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Driving Through Colonial Cuba

3 stars

Overview

This tour is perfect for those who want to take their time to experience authentic Cuba without missing out on anything. Driving in Cuba is very relaxing and enjoyable - there are no traffic jams, no rush hour, no tailgaters. Thanks to this flexible style of travel, you can customize your holiday to suit your personal tastes. Discover colonial architecture, learn about the history of the Cuban Revolution, and spend some time unwinding on sandy beaches - this tour is an ideal way to discover Cuba.

  • Enjoy relaxing driving With no traffic jams, no rush hours, and different types of cars available to choose from, your journey is sure to be comfortable and absolutely flawless.
  • Relax on unspoiled natural beaches Explore the stunning coral reefs of the Caribbean Sea or simply soak up the sunshine on the beautiful sandy beaches.
  • Discover the heritage of Cuba During this self-drive trip you will have enough time to relax and appreciate each of the places you visit, discover colonial architecture, learn about the history of Cuba, and enjoy picturesque landscapes.

Please be aware that this tour will no longer be available from 1st November 2016

Tour Highlights

  • City tour of Havana's old town
  • Driving in picturesque Viñales through national parks and botanic gardens
  • Plenty of activities to choose from, such as hiking, horseback riding, and sightseeing
  • Relaxing time on the stunning beaches
  • Visit to a tobacco farm
  • 3 nights in spectacular Trinidad

Day 1: Arrival in Havana

Your rental car tour begins in Cuba's bright and lively capital, Havana. We will pick you up at the airport and bring you to your Casa Particular accommodation.

Day 2: Havana

You will not need a car to tour Old Havana as this is a pedestrian only zone - the vibrant winding streets are too narrow for cars. Because of this, the entire old town was supposed to be rebuilt in the 1960s but, fortunately, it never came to be. Stroll through the streets and let yourself be enchanted by Havana's unique charms! Visit the Havana Club Rum museum, or see the world-famous Tropicana show! In the evening you will retire to a Casa Particular.

Day 3: Havana - Viñales

Your car will be available for pick up at 10 am so you will have plenty of time to drive to and enjoy your first destination. Today you will head westward to Viñales. There are plenty of great places to stop along the way, including several national parks, tobacco and coffee plantations, botanical gardens, and charming cities. We recommend the famous orchid garden and the waterfalls at Soroa, as well as the romantic Sierra del Rosario and the rougher Sierra de los Organos mountains, within which Underground rivers have created a unique cave system. You will stay at a Casa Particular.

Day 4: Viñales

Today there are plenty of activities to choose from. You can go hiking, horseback riding, sightseeing, or visit the labyrinth of caves of St. Tomas. You may also just want to rest and relax on the beach in Cayo Jutias. This beautiful, secluded beach is easy to drive to. If you are willing to drive a little further, the Mil Cumbres National Park in La Guira well worth a visit. Che Guevara used this area as a hiding place during the Cuban missile crisis in 1961. You will stay at a Casa Particular.

Day 5: Viñales

Today you will once again have a variety of activities to choose from. You can visit the tobacco farms, take a tour of the village of Viñales, visit the prehistoric wall, and more! There is also a particularly beautiful hiking trip through the Viñales Valley available, the three-hour "Coco Solo Palmarito". On this tour of the valley you will have the opportunity to watch tobacco farmers at work, explore smaller caves, and get a close look at the famous limestone cliffs called Mogotes. You will stay at a Casa Particular.

Day 6: Viñales – Playa Giron

Today you will drive to Playa Giron, located in the Zapata peninsula just over 2 hours from Varadero. This is a popular destination for divers, with crystal clear waters full of a variety of sea life. There is also is plenty to do nearby, including the Bay of Pigs museum & the ruins of a military installation. You will stay at Hotel Playa Giron and benefit from an all inclusive meal plan.

Day 7: Playa Giron

Spend the day as you wish, exploring or relaxing. You will stay at Hotel Playa Giron and benefit from an all inclusive meal plan.

