If you are looking for culture, adventure, tropical nature, paradisiacal beaches, warm and hospitable people, Creole and tasty food, genuine experiences or even romantic experiences, welcome to the real Cuba!
Shall we start organizing the trip?
You ask many are the questions when we start to design your trip. For all of them we never give the same answer, because everything depends on your profile, your preferences, your idea of travel, your desire for adventure, to know destinations or simply to relax. Of course, your budget is first. Our goal is to create unique trips for each of our travelers! However, there are always some basics that we like to explain to you:
Is it safe to travel to Cuba in 2021?
Cuba is one of the safest countries in Latin America, as we can assure you that when walking through the streets of Havana you will feel safer than in any other capital city in the world. In 2018, Cuba received the Excellence Award for the safest destination for tourism at FITUR. There is also a strong police presence in the streets, which you will not always perceive, since it is said that there are as many or more policemen as civilians than uniformed. You can travel to Cuba on your own, because you will always find friendly people who will make things easy for you there, but you will always get more out of your trip if you let specialized agencies like ours advice you, as we will guide you from experience and from the love that we feel for this island.
Cuba travel advisory: things to do and to see in Cuba
Cuba offers the most varied routes . It is not only an island with Caribbean paradisiacal beaches as many believe. But Cuba also has incredible natural landscapes, Colonial cities full of magic and charm, in addition to a culture overflowing with creativity, music, art and dance which are impossible to miss.One of its main attractions is its people, Cubans are hospitable, funny and very communicative, you have no idea of the way they like to chitchat ('dar muela').
You can enjoy all kinds of field trips around Cuban provinces guided routes through the main historical cities, hiking, boat trips, kayaking, horseback riding, sailing, snorkeling, diving, and a host of other activities. For all of them we will always look for the best local guides to accompany you, well-trained professionals with whom we work on a regular basis.
Cuba travel advisory: where to stay in CubaIn Cuba, we find two kind of accommodations: State Hotels (which may have foreign capital participation such as a Meliá Hotel, and where the stars rating does not always match a European standard, for example, a 5-star may be a 4 or a 3 in Europe), or the popular Private Houses, bascally small inns or privately owned hotels. Depending on the destination, we recommend one type of accommodation or another. For example, in the cays there are only government hotels, but in the rest of the country you have a wide selection of Cuban Private Houses with super interesting proposals, many of them being authentic Boutique hotels. Be careful because you can easily make mistakes, as there are many houses on the internet, but not all of them meet the standards you are used to. If you seek exclusive accommodations, either charming accommodation or simpler but well located lodges, we have a wide range of partner accommodation in Cuba. totally trustful.
Cuba travel advisory: best restaurants and bars in CubaHere, we have our favourites, so we can provide you with a Leisure Guide by provinces including a very detailed selection of places that we like, because of their ambiance, type of food, location, type of music, kind of flavor (creole authentic blend), international cuisine, and so on. If you want to know some of our recommendations, consult the gastronomic section of our blog.
Cuba travel advisory: our transportation tipGetting around Cuba is one of the most important questions. If you have enough time and you feel adventurous (not all the roads are in good condition, there is almost no signposting and finding fuel can be difficult at times), a cheap rental car in Cuba can be an option, but 'cheap' and 'car' together is quite difficult in Cuba. We are much more fond of traveling with a car with a driver. You will travel with a person who knows the Cuban roads, who will give you a more friendly and personalized treatment. In addition, we will always guarantee you a comfortable car, with all the official conditions and insurance in order. There will be no danger of "quedarse botado" (a very common phrase and event in Cuba meaning having a breakdown) in the middle of the road. Another advantage is that you will make the most of your time, without delays and waits. Besides, the driver will act as a guide to you.
So that you do not feel like a “yuma” (colloquial term with which Cubans refer to foreigners, but not in a bad way) on this island, and you become familiar with the way Cubans speak, check before this post in which we explain the most common colocations and words of the Cuban slang.
Well, once these details have been clarified, fasten your seatbelt, play the music and let's go on our virtual tour of 10 days in Cuba!!
10 days route to Cuba: Havana (3) + Viñales (2) + Trinidad (2) + Villa Clara (2)
3 nights in Havana
We start off in Havana, a city of charms in which we recommend you stay at least 3 nights. So you can easily experience the eternal movement of Paseo del Prado or Obispo Street. You will also experience the spontaneity of its people or the good vibes of the Malecón in Havana. You will discover Old Havana with its colonial squares. Also the most modern part with its eclectic mansions, as well as the Plaza de la Revolución. Finally, the outskirts of the city with incredible sites - such as Fusterlandia or the Callejón de Hammel. These places are off the beaten track and lead you to discover the true essence of life and the people of Havana.
