About this tour
English-speaking local Cuban guide, the 'best of' excursions, Classic Car Tour, Vinales Day Tour, Tobacco Farm
It’s amazing to travel to a new destination and feel like you belong there, but this is exactly what will happen when you come to captivating Cuba on our 8 Day Private Cuba Tour. So much has been said and written about Cuba that the country will seem wonderfully familiar. There’s also the warmth of the Cuban people who are so friendly that you will wonder if they’ve mistaken you for a long lost friend! So what can you expect on one of our Cuba private tours?
What’s Included on the Tour?
- A local guide fluent in both English and Spanish. There won’t be a language gap!
- A selection of the best (and most unique) activities, excursions and day tours at each destination
- Accommodation in historic hotels and/or Casa Particulares (traditional Cuban B&B’s)
- Comfortable private transportation between destinations
- Airport transfers
What Are Some of the Tour Highlights?
- A comprehensive full day tour of Havana with the Havana Tour Company
- A visit to the Che Guevara Memorial and Mausoleum
- Spend time exploring the historic Valley of the Sugar Mills in Trinidad
- See how tobacco is cultivated in Viñales
- Immerse yourself in Cuba’s music and dance scene
- Meet prominent and emerging Cuban artists
- A guided walk to get your bearings at each destination visited
Our Cuba Private Tours Schedule
Please view our comprehensive 8 Day Private Cuba Tour itinerary below:
- Day One: Arrival in Havana
- Day Two: Havana
- Day Three: Day tour to Viñales
- Day Four: Havana
- Day Five: Trinidad (with a stop at Santa Clara)
- Day Six: Trinidad and surrounding areas
- Day Seven: Travel to Havana, stopping in Cienfuegos and a visit to the Bay of Pigs
- Day Eight: Departure from Havana
This Private 8 Day Cuba Tour is priced from USD$1095.00 per person (2 people sharing) staying in Casa Particular (Cuban B&B) accommodation. If you wish to upgrade to hotel accommodation for your time (or part of your time) in Cuba, just contact us and our team will be more than happy to provide you with some recommended hotel accommodation options and updated pricing. We are also able to offer some fantastic group booking discounts as well.
Meet our team of Local Cuba Tour Guides
Our team of passionate Cuba tour guides are dedicated to making your Cuba tour the best it can possibly be.
Estimated Travel Times
Below are the estimated travel times between destinations on this 6 Day Private Cuba Tour. For the longer journey’s our guides like to break-up the journey by stopping for lunch and at various points of interest along the way.
Havana to Vinales return: 5 hours
Havana to Santa Clara: 4 hours
Santa Clara to Trinidad: 1 hour
Trinidad to Cienfuegos: 1 hour
Cienfuegos to Havana: 4 hours
For this 8 Day Private Cuba tour we use private transportation throughout.
We include an airport transfers for this tour.
Getting Ready to Travel to Cuba
Please consult our comprehensive Cuba travel guide for all of the information you will need to plan your next Cuban adventure.
Day One – Arrive in Havana
Bienvenido! Welcome to Cuba.
It doesn’t matter what time your flight arrives since we’re keeping the first day relaxes and flexible. We’ll arrange your airport transfer and one of our representatives will meet you at the airport, before whisking you to your accommodation in Havana’s gorgeous old town or one of the other surrounding districts (La Habana Vieja).
Havana is the ideal starting point for our Cuba private tours, and is representative of the country as a whole. It’s a mixture of restored and faded beauty, and tastefully restored colonial style architecture sits side-by-side with lovingly maintained buildings that have seen better days. There’s so much life here, and if you’ve ever read anything about Havana, you’ll notice that the word “vibrant” is used a lot. You’ll soon see that it’s a highly accurate description of the city.
The city was founded all the way back in 1514 as a trading port, and like all port cities in the region, was subjected to regular pirate attacks. You can still see a number of fortifications that were built to defend the city during its tumultuous history.
Havana was once one of the largest cities in the Americas. The city was also briefly part of England when the British captured Havana in the 1760s, although the British were happy to trade Havana for (the then Spanish territory of) Florida less than a year later.
With pirate attacks, various wars and revolutions, and the infamous trade embargo, Havana has taken quite a beating over the centuries, so it’s remarkable that the city still has so much to offer. Tourism has been a driving factor in the city’s ability to stay afloat and maintain its beautiful buildings, although this beautification is less evident the further you venture from Old Havana. This is a feature of interest in itself, and you should spend some time walking the streets of Vedado and Miramar, where Havana’s wealthy used to live. After the revolution, such ostentatious privilege was frowned upon and the mansions fell into disrepair. Many of these grand buildings are now being repurposed and being turned into cultural hubs and restaurants.
