Cuba / Itineraries

Cuba By Bus

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For clients who wish to travel the length of Cuba, while keeping an eye on cost, the tourist bus service is an excellent option. Starting in Havana and finishing in Santiago de Cuba before flying back to Havana, this itinerary takes in Vinales, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Santa Clara, Camaguey and Santiago de Cuba. Please note that there is no included sightseeing as part of this suggested itinerary although there are a number of optional Trips we can pre-book.

  • Day 1 — Havana

    On arrival at Havana airport, clients will be met and transferred to their accommodation in Old Havana.

    Flights from Europe all arrive from late afternoon onwards so, after a stretch of legs, something cold and a bite to eat, most clients will probably want to get an earlyish night.

    Suggested Accommodation: Havana Casas Meals Included: Breakfast
    • — Havana, Malecon sunset
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    • — Mojito
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    • — Paladar
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  • Day 2 — Havana

    One of the world’s most fascinating, exhilarating and iconic cities, Havana is an absolute must-visit on any holiday to Cuba.

    The original settlement, known as Old Havana or Habana Vieja, is located along the west bank of the city’s harbour-mouth. Although the city has sprawled out in numerous directions, the vast majority of Havana’s historic sites, places of interest and best accommodation can be found in this compact, walkable part of the city.

    Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site back in 1982, the intervening years have seen many of Old Havana’s numerous colonial buildings and public spaces restored to their former glory while, in stark contrast, others seem on the brink of collapse. It is this juxtaposition, played out across the city, that is one of the most compelling aspects of any visit to Havana.

    Please click here for details of our optional Trips in and around Havana.

    Suggested Accommodation: Havana Casas Meals Included: Breakfast
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    • — Havana, Partagas cigar factory
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  • Day 3 — Havana

    The day is at leisure in Havana for you to further explore this fascinating city, either independently or on one of our optional Trips.

    Suggested Accommodation: Havana Casas Meals Included: Breakfast
    • — Havana, Plaza San Francisco
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    • — Havana, Finca Vigia
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    • — Havana, Morro Castle
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  • Day 4 — Havana to Vinales

    This morning, you will need to make your own way to the designated pick-up point in Old Havana which, together with timings (but normally around 08.00) will be advised to you by our local agents. The bus from Havana to Vinales takes approximately 4 ½ hours.

    Surrounded by the steep-sided hills of the Sierra de los Organos, the Vinales Valley is an outstanding karst landscape whose stand-out feature is the limestone mogotes that rise sheer from the valley floor and reaching heights of up to 300 metres.

    The Vinales Valley is also home to an extensive network of limestone caves, some of which, such as the Indian Cave, are open to visitors.

    The town of Vinales is the only settlement for miles around, and still displaying its original layout, boasts a charming main street and numerous, characterful one storey homes with their traditional porches.

    On arrival in Vinales you will be met at the bus stop and transferred to the accommodation of your choice. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to explore this charming little town.

    Suggested Accommodation: Vinales Casas Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
    • — Vinales Valley
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    • — Vinales, church
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    • — Vinales, town
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  • Day 5 — Vinales

    There are no included activities as part of this suggested itinerary although there are numerous local Trips we can arrange including birdwatching, hiking and horseback riding.

    Alternatively, clients are free to make their own arrangements.

    Suggested Accommodation: Vinales Casas Meals Included: Breakfast
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  • Day 6 — Vinales to Cienfuegos

    You’ll be up and bright and early this morning for the long bus journey from Vinales to Cienfuegos. Exact times will be advised locally but departure time from Vinales is normally before 07.00 and travel time is approximately 7 hours, including a 30-minute break en-route.

    On arrival in Cienfuegos, you will be met at the bus stop and transferred to your chosen accommodation.

    The rest of the afternoon is free for you to relax or explore.

    Suggested Accommodation: Cienfuegos Casas Meals Included: Breakfast
    • — Cienfuegos, Governor's Palace
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    • — Cienguegos, Teatro Tomas Terry
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    • — Cienfuegos
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  • Day 7 — Cienfuegos

    Often referred to as the Pearl of the South, the city of Cienfuegos is an attractive, maritime city located on Cuba’s south coast.

    At the heart of Cienfuegos, and just a short walk from the beautiful waterfront, is the city’s vast main square, Plaza Jose Marti, lined all four sides by grand civic buildings dating back to the colonial era, the most famous of which is undoubtedly the iconic Teatro Tomas Terry.

