Walking Through Cuba Custom Tour Package

Cuba Walking Tour Package

A Walking Tour of Cuba

Visit national parks, nature preserves and world heritage sites on this walking tour of Cuba for
8D/7N Starting at $3490 per person

Enjoy this 8-day tour through the best of Cuba’s national parks, nature reserves, and world heritage sites.  You will walk along city and town streets, explore the countryside.

Along with your tour leader and local guides you will meet and visit with artists and historians, national park officials, farmers, small business owners and families on daily walking tours.  You will walk between 3 and 8 miles each day as you see the country up-close and personal, not through a bus window.

Cuba Walking Tour

Overnight accommodations are in small hotels or casa particulars - a signature Cuban bed-and-breakfast.

Lost World Adventures itineraries can be tailor-made according to your plans and preferences: budget, hotel selections, travel dates, optional excursions, length of trip, etc.

Day 1:  Welcome to Cuba! 

You will be met at the Havana Airport and transferred to your hotel in Cienfuegos. After checking in, there will be a short trip orientation presented by your trip leader.  

After dinner at a local restaurant you will walk with your guide along the Malecon, the popular gathering place for the populace of Cienfuegos.

Overnight at the Hotel Union, Hotel Jagua, or similar, breakfast included. Dinner included tonight. 

Day 2: Cienfuegos Walking Tour, Hike in Parque El Cubano, transfer to Trinidad

After breakfast at the hotel, set off for a walking tour of Cienfuegos. Visit the urban historic center at Parqué Jose Martí and visit the 19th-century neoclassical Santa Iglesia Catedral de la Purísima Concepción, the French and Italian influenced Tomás Terry Theater, and the Palacio del Ayuntamiento. 

Continue along the Paseo del Prado, passing colonial buildings, pastel-painted columns and the iconic statue of musician Benny Moré, the 'Barbarian of Rhythm'.  You will then meet the Cantores de Cienfuegos, a world-renowned choir.

Depart Cienfuegos for a drive along the coast to historic Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the way you will stop at Parque El Cubano for a hike and swim in a pool beneath a tropical waterfall.

Arrive Trinidad in the late afternoon. Along with your guide stroll the streets of this well-preserved Spanish colonial settlement and tranquil town.  

Dinner will be at a local restaurant. Afterward, take in an outdoor concert and dancing at Casa de la Musica.

Overnight at a Casa Particular, breakfast included - 2 nights.

All meals included today.  

Walking: 3-4 miles

Day 3:  Topes de Collantes Nature Reserve, Trinidad

After breakfast you will drive out from of Trinidad and begin a trek into the steep-sloped Caribbean pine-forested Sierra Escambray Mountains (also known as the Guamuhaya Mountains). Within the long stretch of mountains lies the Gran Parque Natural Topes de Collantes.  The park is home to a variety of birds that your guide will be pointing out. There will be a selection of hikes:

The Vegas Grandes Trail - hike through a pine forest finishing with a steep descent to an idyllic swimming hole below a plunging waterfall.

The Salto del Caburní Trail - a 3-mile round-trip hike leading to a 190’ waterfall that crashes down overhanging cliffs into swimming holes below. The cascade drops into a chasm where only the most intrepid adrenaline junkies dare to jump.

The Sendero La Batata, or Sweet Potato Trail - a 4-mile hike through the forest into a prehistoric cave and underground river. This trail explores forests rich with lichens and mosses with a series of pools disrupted only by crashing waterfalls. 

After the hike you will visit a nearby coffee plantation to learn about the role of coffee in Cuban history and the traditions surrounding it. After lunch you will return to Trinidad. In town you will have a personal meeting with Julio Munoz, an acclaimed photographer whose published images of Trinidad have brought evocative images of his town into the public eye.

There will be extra time on your own to continue exploring the town’s historic center and sites. After dinner this evening, you can discover Trinidad’s music scene.

