Cuba – Cubanissimo

Cubanissimo

Escorted by Robyn Smith

Cuba is a land where the people are warm, the sun is shining and the sand is white. A land of pirates, heroes, revolutionaries, poets, music and cigars! Join us on this special escorted small group departure, exploring the island and immersing ourselves in the vibrant culture that is Cuba.

 

  • 14 days 17 October – 30 October 2016

DAY 1

JOIN HAVANA

Arrive into Havana, Cuba. You will be met and transferred to your hotel in Habana Vieja, or Old Havana. Cuba is a moment frozen in time – of romance, rum and revolutions, of chevies, cigars and cha cha cha, of sunshine, sand and salsa. A trip to Cuba is a step back in time with its classic American cars, horse-drawn carriages and colonial architecture, and a stillness to be savoured. Musicians sing and play in cafes and on street corners, people not so much walk the streets as swagger and despite their lack of wealth, the ‘Cubanos’ seem to enjoy life to the fullest! A welcome to Havana, with dinner at your hotel.

(D)

DAY 2

HAVANA

This morning, explore Old Havana on a walking tour through its World Heritage’s listed colonial architecture and cobblestoned streets. The excursion will bring you to Plaza de Armas, Plaza de San Francisco de Asis, Plaza Vieja and Plaza de la Catedral. There is opportunity to wander through the colourful markets of this wonderful city, photographing living statues as well as street actors and picturesque parades.  Stop for lunch before a panoramic city tour by bus through modern Havana. Havana’s eclectic architecture offers visitors some unforgettable sights. During the tour, you’ll travel through neighbourhoods such as Central Havana, Vedado and Miramar, as well as visit the Capital Building, Revolution Square, Hotel Nacional and the University of Havana among others. This evening enjoy a stunning show at ‘Tropicana’ – Paradise under the Stars.

(B,L,D)

DAY 3

HAVANA – VINALES

Today enjoy a tour into the valley of Viñales. Travel by road to Pinar del Río Province, through the spectacular Sierra del Rosario and stop for a short while at Cafetería Las Barrigonas to visit a small tobacco plantation. After arriving in the city of Pinar del Río, visit a cigar factory to learn about the manufacturing process. Later, continue on to beautiful Viñales and take in the spectacular views from the lookout Los Jazmines. Spend some time touring the town of Viñales, Dos Hermanas valley, visit a prehistoric mural and then tour through the “Cueva del Indio’. Once here, you’ll board a boat and travel along the underground river. At the end of the journey, enjoy a typical Cuban lunch at a local restaurant before returning to your hotel in Havana. This evening, dine with a Cuban family at a private Paladar.

(B,L,D)

DAY 4

HAVANA – PENINSULA DE ZAPATA – CIENFUEGOS

Today, depart for Cienfuegos. Explore the unspoiled nature and luxuriant tropical vegetation of the Zapata Peninsula. The tour starts at Boca de Guama with a visit to Cuba‘s largest crocodile breeding farm. Continue to the Treasure Lake where you will get on boat and enjoy a 20-minute trip to the Indian Village, a reproduction of a Tainos (Cuban native Indians) community with 25 life-size statues of villagers captured in their daily activities. The tour then heads to the Bay of Pigs with a drive along this scenic part of the Caribbean coastline, while enjoying the great views of the beaches Playa Larga and Playa Giron. We plan to visit the tiny Museo Giron, which covers the Anti-Castro invasion using photos, documents, weapons and the wreckage of aeroplanes which took part in the battle. A typical Cuban lunch is included. Arrive into Cienfuegos this afternoon.

(B,L,D)

DAY 5

CIENFUEGOS  –  TRINIDAD

This morning, spend a half a day unveiling the secrets of Cienfuegos city, the so-called Pearl of the South. Enjoy a panoramic tour through the National Monument (La Punta), El Palacio de Valle, El Paseo del Prado and, after a stroll along the boulevard, to visit the monument to one of Cuba‘s most treasured musicians, Beny Moré. Devote time in the city‘s heart to visit the Cathedral as well as Thomas Terry Theatre, one of Cuba‘s oldest and most beautiful theatres. Lunch is included at a local restaurant. This afternoon travel on to Trinidad.  Dinner this evening at a private home.

(B,L,D)

DAY 6

TRINIDAD

Today we tour through Trinidad and Topes De Collante Mountains. Wander through the historical centre of Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a city full of spectacular colonial architecture. Tour Plaza Mayor, Museo Romántico, stop at La Canchánchara bar to taste a Cuban cocktail made with rum, lemon and honey. There‘ll be time to shop at the craft markets before lunch at a local restaurant.  Afterwards, travel to Tope de Collantes, a nature park in the Escambray Mountains with its beautiful endemic flora and fauna. Stop at La Casa del Café to taste some of Cuba‘s finest coffee.

(B,L,D)

DAY 7

TRINIDAD – CAMAGUEY

This morning set off to Camaguey, arriving around lunch time. Dine at a local restaurant before embarking on a tour of Camaguey. Enjoy a pleasant stroll along the rich colonial-style UNESCO heritage centre of Camaguey city. Discover its irregular, intricate street network while admiring the architectural beauty of: San Juan de Dios Square, Ignacio Agramonte Park, the local Casa de la Trova, the Worker’s Square among other local attractions. Dine at your hotel this evening.

