Rating in Cuba
$ 2547

Eastern Cuba Explorer

Culture
Culture
min $ 2547
Per person
Tour details
Destinations: Trinidad
Guide language: English
Price: min $ 2547
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  • Overview & dates
  • Itinerary
  • What's included

Overview & dates

INTRO

Eastern Cuba is an intoxicating mix of vibrant culture, colonial history and raw natural beauty. Starting off in Havana, drive to Matanzas and discover why it was once dubbed the 'Athens of Cuba' before visiting the grave of Ché Guevara in Santa Clara. Explore Trinidad, the most picturesque colonial town in the America’s, and visit Camagüey`s hidden colonial churches and museums. Head to the energetic city of Santiago de Cuba to uncover its Afro-Caribbean culture. Next stop off in Guantanamo, before ending your trip on the rugged shores of Baracoa where you will visit the Spanish forts that once protected Cuba’s oldest city and sample the most exotic cuisine in Cuba.


GROUP DATES

  • 09 Nov 2018 to 21 Nov 2018 - £ 1,995 - AV
  • 10 May 2019 to 22 May 2019 - £ 1,995 - AV
  • 08 Nov 2019 to 20 Nov 2019 - £ 1,995 - AV

If these dates do not suit you but you are interested in this tour, please contact us for alternative dates.

AV - Available
GD - Guaranteed
LM - Limited places left
OR - On request (contact us for status)
CL - Closed for bookings


All tours in Cuba


HIGHLIGHTS

Visit Revolution Square in New Havana

Visit Che Guevara's mausoleum in Santa Clara

Cobbled colonial streets of Trinidad

Camaguey's labyrinth of winding alleys

Afro-Caribbean culture of Santiago de Cuba

Rugged coastal scenery of Baracoa

Colonial charm of Old Havana


PLACES VISITED

Havana - Matanzas - Santa Clara - Trinidad - Ciego de Avila - Camaguey - Santiago de Cuba - Guantanamo - Baracoa Havana
Matanzas
Santa Clara
Trinidad
Ciego de Avila
Camaguey
Santiago de Cuba
Guantanamo
Baracoa

Itinerary

ITINERARY

Short | Detailed | PDF


Choose departure date09 Nov 2018 -- 21 Nov 201810 May 2019 -- 22 May 201908 Nov 2019 -- 20 Nov 2019

Day 1 : Havana

Arrive at Havana airport, where you will be met by a Travel the Unknown representative and transferred to your casa. Overnight in Havana.

Arrive in Havana airport where you will be greeted by a Travel The Unknown representative and transferred by classic car to your casa. Overnight in Havana.

Meal plan : n/a


Day 2 : Havana - Matanzas - Santa Clara

Explore the Revolution Square and New Havana. Visit Teatro Sautro in Matanzas. Later stop off at the Cuevas de Bellamar. Overnight stay in Santa Clara.

In the morning, explore the Revolution Square and New Havana (Vedado district). Set off for Matanzas to visit the exquisite Teatro Sauto, built in 1863, and stop for lunch. Continue to the Cuevas de Bellamar (cave complex) on the outskirts of the city before driving to Santa Clara and checking in at the casa. The evening is free to rest or explore. Overnight in Santa Clara.

Meal plan : Breakfast


Sprawling around a vast bay, Matanzas is known as the ‘City of Bridges’ after the seventeen bridges that cross the three rivers splitting the city. It was founded in 1690 and saw intensive developments of sugar plantations during the colonial era. Due to the high population of African slaves, the city was the centre of many plots and uprisings. As a result of this, Matanzas retains many African traditions. 

Vedado was built in the 19th Century funded by the wealth generated from the sugar industry and the now crumbling houses were once a sign of wealth and opulence. In the district lies the Plaza de la Revolucion where Castro made some of his most rousing speeches and the Malecon which offers fantastic views over the sea. La Rampa is also part of Vedado and is the location of the famous Hotel de Nacional as well as being a centre point for gay culture.

Day 3 : Santa Clara - Trinidad

Visit Ché Guevara's Mausoleum. Travel on to Trinidad and take a tour of the city. Overnight stay in Trinidad.

After breakfast, visit Ché Guevara's Mausoleum, where the Latin American hero was re-buried. Learn about his influence on Cuba and why he is so revered. Drive to Trinidad. On arrival, check in to the casa before enjoying an afternoon walking tour of the city - a justifiable UNESCO heritage site, with a charming colonial central plaza, cathedral, and pastel-coloured buildings that line the cobbled street. The evening is free at your leisure. Overnight in Trinidad. 

