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Private Journeys

Luxury Cuba: Colonial classics and coast

10 days from £2,260pp

Cuba

Itinerary

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Day 1

Arrive in Havana. Transfer to hotel in the historic city centre.

With VIP assistance at the airport you will transfer to your hotel in the historic centre.

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Day 2

Guided vintage car tour of Old Havana.

Soak up the atmosphere from the seat of a vintage car as you are driven around one of the world’s most vibrant capitals and along the famous malecón (seafront promenade), including highlights such as the revolutionary square famed for  being the platform for Fidel’s lengthy speeches.  Before you climb into the back seat of your polished classic car you’ll stroll along the pedestrian cobbles of La Habana Vieja, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Music seems to seep out of every doorway in the pastel-hued mansions and the more modest homes of narrow, shaded alleys of the busy centre. The subsequent restoration of this part of town has transformed it into what is arguably Latin America’s finest colonial quarter, standing in marked contrast to the potholed streets and crumbling façades around it.

In the evening you’ll have an appointment with the world famous Tropicana Cabaret. Over the top it may be but its flamboyance reflects the Cubans’ love of music and dressing up. Founded in the 1930s the Tropicana club harks back to Havana’s flashy mid-century heyday, when the jet set flocked here to live it up amongst the casinos, cocktail bars and luxury hotels and the city was a byword for Caribbean exoticism. 

Make your own way across the cobbled streets of Havana to the Salón Bajo las Estrellas (‘Hall Under the Stars’) for this extravaganza of tropical colour and rhythm, beginning at 10pm. Included are some light bites to eat, a ¼ bottle of Havana rum, tonic water and a glass of sparkling wine. Watch enthralled as singers in show-stopping Carmen-Miranda-style costumes command the stage and dancers perform larger-than-life routines to the mesmerising beat of salsa.  The dress code is smart/smart-casual. There is a small fee to take cameras into the cabaret.

Jamie Swan ©

Day 3

Transfer by car to UNESCO World Heritage Site Trinidad, in southern Cuba.

Transfer by car to Trinidad, a beautifully preserved colonial town with numerous eateries and live music venues set in some of Cuba’s loveliest scenery. Trinidad was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Its popularity has not affected its colonial charm and unhurried atmosphere. Low-rise, brightly painted houses with vast shutters open out onto cobbled streets, palm trees dot the main plaza and evening entertainment continues into the early hours with dancing and music each night.

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Day 4

Guided colonial city tour.

Guided tour through Trinidad’s cobbled streets and elegantly crumbling town houses which lead to vibrant plazas frequently filled with music and salsa dancing. As you visit the Plaza Mayor and Museo Romántico, you’ll be introduced to the history of the city which seems barely touched by the modern world. Stop at an authentic Cuban bar, La Canchánchara to sample a traditional cocktail, before heading off to a ceramics workshop, La Casa del Alfarero.

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Day 5

Day at leisure or to explore the Escambray mountains.

At leisure during the day. You might visit the nearby crisp white beach or head off into the Topes de Collantes National Park in the Escambray mountains behind the city, where there are cool forests, lakes, waterfalls and a number of hiking trails.

In the evening there’s a unique guided excursion taking you around the bustling streets of colonial Trinidad by night. You’ll head out at around 9pm, accompanied by a knowledgeable and friendly Trinidadian resident for an evening filled with music, dance and authentic Cuban bars. Your drinks and entry costs are payable locally.

Jamie Swan ©

Day 6

Land transfer to first class resort hotel on Cayo Santa María.

Transfer by road to Cayo Santa María. A string of small tropical cays (which form part of the Jardins del Rey archipelago) are connected to the town of Caibarién on the mainland by a 48km causeway. This island (2 x 13km) is blessed with gorgeous powdery white sand beaches, mangroves and calm turquoise waters, ideal for snorkelling and diving.

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Days 7-8

At leisure

At leisure on the beach.

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Day 9

Transfer to Havana overland .

Transfer back to Havana overland.

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Day 10

Transfer to airport for international flight home.

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Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Real Latin America Experts

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    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.

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    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

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    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.

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