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Cuba Highlights On Foot + Beach Extension

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days 10 US$ 1,910 US$ 1,814
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highlights
  • Casas particulares - Stay in family guesthouses
  • Havana - Discover the fading glamour of 'Old Havana'
  • Topes de Collantes - Hike through this region of mountainous tropical forest
  • Vinales - Walk amongst the tobacco fields and limestone landscapes
The Cuba Highlights on Foot + Beach Extension tour starts in Havana and ends in Playa Jibacoa. The Cuba Highlights on Foot + Beach Extension is a Walking Tour that takes 10 days taking you from Havana to Playa Jibacoa and through other destinations in North America.

On this walking trip in Cuba experience the wonderful local hospitality whilst appreciating the natural landscapes, walking in tropical forests and beautiful valleys. Discover the glamorous past of Old Havana, enjoy Cuban music in Trinidad and relax at a Caribbean beach resort. Casas particulares - Gain a unique insight into this colourful and interesting county staying with local families Topes de Collantes - Hike through forests rich in flora and fauna and swim in waterfalls Vinales Valley - Walk amongst the tobacco field and through the striking limestone landscape
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Our trip starts in Havana. Throughout this trip we stay in casas particulares, family-run guesthouses. On arrival to the main guesthouse in 'Centro Habana' (as detailed in your Joining Instructions) you will be met by your host and shown to your room in one of their three local guesthouses. Havana is a fascinating city. In 'Old Havana' Spanish grand colonial buildings rub shoulders with those of glorious art deco style, as the ubiquitous old American cars and taxis cruise past. After years of neglect some of these magnificent buildings are being restored, and it is not hard to imagine back to Havana's glamorous heyday when it was a popular haunt of the rich and famous. One of the first to be restored was the impressive art deco style Bacardi Building. Today Havana has something for everyone including museums, shopping and street cafes. At night the city's legendary music and cocktails bars come into their own.
Accommodation
  • Simple casas particulares
After breakfast in the main guesthouse, we make a short city tour of Havana as we drive out of the city. En route sights we will see include Plaza de la Revolucion and the grand mansions of Miramar district. We then drive to Las Terrazas a small community and nature reserve to the west of the city, and part of the UNESCO Biosphere of Sierra del Rosario. Here we take a walk in the reserve, the result of an extensive regeneration project. We take a picnic lunch and have the opportunity to swim in the nearby natural pools of River San Juan, surrounded by lush, tropical forest. Later we drive to the small town of Vinales where we have a short walk around the centre and meet our homestay hosts for the next two nights. Vinales is situated in one of the most picturesque areas of Cuba - the Valle de Vinales is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is known for its distinctive landscape of limestone mogotes (steep sided dome formations) rising out from the floor of the valley, and for using traditional techniques to grow some of the best tobacco in the world in its red, iron rich soil. This tobacco is used in the famous Cuban cigars.

Today's six kilometre walk is expected to take around two hours with 50 metres of ascent and 100 metres of descent. The terrain is mainly forest trails.
Meals
  • Breakfast & Lunch
Accommodation
  • Simple casas particulares
This morning we take a walk in the Valle de Vinales, through the mogotes and tobacco fields, where the green of the vegetation contrasts with the red of the soil and the grey of the limestone. En route we visit a small-holding growing local crops. We learn how the tobacco is grown and harvested, and how the celebrated cigars are made. The afternoon is free to relax in Vinales, visit the local small botanical garden or take an optional local walk with our Explore Leader.

Today's five kilometre walk is expected to take around three hours with 150 metres of descent. The terrain is mainly on unmade paths and access roads. The optional walk will be between one and three hours, and on similar terrain.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Simple casas particulares
Starting out early we drive east for approximately six hours towards the Bay of Pigs. We drive through large citrus and sugar plantations and down onto the Zapata Peninsula to the coastline where the infamous 1961 'Bay of Pigs' attack (Cuban exiles supported by the US) failed to overthrow the Communist regime. After an optional lunch and swim in the area we continue on for another two hours to Cienfuegos, where we take a walking tour of this sheltered colonial seaport and have a free evening.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Simple casas particulares
This morning we drive inland to Topes de Collantes Natural Park in the beautiful, wooded Escambray Mountains, famous for its many endemic species of flora and fauna. After a short bus ride up a steep, switch-back road into the forest we arrive at the park entrance. Here we meet our local guide, who along with our Explore Leader will accompany us in the park, and climb into an old Russian military style truck for the journey to the start of our walk. Our hike may vary depending on the weather and the group but will take us well off the beaten track and reward our efforts with great views. We walk through tropical forest, and along rivers to arrive to Hacienda Codina, a small isolated lodge in the forest with beautiful gardens visited by hummingbirds, where we can relax and take refreshments.

