Costa Rica & Cuba

  • days: 23
  • from $13,895

Save $300!

Flights Included

Types of travel:

Countries Visited:

  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba

Description

Central America Spot Special: Save $300 on 23 Mar '19. 
Click here for details.

NEW TOUR!

From the lush tropical forests teeming with birdlife and animals in Costa Rica, to the colonial streets and towns that time forgot in Cuba, discover the colours and contrasts of Central America exploring these two unique countries.

CAPTIVATING COSTA RICA

Head into the wilderness of Costa Rica! Explore the beaches and mangroves of Manuel Antonio National Park and spot the many sloths and monkeys for which the area is famous. Make your way through the cloud forest to Monteverde, get a bird’s eye view of the forest canopy from the Selvatura Sky Walk. Travel to the famous Arenal Volcano, once the country’s most active, take a short hike and soak in the natural hot springs. Cruise through the beautiful rainforest of the Tortuguero National Park, exploring the canals and backwaters and spotting sloths, iguanas, frogs, monkeys and colourful birds. 

COLOURFUL CUBA

Spanish, Caribbean, native Indian and African cultures all blend together to create the Cuban way of life, full of dance and colour! Visit the beautiful Vinales valley, home to unique limestone hills and tobacco fields, then discover the ‘Pearl of the South’ - the spectacular natural bay of Cienfuegos and the beautiful El Nicho waterfalls. Continue to the charming UNESCO World Heritage-listed site of Trinidad, Cuba’s best preserved colonial city. Quirky and colourful Havana will beguile you with its charm. Explore the city by classic car and foot, discovering the murals and sculptures in the streets of Jaimanitas, Casa Fuster and Callejon de Hamel. 

Note: Cuban Charm

A trip to Cuba is a unique and rewarding experience, a country largely untouched until now. This means that hotels, transport and facilities sometimes lack creature comforts. Accommodation may be of varying standards as tourism demands are surpassing current infrastructure and it is possible there can be unexpected changes. As such, travel in Cuba requires an adventurous spirit, flexibility and an open mind.

Itinerary

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

Day 1. Depart Australia - Arrive San José

Bienvenido a Costa Rica! We arrive in the country’s historic capital, San José.

Day 2. San José

We’ll discover the city on a sightseeing tour this morning, seeing the National Theatre, National Library and the old Sabana Airport. The afternoon is at leisure before tonight's group welcome dinner at a local restaurant. [B,D]

Day 3. San José - Manuel Antonio

This morning we depart for the resort town of Manuel Antonio, on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to make the most of our beautiful resort's facilities or head in to town to discover the beach - or relax in one of the bars and cafes dotted along the esplanade. [B]

Day 4. Manuel Antonio National Park

Today we’ll explore Manuel Antonio National Park, home to many of Costa Rica’s endangered species but sloths and white-faced capuchin monkeys in particular. We’ll have some time at leisure to swim and enjoy one of the most pristine beaches in Central America, located right in the park. [B]

Day 5. Manuel Antonio - Monteverde

On the way to Monteverde, we stop at the Tarcoles River to observe one of the largest populations of American crocodiles in the Guacalillo Estuary, and discover the hidden gems of the mangroves. After lunch we'll continue up through the highlands to the cloud forest. [B,L]

Day 6. Monteverde

No need for the binoculars today as we explore the cloud forest from the Selvatura hanging bridges suspended high in the rainforest canopy. The afternoon is at leisure for you to relax or discover more of the beautiful surroundings. There is a nearby butterfly park, you could organise a night walk or, for the more adventurous, you could zip line through the misty canopies. [B]

Day 7. Monteverde - Arenal

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Special Experience: As we make our way towards Arenal, we'll stop to enjoy a typical farmers' lunch and try fishing for tilapia, the local fish.

We continue our way by road, travelling through some of Arenal Volcano National Park. Relax in the natural hot springs once we arrive at our hotel. [B,L]

Day 8. Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park is a 12,000-hectare area comprising rainforest, savannah, and two volcanoes. On a short hike to the summit of the lava trails we’ll learn about Arenal, which was once the country’s most active volcano. [B]

Day 9. Arenal - Tortuguero

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Special Experience: Today we venture into the Costa Rican wilds, boarding a boat on the fringe of Tortuguero National Park to enter the flooded forest and travel to our lodge. [B,L,D]

Day 10. Tortuguero National Park

Exploring the canals and backwaters of Tortuguero National Park, we’ll spot a huge variety of wildlife. Keep an eye out for agoutis, iguanas, sloths, frogs, monkeys and hundreds of colourful birds and crabs. We may even spot the sea turtles that the area is famous for. [B,L,D]

Day 11. Tortuguero - San José

Today we make our way back to San José, stopping for a typical lunch at Rio Danta. Tonight we'll enjoy a group dinner to farewell Costa Rica. [B,L,D]

Day 12. San José - Havana

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TRAVEL TIP! Cuban Charm: A trip to Cuba is a unique and rewarding experience, a country largely untouched until now. This means that hotels, transport and facilities sometimes lack creature comforts. Accommodation may be of varying standards as tourism demands are surpassing current infrastructure and it is possible there can be unexpected changes. As such, travel in Cuba requires an adventurous spirit, flexibility and an open mind.

