11 days from £3450 pp Including flight from LHR
DAY 1 | DEPART LONDON HEATHROW – ARRIVAL JOSE MARTI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Upon leaving the aircraft you will be met by a VIP attendant carrying a sign with your name on it.
The attendant will fast-track you past the queues at passport control and escort you to the VIP lounge where will request your passport with your luggage tags. Whilst your luggage is being collected for you, you can enjoy a drink or coffee in the VIP lounge. The VIP service does not guarantee that your suitcases will be collected any faster, however, you will avoid having to wait in hot and often crowded luggage areas.
Once your luggage has been collected the VIP attendant will escort you through Customs and out into the arrivals hall where our airport representative will be waiting for you to show you to your transfer.
If you do not see anyone holding a sign please make yourself known to any officials, you see standing in the area as you immediately exit the ramp and let them know you have the VIP arrival service.
Jose Marti International airport is very basic with a limited infrastructure that has not been expanded in line with the huge increase in tourism over recent years. This means that whilst the number of flights has quadrupled, facilities such as luggage belts, trolleys, porters, number of scanners etc have not been increased and you may experience significant delays.
Meet our Airport Representative
Our airport representative will meet you as you exit into the arrivals area. They will have a sign with your name clearly marked on it and will show you to your transport.
Private Transfer from José Martí Airport to Havana City in Russian-made Chaika limo
The Chaika was a classic luxury limousine produced by Russain car GAZ and ZIL in the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s and almost always painted black. The cars were produced exclusively for use by Soviet government officials and could not be bought by ordinary citizens, however, they could be rented for weddings.
Fidel Castro is one of the few foreign leaders who was presented with the gift of a Chaika ZIL-111 by Nikita Khrushchev and became a favorite with the Cuban leader who ordered a fleet of cars for his personal use. The cars have long since been decommissioned and are currently being used as taxis, perfect for anyone who wants a ride in a little slice of history.
Driving time and distance: 35 min (approx) /30 km.
Check in at Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana
Originally built between 1894 and 1917 as the first European style shopping arcade in Cuba, Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana is situated in the heart of the old Havana with a direct view of the Capitol and the Great Theatre of Havana and amidst UNESCO World Heritage sites. The famous Castillo del Morro is accessible within a 10-minute drive. Experience the first true luxury hotel in Cuba and indulge yourself while staying in one of our 246 large rooms or suites with extra high ceilings and French windows opening out to the old city. Experience a variety of restaurants and bars, which also includes a one of a kind cigar lounge and a rooftop Panoramic Restaurant and Bar with spectacular views over the old city. Relax in our spa, fitness center, and rooftop pool.
DAY 2 | HAVANA
09:30 Meet our Representative in Havana
Our LUMLE Rep will welcome you at the Hotel and go through your itinerary and make suggestions of places to see and things to do.
10:00 City Tour Colonial Havana
Walk in the footsteps of Havana’s colonial past visiting the 4 plazas of Old Havana, a UNESCO world heritage site. Visit Plaza de Armas, Plaza San Francisco de Assis, Plaza Vieja and Plaza de la Cathedral with our expert guide offering insightful history along the way. This is a walking tour and takes approximately 2 hours.
12:30 Restaurant Reservation at Doña Eutimia (Suggestion – To be paid locally)
An elaborate ambiance, a fresh and functional design and a privileged location are attributes that allow this restaurant to offer both comfort and good food. Situated in the heart of Old Havana – its the perfect place to people watch.
14:00 Four hour-drive in a vintage open-top car
Your tour can be tailored to take in the highlights of Havana as well as themed around Hemingway if you choose, please let us know in advance. En route you will be able to take in the panoramic views from El Morro, the fortress at the mouth of Havana harbor, the Malecon, Prado, the impressive Bacardi building and Revolution Square.
18:00 Back to your hotel to freshen up before dinner
19:30 Restaurant reservation at La Guardia (Suggestion – To be paid locally)
La Guardia first opened what has become Cuba’s most celebrated paladar on July 14, 1996. Anyone who has been to La Guardia will find it difficult to disagree that La Guardia has managed to create their own magical place.
22:00 Music suggestion by your concierge
Your concierge will make suggestions of places to listen to music according to events taking place locally.
DAY 3 | HAVANA TO VINALES
08:30 Private Transfer from Havana to Vinales
Driving Time and Distance: 2 hours (approx) / 210 km.
11:00 Viñales Valley Roots/ Raíces del Valle with lunch
Your local guide will welcome you at the main square of Vinales town, where you will get general information about its origin and the most outstanding buildings. Then you will leave behind the busy town to go straight ahead to the quietness of a viewpoint located 250 meters ASL in the cradle of the project Casa Taller Raicesâ where you will learn about the genius of a farmer through his art while enjoying a delicious cocktail. Afterward, you will hike/walk along Vinales valley, Cultural Heritage Site to amaze yourself with the unique landscapes, flora, fauna and the farmer’s culture of working the fields, emphasizing tobacco, from the seeds to the puff! In the trail, you will also enjoy a delicious traditional meal. Note. You will be able to decide the distance and level of difficulty of the hike/walk.
16:00 Return to Havana
20:00 Restaurant Reservation at El Cocinero (Suggestion – To be paid locally)
Great private restaurant located in parts of an old industrial factory. Reservations are recommended as the place is often fully booked. A slightly different menu on the rooftop bar to the restaurant downstairs. For Cuban standards, the food is excellent, especially in the downstairs restaurant. Very nicely designed space, both inside and outside. All in all, probably one of the best restaurant experiences you can find in Havana.
21:30 Music at Fabrica del Arte (VIP entrance included)
A meeting place where the best of the island’s avant-garde arts can be enjoyed with all the artistic manifestations under the same roof and with prices making it accessible to the majority of Cubans, this is a place where everyone is an artist.
