From: US$ 1235
|Duration:||11 days / 10 nights|
|Dates:||Tours start on Dec 22 and Dec 23 - see availability|
|Group Size:||Minimum 4 / Maximum 16 / Average 12|
|Accommodation:||Twin-share. 1 night hotels, 9 nights Guesthouses.|
|Single Supplement:||Single Room for the tour - US$345 extra (read more)|
|Transport:||Private mini-bus throughout|
|Activities included:||New Year's Eve party in Havana, Remedios Festival, Christmas group dinner party, walking tour of Old Havana, walking tour of Viñales valley|
|Other Inclusions:||10 breakfasts, arrival transfer, local guide throughout|
|Suggested combinations:||Combine with the Eastern Cuba Short Stay, or a Beach stay package!|
- Dec 23 - Arrival Day Havana
- Dec 24 - Santa Clara - evening at the Parrandas de Remedios Festival
- Dec 25, 26, 27 - Trinidad - Christmas group dinner party
- Dec 28 - Cienfuegos
- Dec 29 - Viñales - via Bay of Pigs
- Dec 30 - Viñales
- Dec 31 - Havana - via Soroa, New Years Eve party
- Jan 1 - Havana - walking tour of Old Havana
- Jan 2 - Departure Day
The tour starting on Dec 22 will have 2 nights in Havana at the start of the tour, and only 1 night in Havana at the end of the tour. Departure day is Jan 1.
Among other things, "Rumba" in Cuba means party, and this tour is the ideal way to party in Cuba over the festival period. It includes one of the island's most lively and traditional festivals - the Parandas de Remedios, a Christmas feast in the beautiful city of Trinidad, and a special night in Havana for New Years Eve, with a spectacular outdoor dinner/show at the Cathedral Plaza. We also take you to some of our favourite, out-of-the-way destinations, but if you can handle more than a week of non-stop immersion in Cuba's music, dance, and carnival spirit - this tour is definitely for you!
Dec 23 - Arrival Havana
Today is the arrival day of the tour, and participants are free to arrive any time. Check-in to your guesthouse, go and explore the city, and socialize with the colourful and friendly Habaneros. There are no planned activities until the evening when the tour guide will meet with those who have already arrived, and from there go out to dinner and beyond.
Dec 24 - Santa Clara / Remedios
The Parrandas de Remedios festival is the oldest and one of the most lively traditional festivals in Cuba. Anyone who has seen it can tell you just how crazy it is! Our arrival coincides with the climax of the celebrations on Christmas Eve.
The celebrations include street parades with rumba percussion ensembles, music and verses, a float display and the very dramatic
fireworks competition. The festivities can get a bit hectic at street level, so you have the option of watching the action
from the roof top of a house that we have pre-arranged.
From Havana, it’s about a 4 hour bus ride through the flat central region of Cuba, where there are lots of citrus plantations, to Santa Clara (we will stay the night here in a simple hotel just outside of the city, and about 40 minutes from Remedios). Before going to the festival, we will have time in the afternoon for a rest or and walk around Santa Clara, where there is a huge statue of Ernesto Ché Guevara.
Dec 25,26,27 - Trinidad
Trinidad is famous for its beautiful historical town centre with cobblestone streets and many beautiful colonial buildings. Nearby is the Valley of the Sugar Mills and Playa Ancón, where you can enjoy long stretches of unspoiled, white sand beaches. Scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming in waterfalls and horse-riding are other optional activities.
The nightlife in Trinidad is probably the most accessible and intense in all of Cuba, with numerous live music venues and many dance performances everyday of the week. One of the best venues is a disco in a cave on a nearby hillside.
We include a special Christmas group dinner lovingly prepared by our guesthouse hosts.
Dec 28 - Cienfuegos
A couple of hours scenic drive along the Caribbean coast brings us to Cienfuegos, which is known in Cuba as La Perla del Sur ("the pearl of the south"). Its a French founded city with a wide Parisian-style boulevard and elegant colonnades, giving it a European flavor. There is an ambience to inspire Cuba’s most celebrate Son singer to write the words “Cienfuegos is the city I like best”. He was born nearby so I guess that helped. The spectacular peninsula that protects the bay is a great place to try the local public transport - horse carriage - and to stroll and meet the locals. Again, there is plenty of nightlife within a short walk of our centrally located accommodation.
Dec 29,30 Viñales
Its a day-long bus ride to Viñales. Enroute we drive along the Bay of Pigs, the scene of the CIA backed military attack on Cuba's Revolution in 1961. There are some great places for snorkelling we can stop at along the way. Upon reaching Viñales you find yourself surrounded by picturesque limestone pincushion hills (“mogotes”). This small and culturally rich village, offers friendly and welcoming residents, and wide variety of outdoor activities. Exploring caves, hiking, biking, horseback riding or simply enjoying the views of the valley and sprawling tobacco fields are all options. Vinales is one of the more agriculturally productive areas, so an abundance of local seasonal fruit and vegetables is always on offer such as enormous avocados and mangoes, pineapples, papaya, guava, and a several varieties of sweet potatoes. The nightlife is very active in this village with the local residents more than willing participants in dancing to the local live music.
Dec 31 - Havana
On our way back to Havana we will stop off at the mountain resort town of Soroa where you can check out the orquid garden, hike to a waterfall, or climb up a steep hill for a great view of the surrounding forrested area.
The setting for our New Year's Eve dinner/show is the impressive Cathedral Plaza in Old Havana. The only restaurant in the Square, called El Patio, brings all their tables outdoors and caters for 300 diners. Wine, champagne, beers and all sorts of spirits including the famous Habana Club rum are served plentifully and the food is a compilation of Cuban recipes. A purpose built stage hosts a spectacular Tropicana style outdoor music and dance show.
Jan 1 - Havana
Today we include a walking tour of the historic centre of Old Havana. The afternoon is free for you to chose one of the optional activities, such as a 2 hour tour with a local expert in Afro-Cuban religions to visit houses of the local priests, or do as you please. There are also options for live music in the afternoon and at night in Havana's famous music houses, that the guide can point out for you.
Jan 2 - Departure
Today you are free to depart at anytime.
Summary of Travel Times
- Havana to Santa Clara – 4 hours
- Between Santa Clara and Remdios – 40 minutes
- Santa Clara to Trinidad – 4 hours
- Trinidad to Cienfuegos – 2 hours
- Cienfuegos to Viñales – 9 hours
- Viñales to Havana – 4 hours
Arrival and departure accomodation
The first and last nights of the tour in Cuba are programmed in centrally located guesthouse accommodation. You can request extra nights after the tour in the same guesthouse, on the booking form. Click here to see prices.
Click here to see other accommodation options we offer in Havana for before or after the tour.
We estimate you will need between US$450 and US$750 for local expenses during the tour, such food and optional activities. Click here to see details of expenses you will have while on the tour in Cuba.
Not Included in the Tour
- International Flights
- Visa and passport fees
- Insurance (Travel Medical Insurance is required to participate on the tour)
- All meals (except for 2 dinners and 10 breakfasts)
- Optional activities/day-tours/excursions
- Airport departure transfer