We fly to vibrant Havana, Cuba's capital. [B]

Day 13. Havana

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Special Experience: Step back in time to the 60s and discover the history and charm of Old Havana on a walking tour this morning.

This afternoon we'll witness the contrasts of 'New' Havana, including the artistic areas of Hamel Island, Fusterland and the Fort of Havana. [B,D]

Day 14. Havana - Viñales

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Special Experience: Marvel at the incredible valley dotted with limestone hills, known as mogotes, as we travel through the beautiful region of Viñales to Pinar del Rio.

We'll stop to visit a tobacco field and drying house and have lunch with a local family at a traditional Cuban paladar and then continue to Los Jazmines lookout point, for views over the small village of Viñales. [B,L]

Day 15. Viñales - Cienfuegos

Today we travel to the busy, colonial-era port of Cienfuegos, the ‘Pearl of the South’. Along the way we'll stop at the infamous Bay of Pigs, where the failed US Military invasion of 1961 was undertaken. [B]

Day 16. Cienfuegos

This morning we’ll discover beautiful Cienfuegos on a walking tour, visiting the impressive Teatro Tomás Terry and the historic town centre. In the afternoon we'll cruise to the end of the bay to visit Jagua Castle and wander through the village. [B]

Day 17. Cienfuegos - Trinidad

On the way to Trinidad we’ll stop to discover El Nicho National Park, home to Cuba’s most spectacular waterfalls. Tonight we'll enjoy an evening of music and dancing, Cuban-style, at Casa de la Trova. [B]

Day 18. Trinidad

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Special Experience: Wander the cobblestone streets of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Trinidad and discover its colonial past.

This perfectly preserved settlement is one of Cuba’s most enchanting cities. Our sightseeing includes Museo Romantico and the famous Canchanchara Bar. [B]

Day 19. Trinidad - Havana

We return to Havana, visiting the Che Guevara Mausoleum in Santa Clara along the way. [B]

Day 20. Havana

A day at leisure to enjoy charming Havana, before dinner at a local paladar. [B,D]

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Special Experience: Cruise through Old Havana's Malecon and Revolution Square districts by classic car.

Day 21. Depart Havana

Today we begin our journey home. [B]

Day 22. In Transit

Day 23. Arrive Australia

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to Central America and the United States. Taxes included.
  • 1 economy-class flight within Central America
  • Economy-class flight from Cuba to USA
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Tipping Made Easy, $205pp pre-paid 

Accommodation & Meals

  • 16 nights in good quality hotels (3-4 star)
  • 2 nights at a rainforest lodge in Tortugero National Park
  • 2 nights in Casa homestay in Trinidad
  • 20 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

Tour Guides

  • English-speaking locally based guides

Sightseeing

Discover the abundance of wildlife in the rainforests of Costa Rica

  • Take a city tour of San Jose, Costa Rica's colonial capital, visiting museums and monuments including the National Theatre, National Library and the old Sabana Airport.
  • View the abundant wildlife and enjoy the pristine beaches (considered some of the most beautiful in all of Central America) in Manuel Antonio National Park.
  • Cruise along the Tarcoles River and see one of the largest populations of American Crocodile. This area is also one of the most important conservation areas for the Scarlet Macaw in the country and home to Jesus Christ Lizards, kingfishers and much more.
  • Discover the Monteverde cloud forest from the Selvatura Sky Walk's hanging bridges, suspended high in the rainforest canopy.
  • Experience a local farmers' lunch and try your hand at Tilapia fishing at El Dos de Tilaran.
  • Soak in the volcanic thermal springs and enjoy the views of Arenal Volcano from your hotel.
  • Hike the lava trail at Arenal Volcano National Park.
  • Spend 2 nights at a rainforest lodge in Tortugero National Park, nestled between Tortugero Lagoon and the Caribbean Ocean.
  • Tour the village of Tortugero with its strong Afro-Caribbean roots. Wander around the school and other areas of the village and visit the Caribbean Conservation Corporation to learn about the sea turtles the park is famous for.
  • Explore Mawamba Lodge Park with a naturalist guide including visits to 2 butterfly farms, a frog garden and river turtles area.
  • View the amazing wildlife and exuberant flora during a boat trip on the waterways in the flooded forest of Tortugero National Park.