DAY 4 | TRINIDAD VÍA CIENFUEGOS
08:40 Car at your disposal
You will have a Medium car with an English-speaking driver/guide at your disposal from May 4th to May 7th. Please note that by law, and for your own safety, drivers are not supposed to work more than 10 hours a day.
09:00 Your driver will collect you at Havana and transfer you, Trinidad vía Cienfuegos
Driving time and distance: 5. hours (approx) / 424 KM.
12:30 Restaurant reservation at Villa Lagarto (Suggestion – To be paid locally)
With spectacular views of Cienfuegos harbor, Mailin and her friendly staff are welcoming and produce tasty, fresh Criolla cuisine. Calle 35 No. 4B, between O and Litoral. La Punta, Punta Gorda. Cienfuegos. 043-519966
14:00 Cienfuegos City Tour
This city tour includes a visit to Jose Marti Park with an explanation of the history and architectural style, a visit to Tomas Terry Theatre, to local markets around the Boulevard and a visit to Palacio del Valle.
16:00 Continue to Trinidad
17:30 Check in at Iberostar Grand Hotel Trinidad
The stately, pistachio green Grand Hotel Iberostar Trinidad features stylishly furnished second-floor rooms complete with spacious balconies from where the hustle, bustle, and musicians of Parque Cespedes can be enjoyed. Its central location is perfect for exploring the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, by foot CALLE JOSE MARTI Y LINO PEREZ- TRINIDAD
20:00 Restaurant reservation and live music at Sol Ananda (Suggestion – To be paid locally)
An eclectic menu to fit with the decor, this restaurant surely must have something for everyone. Cuban Creole, Indian, and French dishes all to be found on the menu. The music by best local band Cuarteto Isla elevates it to another level.
21:30 Trinidad nightlife – a tour of the hot spots with a local guide
Accompanied by a local guide you will get an insider’s look into nightlife in Trinidad. Walk around the city to enjoy the spectacular atmosphere of town at night. Visit a local bar in the city to discover how locals enjoy a typical night in Trinidad. Then a visit to the most popular music venues for tourists and locals alike, Casa de la Trova and Las Escalinatas amongst others. Depending on local events your guide will bring you to concerts by local Jazz or Trova musicians.
DAY 5 | TRINIDAD CITY TOUR
This walking tour offers you an introduction to Trinidad a UNESCO world heritage site. Our local expert guide will talk you through the history of the town by visiting its architectural high points and give you some insight into its complex history both in the colonial period and in the years after the revolution. Wear comfortable shoes, as although quaint, the cobbled streets are not for heels!
12:30 Restaurant suggestion at San Jose (Suggestion – To be paid locally)
The latest paladar in Trinidad, San Jose has a Cuban-Fusion inspired menu. Its fresh, tasty and comes in huge portions! The decoration is part New York loft, part Cuban colonial home with a mixed clientele of Cubans and Tourists. There is an air-conditioned section for those who need to cool down. Maceo 382, Entre Colon and Smith. +53 41 994702. Payable locally. (Please note that San Jose no longer accepts reservations. You will need to queue to eat there!)
14:00 Tour of Sugar Plantations and Slave History
Today you will take a tour of the local sugar plantations to understand the slave history in relation to the sugar industry. See slave quarters and understand how this system operated and the enormous impact sugar had on this area. See working plantation homes of the sugar barons.
20:00 Restaurant Reservation at La Redaccion (Suggestion – to be paid locally)
A seafood restaurant & bar in a traditional colonial house from the 1800s. The owners have lived in Europe and therefore mix a traditional Cuban menu with some European influences. The focus is fresh! Fish caught daily, along with organic meat & vegetables from the local farms, fishermen, and suppliers. The food speaks for itself: uncomplicated but prepared exceptionally well. They bring out the natural flavors and always keep it fresh, simple & delicious. La RedacciÃ³n has history, a great vibe, delicious food, rum-fuelled drinks, a band that will have you dancing before you have had a chance to order and most of all the people are welcoming and helpful.
If you’re looking for something different, drop by and say hello.
21:30 Casa de Musica and De Trova for great live music and dancing.
DAY 6 | TOPES DE COLLANTES DAY TOUR
08:30 Topes de Collantes Day Tour (lunch included)
The great natural park Topes de Collantes is situated between Playa Giron and Trinidad. It’s s place of extraordinary beauty and of great scientific value for Cuban botany, zoology, and ecology. This protected area of 200 square km has a great number of endemic species of flora and fauna. In this trip, you’ll get to hike and bathe in one of the three big waterfalls in the national park.
15:30 Free afternoon to explore the city
DAY 7 | CAYO SANTA MARÍA
08:30 Your driver will collect you at Trinidad and transfer you to Cayo Santa María via Santa Clara
transfer time approx 2 hours to Santa Clara.
10:30 Che memorial
No trip to Cuba is complete without a trip to the Che memorial. Pay homage to this charismatic leader of the Cuban revolution where he fought and won the battle of Santa Clara.
11:15 Continue to Cayo Santa María transfer time 2 hours
13:30 Check in at Melia Buenavista
A Five- Star All Inclusive complex with 104 Junior Suites, Suites and the “Zaida del Rio” Garden Villa. For adults over 18 years. An All Royal Service hotel. Recommended for couples, weddings, honeymoons and wellness/spa.
Situated in the western area of Cayo Santa Maria, in a privileged ecological environment surrounded by beaches and coves.
14:00 End of your car services.
14:30 Cayo Santa María at leisure until Day 11 [4 nights]
DAY 11 | FINAL DEPARTURE
09:00 Private Transfer from Cayo Santa María to José Martí Airport
Driving Time and Distance: 5 hours (approx) /195 km.
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