"From isolated beaches, majestic caves, jungle treks, waterfalls and nature pools to eco-cabins, glamping, old Trinidad urban walks and high mountain Cuban life, this trip was spectacular and full of variety." - Dale Whitehead
Cost:$1,999 CDN $1,399 EURO
2017/2018 Dates:Dec 8-15 - Promo Code: SAVE150 Jan 19-26 March 16-23
Seaside trek along coral cliffs, turquoise waters and magnificent cave exploring in Guajimico – urban historical walk through the 500-year-old UNESCO City of Trinidad - spectacular hikes to waterfalls, caves and the jungles of the Escambray mountain range -
4 by 4 mountain truck tour – private restaurants – Cuban dance lessons – Hanabanilla Lake boat tour – Botanical tea and coffee house museum. Click here to download our release wavier.
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. View our terms and conditions
DAY 1 – Guajimico Arrival at Santa Clara International airport. Head through customs, collect your bags and head in to the warmth and sunshine of Cuba. 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 $200 - $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 Villa Guajimico, one of Cuba’s best kept gems perched on top of ancient coral cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Check-in and enjoy the scenery in and around the resort. Dinner will be served at the resort’s dinning hall. Sunset from the pool deck is about as good as it gets…welcome to Cuba! ACCOMMODATION: Villa Guajimico
DAY 2 – Guajimico Greet your first morning in paradise. After breakfast we will all meet at the pool with our bagged lunches and hiking apparel to start our day’s adventure. This amazing hike will take us up to the top of the cliffs for a bird’s eye view of the ocean and along the crest towards an isolated beach. This beach is tucked in between amazing coral cliffs, tucked away from the busy world. Turquoise waters, thriving coral and an array of tropical fish await you just off the beach where a water proof camera is sure to produce some special memories. Enjoy lunch on the beach with a million-dollar view. In the afternoon we will continue hiking until we arrive at the opening of a massive cave. This spectacular cave system sees very little travel and boasts amazing features and has a rich and storied history from pirates to indigenous people. Anywhere else in the world a cave of this calibre would have an admission fee but here it is left untouched as we like to explore the trails less travelled ☺. We exit the cave and head back towards Guajimico arriving by late afternoon. Enjoy a swim at the resorts salt water pool or relax and reflect on your first Trek in Cuba. Dinner will be served at 7:30. At 9:00, if your legs allow, learn a few traditional Latin dances from our professional dance instructor. What better way to immerse yourself in to Cuba’s vibrant culture. ACCOMMDATION: Villa Guajimico.
DAY 3 – Trinidad / Topes De Collantes After breakfast we depart west along the coast to one of the oldest, most unique cities in all of Cuba. Trinidad is a recognized world heritage site that was founded over 500 years ago. It’s architecture and rich blend of tradition and culture spills out onto the cobble stoned streets. Your Cuban guide will lead you on an interpretive urban trek through the city towards the old square and the revolution museum discussing the unique history of Trinidad City. Lunch will be served at one of the best kept secrets in Trinidad called “Don Pepe Restaurante”. Say goodbye to Trinidad and get ready to head north into the impressive mountainous jungles of the Escambray Range. Our adventurous bus ride full of steep inclines and switch backs takes us high above the Ocean into the fresh mountain air. Topes De Collantes, a small community that is nestled into the high mountains, is where we will make our home for the next few days. We will check into the cabins at Villa Caburni. These cabins have the same rustic charm as Guajimico but with a much different view at high elevation. Once settled in we will take a short walk to the coffee plantation and tea house with our interpretive mountain guide. Enjoy one or more specialty coffees at the famous mountain coffee house or try a healing tea at the botanical tea shop. Our guides are experts in the mountains and will be with us throughout our treks explaining and answering any questions you may have from mountain life to its rich biodiversity. What an amazing place to take in nature, enjoy each others company and appreciate the simplicity of life in the fresh mountain air. Dinner will be served at the Villa and free time in the evening. ACCOMMODATION: Villa Caburni
