Cuba walking holiday:
Havana & Eastern Cuba Day Walks
A lovely combination: great travel experiences and some astounding walks.
You explore both Havana and Santiago, and go walking in the Sierra Maestra, in the gorgeous hills behind sleepy Baracoa, and in Gran Piedra.
A walking holiday that combines revolutionary history, colonial insights and rural communities with some of the most stunning scenery in the Caribbean.
Your private walking guide helps you choose the types of trail you like.
Day 1 You are met on your arrival at Havana airport and transferred your hotel in Old Havana.
Day 2 BL Your Havana city guide collects you from your hotel and takes you on a walking tour of Old Havana, followed by lunch and a tour of modern Havana in an old American car - see ‘One day in Havana’ in ‘Your Man in Havana’. Your evening is free: your guide can suggest a choice of restaurants for dinner.
Day 3 BLD You are collected bright and early from your hotel for your flight to Holguín in eastern Cuba, where you are met by your English-speaking private walking guide. Driving south you cross quiet plains of farms growing sugar cane, to the market town of Bayamo, and then climb into the foothills of the Sierra Maestra. Here you stay at the little mountain retreat of El Saltón for the next 2 nights.
Day 4 BLD Once a health spa for Cuba’s elite, El Saltón has evolved into a comfortable eco-lodge. It is set in hillside gardens at the head of a green valley, where a mountain river cascades over a rock face into an inviting pool. It’s a lovely area for walking, and today you step out with your guide to explore wooded hills and streams, and a countryside dotted with family smallholdings. You can walk as much or as little as you like–it’s your choice. The lodge offers a spa, which, although it could not be accused of pampered luxury, makes a rewarding end to a day in the open air.
Day 5 BL A glorious day of touring as you cross to Baracoa. You descend from the Sierra Maestra and cross to the town of Guantánamo, set well back from the unwelcome US base. The road winds down to the coast and becomes one of the most beautiful in Cuba, skirting the Caribbean below the mountains of the Sierra del Plurial. Turning inland you cross the viaduct of La Farola, and descend to the little town of Baracoa, for centuries only accessible from the sea. You may come across sellers of cucuruchos–a palm leaf cone holding a sticky sweet of coconut, honey and condensed milk, plain or with fruit: try pineapple, guava or orange. Settle in at your hotel, then explore the town with your guide. Baracoa’s Casa de la Trova is well worth a visit in the evening. Note: You could insert a trek to the Turquino peak to start on this day
Day 6 BLD Baracoa gazes sleepily across a pretty bay, set in gorgeous tropical countryside, with low palm-forested hills, scattered with small fields for cacao and bananas. Its backdrop of rugged mountains includes the impressive flat-topped bulk of El Yunque. There are several excellent walks: a fairly strenuous trek to the top of El Yunque, an easier trail to the River Toa via the Finca Duaba chocolate farm, and others. Your guide will help you decide.
Day 7 BLD Today you walk the Balcón de Iberia trail in the Alexander von Humboldt National Park, which (to quote UNESCO) holds ‘one of the most biologically diverse terrestrial tropical ecosystems in an island setting anywhere on earth’. The trail itself passes through gorgeous countryside and includes some lovely views. On the first, mainly level, section look for the Bee Hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world. The trail then leads up the small Mount Iberia (755m), through forest with more excellent birds, to the 25 metre El Majá waterfall where it is possible to swim. The walk usually takes about 5 hours in all.
Santiago and Gran Piedra
Day 8 BLD Returning via the Farola road you arrive at Santiago, Cuba’s most Caribbean city. Your guide takes you on a tour of the old colonial streets at the heart of the city. At the end of the afternoon you drive up to your hotel near Gran Piedra for a 2 night stay, with distant views of the Sierra Maestra.
Day 9 BLD Lots of walking today, roughly 12 miles but mainly flat or downhill, with lots to see, all with your guide. First a short hop up the steps to the top of the Gran Piedra outcrop for its great views, then a visit to the atmospheric ‘Isabelica’ coffee plantation, one of the best preserved slave plantations in Cuba. You descend to the valley via a hillside garden, a sculpture park, and Granjita Siboney (where Fidel and his followers gathered for their fateful assault on Santiago’s Moncada Barracks)-all before lunch! Your trail then takes you to the bizarre ‘Valley of Prehistory’ to end at the quirky ‘Museum of Transport’ where you meet your driver.
Day 10 BL arly start to see El Morro fort before you are driven to the airport for your afternoon flight to Havana. You are met on arrival and driven to the Hotel Nacional for your final night in Cuba.
Day 11 B There is lots to see in the Vedado district close to your hotel, or you could take a taxi to art galleries or museums. You need to be back at the hotel in time for your transfer to the airport for your flight home, usually late in the afternoon.
Guide prices* from £1,750 to £1,900
11 days / 10 nights
Starts and ends in Havana, Cuba.
Not quite right for you? Contact us to adjust the itinerary, change hotels or how you travel.
Order a Cuba brochure
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Places visited on this Cuba walking holiday:
Similar walking holidays in Cuba:
Also consider Cuba selfdrive holidays:
*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 price includes visa, all ground transport in Cuba, all accommodation, services of a private English speaking local guide throughout, meals where specified, B = breakfast, L=lunch, D= dinner.
Guide price does not include international flights, travel insurance, Cuba departure tax (allow £15pp), drinks with meals or items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, and laundry, or optional excursions taken locally in Cuba.
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.
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