Speaking of restaurants, Havana’s dining scene has recently undergone a revolution itself. Prior to 2010, the vast majority of restaurants were run by the state which resulted in platefuls of uninspired mess masquerading as food. Once the hospitality industry was deregulated, the restaurant scene flourished and has quickly become world class. Chefs are now able to innovate and make use of local ingredients with utterly delicious results.
- Your guide will visit your hotel for an introductory meeting to answer any questions you might have.
- Your guide will then take you for a fantastic dinner at a local private restaurant (Paladar) (at your own expense)
Day Two – Havana Full Day Tour (B,L)
Ready for your first full day of our Cuban private tours? Get up after a great night’s sleep, fortify yourself with a nice breakfast, and your guide will be there at 9am to pick you up.
Wear comfortable shoes because the best way to see Old Havana is on foot. You will visit La Catedral San Cristobal de la Habana, described by the novelist Alejo Carpentier as ‘music set in stone’. You will also see famous landmarks such as Palacio de los Marqueses de Aguas Claras (now a restaurant) and the Plaza de Armas, complete with a statue of Manuel de Cespedes, one of the leaders of the independence movement. You will also admire from the outisde two of Havana’s best museums – the Museo de la Revolucion and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. There will be plenty of time to explore these places further, later in your tour.
There will be plenty of opportunities to take a break in the shade and enjoy a cool drink, where you can talk with your guide about some other parts of Old Havana you might want to see, such as Saint Francis of Assisi Square.
Your walking tour then continues at a leisurely pace and takes in the Malecón (a gorgeous seaside esplanade), Revolution Square, Central Park, the Opera House, the Capitol Building, the former Bacardi Building, and the former Presidential Palace. Naturally, there will be plenty of opportunities for photos.
Lunch is included and our Cuba private tours use an authentic family run restaurant offering traditional cuisine.
After refuelling with lunch, it’s time to hit the road. At 2pm your guide will take you around greater Havana in one of those iconic classic cars.
There are thousands of these cars on Cuban streets and they’re a necessity as well as a novelty. After the US put a stop to imports, it was financially difficult for Cuba to import vehicles from other parts of the world, and so the cars that were already in the country had to stay maintained and road ready. Sit back, relax and be chauffeured around some of the most famous areas of Havana including New Havana, Old Havana, the stunning neighbourhood of Miramar and the famous cemetery of Colon.
As the day draws to an end, you will visit Hotel Nacional in Havana Vedado for a drink and a wonderful view of the Malecón as the sun goes down.
You have a few options in the evening. Your guide can take you for a cocktail in the La Terraza bar and to visit one of our favourite Paladar’s (family-run restaurants) – Café Laurent in Havana Vedado.
You might also want to visit Havana’s most famous jazz clubs – the delightfully named Vixen and the Crow. This club is located on La Rampa, and is open nightly. Enter through a red English phone box and descend into a cramped, smoky basement. The freestyle jazz here is second to none, and in the past the club has hosted such big names as Chucho Valdés and George Benson.
- Old Havana walking tour
- Lunch at a fantastic Cuban Paladar
- A tour of Havana in a classic car
- 1 x drink at Hotel Nacional
Day Three – Vinales Day Tour (B,L)
A few hours out of Havana are the lush foliage covered hills that surround the utterly charming town of Viñales.
Viñales is one of the most breathtaking locations in Cuba, and is where those famous cigars begin their journey, courtesy of the sweeping tobacco fields that surround the town.
Today your guide will take you on a walking tour of the Viñales township and surrounding farmlands, followed by lunch at an authentic Cuban Paladar.
To see how tobacco is farmed is one of the highlights of our Cuba private tours, and the rich sweet scent of the the drying house is a memory that will stay with you forever.
Next, we’ll head north for five kilometres to see the Indian Caves (Cuevas del Indio), which is a network of underground caves and waterways. The visit to the caves includes a boat tour along an underground river, which is certainly breath-taking and unique.
- A walking tour of Viñales
- Farmland guided walk
- Mural de la Prehistoria
- Underground caves boat ride
- Tobacco Farm and drying house
- Los Jazmines look-out point
Day Four – Havana (B)
While tourism is vital for the Cuban economy, the country also has profited from its two most famous exports – rum and cigars. On day four of your tour you will get up close and personal with these well-known indulgences.
Your guide will pick you up from your accommodation and take you to the Havana Rum Museum, housed in a grand former palace. In case you were curious – yes, there are plenty of tastings and you can even buy some to take away with you.
