Cuba walking holiday:
Day walks in Rural Cuba
A very popular walking holiday that seems to capture many people’s dreams of Cuba. You explore Havana, touch on the revolution at Santa Clara, visit colonial Trinidad (with lakes, mountain walks, a Caribbean beach and great music), then cross to the tobacco fields and hills of Viñales for glorious scenery–with a dash of Ché.
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 picked up from your hotel in Havana this morning by your English-speaking private walking guide and driver for the 3-4hr journey to Lake Hanabanilla, in the countryside below the Sierra del Escambray. At Santa Clara you could visit Ché’s mausoleum and museum, and the wreckage of the armoured train carrying Batista’s men that Ché’s men overwhelmed. Your hotel for the next 2 nights is next to Lake Hanabanilla itself. It’s a fairly unlovely concrete hotel from the era of Soviet economic support but well-placed for walking.
Day 4 BLD A short boat ride on the lake brings you to the start of a winding trail up Cola Cambiada (which means ‘curly tail’ in Spanish), a winding, steep trail giving panoramic views over Lake Hanabanilla. Joined by a local naturalist guide you pass by banana and coffee plantations, and a little coffee finca. It’s a good 3-4hr walk in all, ending with a late lunch by the lake before returning to your hotel.
Day 5 BL First a drive to the start of the trail to Salto del Caburni waterfall followed by a day’s fairly strenuous walking via waterfalls and steep paths. Look for hummingbirds and Cuba’s national flower, the white mariposa (butterfly jasmine) with its lovely scent. Listen out for Cuba’s national bird, the Tocororo, with its blue, red and white Cuba plumage. Later you drive down to the colonial town of Trinidad, staying at your beach hotel on Playa Ancón for 2 nights. In the evening you might take a taxi into Trinidad to stroll the cobbled streets and perhaps enjoy an evening’s music in the Casa de Trova.
Sierra del Escambray
Day 6 BL There is some lovely walking behind Trinidad in the Escambray mountains, with tremendous views on hillsides of mixed forest, with coconut palms, and banana and cacao plantations on lower slopes, and coffee higher up. You follow trails around Hacienda Codina, with a local nature guide to introduce you to the local flora and fauna. Mind you don’t step on the world’s smallest frog!
Day 7 BLD An early start today as you travel to western Cuba, stopping en route for lunch, and arriving at the eco-community of Las Terrazas in the early afternoon in good time for a walk on one of the 6 trails. A local guide will show you around, explaining how the community works and the sustainable technologies they use.
Day 8 BL This morning you walk the Santa Serafina trail (5km approx), which offers easy walking in lovely countryside along the valley of the Río San Juan, partly by the river itself. The path passes the evocative ruins of the Santa Serafina coffee plantation, built by French settlers. The trail is especially good for birds, passing through several different ecosystems before it ends by the river at a local swimming spot. After lunch it’s a short drive to Cueva las Portales, an impressive limestone cave that was Ché’s base during the Cuban missile crisis. Continuing to Viñales for a 2 night stay, you have dinner at your hotel with a spectacular view over the Viñales valley.
Day 9 BL Enjoy a day in the Cuban countryside, exploring this sometimes breathtakingly beautiful region known for its tobacco plantations and the sheer sided mogotes, or rugged limestone hills, which rise from a tropical plain rich with hibiscus, bougainvillea and flame trees, laid out in a patchwork of tobacco fields and rice paddies. Your guide will take you on a day of country walks, passing smallholdings where farmers still plough with oxen, and rickety drying sheds where tobacco leaves hang in loose rows developing the subtle flavours that will command the highest prices. It’s a tropical idyll, at peace with itself, though the work is back-breakingly hard.
Day 10 BL There should be ample time for a leisurely start to the day and a visit to Havana’s Botanical Park before you are driven to the airport for your flight home.
Guide prices* from £1,450 to £1,495
10 days / 9 nights
Starts and ends in Havana, Cuba.
Not quite right for you? Contact us to adjust the itinerary, change hotels or how you travel.
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Places visited on this Cuba walking holiday:
Combines well with other Cuba walking holidays:
Similar walking holidays in Cuba:
Also consider the following Cuba holidays:
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 transport in Cuba, all accommodation, services of a local 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. We can help with international flights on request.
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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