Best of Western Cuba + Beach Extension

On the Caribbean Sea
Vinales tobacco plantation
Old buildings in Havana
Cuban woman smoking cigar in Havana
Small village houses at Playa Jibacoa
Become a TourHound member today to access personalised recommendations and bucket lists to help plan your trips. You’ll also receive rebates on selected tours. It’s free to become a member, sign up here.
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • FAQ
  • Reviews
  • Dates
  • Explore!

A superb introduction to this fascinating island nation. Explore the twisting alleyways of Trinidad, visit the resting place of Che Guevara, watch classic cars pass by Havana's stunning colonial buildings and dance the night away to live salsa bands Havana - Experience the classic cars and infectious music that fill the streets Casas Particulares - Stay in private homestays throughout your trip, and get a deeper experience of local life Vinales - Admire the bizarre, steep-walled limestone 'mogotes' rising from the valley floor

Highlights
  • Vinales - Admire the bizarre, steep-walled limestone 'mogotes' rising from the valley floor
  • Havana - Experience the classic cars and infectious music that fill the streets
  • Casas Particulares - Stay in private homestays throughout your trip, and get a deeper experience of local life
Why Book this Tour
This short tour covers most of Western Cuba's highlights, with 2 day's relaxation on the beach after your stay, and is designed for those who want to discover a truly fascinating country. You will stay in locally-owned and run private homestays in Trinidad and Havana. Staying with local families and experiencing the Cuban way of life will be a highlight of the tour. This tour also includes a salsa dancing class and a lesson on how to make Cuba's famous cocktails.
Destinations
  • Havana
  • Santa Clara
  • Topes de Collantes
  • Vinales
  • North America
  • Central America
  • Cuba
Tour Types
  • Birdwatching
  • Sightseeing
  • Snorkeling
  • Walking
  • Art
  • Cultural
  • Foodie
  • History
  • Active
  • Adventure
  • Small Group
  • 50 plus
  • Couples
  • Singles

Location: Havana

Arrive in Havana. Built around a deep natural harbour, Havana is one of the most impressive cities in the Americas. It's also one of the most exciting: the modern city is a fascinating mix of old and new, with crumbling tenement blocks and 1950s American Cadillacs rubbing shoulders with grand colonial buildings and monuments to the revolution. Due to the number of evening flights into Havana, our local Leader plans to do the welcome briefing in the morning of day two, and will leave a message for us with details on timings and everything else that we'll need for the day. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Havana at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Havana's Jose Marti International Airport (airport code HAV) which is 23km, around 45 minutes from the airport. A representative from our local partners in Cuba will meet you at Havana Airport and assist you with the transfer formalities. During this trip we stay in 'casas particulares', or local Cuban guesthouses. Our airport transfer will take us to a 'reception' casa in Havana (details of which will be in your final Joining Instructions), where you will be met by the host and shown to your room in one of the other casas located nearby. Each casa can only accommodate a handful of guests, giving you a great opportunity to interact with your hosts. If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to head out to explore Old Havana, or take a walk down the scenic Malecon esplanade with fine views of the city. There are several restaurants and bars within walking distance of our casas in Vedado, or a short taxi ride away in Old Havana.

Accommodation: Casas Particulares

Location: Havana

Today, we explore modern-day Havana, with its mixture of restored and crumbling architectural marvels. Walking through the Vieja (old) district, we will discover the baroque cathedral, beautiful neoclassical buildings and the Plaza de Armas (main square). On our travels, we'll notice the lack of advertising - in it's place there are many hyperbolic political slogans and references to the revolution. Passing by the famous Capitolio building, modelled on the White House, we'll notice the lines of amazing brightly-painted vintage cars - the result of legislation enforced until 2011 ruling that only cars built before the 1959 revolution could be sold. During your free hours this afternoon, you may choose to visit the fascinating Museum of the Revolution, housed in the impressive former Presidential Palace. The Museum of Artes Decorativas is also worth a visit, a stunning collection of furniture, porcelain and art pieces frmo the 16th to 20th centuries, housed in one of Vedado's grandest mansions. Later this afternoon, we will get into Cuba's quintessential culture with a rum and tobacco pairing. We follow this with a salsa class, where you can learn some steps to Cuba's classic dance. This evening, we have the option to sample some of the capital's famous nightlife, where you might like to try those newly learnt salsa moves! The Hotel Ambos Mundos is a Hemingway landmark where the 1954 Nobel Prize winner and author of 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' lived for several years. Its roof terrace serves up exceptional mojitos - the traditional Cuban cocktail. Likewise, there are a number of excellent bars in both Old Havana and Vedado where live music is played and the cocktails flow freely.

Accommodation: Casas Particulares

Location: Vinales

After travelling a couple of hours west, we reach what is arguably the most picturesque part of Cuba - the Vinales region. Here, surreal mountains jut out of the landscape, formed by the erosion of limestone over millions of years. These 'mogotes' translate as 'haystacks' - a good word for them considering their steep sides and rounded, jungly tops. Around them, the iron-rich, red soil creates a patchwork of fields growing some of the best tobacco in the world - the raw material for Cuba's celebrated cigars. Before our return to Havana for the night, we have a two-hour walk through the valleys of this remarkable landscape to the village of El Palmarito. Mogotes tower above us as we pass through tobacco fields and past drying barns, and during our walk we'll learn a lot more about Cuba's prolific cigar-making industry, which really stems from the plants growing in this region.