The next stop on the tour will be the Hotel Conde de Villanueva, an attractively restored 18th century mansion in the historic centre of the city. The hotel has one of the most popular cigar shops in town, and a lucky few even have personal humidors here to store their precious cigars.
Watch a “torcedor” or cigar roller at work, and enjoy some delicious Cuban coffee. If you’re a cigar fan, you can buy the cigars that have just been rolled in front of you.
Now it’s time to say hello to Hemingway with a visit to El Floridita – his favourite bar which is now graced with a life size statue of the man himself. Enjoy a refreshing daiquiri before moving on the Partagas Cigar Factory to learn more about the cultural significance of Cuban cigars.
It’s now time to explore Havana’s art scene with a visit to Callejon de Hammel. It’s a brightly coloured alleyway in central Havana and is where many of Havana’s established and emerging artists work. Our Cuba private tours allow you to visit various studios and watch the artists at work, and hear them talk about how their country’s history has influenced their work. Your itinerary will also include any artistic events that are being staged in the city at the time of your visit.
In the evening your guide can arrange for tickets and transfers to the Tropicana Cabaret (cost not included in your tour), Cuba’s oldest and most prestigious cabaret, set over lush tropical gardens in Havana’s Marianao neighbourhood. This iconic venue has been delighting crowds since 1939 and you really should join them.
- A visit to the Havana Rum Museum
- Partagas Cigar Factory
- El Floridita bar – Enjoy a traditional Cuban cocktail as you follow in the footsteps of Hemingway
- Visit Callejon de Hammel, as well as the homes and galleries of prominent and emerging Cuban artists
Day Five – Trinidad via Santa Clara (B)
It’s remarkable to take in the serenity of contemporary Santa Clara and consider that it was the site of the vicious last battle of the Cuban Revolution. The town has recovered since 1958 and is now a place of profound beauty. The fact that the city was extensively damaged has meant that buildings were replaced in an eclectic style, making for a truly unique cityscape.
Given the town’s importance in the revolution, it was decided that it should be home to the final resting place of Che Guevara. His memorial is a fitting tribute to the hero of the revolution and has an austere loveliness. Naturally, your guide will be able to tell you just why Che has become such an iconic figure – so much more than a face on tee-shirts.
After Santa Clara, your 8 Day Cuba Private Tour will take you to the sun-drenched streets of Trinidad. The US-based Amish religion are known for trying to live as though the modern world doesn’t exist, and so they might rather enjoy Trinidad!
The city is a living museum, stuck in the time of Cuba’s first War of Independence when local sugar plantations were devastated by fire. Modern intrusions are a rare sight and it’s possible to imagine yourself transported back in time. Here you have almost two full days to explore Trinidad and its surroundings. After your induction walk around the town, your guide will make a number of suggestions regarding the best optional activities to do at the time of your visit. Time seems to have stood still in Trinidad, and you will have plenty of time to fully enjoy this experience.
Spend your first afternoon simply strolling the cobbled streets and admiring the colonial architecture. Make sure you remember the way to the Plaza Mayor (central square), since you’ll want to come back here when the sun goes down. Here you’ll find Trinidad’s Casa de la Musica, with salsa dancing until your feet hurt. If you’re a bit shy to try salsa dancing, then you should perhaps enjoy a reasonably priced mojito (or two) to give you some courage.
- Che Guevara Memorial in Santa Clara
- A walking tour of Trinidad
- A visit to the Casa de la Musica for a fantastic evening of Cuban dance and music
Day Six – Trinidad (B)
Your time in and around Trinidad is all about creating memories that will linger forever. You will never forget taking in the panoramic views of the Valle de Los Ingenios, a valley near Trinidad that was once the focal point of Cuba’s sugar production. There are dozens of disused sugar mills, slave quarters and manor houses and it’s wonderfully eerie to walk amongst them and imagine what life here was once like. After the end of slavery, many of the once captive men and women spread out around Cuba, giving the country its distinctive Afro-Caribbean culture which has been mixed with the country’s Spanish heritage to create Cuba as we know and love it.
Next, our Cuba private tours allow you to head for the hills – namely the 90 km stretch of mountains known as Sierra del Escambray. This area is popular with hikers, and you can explore all you want, although you might not want to spend all day here since you would miss out on the beach!
We’ll take you to Playa Ancon, a precious ribbon of white beach on Sancti Spíritus’ iridescent Caribbean shoreline, is usually touted – with good reason – to be the finest arc of sand on Cuba’s south coast. If the day is hot, remember to bring your swimsuit so you can enjoy the azure sea that looks so inviting that it’s almost a cliché.
Back in Trinidad your guide will be able to recommend the very best restaurants and music venues to visit for an evening of fantastic Cuban entertainment.
