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14D/13N LA VIDA REAL (PRIVATE TOUR)

From SGD 6418

On this quite special round trip you will experience the real Cuba, get to see and meet its inhabitants during their everyday life as well as delight in the classics of the country: colourful, lively Havana, the picturesque valley of Viñales, Cienfuegos, the pearl of the south, Trinidad, the UNESCO world heritage site, Camagüey – city of Tinajones and Santiago – rhythm of the Oriente. In addition to this really very different tour where you stay with Cuban families in their private homes, there is the possibility to extend your stay at a hotel on a dream beach in Guardalavaca.

Day 01: Arrival in Havana

Reception at the airport in Havana by a representative and transfer to the hotel. Dinner at own expense. Overnight stat with Breakfast.

Day 02: Walking Tour of Havana City. Evening cultural dance show on request

Havana is the crown jewel of Spanish colonial towns in the Caribbean. However, this city is much more than just a museum: the pulsating street life can be just as fascinating as the many architectural treasures. The day begins with a walking tour through colonial Havana with its most important sights: Calle Obispo, El Templete, Plaza de Armas, past the palace of the Spanish Governors General, Cathedral square, Plaza Vieja and taste a Mojito at Hemingway’s favourite bar “Bodeguita”. Lunch at the Restaurant „La Imprenta“ or „Ambos Mundos“ in the old part of the city. In the abernoon visit of CDR (Commijee for defence of revolution) in Centro Habana, with possibilities to talk to locals, as well as visiting a secondary school or a local medical centre and a typical food store. Finally short walk through Callejon de Hamel with paintings of the Afro-Cuban Santería. Dinner at own expense. Later in the evening possibility (optional) to ajend the “Havana Queens”* dance ensemble.  (B/L)

Day 03: Walk through Centro-Habana and travel to farmers market and fincas

In the morning walk through Centro-Habana, a part of the city hardly touched by tourism. Visit of different shops which give an insight into the real life of the Habaneros far away from tourism. Subsequently by bicitaxi to one of the largest farmer ś markets in Havana. Admidst the burstling life one can buy fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat and spices. In the afternoon drive to the rural surrounding of Havana and visit to a fincas. Here one learns more about the country life in Cuba as well as interesting insights into growing vegetables and keeping a lifestock. In the evening tasting of the products produced on the fincas in restaurant “Mediterráneo”. (B/D)

Day 04: Panoramic tour of Havana and drive on the tobacco route to Pinar del Rio

The day starts with a panoramic tour through the Havana of the 19th and early 20th century: past the imposing Capitolio, Gran Teatro and Barcardí building, along the Malecón, past the legendary Hotel Nacional through the Avenida de los Presidentes to the Revolution square with the portrait of Ché Guevara and José Mar‘ memorial, followed by a visit to the legendary cemetery Colón with the largest amount of statues in Cuba, a miniature city of marble, bronze, angels, crosses and allegories. Lunch at a Paladar e.g. “La Casa” in Vedado. In the abernoon drive on the tobacco route to Pinar del Rio, the greenest of all Cuban provinces with the best tobacco soil of the world. Visit of Patio Pelegrín a help programme especially for kids. While the visitors learn more about the programme fresh fruits and coffee are served. Further to Viñales village where time seems to stand still. (B/L/D)

Day 05: Hike through Viñales valley and visit of Casa del Veguero (tobacco farmer)

In the morning hike through Viñales valley and visit of Casa del Veguero (house of a tobacco farmer) who will explain all about tobacco growing. Lunch at the friendly “Finca Paraiso” giving an interesting insight into the Cuban cuisine of an agro-ecological farmhouse. Panoramic tour through Viñales valley with its imposing limestone rocks (Mogotes). Rest of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner at own expense. (B/L)

Day 06: Drive to Cienfuegos and Trinidad

Drive towards the center of the island to Cienfuegos, characterized by French colonial architecture. Stroll through the pedestrian zone to the main square with the nostalgic Terry theatre where Caruso and Sarah Bernhardt performed. Further to peninsula Punta Gorda for a cocktail on the roof terrace of the moorish style “Palacio de Valle”. Lunch at a private restaurant, e.g. “Aché” whose loving decoration creates a special atmosphere or “Villa Lagarto” with beau:ful views of the bay. Drive along the coastal road to Trinidad UNESCO World heritage site with unique colonial architecture (B/L/D)

Day 07: Explore Trinidad at your own convenience

Stroll to the main square surrounded by the splendid mansions of the former sugar barons. Visit to one of the museums e.g. guided tour through Museo Municipal where the beautiful view from its tower can be enjoyed and quaint bar “Canchánchara” (honey liqueur bar). Spend some :me e.g. at beach Ancón. Aber dinner stroll through the romantic night-life of Trinidad by listening to traditional music and dancing e.g. at Casa de la Música near the main square. (B)