Step back in time in colonial Cuba

  • Discover the history and charm of Old Havana on a walking tour.
  • Tour the sights of 'New Havana' including Hamel Island, Fusterland & Fort of Havana.
  • Visit a tobacco field and drying house at the Hector Luis Prito Cigar Farm, and observe famous Cuban cigars being rolled.
  • Experience lunch Cuban-style at Finca Agrologic, a typical 'Paladar', with a local Cuban family.
  • Enjoy the panoramic views over the valley from the Los Jazmines lookout point en route to Las Terrazas.
  • Stop at the infamous Bay of Pigs, where the failed US Military invasion of 1961 was undertaken and explore the museum.
  • Enjoy a city tour of charming Cienfuegos, the 'Pearl of the South'. See the historic town-centre, Teatro Tomas Terry, the Main Square, Malecon and Prado.
  • Cruise to the end of Cienfuegos Bay and visit Jagua Fotress, erected by King Philip V of Spain to protect the bay from pirates.
  • Stop at picturesque El Nicho Waterfalls, take a guided walk to Salto El Nicho and enjoy some free time for swimming.
  • Experience Cuban life at a traditional Casa homestay in Trinidad.
  • Get a taste for the Cuban spirit and spend an evening at famous 'Casa de la Trova' in Trinidad.
  • Take a city tour of Trinidad, one of Cuba's most enchanting cities, including the Museum of Romance and a visit to the Canchanchara bar to try its namesake cocktail.
  • Drive through the rows of sugarcane fields in the Valle de los Ingenios and visit the Manaca Iznaga tower for amazing views over the valley.
  • Visit the Mausoleum of Che Guevara, the monument of the blinded train and the historic centre in Santa Clara.
  • Tour timeless Havana by classic car including Malecon and Plaza de la Revolucion.

Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices

Central America Spot Special: Save $300 on 23 Mar '19. 
Click here for details.

Starts Ends Save Total Cost* Status Book
23/03/19 14/04/19 $300 $13,895 Guaranteed Departure book now
Valid From: Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane
Other departure cities: Clients ex Hobart add $200pp, Adelaide & Perth add $100pp
Tips: Total cost includes - Tipping Made Easy, $205pp pre-paid
Taxes: Total cost includes - air taxes, $565pp
Single supplement: from $2,650
  • 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.

Fitness to Travel

Let's Talk Fitness

Levels-of-Fitness-sml

At Bunnik Tours we don’t put specific age limits on our tours, but we also recognise some travellers may find our itineraries challenging.
We have a duty of care to all tour participants and the tour guides, so we do impose a firm policy on the level of fitness required by all our clients to attempt to ensure your safety and the safety of other travellers on our tours.
At Bunnik Tours our goal is for all our travellers to enjoy their tour, not struggle through it! Which is why we want to work with you to ensure you are on the best possible trip for your fitness level. We do reserve the right to refuse bookings if we feel that the requirements of the tour are too demanding.
Bunnik Tours are for independently minded travellers with good levels of mobility.

Our tours include:
1. Generous amounts of free time
2. Lots of walking
3. Local and authentic experiences including various modes of transport and accommodation

In some regions travellers can also expect:
1. Long days of travelling, at times on dirt and gravel roads in Africa
2. Extended periods at high altitude (3,000-4,000 metres) in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Ethiopia
3. Extended periods of walking/hiking through humid forest areas in Rwanda, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Costa Rica
4. Limited medical facilities in remote areas

Bunnik Tours travellers are required to at least:
1. Be able to walk 2-3 hours on uneven surfaces
2. Walk up multiple flights of stairs and short, steep hills
3. Stand for 20 minutes without needing to sit down, often in hot/humid climates
4. Carry their own luggage
5. Get on and off various modes of transport without assistance, including small boats

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.

Note: Cuban Charm

A trip to Cuba is a unique and rewarding experience, a country largely untouched until now. This means that hotels, transport and facilities sometimes lack creature comforts. Accommodation may be of varying standards as tourism demands are surpassing current infrastructure and it is possible there can be unexpected changes. As such, travel in Cuba requires an adventurous spirit, flexibility and an open mind.

Hotel Presidente, San Jose

Hotel Presidente offers an incomparable location in the centre of it all, literally seconds away from San José's most famous landmarks. Rooms are among the most spacious hotel accommodation in downtown San José. Why not pedal off on one of the complimentary bicycles and explore more of the city at your own pace? And be sure to spend time on the green roof terrace – a venue unlike anything in the city, with native greenery and unparalleled views.

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; safe deposit box

Hotel Parador Resort & Spa, Manuel Antonio

One of Costa Rica’s most prestigious eco-hotels, Parador is the epitome of 'responsible luxury'. The resort is located on the Punta Quepos promontory in Costa Rica, surrounded by 12 acres of wildlife-rich tropical rainforest with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Manuel Antonio. With such close proximity to a national park, it is no wonder the hotel gardens receive any number of very unique visitors on a daily basis, including several species of monkeys, sloths and a wonderful variety of birds. This Costa Rica resort features well-appointed rooms and suites, several restaurants featuring diverse menus, multiple bars and lounges, a world-class spa, a tennis court, three ocean-view pools and generous meeting facilities.

