Cayo Santa María offers superb services for relaxation in an atmosphere of wellbeing and tranquility. A leafy tree with comfy chairs dominates the open and fresh lobby, decorated in soft tropical colours, in perfect harmony with the Cuban Caribbean environment. From the lobby bar terraces enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings and the views of the gardens and pool. This five star all inclusive holiday resort, located right on the beach in Cayo Santa María, is reminiscent of a traditional Caribbean village. It covers an area of 12,000 m² and offers extensive facilities.

Weather

Weather

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.

Havana

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Ave Max C

26

26

27

29

30

31

32

32

31

29

27

26

Ave Min C

18

18

19

21

22

23

24

24

24

23

21

19

Rainy Days

6

4

4

4

7

10

9

10

11

11

7

6

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.

Reviews for Cuban Discovery

This tour has a rating of 4 stars based on 1 reviews.

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

Cuban Discovery Loved the visit to Baracoa and Guantanamo Province 4
I think it would be a pity if future tours did not explore the southern end of the Island. Loved the art and found the contrast between old and new fascinating. Carmel Stott - April 2016

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Special Experiences!

  • Travel through the beautiful Pinar del Rio region and enjoy a real Cuban lunch prepared by a local family at their paladar (private restaurant)
  • Enjoy a sunset cruise in the Bay of Cienfuegos
  • Try one of Cuba's lesser known cocktails, the 'Canchanchara'

Trip Info

Group Size

Max: 20

Transportation

Coach, Plane, Boat, Catamaran & Classic Car

Tips

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

Tour Highlights

• Tour the colourful Cuban capital of Havana • Explore the western province of Pinar del Rio, home of the Cuban cigar • Visit the Cueva del Indio on an underground boat tour • Swim in the refreshing waters of El Nicho waterfalls • Step back in time in colonial Trinidad

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Travel Story

Bunnik Tours Reviews for Cuban Discovery

This tour has a rating of 4 stars based on 1 reviews.