    A short taxi ride from the city centre is Punta Gorda, a narrow peninsula that juts out into the Bay of Cienfuegos and which was once the city’s most upmarket neighbourhood. Even today, this part of the city is still home to numerous beautiful buildings, including the famous Palacio del Valle & Club Cienfuegos, as well as much of the city’s limited accommodation.

    Please click here for details of our optional Trips in and around Cienfuegos.

    Suggested Accommodation: Cienfuegos Casas Meals Included: Breakfast
    • — Cienfuegos, Palacio De Valle
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    • — Cienfuegos, Jagua Fort
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    • — Cienfuegos, El Nicho Waterfalls
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  • Day 8 — Cienfuegos to Trinidad

    Although there is a tourist bus service between Cienfuegos & Trinidad, it’s only an hour by car so a private taxi transfer is included for this pleasant journey along the coast.

    Small it may be, but the town of Trinidad on Cuba’s south coast punches well above its weight when it comes to visitor appeal and, after Havana, is the island’s number two cultural destination.

    Founded in 1514, Trinidad grew rich on the back of the sugar trade. The wealth this generated led to the building of numerous beautiful civic buildings and private homes, many of which are largely unchanged to this day. With so much of its original architecture still in place, and the colonial layout of the town centre largely untainted by modern development, Trinidad was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.

    Today, the historic centre of Trinidad is closed to traffic and wandering the town’s cobbled lanes it is hard not to be struck by the beauty of the town which is often described as an outdoor museum. For those who like traditional museums, the charming Museo Histórico Municipal, also known as Casa Cantero, is our top pick although the Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Bandidos will appeal to those with an interest in the Cuban Revolution.

    On arrival in Trinidad you will be dropped at the accommodation of your choice. The rest of the day is at leisure.

    Suggested Accommodation: Trinidad Casas Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
    • — Trinidad, Iglesia De La Santisima
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    • — Trinidad, museum
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    • — Trinidad, street
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  • Day 9 — Trinidad

    Although there are no included activities as part of this suggested itinerary there are numerous wonderful, optional Trips that we can book in Trinidad.

    Quite apart from the town itself, the surrounding area is home to some of Cuba’s most beautiful, not to mention interesting, countryside.

    To the east of Trinidad is the Valley of the Sugar Mills and the colonial town of Sancti Spiritus while to the north of Trinidad are the beautiful Escambray Mountains and, beyond that, the historic city of Santa Clara. Or, if you simply wish to relax, just a short drive south of Trinidad there are some nice little beaches where you can while away a few hours.

    Suggested Accommodation: Trinidad Casas Meals Included: Breakfast
    • — v
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    • — Trinidad, Topes De Collantes
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    • — Trinidad, National Park
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  • Day 10 — Trinidad

    The day is at leisure for you to explore on your own or book one of our optional Trips.

    Suggested Accommodation: Trinidad Casas Meals Included: Breakfast
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    • — Trinidad, Cayo Blanco
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  • Day 11 — Trinidad to Santa Clara

    It’s an early start as you are collected from your accommodation for the bus journey from Trinidad to Santia Clara which normally takes around 3 hours.

    Primarily famous for being the final resting place of Ernesto Che Guevara, Santa Clara is inextricably linked with the Cuban Revolution and is a popular stopping off point for many Cuban holidays.

    It was in Santa Clara that the last battle of the Cuban Revolution was fought in 1958, led in part by Guevara, and culminating in the derailing of a government troop train. Within hours, General Batista had fled the island for good and a new phase in Cuba’s history had begun. Today, the very same train is preserved in a park setting within the city and serves as both a national monument and museum.

    However, Santa Clara’s main draw is undoubtedly Che Guevara’s Mausoleum and Monument which is located just outside the city centre. The Monument was opened in 1988 while the Mausoleum was added in 1997 after his remains were discovered in Bolivia and returned to Cuba.

    Having been transferred to the accommodation of your choice, the rest of the day is free for you to explore at your leisure.

    Suggested Accommodation: Santa Clara Casas Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
    • — Santa Clara, Che Guevara
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    • — Santa Clara, Museum Tren Blindado
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    • — Santa Clara, Museum
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  • Day 12 — Santa Clara to Camaguey

    This morning, you will be transferred to the pick-up point for the bus from Santa Clara to Camaguey which normally takes around 5 ½ hours.