Meal plan : Breakfast


Located in the heart of Cuba, Santa Clara was built in 1689 by people who left Remedios to escape the pirate attacks and was built in a square shaped pattern. It is known for being the home of Marta Abreu de Estévez also known as the Benefactress of the city who donated money to improve the life of Santa Clara's citizens. Her influence can still be seen throughout the city as an asylum, several schools and a theatre still stand. It is also known for being the final resting place of Ché Guevara who captured the city during the final battle of the Cuban Revolution in 1958, toppling Batistas regime.

Ché Guevara was a revered and controversial historical figure. Born in Argentina, he became radicalised when, as a medical student, he witnessed the terrible poverty, hunger and disease during his travels around South America. This fused with his interest in Marxism and he realised that the only way to solve South and Central America's problems was through armed revolution. In 1954, he travelled to Mexico, met Fidel Castro and joined his 26th July Movement. He played a key role in the guerrilla war against the Cuban dictator Batista, capturing Santa Clara in the final battle of the revolution and toppling the dictator's regime. He guided the country towards a friendship with the Soviet Union which thanks to US sanctions hurt Cuba's economy and along with some unsuccessful reforms caused him to fall out with Cuba's leaders. He left the country in 1965 to spread revolution to parts of the developing world. After an unsuccessful guerrilla campaign in the Congo, Ché Guevara travelled to Bolivia to lead forces fighting against the government. He was captured with the help of the CIA and executed on 9th October 1967. His remains were exhumed in 1997 and reburied in Santa Clara. During his life, Che Guevara was a prolific writer and had written a manual on guerrilla warfare as well as a memoir of his time travelling as a student. Today, he is still a hero in Cuba and has become a worldwide symbol of rebellion. His image has become a commodity over the years and is found on an endless array of items contributing to the consumer culture that he hated.

Day 4 : Trinidad

Visit Valle de los Ingenios, enjoy scenic views and a pottery-making workshop. Return to Trinidad for overnight stay.

After breakfast, visit the Valle de los Ingenios (meaning "Sugar Valley"). Climb the watch tower for panoramic views of the stunning landscape. Stop off at other vantage points and the local pottery-making workshop where you can buy handicrafts. In the early afternoon, return to the centre of Trinidad. The rest of the day is free to relax or explore. Overnight in Trinidad.

Meal plan : Breakfast


Founded in 1514, Trinidad prospered from the sugar trade in the 19th Century. Set between the Escambray Mountains and the beautiful Caribbean coastline, the city was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. Its architecture is a mix of 18th Century Moorish and Andalusian influences and 19th Century European neoclassical forms. The irregular pattern of the city’s squares and cobbled streets make it a great city to explore. It is a perfectly preserved example of a Spanish colonial settlement with its illustrious colonial style mansions full of Italian frescoes, wedgewood china and French chandeliers which hark back to the city’s heyday.

Day 5 : Trinidad

Spend the day at your leisure. Overnight in Trinidad.

Today is free at your leisure, with options to explore more of the city or take a local taxi to nearby Playa Ancón (11km). It is a beautiful stretch of white sand with some of the best diving and snorkelling on the island. Overnight in Trinidad.

Meal plan : Breakfast


Located near the city of Trinidad, Playa Ancón is a tourist only beach that boasts nearly 6 kilometres of white sand which is ideal for relaxing on. The beach is also a hotspot for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving. It has 21 scuba-diving sites where you can see concentrations of black coral, sponges, common sea fans and a wide variety of other colourful fish.

Day 6 : Trinidad - Ciego de Ávila - Camagüey

Depart for Camagüey, stopping en route at Ciego de Ávila. The evening is free to relax. Overnight stay in Camagüey.

After breakfast, leave for Camagüey. Stop en-route at Ciego de Ávila for lunch, arriving early afternoon in Camagüey. The evening is free to rest. Overnight in Camagüey.

Meal plan : Breakfast


Founded in 1840, the city of Ciego de Avila is in the central part of Cuba. It is a major centre for commerce and transportation for the surrounding agricultural lands. Sugarcane is the main commodity although tropical fruits, beeswax, honey and molasses are also produced. It is regarded as the most modern of Cuba’s provincial capitals and the famous pop-artist Raul Martinez was born there. Much of the city’s neoclassical architecture was commissioned by the widowed socialite Angela Hernandez Viuda de Jimenez, who fought to create a cultural hub in her hometown.

Day 7 : Camagüey

Take a walking tour of Camagüey. The rest of the day will be free to spend at your leisure. Overnight stay in Camagüey.

Enjoy a half-day walking tour in Camagüey where you will explore its maze-like streets, around the corners of which lie hidden churches and squares. The rest of the day is free. Overnight in Camagüey.

