The fascinating and unique country of Cuba has enough diversity to please all types of travelers. History buffs will revel in the feeling of time standing still in the charming towns, rich with color and culture. Nature lovers and adventure seekers will enjoy hiking through the jungle-covered mountains and lush valleys. Those looking for an exciting nightlife will find it in Havana, the lively capital city. And if all you want is a little R&R, then the country’s sandy beaches and azure waters are the perfect place to spend your days. Cuba has something for everyone! The colonial architecture, history, and music add to its appeal, culminating in a one-of-a-kind holiday. Anyone visiting with an open mind and adventurous spirit are sure to have an unforgettable experience!
Trip Summary: Cuba | 8 Days
Trip Dates: Year Round
Group Size: Max 8 Participants
Price From: $3600
Dates & Prices:
All inclusive package including accommodation for all nights, all in-country transport by bus and plane, private driver, expert local guides, and meals and activities as listed on the itinerary. *international airfare, visa fees, and gratuities are not included.
This Acanela Expedition © is an adventure with unique cultural interactions and beautiful accommodations in traditional colonial villas throughout Cuba. Embark on this small group exploration prepared to have many hands-on encounters with locals while experiencing all the historical & culinary highlights along the way.
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- Experience Cuba’s culture, art, cuisine, and history through unique city tours
- Learn how to prepare delicious, traditional dishes from one of Havana’s best chefs
- Tour Trinidad, one of Cuba's best preserved colonial cities
- Snorkel near Cayo Largo, in some of the Caribbean's most beautiful waters
- Visit the historic Bay of Pigs
- Explore Ernest Hemingway’s home—remaining as he left it in 1960
Day 1 Havana: Welcome to Cuba! Prepare yourself for a jam-packed adventure designed to create memories that’ll last a lifetime. Upon arrival at the José Martí International Airport, you’ll be greeted by the trip guide who’ll drive you through the city to the colonial accommodation in the capital city of Havana. After settling in, we’ll head out on the town and get to know artists, dancers, and musicians who’ve helped transform downtrodden neighborhoods into living works of art. We’ll surround ourselves in music and dance—the pulsing undercurrent of Cuban life. We’ll witness gifted young musicians being tutored in violin in San Antonio de los Baños, known for its numerous art schools. Become immersed in popular culture, from son to salsa to santería—the island’s syncretic religion fusing African and Catholic faiths. Accommodation: Old Havana Colonial Villa
Day 2 Viñales: Today we’ll visit the countless wonders of Viñales. This rural town is known for its unique mogotes—steep, rocky hills rising from sprawling plains. The region relies on agriculture, particularly tobacco cultivation, and we’ll learn how the local flora and fauna help with its production. We’ll see how the traditional Cuban Cigar is crafted and have the opportunity to try one ourselves. With plenty of caves to explore and cliffs to hike, it’s impossible to be bored. Make sure to stop by the “Mural of Prehistory,” a giant, vibrant painting on the mogote Pita that’s a truly incredible sight. After an exciting day spent in the countryside, we’ll return to Havana. In the evening, we’ll have the option of attending a salsa lesson. Salsa is found all throughout the Caribbean, but each country has their own specific style. The traditional Cuban style is called Casino, which many consider an integral part of the country’s society and culture. Accommodation: Old Havana Colonial Villa
Days 3-4 Havana: Begin the day touring Old Havana, teeming with captivating sights and sounds for the inquisitive traveler, such as Plaza de Armas—the city’s oldest square, El Templete—a monument honoring the location of the city’s foundation, Catedral de la Habana, and the Museo de la Revolución. However, even with all of these amazing places, the highlight for most visitors is simply being part of the exciting commotion of daily street-life. So put on your walking shoes and soak up the atmosphere of this lively city. We’ll end the day with a traditional Cuban dinner, learning the history of the country’s cuisine and how to prepare popular meals in a professional and relaxing setting. We’ll share our delicious dishes with our Cuban hosts as we listen to tales of Cuba's history around the dinner table. Accommodation: Old Havana Colonial Villa
