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Destination: Cuba
Travel Style: Classic Expedition
Activity Level:  • • 3 • •
Group Size: Min 1, Max 12
Age Range: 18 to 65+

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Itinerary Overview

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Day 1 Arrive in Havana, Cuba

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Arrival Airport: Jose Marti International Airport

Welcome to Havana, Cuba - a land full of adventures where you'll create memories that will last a lifetime. Upon arrival at the Jose Marti Airport, your guide and diver will greet you. After a quick orientation of the city, you will enjoy a leisurely drive to your hotel. Get to know artists, dancers, and musicians who have helped transform a downtrodden neighborhood into a living work of art. Explore the city surrounded by music and dance—the pulsing undercurrent of life in Cuba. Visit the Escuela de Arte in San Antonio de los Baños and enjoy a thorough immersion in popular culture, son and salsa tosantería — the island’s syncretic religion fusing African and Catholic faiths.

Accommodation: Havana Colonial Casa- La Colonial 1861

Day 2 Viñales

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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: Havana Colonial Casa- La Colonial 1861

Day 3 Old Havana

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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: Havana Colonial Casa- La Colonial 1861

Day 4 Havana and Hemingway's House

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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. After a delicious lunch, we will continue on to visit Miramar área (Parque de los Ahorcados).

Accommodation: Havana Colonial Casa- La Colonial 1861

Day 5 Havana and Trinidad

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This morning, we will depart for Trinidad. We will make stops along the way to explore the beautiful nature, scenery, and culture around you. Our first stop is 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, then continue on to Trinidad, where we will unwind with a delicious, traditional dinner.

Accommodation: Trinidad Colonial

Day 6 Trinidad

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Today we will visit the Valle de los Ingenios and Playa Ancon Beach, two beautiful destinations near Trinidad that can’t be missed. 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 7 Trinidad and Havana

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After a delicious breakfast, we'll depart back to Havana, stopping at the famous historical site of the Bay of Pigs (a three-hour drive from Trinidad). Trace the dramatic events that occurred here at a small museum, and then step foot on the Playa Girón, one of two landing sites for the 1961 U.S.–backed invasion.

Accommodation: Havana Colonial Casa- La Colonial 1861

Day 8 Departure

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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.

Departure Airport: Jose Marti International Airport

4-Day Extension to Eastern Cuba

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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 8 Havana and Santiago de Cuba

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After an eight-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 9 Santiago de Cuba

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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, we'll spend the afternoon meeting Cuban artisans and learning about their trades. Try your hand at cooking a traditional dish, watch how sculptors perfect their craft, and observe a painting class.

Accommodation: Traditional Casa Particular

Day 10 Baracoa

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We’ll continue on to Baracoa, the island’s first Spanish settlement. When Christopher Columbus first set foot on 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 11 Departure

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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!

Trip Inclusions

  • Travel Style: Classic

  • Service Level: Comfortable (clean accommodations; private transport)

  • Route: Havana, Viñales, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Bay of Pigs

  • Accommodation: Guesthouses and ‘Casa Particulares’

  • Transport: Classic Cars, Local Vehicles

  • Activities: 6-8 hours of guided activities each day

  • Meals Included: Two meals per day


Expedition Route


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 and culinary highlights along the way.

Trip Reviews

Dates & Prices

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From $3,600 / person | All-inclusive package including accommodation for all nights; in-country transport by private bus, train, or flight; lecture and instruction materials from our expert guides; all activities; and meals as listed on the itinerary. *International airfare and visa fees not included.*

+ 4 Day Extension to Eastern Cuba: starting from $1,200 / person

+ Single Supplement: $350 / person

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Frequently Asked Questions

+ Didn't the U.S. government recently restrict travel to Cuba?

You are correct — in June 2019, the U.S. government announced that it would further restrict American travel to Cuba. This mainly affected tourists who were planning on traveling to Cuba on a cruise.

Since Acanela Expeditions operates its tours in Cuba to support the Cuban people (including entrepreneurs, artisans, families, and hoteliers), we are still allowed to take Americans to this gorgeous, vibrant country. Read our blog article to learn more about the latest Cuba travel restrictions.

+ Do I need a visa to visit Cuba?

Yes, you do. Please use VisaHQ to verify your visa requirements, and please be certain that your passport will have at least six months' remaining validity throughout your trip.

+ Do your tours include international airfare?

Travelers arrive from all over the world to begin our tours, and it is not possible to include international airfare in our prices. We would be happy to help you arrange flights. Just ask for an air quote when making your booking.

+ What vaccinations should I get before my trip?

It's important that you receive the most accurate and up-to-date travel health information before departing for Zambia and Zimbabwe. The only people qualified to provide you with this advice is your family physician and/or a specialist from a Travel Health clinic. We can provide some general guidance on which websites you should consult for overall health guidelines, but these websites are no substitute for a personal consultation with a qualified medical professional.

+ Should I bring cash? What is the currency in Cuba?

You cannot withdraw any money in the ATM while in Cuba. Please bring cash (USD or EUR) with you; when you arrive in Cuba, you will exchange your money into the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC).

If you can bring Euros to exchange, you get a better exchange rate.

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