Meal plan : Breakfast


Camagüey is the third largest city in Cuba. It’s a labyrinth of winding alleys and forked streets which, according to local legend, was to defend the city against pirates and raiders. A more practical, and far less exotic, reason is that the city developed without proper planning. Camagüey’s historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Day 8 : Camagüey - Santiago de Cuba

Drive to Santiago de Cuba. The rest of the day is free to spend at your leisure. Overnight in Santiago de Cuba.

Drive to Santiago de Cuba. The rest of the day is free at your leisure. Overnight in Santiago de Cuba.

Meal plan : Breakfast


Santiago de Cuba was founded by the Spanish in 1514 and experienced an influx of French immigrants coming from Haiti in the late 18th Century. This French influence added to the eclectic mix of African and Spanish cultures already thriving in the city. The city was the launch pad of Fidel Castro’s nationalist Revolution. Santiago de Cuba was the hometown of the poet Jose Maria Heredia and is a major hub for culture and the arts. Its famous for its traditional dances such as guaguanco and son, from which salsa is derived. The citadel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being the best example of Spanish-American military architecture. 

Day 9 : Santiago de Cuba

Take a tour of Santiago de Cuba. The rest of the day is free. Overnight stay in Santiago de Cuba.

Enjoy a half-day tour of Santiago de Cuba. The rest of the day is free. Overnight in Santiago de Cuba.

Meal plan : Breakfast


Day 10 : Santiago de Cuba - Guantanamo - Baracoa

Travel to Baracoa. Stop on the way to take a tour of Guantanamo. Overnight in Baracoa.

After breakfast, set off for Baracoa, a wild rugged town set on Cuba's eastern tip. Stop in Guantanamo en route, now more famous for the controversial US Naval Base. After a short tour of Guantanamo, continue the journey to Baracoa and check in at the casa. The evening is free at your leisure. Overnight in Baracoa.

Meal plan : Breakfast


Although it is famous for its US navy base, Guantanamo’s landscape is one of contrasts; thick rainforests in the north, and dry arid land in the south. The Nipe-Sagua-Baracoa Mountains dominate the region, dividing the climate. The north coast is battered by winds and is the wettest part of the country whilst the south is dry and sheltered and the hottest.  The province is 80 kilometres away from Haiti at its closest point and is close enough to see the lights of Haiti on a clear night. The province receives a high number of Jamaican immigrants and much of the architecture is comparable to the French Quarter of New Orleans making Guantanamo a place unlike any other in Cuba.

Day 11 : Baracoa

Take a walking tour of the city. The rest of the day is free to spend at your leisure. Overnight stay in Baracoa.

In the morning, go on a walking tour of the city. The rest of the day is free to explore at your leisure. Overnight in Baracoa.

Meal plan : Breakfast


Baracoa is the oldest Spanish settlement in Cuba and was the country's first capital. It is located on the spot where Christopher Columbus first landed on his first voyage to Cuba and is the only place where the descendents of the indigenous Taino still live. The table-topped hill, El Yunque, looms over the city and the cobbled streets are lined with carnival-coloured one story buildings. Cocoa is grown in the surrounding region and the city is famous for its white chocolate. The geographical isolation makes it an ideal destination for those looking to get away from the busier places that are typically popular with tourists. 

Day 12 : Baracoa - Havana

Travel to the airport for your flight on to Havana. Enjoy a tour of the Old Havana district. The evening is free to spend at your leisure. Overnight stay in Havana.

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Havana. In the afternoon, enjoy a walking tour of the Old Havana district, known for its pastel-coloured colonial buildings and elegantly crumbling facades. Visit some of its enchanting plazas, including the beautiful neoclassical buildings in the Plaza de Armas and the baroque cathedral in the Plaza de la Catedral. The evening is free at your leisure. Overnight in Havana.

Meal plan : Breakfast


Founded in the 16th Century by the Spanish, Cuba’s capital Havana became the springboard for the Spanish conquest of the Americas because of its strategic location. It is often seen as being three cities in one with Old Havana, Vedado and modern suburban districts. Old Havana boasts a variety of different Western architectural styles such as Baroque and Neo-Classical and different features such as palaces, fortresses and squares. Its buildings and fortress walls were declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 and sit comfortably next to art deco and more modern styles. 

Day 13 : Departure

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or choose to extend your trip.

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or choose to extend your trip. 

Meal plan : Breakfast


What's included

INCLUDED Arrival & departure transfers Ground transport with driver Domestic flights (if relevant - refer to itinerary) Accommodation Meals (refer to itinerary for meal plan) Escorted English-speaking guide Entrance fees to sites & parks
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Travel The Unknown
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