Why we love this trip:
- 10 days in Cuba gives you enough time to unlock the marvellous mysteries of Cuba and the people who call her home.
- Though the tour is exhaustive, it’s certainly not exhausting, with plenty of spare time to explore Cuba on your own (particularly its remarkable nightlife).
- You’ll get to experience the glory of Viñales - an utterly charming village that’s also the heart of Cuba’s tobacco production.
- The beaches you used to love might not seem so special after some of the beaches you’ll experience on our 10 day Cuba group tour.
- If you don’t already have a taste for Cuban cocktails, you probably will after this tour! And of course, you’ll learn how to make your own under friendly, expert tutelage.
- Take in the French-inspired architecture of Cienfuegos.
- You’ll visit the final resting place of the iconic (and controversial) Che Guevara.
- Check out the history, significance (and deliciousness) of rum with a visit to the Havana Rum Museum. Learn more about the production of cigars at a Havana cigar factory.
- Check out the pulsing heart of Havana’s artistic community when visiting Callejon de Hammel.
- The people of Cuba. Meeting the locals might well be your most-loved part of your 10 day Cuba group tour.
Is this Cuba tour for me?
Our Cuba group tours are perfect for those who want the freedom and flexibility to travel at their own pace, along with the security, camaraderie and cultural insight that comes from travelling with a local English-speaking guide and small group.
- Age is just a number... well that's what we think anyway. Our Cuba group tours suit a particular travel ethos, rather than age group. Our ideal traveller is someone that wants to immerse themselves in Cuban culture and experience everything that makes Cuba so unique.. the amazing, the confusing and the confounding.
- Cuban B&B’s (Casa Particulares) are family run business which are set-up to provide B&B style accommodation to foreigners – a unique cultural experience. Casa’s are generally much nicer than normal Cuban dwellings but can be more basic than foreigners are used to. It is important to remember that each room at a Casa is unique in its size and set-up. Whether you stay in a hotel or Casa, sometimes power cuts and breaks in hot water are unavoidable in any developing country.
- Part of the experience of traveling through Cuba is experiencing Cuban resourcefulness. Spare parts are often difficult and expensive to come by, so don’t be surprised if your notice that ‘Cuban innovation’ has been used to keep various things working.
- Access to the internet in Cuba is getting better but can still be variable, slow and unreliable. It is also relatively expensive to get online at a hotel or one of the various Wifi zones that have been set-up across the country. Traveling through Cuba offers a great opportunity to take a break from your electronic devices and have a truly relaxing experience.
- Cuba is a unique travel destination and that is what makes it so popular. It is part of the ‘laid back Caribbean’ and things don’t always go to plan or schedule. A great sense of humour and patience are qualities that will go along way in making your stay in Cuba an enjoyable one.
Estimated travel times:
Have you ever been on a tour where you’re briskly rushed from place to place? This doesn’t happen on our 10 day Cuba group tour. A leisurely pace of life is truly a typically Cuban mentality, so on a longer journey we will of course stop for lunch, a chance to stretch your legs, and to take in the beauty of your surroundings. Your approximate travel times on our 10 day Cuba group tour will be as follows:
- From Havana to Cienfuegos (via Bay of Pigs): 5 hours
- From Cienfuegos to Trinidad (via Santa Clara): 3 hours
- From Trinidad to Viñales: 7 to 8 hours
- From Viñales to Havana: 3 hours
To download our Cuba drive times map (click here).
All private transportation is included between destinations and for any activities/ excursions included in your itinerary that require transportation to and from the activity. Any extra transportation requirements can be organised through your Cuban guide and paid for locally in Cuba.
Public transport in Cuba can be beautifully, even hilariously chaotic, but this is not something that you’ll need to worry about. You will be driven from destination to destination in comfort and style, using private transportation, with air conditioning of course, which you will probably be rather thankful for!
Spending money on tour:
Everyone spends their money differently while on tour. Some days you might be tempted to spend a little more, and other days you might not. It’s completely up to you. Many of your primary expenses are included in your 10 day Cuba group tour, but you will need to consider other expenses, namely drinks, food, your transport to the airport for your departure, souvenirs, tips (ask your guide about an appropriate amount), and of course, any optional excursions and activities. We estimate that you will need approximately 50.00 CUC (Cuban convertible pesos) to 60.00 CUC per person, per day to cover your local expenses.
How to sum up Havana? This complex, culturally-rich, and fascinatingly contradictory city can perhaps be described in a single word: Alive. There’s a lot of hustle and bustle, but our expert local guides will ensure that your 8 day Cuba group tour will never be overwhelming. It’s important to remember that the first day of your 8 days in Cuba is considered to be a joining day, so any activities on this day will depend on what time your flight arrives. While there are no activities planned on this first part of the tour, your accommodation will have been arranged and you have the option to meet your guide and fellow tour members for a delicious dinner.
