Cuba Express !

The best of the Cuban West in 2 weeks!  This trip to Cuba allows you to discover in depth the different faces of the island of the crocodiles, from the quiet valley of Viñales to the charming and festive Trinidad, accompanied by a Cuban guide-driver.
With many nights in the premises and a suitable rhythm for the exchange, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the soul of Cuba.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Havana

    Welcome to Havana by your French driver and transfer to the locals in the old town. Dinner not included.

  • Day 2 Havana Tour

    Day visit of Havana.
    On foot and with your French-speaking guide, you will discover the different neighborhoods and colonial places of the Vieja Havana (duration of the guided tour: about 3 hours).
    Meals not included.

  • Day 3 Havana - Las Terrazas - Mil Cumbres

    Departure for Mil Cumbres through the mountains of the Sierra del Rosario.
    Along the way, visit the farming community of Las Terrazas and tasting a local coffee.
    Lunch en route and installation at the small farm of Mil Cumbres (simple refuge) in the afternoon.

  • Day 4 Mil Cumbres - Vinales

    Walk in the community of Sagua. Possibility of stopping lunch at a farmer's house. In the early afternoon departure for Viñales and installation at the inhabitant for 2 nights. Dinner at your home-staying

  • Day 5 Valley of Vinales

    Walk in the Valley of Viñales known worldwide for the cultivation of tobacco for the manufacture of the best Cuban cigars. Meeting with a peasant family. Possibility to have lunch in a local restaurant(optional). Back to the village at the end of the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at your home-staying

  • Day 6 Vinales - Playa Larga

    Departure for Playa Larga. En route you can visit a crocodile breeding farm and go for a walk on one of the trails in the area. Homestay, near the beach.
    Lunch and dinner free.

  • Day 7 Playa Larga - Cienfuegos - Trinidad

    Departure for Cienfuegos and visit of its central place with the colonial architecture, classified in World Heritage of UNESCO. Continuation for Trinidad and installation at your home-staying for 3 nights. Musical evening in town.

  • Day 8 Trinidad

    Day to discover this beautiful colonial city, "Architectural Jewels" of Cuba. You get lost in the typical and colorful lanes and go to meet the inhabitants, famous for their hospitality. Dinner at your home-staying

  • Day 9 Havana - End of the trip

    Dispersion after breakfast. You enjoy this day at your leisure and continue your stay at your leisure. meals on you.

The program was established according to the latest known elements when it was written; imponderables are always possible and situations beyond our control can change the way things are done. Depending on the weather and operational conditions, our team reserves the right to modify this itinerary in order to better ensure your stay and your safety.

Period & budget

When to travel?

The best period for travelling is during the following months:

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Price

From 1090 € por persona (over the basis of 2 participants)

The budget is an indication of the price per person, subject to availability. Your local agent will send you a customized quote with the exact price. The price can vary according to availability, level of services, period of travel, number of participants, booking time frame and other items.

Included

- 8 nights in hotel, refuge on the farm and homestay with breakfasts.
- The lunch of the day 7 and the dinners of the days 2,3, 4, 5 and 6
- The entries in the sites planned in the program
- The accompaniment by a Spanish speaking driver from day 1 to day 8
- Our English speaking assistance 24h / 24h

Not included

- International flight
- Tourist card (necessary for entry into the country)
- Supplement in single room: Consult us
- Supplement for the accompaniment of a English speaking driver: Consult us
- Meals not mentioned in "The price includes"
- Gratuities, all expenses & personal equipment, drinks and all that is not in "THE PRICE INCLUDES"

Terms and conditions

Booking conditions

By registering for one of our travel, the customer bindingly accepts the General Terms and Conditions of Sale. Each customer must complete a registration form. The booking is definitively recorded when the customer has settled the payment of a deposit of 30 % of the total travel price (subject to availability at the time of registration). In case of short term bookings – within 30 days prior to the travel departure – the full travel price is due immediately. Payments can be settled via bank transfer (SWIFT code/IBAN number) or online, directly from our website (soon available). You will receive an email with a booking confirmation as quickly as possible.

Invoice procedure

Once your booking is registered, we send you an email with the invoice. Full payment is required at least 30 days before your arrival. If the customer does not settle the payment of the travel price within the period agreed upon, Altai Cuba reserves the right to cancel the booking free of charge.

Cancellation policy

If for any reason, you decide to withdraw from a journey, the amount already paid will be refunded subject to the following exceptions:
  • Cancellation up to 30 days prior to the agreed beginning of the journey: No cancellation fees. Unless you have given a written agreement to pay for additional tailor-made services (hotel, internal flights, activities…). In that case, you shall be charged the corresponding amount.
  • Cancellation between the 30th and 21st day prior to the agreed beginning of the journey: You will be charged 30 % of the travel price, in addition with every non-refundable expense for additional services booked on request (internal flights, site entrance tickets, activities…).
  • Cancellation less than 20 days to the agreed beginning of the journey: You will be charged 70 % of the travel price, in addition with every non-refundable expense for additional services booked on request (internal flights, site entrance tickets, activities…).