Day 5 Havana & Trinidad: We’ll start our day in Havana with a must-see destination—Ernest Hemingway's Cuban home, Finca Vigía, located in the small, working-class neighborhood of San Francisco de Paula. Explore the beautiful home that remains as Hemingway left it in 1960, and listen as a guide shares a Cuban perspective on the writer’s strong connection to the local people. Afterwards, we’ll travel down the coast, stopping at the Zapata Wetlands along the way to learn about some of the Caribbean's most important ecosystems. We’ll arrive in charming Trinidad that afternoon, and tour Cuba's best preserved colonial city with a restoration expert. Set off on cobblestone streets, gazing upon colorful houses as we make our way to meet artisans, antiques collectors, and longtime residents who’ve transformed their historic homes into guesthouses. End the day watching a stunning sunset from the terrace of your picturesque colonial villa. Accommodation: Trinidad Colonial Casa
Days 6-7 Bay of Pigs & Cienfuegos: Today, head to the historic Bay of Pigs. Trace the dramatic events that occurred here at a small museum, and then step foot on Playa Girón—one of two landing sites for the 1961 US-backed invasion. We’ll also travel to Cienfuegos to explore Cuba's oldest botanical garden with a botany expert and learn about the country’s efforts to maintain its rich biodiversity and extraordinary plant life. Visit the present-day inhabitants of a former sugar mill town and spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach—the region’s calm waters are ideal for sailing, boating, snorkeling, and kayaking. After a day full of adventure, we’ll head back to Trinidad and unwind with a delicious, traditional dinner. Accommodation: Trinidad Colonial Casa
Day 8 Havana: Wake up to one last morning in Cuban paradise. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before departing for Havana’s José Martí International Airport to catch your flight back home. If you’re seeking even more adventure, join us on our 4-day extension to Eastern Cuba.
4-Day Extension to Eastern Cuba
Head to Eastern Cuba for an incredibly immersive historical experience! We’ll start in Santiago de Cuba—a city built in the early 16th century by Spanish conquistadors and known as the “cradle of the Revolution.” We’ll also travel to Baracoa, where Christopher Columbus first set foot on the country’s land. Get to know the local people and artisans, while participating in the region’s vibrant music and dance scene. Eastern Cuba is overflowing with lively culture, rich history, and some of the most stunning natural views; you don’t want to miss out on this unforgettable experience!
Day 1 Santiago de Cuba: After an 8-hour journey, we’ll arrive in Santiago de Cuba—a city built in the early 16th century by Spanish conquistadors. It’s known as the “Cradle of the Revolution” and served as a battleground during the Spanish-American War. Today we’ll visit many historical sites, including the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca. After an afternoon full of education, the evening will transition into a cultural exploration as we experience Santiago de Cuba’s vibrant, traditional music scene. Learn about the country’s unique rhythm that originates from Haitian French-speaking slaves and proximity to Jamaica. Accommodation: Traditional Casa Particular
Day 2 Santiago de Cuba: After a delicious breakfast, we’ll embark on a journey into the countryside. Our first stop will be the Cementerio Santa Ifigenia, one of Latin America’s most preserved cemeteries and the burial site of national heroes and presidents. Afterwards, spend the afternoon meeting Cuban artisans and learning about their trades. Try your hand at cooking a traditional dish, watch how sculptors perfect their art, and even observe a painting class. Accommodation: Traditional Casa Particular
Day 3 Baracoa: We’ll continue on to Baracoa, the island’s first Spanish settlement. When Christopher Columbus first encountered Cuba, he landed in Baracoa Bay and called it, “the most beautiful land that human eyes could set upon.” The scenic drive will take us along the picturesque coast and through lush mountains. Depending on the season, we’ll visit Humboldt National Park—home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. We’ll take a walking tour of the city and meet the Taíno people, who live in the surrounding villages. In the evening, enjoy a delicious dinner with locals and learn about traditional music and dance with some of the region’s best instructors. Accommodation: Traditional Casa Particular
Day 4 Baracoa & Santiago De Cuba: Sadly, we only have one last day of exploration in Baracoa. Traverse the stunning mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and beaches. Visit a local fishing community to learn how the fishing industry and produce markets operate on such a remote part of the island, and then head to a cacao farm and watch them make chocolate straight from cacao beans. In the afternoon, enjoy a farewell reception with a local family before departing for the airport. Until next time, Cuba!