Classic Active & Adventurous Cuba

A classic Cuba route including Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad focused on active and experiential travel.

Adventure Overview

A classic Cuba route including Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad focused on active and experiential travel.

Trip Highlights

  • Snorkel and stand-up paddle board along hidden waterways and pristine coastline

  • Learn about the exciting changes in social culture and structure in Cuba from your very own Professor of Sociology - it's your chance to see Cuba from a uniquely Cuban perspective

  • Hike through verdant, jungle-like trails in Topes de Collantes National Preserve

  • Visit the studio of rising reggaeton artists in rarely-visited Alamar just outside of Havana

  • Architecture
  • Culture
  • Dance
  • Hiking
  • Millenials
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Snorkeling
  • Stand-up Paddleboard

Activity Rating

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Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Havana (Dinner)
After your arrival, you'll begin to get acquainted with Cuba in a walking tour of Old Havana, where you'll not only learn the history of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also discover the new thriving businesses run by the next generation: Cuban millennials. Enjoy lunch before heading to Fusterlandia, a Wonderland-like outdoor art space that will amaze you. Check into your private bed and breakfasts (B&Bs tend to be small, so groups are often divided among a few nearby casas), before heading out into the night for your welcome dinner with your group. Expect mojitos, roast pork, grilled fish, and ropa vieja (shredded beef) - it's delicious.
Day 2: Havana (Breakfast, Lunch)
Start the day with your very own professor from the University of Havana, who will answer your questions about Cuban culture and society. Then, get some additional culture with a visit to a private dance company for a presentation of Cuban dances, like Son, Danzon, Mambo and Salsa (and, if you’re brave, learn some steps yourself). Finally, head to the outskirts of the city and eat local at a tapas restaurant in Alamar before visiting a rising reggaeton star in his studio.
Reggaeton, a combination of rap, hip-hop and reggae, is the new wave of music in Cuba - it's taking over the Millennial generation. If you want to experience the rhythms of modern Cuba, Alamar is the best place to start.
Day 3: Viñales (Breakfast, Lunch)
After breakfast, drive westward to reach Viñales National Park, where you'll talk with a national park specialist about this spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch try your hand at rolling a cigar at a tobacco farm and spend the rest of the day hiking with a local expert in the heart of the valley before heading back to Havana for the night.
Day 4: Zapata Peninsula/Cienfuegos (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Depart Havana for Zapata National Park, where you'll feast on a locally caught seafood lunch and learn about the conservation efforts taking place on the Peninsula. Stop at the Bay of Pigs museum before stand-up paddleboarding and/or snorkeling in a secret spot along the coastline. Overnight in Cienfuegos, known as the Pearl of the South.
Day 5: Cienfuegos (Breakfast, Lunch)
After a hearty breakfast and strong Cuban coffee at your B&B, take to the streets of beautiful Cienfuegos, "La Perla del Sur," for a walking tour and visit to a local pharmacy and ration store. Enjoy coffee in the home of an internationally recognized photographer and see his work. In the afternoon, enjoy the singing of the Choir of Cienfuegos before boarding a boat for a sunset cruise. After dinner, soak up the culture of Cuba's live music scene with your new friends in a popular gathering spot.
Day 6: Trinidad (Breakfast, Lunch)
Say goodbye to Cienfuegos and make your way to Guajimico, a hidden oasis for snorkeling and stand-up paddleboarding. Go for a hike with a local guide before enjoying lunch. Continue onto Trinidad where, in the early evening, you'll have a sunset walking tour of the old town. Before dinner, enjoy a traditional Canchanchara, a Trinidadian cocktail, in the home of two young entrepreneurial artists - one who etches photographs of local Trinidadian people into recycled pieces of wood repurposed from antique doors, and the other who started a weaving crochet cooperative that supports more than 30 women weavers around the country.
Day 7: Topes de Collantes Preserve (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Ride in an open air bus to Topes de Collantes National Preserve, high in the Escambray Mountains. Hike for 2-3 hours with an expert on local flora and fauna and find a refreshing waterfall at the end of the trail - perfect for a swim. Once you've worked up an appetite, try a traditional lunch of roasted pork, potatoes, beans and rice in the countryside. This evening, after your farewell dinner with your group, let loose listening to live music in the Casa de la Musica.
Day 8: Santa Clara (Breakfast)
After breakfast drive to Santa Clara for your flight to return to the US. Say ciao to Cuba until the next visit!
Includes
- Air-conditioned transportation while in Cuba
- Airport transfer to and from Cuban airports
- Bilingual expert guide
- Entrance fees for all listed activities
- Meals as listed in itinerary (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
- Accommodation in 3-star hotels and private bed and breakfasts in Cuba
- Legal, people-to-people licensed travel as specified by the Office of Foreign Assets Control
- Gratuities for meals included in the itinerary
- Two bottles of water per day per person
Excludes
- Medical and evacuation insurance (all travelers to Cuba are required to have medical insurance)
- Airfare to Cuba
- Tourist visa
- Any meals not included in the itinerary
- Personal items such as laundry, phone calls, and extra alcoholic drinks
- Gratuities for local guides and driver
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