Cuba selfdrive holiday:
Havana & Western Cuba Selfdrive
A fabulous self-drive holiday for a real flavour of Cuban life.
You’ll visit some stunning parts of Cuba, with a mixture of great scenery and colourful towns and villages.
A few days discovering Havana at the beginning and relaxing at the beach at the end make this a great way to explore and enjoy the real Cuba.
Day 1 No meals You are met on your arrival at Havana’s international airport and driven to your chosen hotel for a 3 night stay.
Day 2 B Two free days for you to explore Havana under your own steam. There’s lots to see and do in this colourful and intriguing city.
Day 3 B In Havana.
Pinar del Rio
Day 4 B Collect your hire car today and set off westwards. If you are starting from Old Havana your route would take you along the seafront on the Malecón and through the western suburbs, to join the start of the East-West highway linking Havana with the town of Pinar del Río. You turn off the dual carriageway into the countryside, where winding roads take you through sleepy farmlands past tobacco ‘vegas’ growing some of the finest leaves in Cuba, into the Sierra de los Organos –a stunning limestone landscape. Here, stubby hills called mogotes rise sheer above a chequerboard of small fields laid out beneath flame trees, and homesteads awash with hibiscus and bougainvillea. Stay at your hotel in the area for 2 nights.
Day 5 B There are quite a few options for you today and the next. You’ll want to visit the small country town of Viñales, where you could pick up basic ingredients for a picnic, then perhaps drive among the hills, perhaps stopping at the nearby caves opened as attractions for visitors but generally just out and about exploring this part of Cuba. Beyond the hills, on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, a narrow stone causeway leads to the coral island of Cayo Jutias where there is a small restaurant that serves a delicious sea-food lunch. You could include that in your first day’s trip, or stop there next day en route (almost) to Soroa along the coast road. There’s also the Alejandro Robaina vega (plantation) to see, or the Cueva de los Portales–the rather spectacular cave where Ché set up his HQ during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.
Day 6 B Touring in Pinar del Rio. End your day at Soroa, which has an extensive orchidarium that you could visit when you arrive or the following morning. Stay the night near to Soroa.
Day 7 B From Soroa it is a pleasant few hours’ drive to the colonial port of Cienfuegos, joining for a while the ‘Carretera Central’–the highway that runs from Havana across Cuba to the other end of the island. Cienfuegos stands beside a wide bay that leads to the Caribbean. It was founded by French settlers at the beginning of the nineteenth century and its historic centre retains an air of those times amid the busy streets that have sprung up since. You stay 2 nights in a small restored colonial mansion in Cienfuegos.
Day 8 B ome of your options today include taking a break from driving to explore Cienfuegos itself, perhaps with an afternoon at the beach at Playa Rancho Luna around the bay, or you could backtrack to the infamous Bay of Pigs where the US-backed invasion came to grief, or visit the Zapata peninsula which is excellent for bird life.
Day 9 BD Along the coast from Cienfuegos is the quaint colonial town of Trinidad, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You could head straight there on the main road, which runs by the sea, reaching Trinidad in an hour or so, or turn off through the mountains of the Sierra del Escambray, Cuba’s second mountain range, a journey that with stops for walks and a picnic could take much of the day. You’ll stay for 2 nights in Trinidad. You’ll want to spend some time in the town itself, both during the day to explore the streets and squares and visit a museum or two, and in the evening to hear some live music Cuban-style. You might flop at the beach on your second day, or explore part of the Sierra del Escambray.
Day 10 BD
Beach at Cayo Santa Maria
Day 11 BD Across Cuba from the Caribbean to the Atlantic. It’s not very far (120 miles in all), and even if you take your time on the road, with plenty of stops to explore, you would plan to arrive in the late afternoon. Soon after leaving Trinidad you’ll see the turning for the Valle de los Ingenios, where you might stop to explore the pretty little village that stands beneath a derelict tower that was once part of a sugar estate. Onwards along country roads to Sancti Spiritus and Placetas, before you arrive at the delightfully amiable town of Remedios, one of our favourites. Stop here if you’ve time, before pressing on to the beach at Cayo Santa Maria. For the next 3 nights you stay at your hotel on the gorgeous Cayos de la Herradura, part of the Archipelago de Camagüey.