- A visit to the Valley of the Sugar Mills
- Playa Ancon
Day Seven – Havana via Cienfuegos and the Bay of Pigs (B)
Today you’ll visit Cienfuegos on your way back to Havana.
It wasn’t only the Spanish who settled Cuba, and a number of French migrants came to the island to seek their fortune. Cienfuegos was their city, and the French influence is rather obvious when you look at the architecture that will surround you. Cienfuegos is more well-preserved than other Cuban cities since it was generally bypassed by pirates in favour of larger targets.
Your guide will lead you on an exploration of the wide streets and promenades, ending at the ocean where you’ll enjoy a cocktail at the city’s Palacio de Valle.
After a break for a lunch of your choosing (lunch is not included today), it’s time to leave Cienfuegos behind and take a short drive to the Bay of Pigs. The Bay of Pigs/Playa Girón is where the US attempted an ultimately unsuccessful takeover of Cuba with an army of Cuban exiles. The area’s brutal history is a stark contrast to its current peace and beauty, and you’ll have a look at just what happened here in the fascinating local museum dedicated to the events.
This is another place to have your swimsuit ready since the placid waters are calling your name. The water is warm and clear, and the impressive underwater visibility coupled with the abundant underwater life make this a top spot for snorkelling.
Once you’ve (reluctantly) left the water, it’s time to make your way back to heavenly Havana.
- Cienfuegos Walking Tour
- 1 x Drink at Palacio de Valle
- A visit to the Bay of Pigs and museum
- Snorkel at the Bay of Pigs
Day Eight – Havana (B)
For the duration of your trip, your guide will have been telling you all about his or her favourite places, and now is your opportunity to visit some of these places in Havana. You can spend the last of your time exploring any area of the city you might want, before bidding Havana and Cuba a fond farewell… until next time. We’ll arrange transport back to the airport to catch your departing flight.
- Airport transfer to catch your departing flight.
Inclusions and exclusions
8 Days, 7 Nights
7 breakfasts, 2 lunches
Cuban B&B's (7 nights) - hotel upgrades available
Orientation walks at each destination, Full Day Havana Tour, Vinales Day Tour, Cigar Factory and Rum Museum, Visit Callejon de Hammel and meet prominent and emerging artists, Che Memorial & Museum, Casa de la Musica, Trinidad Township Tour, Valley of the Sugar Mills Tour, Cienfuegos Walking Tour.
There are a range of optional activities and excursions you can enjoy on your 8 Day Private Cuba Tour
International flights, all lunches and dinners (unless specified), travel insurance, Cuba Visitor Visa & passport costs, drinks, tips & Gifts, optional activities, airport taxes – see our Cuba Travel Library or ‘Ask Us’ for more details.
It’s your choice of Historic Hotels or authentic Casa Particulares (B&B’s)
Our Private Cuba Tours use only the best Casa Particulares – Cuban B&B’s. These Cuban Bed and Breakfast establishments offer a taste of authentic life on the island. You’ll have privacy while still being able to interact with the locals as much as you want. It’s a stark difference to most types of accommodation, and you will truly be made to feel welcome – you might forget that you’re a paying guest and not a long lost family friend!
There is also the opportunity to upgrade to 4-5* accommodation in some or all of the destinations you will visit. Just let us know your requirements and we will tailor the perfect Cuba tour itinerary for you.
A number of accommodation options are in older buildings without an elevator. If you have issues with mobility and will be unable to comfortably climb several flights of stairs, please let us know. We can happily find you a wonderful alternative to suit your needs.
One of our favourite Casa’s (B&B’s) in Havana, Casa Alta-Habana is located right in the heart of Havana Vieja just next to the beautiful Plaza Vieja.
Or perhaps you would like to spend the night at the beautiful San Felipe 5*, the historic Hotel Raquel 4* or the classical Boutique la Union during your time in Cuba? We can book a range of hotels and resorts in Cuba as part of your Private Cuba Tour with us.
Tours depart every day on request.
- Spaces available
- Guaranteed departure
- Very limited availability
- Tour sold out
Tours depart every day on request.
- Spaces available
- Guaranteed departure
- Very limited availability
- Tour sold out
8 Day Private Cuba Tour – Audacious Cuba
Based on two people sharing - B&B accommodation
Hotel upgrades available
Please review our booking conditions
About the location payment
For the tours we run in Cuba, we ask that a ‘on location payment’ is made to your tour guide at the beginning of your tour in Cuba. The 'on location' payment is not compulsory and you can pay the full amount of the tour by credit card or bank transfer if you prefer (remember 1USD = 1CUC) . These payments act as a safety blanket for our clients, help ensure our tours run to schedule and keep our prices very competitive.