In Havana, we always recommend 2 essential city-tours, the one about Colonial Havana , and the one about Modern Havana, but we can arrange other themed guided tours about different topics, we have routes for all. In this post, we discover a selection of unique experiences to do and see in Havana, which will surely get your interest.
Here's a tip: Don't miss the restaurants with the coolest rooftops in Habana.
2 nights in ViñalesAfter a 2 and a half drive on the highway, we get to Viñales. A town in the westernmost province of Cuba. Despite its small size it is still very charming. 2 days in this village of farmers and mogotes (karst hills) will be enough for you to take unforgettable memories with you, as well as excellent pics!
We propose two "mandatory" excursions in Viñales, a walk through the tobacco fields of Viñales, in direct contact with local farmers who will show you how to make tobacco. This excursion can be done on foot, on horseback or even by bicycle, any of these options is fun; and another excursion that fascinates us is Cayo Mégano, an almost unspoilt island you can only reach by boat through a unique mangrove ecosystem in Cuba.
A tip! The town center is packed with paladares where you can eat for up to 3cuc, but if you want better quality and elaboration in the food, while witnessing a scenery-like landscape, come to the Sunset Restaurant for a unique brunch, with fresh organic products; or to Cuajaní, to taste surprising and innovative dishes.
2 nights in Trinidad passing through Cienfuegos
Pedal to the metal we head towards Trinidad, 490km drive. In about five hours we can reach Cienfuegos, a mandatory stop on the way in all the routes around Cuba, because the elegance and the “tempo” of Cienfuegos have no equal in the rest of the island. Here you can discover the history of the city on foot, or riding on a horse-drawn cart and enjoy a refreshing swim in the incredible and beautiful natural pools of El Nicho Natural Park. A tip! On the trip along the winding Cumanayagua road, take photos of the excellent view.
Trinidad was one of the largest sugar regions on the island, as well as a trade center for slaves brought from Africa, so if you are interested in history you can take a tour of the Valle de los Ingenios and its ancient sugar mills. In Trinidad, apart from interesting museums there are also beautiful beaches, such as Playa Ancón and its surroundings, with areas suitable for diving and snorkeling and catamaran excursions to remote cays such as Cayo Iguanas.
Enjoy without a doubt the night shows of Trinidad offered in its Casa de la Música, or delight in the traditional rhythms of the Casa de la Trova so that your nights in this city get fun, as well as romantic. Trinidad is a colonial jewel out of time, but with a very modern energy. That is why we encourage you to visit it. A tip! Let yourself be seduced by the colonial atmosphere and gastronomy of the art museum restaurant El Secreto.
2 nights at Villa ClaraWe start the car again for another lovely visit, Villa Clara. This province brings together everything that is worth visiting in Cuba. The town of Remedios, romantic, calm and busy when it is party time. The center of the city of Santa Clara, 2 hours from Trinidad. This city has a history linked to the Revolution, extolling the figure of Che Guevara. In addition, it has an interesting architecture and culture. Very busy and bohemian nights are also enjoyed in El Club el Mejunje. On the other side, you can discover nature spots such as Lake Hanabanilla and the beautiful beaches that are located in a network of cays to the north of the province as Cayo Santa María, Cayo Ensenachos or Cayo Las Brujas.
Normally, our travelers finish their trip in an all-inclusive beach resort in the cays. They stop on the way to know Santa Clara and Remedios. But if you don't want to increase your budget in one of these hotels, you can always stay in a private house in the area and take trips to the beach.
Here's a tip: You can treat yourselves with a tasty luch at the restaurant La Aldaba in Santa Clara. You can book both on the rooftop and on the ground floor of this restored mansion, which has a cool interior patio.I want this trip
So, if you are thinking about organizing a trip to Cuba , on your own or in one of our tailor made trips we will craft with pleasure and care in our specialized travel agency, don't miss any of our recommendations to travel to Cuba without complications. We suggest some of our most popular preset routes , and, if possible, spend at least 10 days in Cuba so as not to miss the essentials. It has been a pleasure enjoying this road tour together! Now we buckle up, accelerate our '57 Chevy, while the Van Van music plays, and we say… see you soon!
Article written by Gabriela Rodríguez, independent Cuban guide.
Video produced and edited by Javier Ernesto Hernández-López.0