Itinerary

Day 1 Havana Vinales (D)

On arrival at Havana international airport, we will be met and transferred to Vinales in the bubolic Pinar del Rio, a Unesco World Heritage site and a patchwork of carefully managed flora and fauna zones. It is also happens to be the world’s best place to grow tobacco.

Check into Best Local Rural accommodation. Depending on our arrival time this should be around 7 pm. Hopefully in time for Sunset.

Welcome dinner at the best Paladar (restaurant); and of course music and dancing with the locals at Centro Cultrual polo Montanez.

Accommodation: Rural Retreat VINALES

Day 2 March 2017 Vinales (B,D)

Exploring Vinales and PInar Del Rio…..the best place in the world to grow tobacco

After breakfast we will involve ourselves in Cuba’s great passion: Cigars.

The countryside is really beautiful and we will combine a day of exploring the mogotes and prehistoric landscape as well as the tobacco culture with lunch at a Finca and a meeting with the Robainos Brothers the owners of one of the most famous cigar brands.

Founded in 1875, and characterized by its quiet, unhurried streets lined by rustling pine trees, Viñales is a town of creaking rocking chairs and well-polished front porches, where the enthusiastic locals warmly greet visitors. This has to be one of the friendliest places in Cuba and for this reason alone it makes it a lovely rural starting point for our Cuban tour.

Dinner at a local Paladar.

Accommodation: Rural Retreat VINALES

Day 3 Las Terrazas and Soroa Havana (B,D)

After breakfast we will visit Las Terrazas and Soroa, a beautiful eco park and coffee growing area.

Lunch at La Moka Soroa. The hotel is built around tall trees and is in the commune of Terrazas, which is a show-place of successful communism for Fidel Castro – who gets the credit for all the ideas that have worked in Cuba.

Transfer back, (70 kilometers east) to the Cuban capital, Havana.

Around 4 pm we will check into our 5 star Hotel before cocktails at the Rum Museum and La Floridita.

The weekend in Havana, so much to see and do. The highlights will be an Afro Cuban show at Teatro Mella at around 8 pm.

After Dinner at Cuba’s most famous paladar we can drop by the jazz clubs or see A Buena Vista Style Band at The Hotel Nacional.

A must is to see big band salsa at the Casa de Musica before finishing the night at the notorious El Gato Twerto.

Accommodation: 5 star Hotel HAVANA

Day 4 Old Havana (B,D)

Morning Walking tour of Old Havana visiting the 4 great plazas followed by Creole Lunch.

Havana Vieja was founded by the Spanish in 1519 in the natural harbor of the Bay of Havana. It became a stopping point for the treasure laden Spanish Galleons on the crossing between the New World and the Old World. In the 17th century it was one of the main shipbuilding centers. The city was built in baroque and neoclassic style.

Old Havana resembles Cadiz and Tenerife. The intimacy, the shade, the cool, the courtyards… look carefully, it is all here – the big ancient monuments, the forts, the convents and churches, the palaces, the alleys, the arcade, the history and the destiny.

We will make a visit to the Basilica De San Francisco to hear the weekly concert of classical music by the National Music School. This really is sublime.

Weekends are an entertainment bonanza in Havana, with the Ballet and shows at Bertoldt Brecht and Dinner at one of the best new paladars in the city.

A relentless program but all on offer for the Inspired Traveller!

Accommodation: 5 Star Hotel HAVANA

Day 5 Cultural Havana (B,D)

Breakfast in Havana.

An architecture and Art tour will take us from Baroque to Art Deco and Noveau and through to 50s Modernism. Our guide is an architect who lives and works in the city and he will take us to visit both private and public buildings.

If Cuba’s soul is hidden in its music, then its architecture – in the words of novelist Alejo Carpentier – is its ‘music turned to stone.’The country is a museum of soaring architectural eclecticism that, by a trick of historical fate, got spared from the developer’s bulldozers.

Lunch in one o the finest paladars in the City.

Let’s take a late afternoon ride in a 50’s vintage car.

Accommodation: 5 star Hotel HAVANA

Day 6 Trinidad – Via Santa Clara (B,D)

Just 2 hours drive away from Havana we will visit the Che Guevara Mausoleum in Santa Clara.

We will visit the memorial to Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara and his comrades who fell in Bolivia during the revolution. They have been interred at this site and the mausoleum is open to the public. Under the monument is a museum, the “Museo Histórico de la Revolución” with good displays about Che’s life and role in the revolution.