This afternoon we reach the beautiful colonial town of Trinidad where we meet our homestay hosts for the next two nights. Trinidad was founded in 1514 by the Spanish and was strategically important for their conquest of Latin America. However during the 18th Century the sugar industry became well established in the nearby Valle de Los Ingenios and Trinidad prospered, leaving a legacy of beautiful 18th and 19th century buildings now in varying states of repair. During this time the town was regularly attacked by pirates and it is said that the street layout is deliberately complicated so as to confuse attackers. Today the winding streets of Trinidad still have their own charm; we take a short city tour, including a cocktail making lesson. Just off the main square is a great place to enjoy a cocktail and dance the night away under the stars on the steps of the local Casa de la Musica.

Today's 10 kilometre walk is expected to take around four hours with 200 metres of ascent and 400 metres of descent. The terrain is mainly unmade forest trails.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Simple casas particulares
Today we take a walk in the nearby local El Cubano Reserve, following the river as it leads up into the tropical forest. We'll look out for local flora and fauna en route before reaching a waterfall and one of the best natural swimming pools in Cuba. We have plenty of time for a swim and to relax at this beautiful place before retracing our steps to where our bus is waiting for us. The afternoon is free to explore Trinidad at your own pace, visit the beach or take a salsa lesson.

Today's four kilometre walk is expected to take around one-and-a-half hours with 120 metres of descent. The terrain is mainly unmade forest trails
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Simple casas particulares
Driving north we travel for a couple of hours to Santa Clara, home to the monument and mausoleum of Cuba's national hero Che Guevara. We visit the mausoleum and small museum before continuing our journey for approximately another four hours. We arrive to Havana in time for an afternoon walk around 'Old Havana' visiting Capitol, Parque Central, and the main squares before returning to our Centro Habana guesthouses for our last night. Our Explore Leader will organise an optional last dinner in 'Old Havana'.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Simple casas particulares
This morning you'll say good bye to those that are not extending their stay as they transfer to the airport with the Explore leader. You'll then travel to Playa Jibacoa for our stay on the beach. This extension is not escorted by an Explore Leader, but the staff in the hotel will be more than happy to help with anything that you may need. Around an hours drive brings us to our beach hotel, the 4* Memories Jibacoa, where we will be spending the next two nights relaxing after the week of walking. Whether you would like to lie in the sun, soaking up some warmth, or take a dip in the beautiful ocean; your time at Jibacoa can be as active or as relaxing as you feel. If you do want to continue with some more walking the town is backed by a limestone ledge, with excellent cliff top views and some easy paths for you to enjo
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Premium hotel
Today we have the full day at leisure on the beach. Our hotel here is an all-inclusive, which means that you are at your leisure to enjoy everything that the beach and hotel have to offer. The area is blessed with a coral reef located just a couple of metres from shore, and the hotel provides snorkelling gear and kayaks for you to explore the turquoise waters and reef. Nestled between the leafy mountains and golden sands, the hotel is beautifully situated with a tempting pool and lush green hills with easy-to-follow trails for keen hikers, offering spectacular views over the ocean.
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Premium hotel
This morning sees our last few hours relaxing in Jibacoa before we transfer back to Havana airport where the trip will finish.
Meals
  • Breakfast
what’s included
Meals
  • 9 Breakfast, 3 Lunch, 2 Dinner
Accommodation
  • 7 nights simple casas particulares
  • 2 nights premium hotel
Transport
  • Bus, Truck
Guide
  • Explore Tour Leader, Driver(s), Local Guide(s)
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to Havana and from Playa Jibacoa are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Cuba Highlights on Foot + Beach Extension tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Duration 10 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 17 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Havana, Cuba/ Playa Jibacoa, Cuba
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Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Cuba Highlights on Foot + Beach Extension
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Payment

A deposit of 181 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 59 days before departure. For any departures within 24 July 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Cuba Highlights on Foot + Beach Extension tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Cuba Highlights on Foot + Beach Extension tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Cuba Highlights on Foot + Beach Extension tour. You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 59 days of departure.
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