Accommodation: Casas Particulares

Location: Trinidad

Today, we head east across Cuba, driving through giant citrus and sugar plantations and out on to the Zapata Peninsula. Our journey is broken up with a wonderful swimming opportunity in a 'cenote' (pool) where the ceiling of an underground river has collapsed. We plan to arrive in Playa Giron by mid-afternoon. Here we will visit the museum dedicated to the infamous 'Bay of Pigs' invasion - a US-supported attack by Cuban exiles which failed to overthrow the Communist regime in 1961. Our journey continues, past the wooded Escambray Mountains and hugging the coastline, with views over the sparkling turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. By early evening, we will arrive at our hotel just outside the beautiful Spanish colonial town of Trinidad - our base for the next three nights, where we will enjoy local hospitality staying in casas particulares once again.

Accommodation: Casas Particulares

Location: Trinidad

This morning, we wander through the cobbled streets of the old centre of Trinidad, discovering its fine palaces, churches and cafes. A paradise for photographers, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a perfectly preserved colonial settlement unlike any other. In the early 19th century, French settlers fleeing a slave revolt in Haiti, landed here and started to grow sugar cane in the Valle de Los Ingenios. This crop generated considerable wealth and consequently the town had to be regularly defended from pirates. Subject to opening hours, we will visit a local museum before some free time where you may wish to wander for longer through Trinidad's streets to soak up more of the unique atmosphere. It's worth climbing the stairs of the bell tower at the small Museo de la Lucha contra Bandidos, purely for the views across the roofs of Trinidad out to the Caribbean at one side and the Escambray mountains at the other. In the evening, you may wish to head to the open-air Casa de la Musica, just off the main square, where live bands and salsa dancing locals do their thing until late.

Accommodation: Casas Particulares

Location: Trinidad

Today is free for you to enjoy more of Cuba's beautiful landscapes and fascinating culture at your own pace. You may wish to take the short journey out to the Sugar Mills Valley to Manaca Iznaga where you will have the opportunity to visit the old plantation home of the Family Iznaga, one of the richest in Trinidad during colonial times, climbing their bell tower for views across the valley. Another option is to head into the Escambray Mountains to the Topes de Collantes Nature Reserve Park. With its acres of unspoilt forest, this area is famous for its many endemic species of flora and fauna, particularly birdlife. There are several different options involving short walks through the coffee growing area and rainforest. Most trips will drive up to some incredible viewpoints and several of the options offer an opportunity of a refreshing swim in one of its waterfalls finished off with a traditional creole lunch in one of the local haciendas. Your leader will run through these different options with you. Alternatively, you may wish to visit the deserted island of Cayo Blanco. Here you can eat fresh paella, relax on the beach and snorkel in the coral wilderness. Snorkelling equipment is not always available, so keen snorkelers might prefer to bring their own.

Accommodation: Casas Particulares

Location: Havana

Today we bid farewell to Trinidad and make our way back to Havana, via Santa Clara. This pleasant university town was originally a prosperous agricultural area, well-placed on the island's trading route. Now, it is most famous as the site of the last battle of the Revolution, in which Che Guevara's troops took the city, causing the Cuban dictator, Batista, to flee into exile. After visiting the Tren Blindado Memorial commemorating this historic event, we move on to Che's Mausoleum. Guevara was buried here with full military honours in 1997 after his exhumed remains were discovered in Bolivia and returned to Cuba. A flame lit by Fidel Castro burns eternally to honour a national hero who played a key role in Cuba's revolution and whose image is routinely displayed throughout the country. We will also visit the museum dedicated to Guevara's life, containing many interesting letters and artefacts. This evening, we return to Havana to enjoy a final dinner and probably a dance. We'll say goodbye to our Tour Leader tonight, as the beach extension is unguided.

Accommodation: Casas Particulares

Location: Playa Jibacoa

Today we say good bye to those that are not extending their stay, before travelling to Playa Jibacoa for our stay on the beach. We'll be leaving in the afternoon in time for our afternoon check-in, and around an hour's drive brings us to our beach hotel, the 4* Memories Jibacoa, where we will be spending the next two nights relaxing. Whether you would like to lie in the sun, soaking up some warmth, or take a dip in the beautiful ocean; your time at Jibacoa can be as active or as relaxing as you feel. If you fancy stretching your legs the town is backed by a limestone ridge, with excellent cliff top views and some easy paths for you to enjoy.

Accommodation: Hotel

Location: Playa Jibacoa

Today we have the full day at leisure on the beach. Our hotel here is an all-inclusive, which means that you are at your leisure to enjoy everything that the beach and hotel have to offer. The area is blessed with a coral reef located just a few metres from shore, and the hotel provides snorkelling gear and kayaks for you to explore the turquoise waters and reef. Nestled between the leafy mountains and golden sands, the hotel is beautifully situated with a tempting pool and lush green hills with easy-to-follow trails for keen hikers, offering spectacular views over the ocean.