(B,L,D)

DAY 8

CAMAGUEY – BAYAMO – SANTIAGO DE CUBA

Today continue across the island to Bayamo. Discover the rebellious spirit of Bayamo on a walking tour featuring the city‘s highlights. Wander around the town centre and whereabouts to learn about interesting episodes in the history of Cuba. Daily life here revolves around Céspedes Park, the Hymn Square and Céspedes Birth Place monument. Stop for lunch before continuing on to Santiago de Cuba, “Cradle of the Revolution”. Dine at your hotel this evening.

(B,L,D)

DAY 9

SANTIAGO DE CUBA

Today spend a full day exploring the heroic city in an air-conditioned bus with random stops at places of interest such as the Moncada Barracks, the Revolution square, the Caney Rum bar and the House of Habanos. Visit the Museum Diego Velazquez, the colonial fortress San Pedro de la Roca and the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery. Afterwards you will be transferred to the Marina Marlin from where you will cruise to Cayo Granma. Lunch is sea food based at the cay with time to mingle with locals down town on your way back.

(B,L,D)

DAY 10

SANTIAGO DE CUBA

Day at leisure to relax or further explore Santiago. A night out here is a must, to soak up the wonderful Cuban music.

(B)

DAY 11

SANTIAGO DE CUBA – BARACOA

This morning travel north to Baracoa, the first village founded by Spanish colonizers in the America’s and first capital of the country. Stop along the way for lunch. Take a walking tour around the city, visiting the Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion Church, where the first cross to be planted by the Spaniards in America is still kept – reportedly brought in by Christopher Colombus and considered to be the oldest symbol of Christian religion in Cuba. Also visit Fuerte Matachin municipal museum. Dinner at your hotel.

(B,L,D)

DAY 12

BARACOA

This morning, follow the Cocoa route to discover the secrets of the unique way of processing the plant in the region. The indigenous people used cocoa originally and referred to it as the “elixir of gods”. You will have the chance to learn about the stages of transformation of this amazing plant from seed planting, collection, production, storage and selling. Afternoon at leisure. Dinner at the hotel this evening.

(B,D)

DAY 13

BARACOA – HAVANA

Transfer to the airport this morning for your flight back across the island to Havana. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner and music at ‘Buena Vista Social Club’ at Café Taberna.

DAY 14

DEPART HAVANA

Following breakfast transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

(B)

Our journey begins in Havana. There are many ways to get there and so please ask us about airfares and other destinations along the way. Via Santiago & Lima, Via Mexico, Via Central America, Via Canada…let us know what else is on your wish list and we can arrange the airfares and extra land arrangements.

Dates and cost

  • 14 days  17 October – 30 October 2016
Twin Share AU$ 6895
Single Supplement AU$ 2250

What’s included

  • Accommodation in specially selected hotels with private facilities throughout
  • Sightseeing and transfers where indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
  • Service charges and taxes
  • Services of Tour Escort, Robyn Smith and local guides.
  • Airfares Baracoa/Havana

What’s not included

  • Airfares and airport taxes to Los Angeles
  • Passport or visa fees, Insurance
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as included
  • Gratuities to local guides etc

How to Book

To ensure your place on this exciting adventure, please contact us to reserve a place 02 4758 9922 or mail@adventureassociates.com, then complete the Adventure Associates Booking Form and return to us with your AUD 1000 per person deposit.

Deposit required per person: AU$1000 per person
Balance due: 75 days prior to departure
If booking within 74 days of departure: Full payment must be made.

Reservations are established when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit and Booking Form. Travel insurance is strongly recommended at the time of booking.

Cancellations

Cancellations must be advised in writing to Adventure Associates. Cancellation charges are subject to regulations of airlines, coach and tour operators, hotels and other principals involved. If it is necessary to cancel your arrangements, the following non-refundable charges will apply.

More than 100 days prior to departure AUD 500 per person
Between 99 and 75 days prior to departure Full loss of deposit per person
Between 74 and 31 days prior to departure 75% of tour cost per person
On or within 30 days prior to departure No Refund

If the cancellation charge is more than your advance payment you remain liable for the difference. For these and other reasons mentioned above you are strongly recommended to take out Travel Insurance. Once the Land Tour has departed there will be no refund for any unused portions of the trip.

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Robyn Smith

Robyn first ventured to Latin America in 1982, on an Adventure Associates Tango tour, and  thus began her quest to explore every corner of the continent.  A teacher at the time, Robyn took leave and spent two years travelling the continent, immersing herself in the culture, only to return and take up a job in travel here at Adventure Associates, which would lead to many more amazing  journeys, from Mexico, Cuba and all the way south to Antarctica and the Falkland Islands. Whilst managing the Latin American operations, she also escorted tours around the continent, including Cuba. She is looking forward to returning to Cuba on our new Cubanissimo departure to revisit the sights, the sounds and the smiles of this wonderful island.

Robyn is currently owner of Movidas Journeys with whom we are operating our Cubanissino tour with and we look forward to this exciting joint venture.

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