DAY 4 – Mountain Waterfalls and Pools Breakfast will be served at the villa and at 9:00am and then we are off for our first mountain hike. Bring lots of water, a bathing suit and snacks because we will be hiking and exploring right up to lunch. This three- hour trek takes us to three different waterfalls each of which are very unique. Salto El Caburni is the first set of falls that drains overtop of exposed rock. The second waterfall is named El Caburni and drains into a crystal clear pool of water that is perfect for a fresh swim. Vegas Grandes is the last waterfall and a favorite site for amateur and professional photographers. You will have no storage of breathtaking moments to capture in pictures or your memory on this unforgettable mountain hike. Lunch is waiting for us at the end of the trail at Mi Retiro. Enjoy a well deserved spread of great food and cold drinks. During the afternoon feel free to wander and explore the area. A recommended visit to the Museo de Arte Cubano located only minutes south of the villa on the main road. Dinner will be served at Gran Nena, located beside the Art Museum. This private restaurant boasts great food, beautiful view and a wonderful atmosphere. Enjoy the evening! ACCOMMODATION: Villa Caburni
DAY 5 – Codina Park Trek and Overnight Shortly after breakfast we will check out and walk towards Hacienda Codina for our glamping (luxury camping) overnight experience. Shelters, sheets, warm blankets and foam mattresses will be supplied for this unique mountain air accommodation. A 4 by 4 mountain truck will meet us at our destination with our luggage. Enjoy a relaxed, peaceful hike through an ecological Jungle refuge. This area is known for it’s trekking, bird-watching, camping, horse-back riding and cave tours. A pig roast and inseparable Congri makes the specialized restaurant one of Codina’s gems. In the afternoon talk a short easy hike around the La Alfombra Magica trail. This trail will take less than an hour but it has a spectacular cave that will leave you spell bound. Dinner will be served deep within the wilderness of the Escambray Mountains at Casa de Adobe. Relax and take in the sounds of pure nature while camping in style and comfort. ACCOMMODATION: Glamping at Casa de Adobe
DAY 6 – Mountain Spa There is nothing better than waking up to the sounds of a jungle coming to life around you. Let the smell of fresh coffee and the symphony of birds arouse your senses. Breakfast is served and the option of a moderate hike will be offered by your mountain guide to an area seldom travelled. This trail is very remote and ends with an impressive panorama from a very high vantage point overlooking the Ocean and Trinidad. Retrace your steps back to the starting point in time for a delicious lunch. After lunch, load up your gear on the Russian 4 by 4 mountain truck and enjoy an exciting ride back to Topes de Collates. Once we reach the outside world we will check into the Kurhotel Escambray. Welcome to the famous 4-star mountain spa retreat. This hotel is a specialized center that focuses on various therapies and revitalization techniques from massage and water therapy to acupuncture and many other relaxing techniques. Go on and treat yourself! Dinner at the hotel and an evening of free time. ACCOMMODATION: Kurhotel Escambray
DAY 7 – Grotto Trail / Hanabanilla Lake Well relaxed? Breakfast served at 7:30am in the hotel restaurant. Check-out and climb aboard the mountain truck, we are off to Gruta Nengoa a newly opened area within the park’s western boundary. This moderate trek through a grotto has impressive waterfalls and caverns to explore and appreciate. Retrace your steps back to the beginning where our truck awaits. Approximately 30 minutes of 4 by 4’ing will bring us to the most famous rustic jungle chicken rotisserie in Cuba. Casa de la Gallega is a popular trailhead destination for Cuban’s and tourists and a tad too busy, but the food is worth stopping every time! After our delicious lunch we hop back on to the mountain truck which takes us along the shores of the most southern arm of Hanabanilla lake to Jibacoa Dam. Say goodbye and share some hugs with your mountain guide as we part ways and board the tour boat. Relax and enjoy the spectacular view of the surrounding mountains as we wind our way through the largest inland lake in all of Cuba. What a perfect way to wrap up a week of trekking and exploration from Sea to Summit. We dock at Hotel Hanabanilla at the north end of the lake where you can enjoy one of the best cappuccino’s at the hotel’s bar and your final dinner. ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Hanabanilla
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. ACCOMMODATION: Your own bed!
*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
- Gratuities - recommended 5% for the team
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!