Duration:8 Days *Optional 2 day extension
Cost:Global $2,399 CDN - $1,729 EURO USA Exclusive Tour $2,999 USD
3 uniquely different paddling locations - coral cliffs, turquoise blue waters and magnificent caves of Guajimico -
waterfalls and majestic mountain lake paddling - 4 by 4 mountain truck tour - Cienfuegos city cultural experience -
private restaurants - luxury glamping under the hatched roofed huts of Rio Negro perched on the side of the Escambray Mountains - paddle into and stay the night in a rustic stilt village above the water in treasure lagoon - snorkeling -
mountain coffee and tea house visit- horseback riding- *HAVANA EXTENSION
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT FLIGHTS
One of the most important goals is to have all our client’s flights arriving and departing around the same time. Before booking your flights for our trips please let us help guide you into the right flight choice based on our tour schedule and other party’s flights. As you can imagine, this can get very complicated. It is our goal to make this as smooth as possible and to use our bus as the main shuttle to and from the airport.
DAY 1 – Arrival / Topes De Collantes Arrival at Santa Clara International airport. Head through customs, collect your bags and head in to the sunshine. You will be welcomed at the airport lobby by your bilingual Cuban guide and professional bus driver. This is the perfect time to exchange your money into the local Cuban currency (C.U.C.). We recommend exchanging enough money to have a minimum of $250 C.U.C. on you for the duration of the trip. This will come in handy for buying extra drinks, souvenirs, and tipping. Enjoy the comfort of our air-conditioned coach bus while taking in the scenery on route to our first location. Lunch on the first day is the only meal not included in your trip cost. If your flight arrives in time for lunch, we will arrange a great meal at a private restaurant. With our bellies full we are off to the spectacular Escambray mountains of southern Cuba. What a beautiful drive! Mountain life at it’s finest. A quick stop at our paddle-sport storage area to size you up with the appropriate gear for your paddling adventure. Check into the cabins at Villa Caburni. Dinner will be served at Villa Caburni 7:30pm. ACCOMMODATION: Villa Caburni
DAY 2 – Rio Negro After a 7:30 breakfast we will check out of the villa and load your personal belongings on to the bus. Tonight we will be ‘glamping’ under thatched roof huts on Lake Hanabanilla so be sure to pack an overnight dry bag or pack that will come with you. Be sure to pack some warm cozy clothes for the evening and overnight. Your friendly guide will give you an idea of what things you will need in your overnight bag at breakfast. At 9:30am a big Russian 4 by 4 truck will pick us up at the mountain coffee house just down the road from the villa. This will give us a chance to try one (or more) of 24 different types of drinks made with local mountain coffee. We will then make the drive through the mountains towards lake Hanabanilla’s south dam. From here we will paddle approx. 10km on route to Rio Negro. We will paddle along side lush tropical mountains that tower the lake and inspire awe. A 1km detour and short hike will take the group to a hidden waterfall and crystal clear pools. A perfect spot to enjoy our lunch, take a dip, relax and take in the beauty of this magical place. Once the group is ready, we will paddle a little further to one of the most unique places in Central Cuba, Rio Negro. Here the group will be sleeping under the thatched roof structures above the lake and nestled in the lush tropical jungle. Dinner will be served at 7:00pm along with a Tiki bar for your enjoyment. Enjoy the sounds of the jungle and the beauty of the 5 billion star accommodations. There is a Cuban saying that sums up this perfect moment in just one word, “APULULU!!” We supply the linen, blanket and foam mattresses for sleeping. If you need more than that please feel free to bring your own light weight sleeping bag and a camp pillow. ACCOMMODATION: Rio Negro Glamping
DAY 3 – Lake Hanabanilla Good Morning! The smell of fresh Cuban coffee and a symphony of birds singing in the trees is sure to put a smile on your face. The beautiful and rare Cuban national bird the “Tocororo” can be spotted and heard around this site early morning. The Lake has three river outlets named, Río Negro, Hanabanilla and Guanayara. It is 364 meters above sea level and has an approximate surface area of 15 square kilometers. We have the privilege of being the only paddling company that is out exploring this truly majestic place! After a short hike to a panoramic view of lake Hanabanilla and the Escambray mountains we will continue our exploration paddling north towards the only hotel in the area. Once landed on the shore the group will walk into the local community to enjoy lunch at a private restaurant. After lunch, walk to the hotel or take the bus a couple kilometers. Free-time in the late afternoon where you can enjoy the pool with a million-dollar view, or relax. Dinner will be at the hotel at 7:30pm. Enjoy the night! ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Hanabanilla
DAY 4 – Guamá Today we will be traveling to a very unique area of south central Cuba. The Zapata region of Cuba boasts the largest protected park lands in all of the Caribbean. The drive will take at least 3 hours so let’s eat breakfast at 7:30am and hit the road by 8:30am. La Boca de Guamá is where we will eat lunch before paddling. The Guamá Islands in the treasure Lagoon were once the site of a Taíno Aboriginal settlement. Here, we will stay in traditional native style cabins with thatched roofs raised on stilts above the water. A 2.5hr paddle through a very calm protected mangrove channel and across an inland lake will take us to this magical place for the night. There are no roads in to this amazing place, only accessed by water. These rustic thatched huts are equipped with a private bathroom, satellite T.V. and a circular balcony with a lake view. Explore the numerous islands via bridges and board walks or feel free to paddle around the lagoons numerous back channels. Dinner will be served at one of the most famous wilderness restaurants in Cuba. Check out a 1 C.U.C. coin in your pocket! Does the image look familiar? Enjoy nature at its finest! ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Horizontes Villa Guamá