Day 08: Day excursion to the Sugar Mill Valley and Yayabo Bridge

In the morning drive through the Sugar Mill Valley. Visit of hacienda Iznaga, home of the former sugar barons Iznaga with its legendary slave tower2. Aberwards through Sierra Escambray to Sancti Spiritus, hardly touched by tourism. Panoramic tour and visit of Yayabo-Bridge and lunch downtown at restaurant “Mesón de la Plaza”. Subsequently through the green sugar mill valley to Camagüey. Dinner at the casa. (B/L/D)

Day 09: City Tour of Camagüey and cultural show by Children

Aber breakfast city tour and ride by bicitaxi through the city center. Visit of Casa Arte Jover – José Jover and his wife are modern contemporary artists. Subsequently visit of the swiss children help organisation Camaquito with interesting insight into a culture project. The programme will be arranged individually: e.g. visit of Café Literario, which serves as a galerie for young ar:sts and a place for various culutural activities or visit of arts center Ignacio Agramonte in the old part of the town. Performance of a children dance ensemble, a youth symphony orchestra or a children ś balllets. Lunch e.g. at Paladar “1800”. Dinner at own expense. (B/L)

Day 10: Drive to Santiago via Bayamo  

In the Morning drive to Bayamo, where the fight for independence from the Spanish crown started and the na:onal anthem “La Bayamesa” was composed. Through Sierra Maestra to the pilgrimage site El Cobre. Visit of the impressing situated basilica with the patroness of Cuba. Late in the afternoon arrival in San:ago – city of the revolution and cradle of Cuban son. Dinner at the Casa. (B/D)

Day 11: City tour of Santiago and visit all important tourist spots

In the morning panoramic tour past the Revolution Square and tour to the in 1953 by Fidel and his men ajacked Moncada Barracks. Visit to Santa Iphigenia, a cemetery with the graves of the Barcardí dynasty and the national hero José Mar‘. Drive to Cayo Granma and lunch in the restaurant there. Visit to the El Morro fortress – UNESCO World Heritage site with stunning views over the bay. Subsequently, through the former villas and residen:al area and visit to the Vista Allegre and San Juan Hill from the Spanish-American-Cuban War of Independence. Stroll through the historic center of Parque Céspedes, Calle Heredia, Plaza Dolores, stairs alley Padre Pico and Casa Velázquez- the oldest house in the city. Viewing to Casa de las Religiones Populares. In the hidden museum one learns everything about the Afro-Cuban Santaría and other religions brought to Cuba by African slaves e.g. Regla de Palo. With a bit of luck one can experience an Orisha and Voodoo ceremony. In the evening visit to the legendary Casa de la Trova, the cradle of Cuban Son, where famous musicians such as Compay Segundo (Buena Vista Social Club) began their careers. (B/L)

Day 12: Drive to Baracoa via Guantánamo

Morning drive towards Guantánamo – the stronghold of the Afro-Cuban Santería and Haitian Voodoo cult, also known by the nearby U.S. Navy base. Continue through a desert-like landscape with cactus  ́on tropical green mountains, on the breathtaking pass road La Farola down to Baracoa, where Columbus once landed. In the late afternoon visit of the city museum Matachín and walk over the main square with the church of Nuestra Señora de Asunción and the Columbus cross. Dinner at the casa in Baracoa. (B/D)

Day 13: Sightseeing in Baracoa and take a dip in the river

Baracoa is located in a quaint scenery in front of table mountain El Yunque, midst lush tropical landscape with coffee, cocoa and banana plantations. Excursion into the beau:ful surrounding of Baracoa. Drive to the outlet of Río Yumri (approx. 2 hours) with explaina:ons about the flora and fauna and opportunity to take a bath in the river. Subsequently drive to Finca Duaba with a natural walk and introduction into the world of cocao. Rustic lunch at a Finca midst marvellous nature and boatride at Río Toa (B/L).

Day 14: Departure to the airport

As your trip comes to an end, our representative will help you back to the airport and we hope you carry back cherished memories.

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Accommodation in 3 or 4 Star Hotel on sharing basis
  • Meals: 13 Breakfast/8 Lunch/ 6 Dinner
  • Transfers in air-conditioned vehicle (taxi/micro bus/bus) in customary quality with chauffeur:
  • Return Airport Transfers
  • Excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees according to the programme
  • During the roundtrip day 1 – 14 English speaking Cuban guide. Other languages on request.