The heart of this scintillating city is undoubtedly Havana’s Old Town (La Habana Vieja). This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a sublime assault on your senses, with the beauty of the colonial era architecture combining with the spirit of the locals to make an experience that almost feels like some kind of immersive theatre production. Many of the main points of interest are within a conveniently close proximity to each other, so you can experience much of the city on foot (so be sure to pack some comfortable walking shoes). If you want to spend extra time in Cuba’s capital, we will be very happy to arrange your accommodation, and our expert guides will be able to give you some great recommendations about what parts of the city (and surrounding countryside) you should explore on your own. You can also book any extra day tours you might be interested in, through our sister organisation – Locally Sourced Havana Tours – www.havanatourcompany.com
- Airport Transfer on Arrival
There’s a significant stopover on the road to Cienfuegos. We’ll make a stop at Playa Girón, which is otherwise known as the Bay of Pigs. This infamous spot was where the US attempted to stage an invasion of Cuba, which was ultimately unsuccessful and ended up being one of the USA’s first military failures in Latin America.
Cienfuegos is often referred to as the Paris of the Caribbean, but upon arrival, you’ll wonder why anyone needs to compare this pearl of a city to anywhere else (OK, so it also happens to be known as the pearl of the Caribbean). The French influences come from the French migrants who congregated and made their home here, giving it a strikingly different look to other cities in Cuba which have more of a Spanish influence.
The wide boulevards and expansive parklands are ravishing, and history is on proud display at every turn. At the entrance to the harbour you’ll see the Castillo de Jagua, an ancient fort that allowed the city to withstand the pirate attacks that were once common in Cuba. Many buildings in the town have been given UNESCO world heritage status, and you might think you’ve never seen such a beautiful town… until we show you some other places on your 10 day Cuba group tour.
- Swim/ Snorkel at the Bay of Pigs
- Visit Museum Giron
- Guided Orientation Walk of Cienfuegos City
- 1 x Drink at the impressive Palacio de Valle
Your journey to Trinidad features a stop in the city of Santa Clara to pay your respects to Cuba’s most famous adopted hero. Argentinian-born Che Guevara became an icon of the Cuban Revolution, and after he died attempting to do in Bolivia what he did in Cuba, his body was unceremoniously buried in an unmarked grave. When his remains were discovered, he was exhumed and brought to Santa Clara for a hero’s burial in a purpose-built mausoleum. Santa Clara was the site of one of the final (and bloodiest) battles in the revolution, the city where Guevara and his rebels successfully derailed a military train carrying weapons and ammunition to be used against Fidel Castro.
And then it’s time to continue to Trinidad, a true delight located in Cuba’s heartland. This city was founded in 1514 and rose to prominence due to the extensive sugar production that took place in the nearby Valley of the Sugar Mills. This came to an end when slavery was abolished in Cuba, and Trinidad’s fortunes began a rapid decline. It has since been painstakingly restored, and the central city is now like a living, breathing, fascinating museum. Take the opportunity to visit a local waterfall, historic sugar mill or one of Cuba’s best beaches – Playa Ancon.
- Che Guevara Memorial and Museum
- Guided Trinidad Township Walk
- Informal Salsa Lesson
How will you know you’re getting close to Viñales on your 8 day Cuba group tour? Perhaps it will be the red, rich, fertile soil. Maybe it will be the mogotes - dramatic, circular rock formations that look like a beauty mark jutting upwards from the earth. Maybe it’s the fact that your guide will start to excitedly tell you that you’re almost there! Viñales is reasonably close to Havana, and has been popular with visitors for generations. In the heart of the Pinar del Rio valley, most of Cuba’s tobacco production takes place in and around Viñales. A closer exploration of this remarkable farmland with a succulent lunch at an organic farm is going to be a highlight during your 8 days in Cuba.
When the sun goes down, the village of Viñales comes out to play. There is a remarkable energy to the township, which is deceptive given its relaxed, laid-back atmosphere.
- Guided Orientation Walk of Vinales Township
- Lunch at an Organic Farm
- Tobacco Farm and Drying House
It’s just a short drive back to the Cuban capital for the last days of your tour. There will be a number of arranged activities, plus plenty of chances to explore at your own leisure. Don’t forget that there are some brilliant treats waiting for you during these last days of your 10 day Cuba group tour. You will see the other elements of the city and how they all come together to form contemporary Havana. Don’t worry, this will be done in style, in the back of one of those classic American cars that Cuba is known for.