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; outdoor swimming pools; tea & coffee making facilities

Fonda Vela Hotel, Monteverde

Just 1.5km from Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve lies the Fonda Vela Hotel. At the hotel you will find an indoor pool, restaurant, terrace and a bar. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surrounding areas. There are also beautiful gardens to explore, with a variety of places to go bird watching.

Facilities: wifi (public areas); indoor swimming pool; tea & coffee making facilities

Arenal Springs Resort, Arenal

The Arenal Springs Resort is located just outside the quaint town of La Fortuna, near the Arenal Volcano. The resort is surrounded by lush, green, natural beauty that abounds here and one of the most active volcanoes in the world, the Arenal Volcano. There are 3 restaurants and other amenities include natural hot springs and an outdoor pool with a swim-up bar and sun-loungers. An open-air spa also offers a hot tub, plus massages and body treatments.

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; outdoor swimming pool; tea & coffee making facilities 

Mawamba Lodge, Tortuguero

Refreshing and relaxing, exquisitely evergreen, the Tortuguero canals are a must-see while in Costa Rica. Mawamba Lodge, amidst this exotic spot, and whose front yard is the Tortuguero canals and its backyard the Caribbean Ocean, blends with the surrounding natural richness to welcome you to this tropical sanctuary. On site you will also find 'Mawamba Park' with two butterfly, frog and iguana gardens.

Facilities: wifi (public areas); safe deposit box; outdoor swimming pool

Mercure Sevilla, Havana

Set in the old town in a 1908 Moorish-style building, this elegant hotel is a minute's walk from Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana-Cuba and 3 minutes on foot from the Museum of the Revolution. Guest rooms feature high ceilings and city views and the property boasts a rooftop restaurant, terrace bar and outdoor pool.

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; outdoor swimming pool

Hotel Moka, Las Terrazas

Hotel Moka is set amid the forested hills of Las Terrazas, 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 rooms even 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. Hotel Moka also has a restaurant, bar, and a lovely swimming pool surrounded by trees.

Facilities: air-conditioning; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; outdoor swimming pool

La Union Hotel, Cienfuegos

Located in the heart of the city of Cienfuegos, La Union Hotel combines the charm of its neoclassical architectural structure and colonial surroundings with modern facilities. Originally a colonial mansion built in 1869, it 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.

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; outdoor swimming pool

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.

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; safe deposit box; tea & coffee making facilities

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!

Weather

Weather

San Jose

Dry Season: December to April

Wet Season: May to November

San Jose

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Ave Min C

14

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Rainy Days

3

0

2

7

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6

Havana

Dry Season: November to April

Wet Season: May to October

Havana

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Ave Min C

18

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Rainy Days

6

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11

7

6

Currency

Currency

Colon

The official currency of Costa Rica is the Colon (C; ₡).

  • 1/100 = Centimo
  • Notes are in denominations of ₡50000, 20000, 10000, 5000, 2000, and 1000
  • Coins are in denominations of ₡500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, and 1

Convertible Peso

The official currency of 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

Visa Information

Visa Requirements

Passport-AU2

Please note, Australian passport holders need to obtain a visa for this tour. Please check with your travel agent for further details.

  • Australian passport holders
    • A visa for Cuba needs to be purchased in Costa Rica. Please ensure you have approximately $20pp US in cash to pay for your Cuban visa card, which can be purchased upon check in.
  • Non-Australian passport holders
    • Please check with your travel agent on visa requirements.

The following government websites are also a handy source of general information.

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Special Experiences!

  • Stop to enjoy a typical farmers' lunch and try fishing for tilapia, the local fish.
  • Venture into the Costa Rican wilds, boarding a boat in the flooded forest of Tortuguero National Park.
  • Discover the history and charm of Old Havana on a walking tour.
  • Travel through the beautiful region of Viñales to Pinar del Rio.
  • Wander the cobblestone streets of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Trinidad.
  • Cruise through Havana's famous districts by classic car.

Trip Info

Group Size

Max: 20

Transportation

Coach, plane, boat & classic car

Tips

Total cost includes - Tipping Made Easy, $205pp pre-paid

Tour Highlights

• Enjoy the pristine beaches and wildlife of Manuel Antonio National Park • Discover the Monteverde rainforest canopy from the Selvatura Sky Walk • Soak in the volcanic thermal springs in Arenal • View the amazing wildlife from the waterways of Tortuguero National Park • Explore beautiful Old Havana on a walking tour • Cruise along the Bay of Cienfuegos to Jagua Castle • Visit the Mausoleum of Che Guevara in Santa Clara

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