All meals included today.

Walking: 4-7 miles

Day 4: Playa Girón, the Bay of Pigs, Zapata National Park and Playa Larga

After breakfast, depart Trinidad and drive west along the coast to one of the most famous locations in all of Cuba – the Bay of Pigs, or Bahia de Cochinos. It was here in 1961 that the infamous CIA-sponsored invasion took place.

In past centuries there had been other invasions including one by the French pirate Gilbert Girón. Playa Girón is named for the pirate decapitated at the hands of angry locals. The town of Playa Giron is home to an excellent museum where you will learn about the 1961 invasion.

Today, this is a peaceful place where visitors ‘raid’ Playa Girón for the warm Caribbean waters whose wealth of coral reefs and marine life make it a diver’s paradise.

Here within Zapata National Park you may go snorkeling among some of the healthiest coral reefs in the world. Your local snorkeling guide will describe Cuba’s role in protecting its marine ecosystems. This is an ideal place for snorkeling, with colorful tropical fish and clear, warm waters that make environmental learning most enjoyable.

Those who prefer not to snorkel may relax on the shore. These waters are within the boundaries of the Zapata National Park, also called Ciénaga de Zapata. It is also a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and has expansive tracts of dense forests and mangrove-lined swampland within a peninsula that is wild and largely untouched.

Wildlife such as crocodiles, iguana, flamingos, and boars inhabit the wetlands, and one of Cuba’s primary destinations for birders who can find endemic species such as the Cuban pygmy owl, bee hummingbird and Zapata rail.

After a picnic lunch hike one of the best trails in the park, the Enigma Las Rocas. This trail weaves through the forest among cenotes (sinkholes) common in this limestone geology. It’s also an excellent birding area where you may see the Key West Quail Dove, Cuban bullfinch and Cuban Peewee.

Later this afternoon continue to the small town of Playa Larga where you will spend the night.  Take a swim at the beautiful beach just a few yards from  and enjoy a tropical sunset. Before dinner meet Frank Medina, the Director of Zapata National Park, a lively speaker who will discuss the joint pressures of tourism and conservation facing the park.

Afterward, enjoy a festive, delicious and authentic Cuban dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight Casas Particular Playa Larga or Playa Giron, breakfast included. 

All meals included today.

Walking: 2-3 miles.

Day 5: Hemingway’s House, Parque Lenin, Pinar del Rio.

After an early breakfast drive northwest to the edge of Havana where you will visit Hemingway’s former estate of Finca Vigia, home to the Museo de Ernesto Hemingway.

While Hemingway lived here he found inspiration for several of his books. You will take a short walking tour of the estate to learn about this fascinating man's time in Cuba and the interesting history of US-Cuba relations.

Continue for a short drive to Parque Lenin, one of Havana’s largest parks, constructed between 1969-72 under the direction of Celia Sanchez, long-time associate of Fidel Castro. Here you can relax with a picnic lunch before driving west to the mountain resort of Soroa, where you will spend the night. If there is time you can visit a local orchid garden. Dinner will be served at a restaurant in Soroa.

Overnight at Villa Soroa, breakfast included - 2 nights.

All meals included today.

Walking: 1 mile.

Day 6: Vinales National Park

After breakfast at the hotel drive to one of Cuba’s best national parks. Near the western end of the island between the ridges of the Sierra de los Órganos lays the Valle de Viñales, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the source of several spectacular and unique habitats.

Your day will be spent walking throughout the varied landscapes of the Valle de Viñales that includes Cuba’s signature crop, tobacco, as well as the geological forces that shaped this unique valley.

Obscure trail systems sprawl throughout the valley, visitors often create their own pathways. Bulbous mogotes give this valley an otherworldly appearance, like explosions of limestone rearing up from the earth.