“A visit to his memorial, just outside the town of Santa Clara, is a fascinating study in both history and passion. Regardless of your political views or your opinion of the man himself, a tour of Che’s possessions and the photographic chronicle of his life will offer a rare glimpse into one of the world’s longest-standing love affairs between a leader and his people.”

— Liz Fleming, Northern Life reporter

Then we will cross the Escambrey Mountains to Lake Hanabanilla for lunch on lake caught bass.

Heading 106 kms south on to Trinidad, the standout destination in Cuba, we will check in to the best boutique Hotel.

Quaint, compact and easy to get to know, Trinidad lives up to its reputation. Its beautifully restored houses and cool, tiled, colonial courtyards combine perfectly with a stupendous natural setting – wedged spectacularly between the Sierra del Escambray and the Caribbean – to create a scene of unrivalled ambience.

There are more museums here than anywhere else in Cuba and Trinidad has a degree of authenticity and intimacy that many other colonial cities lack.

We will explore the city and the surrounding Valley of the Sugar mills to understand the impact sugar had on the importation of slaves and how they lived.

++The city has amazing music venues so evenings will be spent dancing and listening to music. ++Trinidad is also undergoing a gastro revolution and we can enjoy the best paladars. ++This area is also great to learn about Santeria and the various afro Cuban religions.

Accommodation: Best boutique Hotel TRINIDAD

Day 7 Trinidad (B,D)

During the day we will take a photography walk with Julio an expert Trinidad guide.

Trinidad is a relic of the early days of the Spanish colony. The city was founded in 1514 and the explorer Diego Velaquez used it as a base for expeditions into the “New World”. Cortes set out from here for Mexico in 1518. It remained a haven for smugglers until the late 18th century who brought slaves and gold from British Jamaica. All this changed in the early 19th century when a slave revolt in Haiti caused French planters to flee to Trinidad.

“Plaza Mayor” is the center of the town. (The case all through central and South America.) The cathedral “Iglesia

Parroquial de la Santisima Trinidad”, built between 1817 and 1892, is the largest church in Cuba.

The “Museo Romantico” next to the church, has an excellent exhibition of romantic-style porcelain, glass, paintings and ornate furniture.

We can take a sunset catamaran ride to the outlying islands to snorkel on the wonderful reef.

Nightime in Trinidad is great. Have a lobster supper at New Paladar where the staff will have us practicing our salsa in moments. We can catch some Afro Cuban music at the palenque de la Rumba before salsaing the night away at the Casa de Musica.

Accommodation: Best boutique Hotel TRINIDAD

Day 8 Trinidad (B,D)

The day at leisure enjoying the mild waters and soft sand.

Accommodation: Best boutique Hotel TRINIDAD

Day 9 Cienfuegos (B,D)

This morning we will travel the 90 kilometers to Cienfuegos – known as The Perl of the South the only Cuban city founded by French colonialists. It is located in the south centre of the island, it is one of the youngest and most beautiful cities of Cuba.

The streets are lined with mansions well past their belle epoch A totally different experience in this French influenced town. Cienfuegos is very special as it is a working town. Again plenty of night life and opportunity to hear great music or an Afro Cuban show or salsa band at The Thomas Terry Theatre or at Jardines de Uneac.

We check into our lovely Boutique Hotel.

Lunch will be enjoyed (subject to weather) on the patio of the elegant Cienfuegos yacht club.

Accommodation: Boutique Hotel CIENFUEGOS

Day 10 Bay Of Pigs to Havana (B D)

Travel onto to Bay of Pigs and visit the museum that recounts the 1961 attack. Stop for lunch in the middle of the Peninsula Zapata for lunch. Arrive back in Havana around 5 pm. Check into our Heritage Hotel.

Saturday night in Havana is a great night to catch a local band off the tourist track. We will arrange a dinner with local Cuban people in a friend’s home. A chance for us to meet some locals from up and coming musicians to members of the ballet and art scene.

Accommodation: Heritage Hotel HAVANA

Day 11 Havana – Departure (B)

Spend our last morning shopping and wandering around Old Havana.

Depending on flight times, lunch at El Templete great sea food on the harbour before we transfer to the airport.

We will be met at our hotel foyer and transferred to the airport.

END OF TOUR

This Itinerary is the Copyright of The Inspired Traveller. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary at any time in the best interests of our clients, in the event that exciting new excursions, accommodations, restaurants, events or artisans are discovered, and in circumstances beyond our control.


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