Day 12 BD At Cayo Santa Maria.
Day 13 BD At Cayo Santa Maria.
Havana via Santa Clara
Day 14 B This morning you loop back to Havana via Santa Clara, which played an important part in the Revolution. Here you might visit Ché’s mausoleum and the museum dedicated to him, and stop at the wreckage of the Tren Blindado, blown up by Ché’s men while it brought up government reinforcements–a turning point in the campaign. Navigating into Havana can be a challenge, even with the maps and directions we provide, but you should arrive in plenty of time to check in at the Hotel Nacional (something rather grand to round off your trip!), drop off your hire car, and perhaps even take a look at some of the sights in the area.
Day 15 B A morning in Havana for a final museum or two, some sightseeing, strolling or shopping, before you are picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight home to the UK.
Guide prices* from £1,110 to £1,625
15 days / 14 nights
Starts and ends in Havana, Cuba.
Choose from a range of rental car categories.
Choose to stay in either mid-range hotels or upper range hotels (where available).
Not quite right for you? Contact us to adjust the itinerary, change hotels or how you travel.
Order a Cuba brochure
Contact our Cuba specialists
We make it easy
Flexible dates: start on any date.
Flexible flights: book your flights yourself or with us.
Flexible hotels: choice of hotel grades to suit your style and budget.
Flexible car hire: choice of models.
Easy arrival: you are met at the airport and driven to your hotel.
Simple hire car
and return your
car in central Havana.
(Airport drop-off for an additional £15.)
Helpful information: comprehensive itinerary, detailed driving directions, free road map, free guide book.
Full support: 24 hour local assistance.
Financial security: We are ATOL licensed and a member of AITO.
Places you will visit
› Cayo Jutia
› Cayo Brujas
Combines well with:
Similar selfdrive holidays in Cuba:
Excluding international flights
Low season: from £925pp
High and peak season: from £1,140pp
Including international flights:
Low season: from £1495pp
High season: from £1695pp
Peak season: please call
Low season: May to mid-July, September to mid-November.
High season: mid-November to end April, mid-July to end August.
Peak season: Christmas, New Year, Easter.
*What do guide prices cover?
Guide prices are per person based on 2 people travelling together and sharing twin/double accommodation.
Please ask us for prices for families, threesomes, singles, etc.
Guide prices include: Cuba visa, airport transfer on arrival, 11 days hire car with unlimited mileage, 14 nights mid/upper range accommodation, 4 breakfasts, 3 dinners.
Guide prices do not include: international flights unless stated, travel insurance, taxi from hotel to car-hire pick-up point on Day 4, car insurance (which must be paid locally e.g. by credit card (allow 23 CUC per day - approx £15 per day), car-hire refundable deposit, all items of a personal nature including drinks, tips, telephone calls and laundry, cost of natural history guides booked locally, national park entrance fees, Cuba departure tax.
Flights: We can arrange your flights from the UK for you. You are free to book your flights independently if you wish - before doing so please talk to us about the flight options that would fit this tour best.
Booking conditions: See the current brochure insert for our booking conditions.
Order a Cuba brochure
Contact our Cuba specialists
Geodyssey brings you an exclusive selection of thoughtfully designed holidays in amazing locations throughout our destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our holidays focus on what is natural, authentic, comfortable, stylish and affordable, and on what works best in each country. Our tailor-made holidays are individually designed by our experienced team on the basis of in-depth knowledge, a real enthusiasm for our destinations, and a desire to make sure we get it right for each and every customer. All our customers have 100% financial protection. All the land-based holidays on this website are exclusive to Geodyssey. Geodyssey is an independent company managed by its owners, based in London, founded in 1993.