DAY 5 - Zapata / Cienfuegos City / Guajimico After breakfast the group can enjoy some free time paddling kayaks through the mangroves and around the islands…a birder’s paradise. Then we are on our way by kayak or SUP across the Treasure Lagoon and through a water channel in the jungle back to La Boca de Guamá. Lunch will be waiting for us at La Boca de Guamá Restaurant. Take a short walk to visit the Breeding Center of the unique Cuban Crocodiles on site. After lunch we will depart to the “pearl of the south” Cienfuegos City. Enjoy a city tour by bus and foot. This is your best chance to buy cigars, rum, coffee and souvenirs in the market place near the city’s central square. After the city tour we are off to a true “diamond in the rough” called Guajimico. A nature lover’s paradise located on ancient coral cliffs surrounded by aqua blue waters. Charming small cabins tucked into the forest and a pool with a view of the cliffs and ocean will be home for the next 3 nights. Dinner will be served at 7:30pm in the dining room. Sweet dreams! ACCOMMODATION: Villa Guajimico
DAY 6 – Guajimico After breakfast we hit the Ocean! A short paddle on the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea will take us to an isolated beach with rock cliffs on both sides. Enjoy a little beach time and snorkeling around some of the healthiest coral reefs in the Caribbean. If time permits, we will travel a little further west to another pristine cove surrounded by massive cliffs. These hidden, spectacular beach cuts served as shelter and a place for pirates to stash their loot...search for your own gold doubloons! It’s then back to Guajimico for lunch over looking the turquoise water and limestone coral cliffs. After lunch you have a full afternoon of relaxing or adventure. Guajimico has amazing scuba diving and/or snorkeling right in front of the resort. The salt water pool is also a favorite of guests and has one of the best views going from the top of the bluffs. Your guide would also be more than happy to show you a hidden cave system that is simply breathtaking. Be sure to pack a good headlight or flashlight. This cave system is seldom visited and we highly recommend seeing it near sunset time. For the paddle nuts there is the chance of a short paddle on the Caribbean Sea to enjoy the sunset. Dinner is served at the villa and free time in the evening for song and dance or pure relaxation. ACCOMMODATION: Villa Guajimico
Day 7 – Guajimico / La Vaga Ranch Another day in Paradise! After a 7:30am breakfast the group has the option to paddle to an isolated beach to swim and horseback ride to a ranch called “La Vaga” for lunch. If this paddle is a little ambitious for you then you can choose to hang-out or paddle the waters close to Guajimico and then catch the bus with our driver to La Vaga to meet us for lunch and horseback ride if that is of interest. Another amazing experience and a day not to be forgotten. After lunch, ride back to the beach and paddle the rugged coast back to the resort. Enjoy the pool, bar or just relax for the remainder of your last full day in Cuba. Dinner will be served at 7:30pm. Dance it up! It’s your last night. Remember that increased mojito consumption has been proven to help dance co-ordination. ☺ ACCOMMODATION: Villa Guajimico
DAY 8 - International Airport and Home After breakfast, enjoy free time until you head to Santa Clara International Airport via a private shuttle. Have a safe flight home and we hope to see you again on another Cuba Adventure Company get-a-way. ACCOMMODATION: Your own bed!
DAY 9 & 10 - HAVANA EXTENSION! * Extend your Cuban adventure to include 2 days in Old Havana! Experience the Cultural dichotomy that makes Havana one of the most unique cities in the world. A fusion of Food, Music and Art that will leave you wanting more. We will explore this eclectic city by bike, on foot and of course in classic cars. A MUST DO! IMPORTANT: IMPORTANT: The HAVANA EXTENSION is for Private Groups and must have 6 or more book in order to run. Please check with your group leader to make sure 6 or more are interested. When booking your adventure click on 'Havana Extension'.
*Cuba can be a challenge. Often things don’t go as planned. Flexible travelers with a sense of humor consider it part of their Cuban adventure. Our Cuban partners work super hard to make your tour unfold seamlessly, but sometimes itinerary changes happen in light of hardships on island. Click here to download our release wavier.
- Lunch on the arrival day
- Cuban Tourist Card (provided by most airlines on route to Cuba)
- Issuing Country Departure Taxes
- Personal incidentals and tipping
- Airfare to and from Cuba
- Cuban Tourist Card or OFAC paperwork
- 8 Days health insurance valid in Cuba
- Activities outside the above program
GENERAL TIP ‘ING GUIDELINE
Remember that all Cubans make approx. 20 CUC a month which is very little, so anything that we can do to help in the way of small gifts and tips really does make a big difference.
- 1 CUC per meal
- 1 CUC per night for chamber maids
- 1 CUC for porters
- 3-5 CUC for special meal
- 3-5 CUC for special musical guest(s)
- 3-5 CUC for special interpretive guest(s)
- 5 CUC for taxi rides
- Loose change for bar tender
CUBA ALL-STAR TEAM or CAST: If you have a great adventure with our CAST, $100.00 CUC / client or approximately 5% of the cost of the trip is recommended. Our CAST includes: Canadian guide, Lead Cuban guide, Interpretive Cuban guide and bus driver who will all be with us for the duration of the trip. If they exceed your expectations feel free to show your appreciation.
PLEASE NOTE: To avoid any confusion, please approach your friendly neighbourhood Canadian guide with your tip at the end of the trip (typically after the last supper) who will distribute the funds accordingly.
Thank- you for supporting our CAST of characters!