They are, in fact, the remains of limestone hills eroded by rainfall around 160 million years ago. One of the more iconic sites is Mogote dos Hermanas, or “twin sisters mogote” that stand sentinel over stretches of flat fields. The karst landscape of the valley features these limestone mogotes and complexes of caves. The caverns hold underground pools and vegetation as well as show evidence that the cave systems were once home to the indigenous Guanahatabeys.

This region is also the most famous in the world for fine tobacco. Like Burgundy is to wine, Vinales is to cigars. You will visit a tobacco processing plant or despalillo (not to be confused with a cigar factory) and meet with a cigar maker. You will see the long, dried leaves hanging in lines and learn more of the curing and fermenting processes that follow the harvest.

You will learn about the interesting process as a green tobacco leaf transforms to the final product.  You will walk in fields of tobacco, a stunning sight with endless rows lined with the tall stalks waving their wide green leaves.

You will have the unique opportunity to visit one of the valley’s tobacco plantations where you may hear the melodious sounds of the vaguero, or field workers, whose songs sound of indigenous, Spanish, and African cultures.

In the late afternoon, you will return to Soroa for dinner and rest.

Overnight at Villa Soroa, breakfast included.

All meals included today.

Walking: 7-8 miles.

Day 7: Soroa to Havana, Walking Tour of the Old City, Classic Car Ride

Leaving the countryside, we head to Havana and arrive to the old city for an eye-opening walking tour of Havana Vieja, also known as Colonial or Old Habana.

We stroll down Obispo Street and visit historic sites of revolution and colonialism such as the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, the Museo de la Cuidad, the Plaza de Armas, the Plaza de la Catedral, and the Catedral de San Cristóbal de La Habana.

As we walk, we learn more of Havana’s turbulent past of plundering privates and affluent colonials as well as the Cubans of today, many who have come to the busy city with hopes for the future.

After lunch in a scrumptious Paladar, we have more time to explore this fascinating city. There’s the large art and craft market of Mercado San Jose, the Museum of Belles Artes with an impressive collection from around the globe, lively neighborhoods, and the seafront Malecon where lovers wander. In the evening we celebrate our week together with a fine farewell dinner at one of Havana’s best paladars.

If you’re worn out from our busy day, feel free to find your way to our evening’s accommodations. If, however, you’re feeling the infectious energy of the city, you might want to visit Fábrica des Artes, where the best of Cuba’s avant-garde art can be experienced, or for a more low-key experience, head to UNEAC (The Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba) for an evening bolero and other singing performances.

Overnight accommodations at a Havana hotel - Presidente, Riviera, Plaza, Havana Libre (or similar), breakfast included.

All meals included today.

Walking: 3-4 miles.

Day 8: Goodbye Cuba

You will be transferred to the airport in accordance with your int'l departure time. 

 

Price from $3,490.00 per person, based on double occupancy
Days 8
Nights 7
Includes:
  • Accommodations as per itinerary
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Cuba Certification of Travel under the U.S. Department of Treasury general license
  • All entrance fees
  • Pure drinking water available at all times
  • Experienced tour leader and Cuban guide
  • Specialized activity guides
  • All ground transportation
  • Gratuities for specialized activity guides, luggage handlers, drivers, restaurant staff
Excludes:
  • Int'l airfare
  • Cuba Tourist Visa Fee (ranges from $20-$100, depending on where purchased)
  • Gratuity for primary tour leader/guide
  • Personal expenses

"Incredible experience. Easy planning. Would use them again if we wanted to travel to one of their other service areas."

All of our accommodations were first rate! Each one completely unique, beautifully decorated and unbelievably comfortable. Our guides were very fluent in English, supremely organized, and superbly knowledgeable.

We learned so much about the sites and the area. I'm so inspired that I intend to do more study. We couldn't have asked for better service.

 

- Georgiann S, Sep 2015

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Travel Tips
Some hotels will let you use their facilities (gym, spa, pool, beach, etc.) for a reduced day pass. This can be great for layovers!
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