8 Days
From £3,650 PP
In association with Black Tomato
A city-hopping jaunt from Havana to Trinidad, with tobacco plantations and jungle trekking

For years, talk of Cuba has been focused around how you must visit now before it changes forever and five-star hotels spring up to replace the dilapidated, pastel-hued buildings that define Havana. But with a new president in power, never before has this felt so much like a country on the cusp. Kick off three nights in the capital with a Hemingway tour in a classic Fifties car, a visit to a food market with a chef and a traditional lunch in a paladar (privately run) restaurant. Then it's onto a tobacco plantation in Viñales, where you can learn to roll cigars, and Cienfuegos on the south coast, which is renowned for its Spanish-colonial architecture. Next is Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with cobblestone streets, bands playing Spanish-African Son Cubano music and salsa dancing till the early hours. Finally, take a four-wheel-drive safari to the Escambray mountains and trek through the jungle-covered Topes de Collantes nature reserve to cool off in a secret swimming spot. A week-long adventure that captures the spirit of this unique Caribbean island.

EXCLUSIVE EXPERIENCES

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Price includes

  • International return flights
  • Private transfers
  • Seven nights' accommodation
  • Breakfast throughout and selected lunches
  • Guided excursions
  • Jeep safari

ALL TRIPS CAN BE TAILOR-MADE TO ADD IN EXTRA NIGHTS OR EXPERIENCES ALONG THE WAY

Availability

From
Fri, Friday, Jun 29
To
Mon, Monday, Dec 31
Duration
186 Days
Price per person
£3,650*
* Based on two people sharing. Subject to availability.
Call now to book 02074269888
Quote ref: CONDE NAST

Itinerary

  1. Day
    1
    Fly to Havana
    Havana, Cuba

    Fly from London on an Air Europa flight (via Madrid) to Havana. On arrival, check into La Reserva, a colonial mansion in the Vedado neighbourhood with a gorgeous leafy courtyard garden, contemporary Cuban art and nine retro-chic rooms.

    From the funkiest bands busking outside restaurants in the Old Town to crowd-packed jazz performances on Friday nights at art gallery and club Fabrica de Arte Cubano, music is such a part of life in Havana and gives the city a real buzz.
    Emma Love, Conde Nast Traveller Contributing Editor

    Meals -
  2. Day
    2
    Hemingway’s Havana
    Havana, Cuba

    Set off on a two-hour walking tour that ticks off the four key squares of Old Havana - Plaza de Armas, Plaza San Francisco de Asis, Plaza Vieja, and the Plaza de la Cathedral - with an expert guide who will offer insights into the city's fascinating history along the way.

    In the afternoon, hop in a classic 1950s car for the Hemingway Tour. Begin on the outskirts of Havana at Hemingway's villa which is exactly as the American writer left it almost sixty years ago. Although you're not allowed to enter the house itself, there is plenty to see: peek through the open doors and windows at his personal belongings and glimpse the boat he used for fishing.

    On the way back into the city, your guide will make a stop at Cojimar fishing village, which inspired Hemingway to write the novel 'The Old Man and the Sea', and whose protagonist fishermen he dedicated his Nobel Prize to. The final stop is El Morro fort, across the harbour from Havana from where there are spectacular views of the city.

    Meals - Breakfast
  3. Day
    3
    Food markets and e-bikes
    Havana, Cuba

    Visit a produce market and a ration card store on a tour with local chef Raulito to learn about the different ways Cubans have access to food. Then lunch at his old-school paladar restaurant Grados, where he will cook up favourite pre-revolution recipes from his childhood such as lamb slow-cooked in pru (an eastern Cuban herbal drink) or farm eggs on a bed of maize. Afterwards, go on an off-grid guided e-bike tour of Havana that veers away from the typical tourist trail to spots such as Jardines de Tropical or Playa Baracoa for a swim.

    Meals - Breakfast, Lunch
  4. Day
    4
    Tobacco tour in Vinales
    Vinales, Cuba

    This morning your driver will take you to Vinales. Visit the tobacco plantations where farmers still plough with oxen and you can see the famous drying houses (ask to be shown how to roll a cigar). Horse riding in the Vinales Valley, framed by the Mogotes mountains and limestone rocks, is a thrilling optional extra this afternoon. Check in at Casa MogoteArt, set on an organic farm three kilometres from downtown Vinales.

    Meals - Breakfast
  5. Day
    5
    Cienfuegos scene
    Trinidad, Cuba
    MARKA / Alamy Stock Photo

    Transfer to Trinidad via Cienfuegos by car. In the afternoon, check in to Las Casona before going on a guided walking tour of the city. It includes a visit to Jose Marti Park, dedicated to the Cuban National Hero; the 19th-century Tomas Terry Theatre which draws its architectural style from classical French and Italian influences; and the Spanish-Moorish style Palacio del Valle.

    Meals - Breakfast
  6. Day
    6
    Salsa in Trinidad
    Trinidad, Cuba

    Kick off the day with a walking tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site Trinidad. Your guide will take you through the cobblestone streets, pointing out architectural highlights and sharing stories about the history of the town during the colonial era and the years after the Revolution.

    Two of the top live music venues in Trinidad are colonial Casa de La Trova for Tova and traditional Son Cubano (until 9pm) and later, nearby Casa de La Musica for salsa dancing.

    Meals - Breakfast
  7. Day
    7
    Jeeps and jungle
    Guanayara National Park, Cuba
    Dmitri Korobtsov/Getty Images

    Go on a jeep safari to the Escambray mountains and Guanayara national park before trekking through the Tope de Collantes forest to swim at the waterfall.

    Meals - Breakfast
  8. Day
    8
    Fly home
    Havana, Cuba

    Fly back from Havana on an Air Europa flight (via Madrid) to London.

    Meals - Breakfast

Accommodation

LA RESERVA VEDADO

0
Havana, Cuba

Retro-chic bolt hole in historic Havana

This colonial-style mansion in the Vedado neighbourhood has been recently renovated and now has nine, retro-chic bedrooms with tiled floors, wooden shutters at the windows and mid-century statement design pieces such as leather butterfly chairs and teak sideboards. There's a leafy garden out the back with a bar, sofas for lounging and bistro tables that are laid up for breakfast. It's an easy stroll to the Malecon road where you can hop in a taxi to the city centre.

CASA MOGOTEART

0
Vinales National Park, Cuba

Rural farmstay with unbeatable views

In the middle of a farm in the Viñales National Park, this house comes with great views over the valley's Mogotes (karst mountains), an organic vegetable patch, orchard and gardens. It's simple, which fittingly reflects the back-to-nature way of life here. The owner Luis is a young writer who spent many years living in Madrid before returning to Cuba and he is hugely knowledgeable about the area.

LA CASONA

0
Trinidad, Cuba

Hidden hacienda with 19th-century roots

One of the oldest houses in Trinidad, 19th-century La Casona (otherwise known as Finca Kenia, after the owner) is on the edge of the Santa Rosa Valley. It has eight simple rooms, each with its own living area and outdoor terrace; a large garden, flanked by stables, and overlooking the ruins of a colonial fort; a pool; and a restaurant for breakfast (lunch and dinner can also be made to order).

Brought to you by

Black Tomato
This tour is operated solely by Black Tomato
This trip has been created especially by Conde Nast Traveller with Black Tomato, the award-winning tour operator that goes beyond the obvious box-ticking with inspiring itineraries in remote destinations and the inside track on everything from the top design hotels to one-off extras.