You’ll then be taken to one of our favourite spots in the whole city, a rooftop terrace in Havana’s Old Town. You will be taught how to make a delicious mojito (or a non-alcoholic alternative if you prefer) before enjoying a stunning dinner with your guide and the fellow members of your 10 day Cuba group tour. Is there a better way to end your 10 days in Cuba than with a relaxing dinner while watching the sun go down over one of the most glorious cities in the world?
- Convertible Classic Car Tour
- Mojito Making Lesson and Roof-top Dinner
Time to put on your walking shoes for a walking tour of Havana’s Old Town. You’ll get to know her like an old friend as you walk through her ravishing network of plazas, essentially the places that the city was built around. Old Havana is the village where the modern city grew from. It was once a walled settlement (to protect the fledgling outpost from pirates and hostile foreign forces). Of course, Havana couldn’t be contained, and her history will come to life as your expert guide leads you along her streets. Speaking of streets, this portion of your 10 day Cuba group tour includes a stop on the Callejon de Hammel. This nifty little street is where a number of local artists chose to live and work. And like the boundaries of Havana, their creativity couldn’t be contained. The street is basically one big artist’s studio, with lavish, vibrant murals and street art.
- Old Havana Walking tour
- Visit Callejon de Hamel
Your 10 day Cuba group tour needs some time to get familiar with some of Cuba’s finest products, and this will definitely be the case. The Havana Rum Museum is housed in a colonial-era mansion in the heart of the city and details the history and cultural significance of this heavenly drink, and naturally there will be chances to taste the product. Next on the agenda is the Partagas Cigar Factory where the mystique behind cigar making will be revealed, allowing you to gain a sense of the significance of these beauties. You will also witness first hand the amount of effort, care and tradition that goes into making these Cuban treasures (even non-smokers will find this tour very interesting).
- Havana Rum Museum
- Partagas Cigar Factory
Day 10 of the tour is time to say goodbye, with no scheduled activities. This means you are free to leave at any time, depending on when your flight leaves. But of course, your expert local guide can give you suggestions about what to do if you happen to have much of the day free. You could, of course, simply perch yourself in one of Havana’s sublime plazas and watch the world go by...
Our single supplement policy:
It can be a common annoyance when you travel by yourself. Why do you need to be charged a single supplement fee for your accommodation? We don’t know why this is, and we don’t like it anymore than you do! This is why we don’t have a single supplement fee if you happen to be making your way to Cuba as a solo adventurer. You will still have the option of sharing a room, but it’s entirely up to you. Doesn’t it feel great not to be discriminated against?
Your 10 day Cuba group tour includes being picked up at Havana’s José Martí International Airport and delivered to your accommodation in the city. For your departure, your guide can help you to arrange transportation at a time that’s convenient for you.
While there are some optional activities and excursions that could be considered to be physically strenuous, the vast majority of your 10 days in Cuba will not be physically demanding. Having said that, you will need to have an average level of fitness and mobility. There will be a lot of exploration on foot, and so you should be able to walk without the assistance of another person. Please also remember that you will be required to carry your own luggage in many instances, as well as being able to enter and exit the tour bus. Some attractions also require you to climb stairs.
Accommodation on tour:
We just know you’re going to love staying in a Casa Particular. These Cuban bed and breakfast establishments offer a taste of authentic life on the island. Their increasing popularity is a reflection of how Cuba is easing a lot of former restrictions on private enterprise. This allows Cuban families to convert a section of their home into accommodation, giving them a stream of income, while also allowing visitors to stay in a more welcoming environment than most hotels are able to offer. 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 member of the family, and this is all part of the fun. Some accommodation providers are in older buildings without an elevator. If you believe that your physical capabilities will make it difficult to climb stairs, simply let us know. We will be able to find you a suitable alternative. And if you should want to spend a few extra days in Havana (and who wouldn’t?), please let us know. You can easily use our online form when making your booking to arrange additional accommodation as needed.
Our 10 Day / 9 Night Cuba Group Tour uses standard Casa/ B&B accommodation. You can learn more about staying in Casa's here.
Supporting the Cuban people:
All of our Cuba group tours are dedicated to supporting the Cuban people, patronizing privately owned small businesses across Cuba.
Your itinerary is designed to introduce you to the local Cuban people and steer funds towards its citizens. On our Cuba group tours you will stay in Casa Particulares (privately run Cuban B&B’s) and eat at Paladares (privately run restaurants). You will also have the chance to interact with Cuban’s from all walks of life, listening to their stories, and sharing your own.