Day 8: Playa Giron - Cienfuegos

You have a long drive today. Cienfuegos is situated by the Jagua Bay is amongst several estuaries by a natural harbour and is one of the prettiest and liveliest cities on the island, mainly due to its French flair. The largely restored colonial centre full of architectural sights awaits you.You will stay at a Casa Particular.

Day 9: Cienfuegos - Trinidad

After yesterday's long journey you will be pleased to find that today you will only need to go for a short, coastal drive to nearby Trinidad. On the way you can stop at the beautiful Botanical Garden of Cienfuegos, the largest of its kind in Cuba. If you are planning a trip to Topes de Collantes National Park then take the route via Trinidad. It's not possible to drive on the Cumanayagua road from Cienfuegos to Topes de Collantes with a normal car. Trinidad is situated on a hill from where you can see the sea and the surrounding mountains. Besides the old town of Havana, Trinidad offers the largest coherent ensemble of colonial buildings in Cuba. Numerous restaurants and paladares (restaurants run independently or that are often family-run) serve local food and Trinidad has numerous bars and discos with live music, a perfect place to explore the Cuban nightlife. You will stay at a Casa Particular.

Day 10: Trinidad

Spend today as you please. Spend the day exploring this fascinating city and its surroundings. The central part of the town is small enough to explore on foot. Trinidad has several museums and beautiful churches (such as the Great Parish Church, a neoclassical edifice built in 1892). Or just lay down, grab a cocktail and relax on the beach.
You can go swimming in the crystal clear Caribbean Sea, stroll through Trinidad's open-air museum or take the 30 minute trip to the Topes de Collantes National Park where you can hike the famous Guanayara trail. This three-hour hike is very straightforward as you simply follow the Rio Melidioso to a waterfall. Don't forget your bathing suit! If you still have energy in the evening you can check out live music at the Disco Ayala, nightclub! A must-visit venue, hosting thousands of partygoers every night - complete with cabaret acts, five dance floors, and three separate bars all housed within a cave! You will stay at a Casa Particular.

Day 11: Trinidad

Spend another day as you please. We recommend visiting the famous slave watchtower just east of Trinidad. From here you will have a stunning panoramic view of the Valle de los Ingenios and you will get to learn about the sugar trade and slavery, which were so prominent here during the colonial period. If you continue a little further east then you'll pass through the verdant Viñales Valley and arrive at Sancti Spiritus, an important religious site for the Cuban people.You will stay at a Casa Particular.

Day 12: Trinidad - Santa Clara

Even if it looks tempting on the map, the road from Trinidad to Santa Clara via Topes de Collantes and Manicaragua is in rough shape and is therefore not a shortcut. The significantly faster, safer, and more convenient route is the one through Faro Luna. Take advantage of the time saved by exploring the many revolutionary monuments in Santa Clara. ​​​​​​​​​​Three monuments will remind you of the history of the city. Visit the museum, the memorial of Che Guevara, and the Tren Blindado-monument. You will stay at a Casa Particular.

Day 13: Santa Clara - Havana

Time to go back to the fun-loving city of Havana. The highway back to the capital is ideal for a smooth and scenic drive. After dropping your rental car off make the most of your time in Havana. We recommend taking a guided tour of this exotic colonial city. This is one of the nicest places to discover on foot. If there is time, you can visit one of Havana's numerous museums, go to see the famous Tropicana show, or simply spend the evening relaxing with a cocktail at one of Havana's many bars. You will stay at a Casa Particular.

Day 14: Departure

This is the last day of your self-drive adventure in Cuba. We can provide a transfer to the airport (optional) or if you wish to extend your stay then our staff are more than happy to help you do so!

 

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 Day 1 to 14

Driving Through Colonial Cuba

driving through colonial cuba
  • Day 1Havana
  • Day 2Havana
  • Day 3Havana - Viñales
  • Day 4Viñales
  • Day 5Viñales
  • Day 6Playa Giron
  • Day 7Playa Giron
  • Day 8Playa Giron - Cienfuegos
  • Day 9Trinidad
  • Day 10Trinidad
  • Day 11Trinidad
  • Day 12Trinidad - Santa Clara
  • Day 13Santa Clara - Havana
  • Day 14Departure

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