    One of the original Spanish settlements in Cuba, Camaguey settled in its current location in 1528. In stark contrast to the vast majority of Spanish colonial cities, which tend to follow the same, very ordered structure, Camaguey is laid out in a seemingly chaotic mish mash of irregular streets heading in all directions and connecting with a multitude of squares of differing sizes. Getting lost is almost a given.

    Although over-shadowed by the likes of Havana & Trinidad, the historic centre of Camaguey is also home to some outstanding and varied architecture, reflecting the different styles of its long history and ranging from neoclassical to art nouveau. In recognition of its unique heritage, Camaguey was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.

    On arrival, clients will be transferred to their accommodation of choice. The rest of the day is at leisure.

    Suggested Accommodation: Melia Gran Camaguey Meals Included: Breakfast
    • — Camaguey, Plaza San Juan
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    • — Camaguey, Santa Cecilia
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    • — Statue
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  • Day 13 — Camaguey to Santiago

    The morning is at leisure for you to explore Camaguey at your leisure, perhaps utilising one of the cycle-rickshaws that the city is famous for.

    After an early lunch you will need to check-out of your accommodation for the short transfer to the pick-up point for the Camaguey to Santiago bus which normally takes around 6 ½ hours.

    Having been transferred to the accommodation of your choice, it will probably be time to get a bite to eat and then hit the hay.

    (Alternative: En-route from Camaguey to Santiago, it is also possible to break up the journey with a night in the historic town of Bayamo).

    Suggested Accommodation: Hotel San Basilio Meals Included: Breakfast
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    • — Camaguey, Rickshaws
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    • — Parque Cespedes, Santiago
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  • Day 14 — Santiago

    More ethnically mixed than other parts of the island, Santiago de Cuba could be considered as the New Orleans of Cuba, notable as much for its rich cultural heritage of music and dance as it is for its equally varied architectural styles.

    For those with an interest in modern Cuban history, Santiago de Cuba is regarded as the birthplace of the Cuban Revolution and visits to both the Moncada Barracks (where the Revolution began) and City Hall (where Fidel Castro declared final victory) are a must for enthusiasts.

    Other notable attractions in and around the city include the old Bacardi factory and museum, Parque Cespedes, the first Cathedral in Cuba and San Pedro de la Roca fort which protects the entrance to the bay.

    We feature a number of pre-bookable Trips in Santiago including city tours lasting both 3 & 6 hours.

    Suggested Accommodation: Hotel San Basilio Meals Included: Breakfast
    • — Santiago, Cathedral
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    • — Santiago, Moncada Barracks
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    • — Santiago, Fort
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  • Day 15 — Santiago

    There is more than enough to see and do in and around Santiago de Cuba to merit another day including, outside of the city, both El Cobre and La Gran Piedra, visits to both of which are included in our Santiago Trips.

    Suggested Accommodation: Hotel San Basilio Meals Included: Breakfast
    • — Santiago, Cayo Granma
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    • — El Cobre
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    • — La Gran Piedra
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  • Day 16 — Santiago to Havana

    Depending on flight times, clients will be collected from their accommodation for the short transfer to Santiago airport and the flight back to Havana.

    On arrival, clients will again be met at the airport and transferred to their chosen accommodation in the city.

    The rest of the day is at leisure.

    Suggested Accommodation: Havana Casas Meals Included: Breakfast
    • — Havana, train station
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    • — Havana, Capitol building
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    • — Havana, Tropicana
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  • Day 17 — Havana & Home

    Your final day in Havana is at leisure for you to relax, explore further or perhaps do a bit of last- minute shopping.

    Depending on your flight time, you will be collected from your accommodation for the private transfer back to Havana airport and your onward journey home.

    Meals Included: Breakfast
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    • — Heading home
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Please Note

This itinerary is no more than a sample idea which can be tailor made to your exact requirements.

The 'From price' is for travel in September and is based on two adults sharing the same room throughout. Supplements apply for sole occupancy / transport.

The quoted price does not include international flights which we are happy to arrange as part of an ATOL protected package.

Beach Extensions

Beach Extensions

For clients wishing to extend their holiday with time at one of Cuba’s numerous beach resorts there are numerous options.

From Santiago, clients can travel by road to the beautiful beaches of Guardalavaca before returning to Havana or they can fly back to Havana and then end their holiday at one of the nearby beaches before transferring straight back to Havana airport.

Suggested Accommodation

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