Accommodation: Hotel

Location: Havana

Your trip ends in Playa Jibacoa this morning after breakfast. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Havana's Jose Marti International Airport (airport code: HAV) which is around 1.5 hours from the hotel. Depending on your flight time, you may need to check-out of the hotel before your airport transfer but you will still be able to make use of the hotel's services until your departure, and there is baggage storage available for you.

Included
  • Fully Guided
  • Accommodation
  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

Not Included
  • Country Entry Visas
    -
  • Tipping and Gratuities
    -
5* Best of Western Cuba + Beach Extension
The group was amazing and the guide was superb. Cuba is stunning so all together made a fantastic trip
Added By:
Date: 16-Nov-2017

5* Best of Western Cuba + Beach Extension
Thoroughly enjoyed the trip and wished it was longer!
Added By:
Date: 12-Sep-2017

5* Best of Western Cuba + Beach Extension
A most enjoyable trip with the right balance of old Spanish history and architecture, tropical landscape and social and political history
Added By:
Date: 31-Mar-2018

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability
12-Nov-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
12-Nov-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
12-Nov-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
12-Nov-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
12-Nov-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
12-Nov-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
12-Nov-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
12-Nov-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
26-Nov-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
26-Nov-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
26-Nov-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
26-Nov-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
26-Nov-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
26-Nov-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
26-Nov-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
26-Nov-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
21-Dec-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
21-Dec-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
21-Dec-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
21-Dec-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
21-Dec-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
21-Dec-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
21-Dec-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
21-Dec-2021
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
21-Jan-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
21-Jan-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
21-Jan-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
21-Jan-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
21-Jan-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
21-Jan-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
21-Jan-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
21-Jan-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
11-Feb-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
11-Feb-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
11-Feb-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
11-Feb-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
11-Feb-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
11-Feb-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
11-Feb-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
11-Feb-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
18-Feb-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
18-Feb-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
18-Feb-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
18-Feb-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
18-Feb-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
18-Feb-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
18-Feb-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
18-Feb-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
11-Mar-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
11-Mar-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
11-Mar-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
11-Mar-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
11-Mar-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
11-Mar-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
11-Mar-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
11-Mar-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
06-May-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
06-May-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
06-May-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
06-May-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
06-May-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
06-May-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
06-May-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
06-May-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
21-Oct-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
21-Oct-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
21-Oct-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
21-Oct-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
21-Oct-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
21-Oct-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
21-Oct-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
21-Oct-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
11-Nov-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
11-Nov-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
11-Nov-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
11-Nov-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
11-Nov-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
11-Nov-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
11-Nov-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
11-Nov-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
25-Nov-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
25-Nov-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
25-Nov-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
25-Nov-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
25-Nov-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
25-Nov-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
25-Nov-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
25-Nov-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
Dates Price Single Availability
20-Dec-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
20-Dec-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
20-Dec-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
20-Dec-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share View live deal View live deal
20-Dec-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
20-Dec-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
20-Dec-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal
20-Dec-2022
9 Nights
Twin Share Flight Included View live deal View live deal

Touring with Explore

Explore have been creating award-winning adventures for over 35 years and are experts when it comes to unique travel experiences.

Their small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981 and today, Explore are one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 600 trips to more than 130 countries. At Explore, they are passionate about travel and have developed a wide range of unique activities and experiences which gives their customers an unforgettable adventure with a team of award-winning Explore leaders .

With Explore, you'll get to see your destination from a whole new perspective that takes you away from the typical well-trodden tourist track. You'll have the chance to meet, dine and stay with local people, rest in authentic accommodation with other like-minded explorers and travel to must-see destinations with a unique Explore twist.

From family trips to holidays for solo travellers; cycling tours to wildlife safaris; trekking on mountains or exploring miles of scenic coastline; self-guided holidays or small group trips; there is something for every kind of traveller with Explore. They will provide their expert knowledge, exciting itineraries and outstanding service as part of their sustainable travel experiences which take you under the skin of the country you're visiting for the adventure of a lifetime.

{{shortLabel}}

tour details

This tour is operated by Explore!

9 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
compare Compare tour Add this tour to the comparison list. compare Compare tour This tour has been added to the comparison list. Cick here to view.
View live deal View live deal The Adventure Travel Experts!
Start:Havana
Finish:Havana
Group size:4 - 18
Suitable for: Adult
Accommodation:Simple
Physical rating:Moderate
Meals:Breakfast: 9 Lunch: 2 Dinner: 1
Diets:Vegetarians, Vegans
Tour operated in: English
tourhound promise
tourhound promise
TourHound Promise
  • I compare from the largest selection of touring companies available.
  • It doesn’t cost you a penny to use me, or to book a tour through TourHound.
  • I never favour one operator over another and provide a totally neutral comparison.
View live deal View live deal View live deal View live deal
tour hound
Why TourHound?