Any cancellation shall be notified in writing (email, letter or fax). Notice of cancellation will be effective upon receipt by us of your written communication. All the cancellation conditions will be specified on your booking confirmation.

If it comes apparent at an earlier point in time that the minimum number of participants cannot be reached for a travel, Altai Cuba is to exercise his right of withdrawal immediately. In such a situation, you will be informed of the cancellation of your travel no later than 21 days prior to the agreed beginning of the journey. Altaï Cuba can also cancel a travel in case of circumstances amounting to "force majeure": volcanic eruption, civil disturbances, strikes, weather and climate conditions, travellers’ security… In such cases, you are immediately refunded any payments on the travel price; however, you shall not be entitled to any compensation.

Changes to travel contract

If a change to travel contract is made at the customer’s request, any fee that might arise from this change shall be paid by the customer. In any cases, every request for changes shall be notified in writing. In case of external events that could not be foreseen, Altai Cuba might change some aspects of the travel contract. We will endeavour to advise you of any changes as quickly as possible.

Prices and price revision

All group travel prices on our website have been calculated for the indicated number of participants for each trip. The price list is confirmed after the booking. If the number of participants is lower than expected, an additional payment charge might be applied. For each travel and program, we mention the price per person – valid for the minimum number of participants – and we provide you with detailed explanations about the services included or not. Any change in the exchange rates or in the price of travel services in particular regarding the cost of the fuel, might entail price revision.

Contract transfer

In case of assignment of the contract by the customer to an assignee, modification and cancellation conditions apply.

Insurance

We recommend that you take out personal insurance for your travel with Altai Cuba, as soon as your booking is confirmed. We kindly request you to send us the information related to your insurance contract (name of the company, name of the contract, insurance policy number, telephone number) and to bring it along with you during the journey.

Practical info

Staff

This trip is guided by an English speaking Cuban leader from Altai local team. There is also a professional driver, all the way. In some of the sites, you will be accompanied by spanish speaking local guides,

Food

Breakfast is included during the whole trip. Lunch is usually included in local restaurants, but, when it is not, you will have the option to choose from a private or a public restaurant (there are many along the itinerary) or simply to have a box lunch. Diner is often included at your hotel or casa. If it is not, you will have restaurants for differents levels of Budget. 

Cuban cuisine is not very varied or sophisticated, remeber that Cuba has suffered from un embargo for several years now.  And many of the restaurants are public.....

Meals : The  menus proposed at public restaurants usually include chicken fish or pork meat. along with rice and beans and plantain bananas. At private restaurants menus are much mored varied and abondant. They offer the local products: Manioc, Mangoe, guava, pineapple, papaya, coconut, proc, chicken, fish, and sea foods like lobster and shrimps. 
Drinks : Varied fresh fruit juices, local beers  (lBucanero and Cristal) and of course the cuban rhum used to prepare the well known coctails:  mojitos, daïquiris, cuba libre, pina colada… 
Water : Drinks, including water, are not included . We advice to fill up your canteen whenever you find a source. It is better to use a pill to purify it. If you choose to buy a botle of water, we suggest that you get a 5 liters botle. Do it a the beginning of the trip.

Accommodation

Most of the time you will be staying at private houses (the so called Casas particulares): You will be welcomed by a local family. Rooms are airconditionned and have private bathroom. 

Some times you will stay at a 3* hotel. with a standard confort. Notice that in Cuba, hotels belong to the government. That is why we don t have a strong influence on the quality of the services provided and the rooms standard might not be exactly the same level as in France. 

Some times you might have to camp. Confort conditions might be very basic. 

Transportation

Transportation is provided by private air-conditioned vehicle. In some cases, we may also occasionally use 4x4s on certain routes.
Our travels do not involve portering if not your business of the day.
On some hikes, you may need to leave your travel bag and carry your sleeping bag in addition to your basic business and spare for one night (overnight in a shelter or homestay).
In this case, we will take care of your business and forward it to the next step.

Budget & exchange

Two currencies circulate: the Cuban peso (CUP) and the Cuban convertible peso (CUC) which is the only currency usable by foreigners. Currently, 1 CUC is more or less equivalent to 1 €. To know the exchange rate in real time, we advise you to go on the site www.xe.com. Only Visas and Master Card credit cards are accepted by hotels. You will find cash machines accepting only Visas cards in Havana and Santiago. To exchange your cash, go to the many "casa de cambio" present at the airport and in the exchange offices of state hotels in the main cities of the country.
Attention, officially, the American Dollars is not accepted

Tips

Tipping is a common practice (no obligatory) depending on your satisfaction. For a good service you can base on the following nombers: 
- 3 CUC per day per person for the main guide.
- 2 CUC per day per person for the driver.
- 1 CUC per day per person for the local guide.

Supplied equipment

The following list is as complete as possible.
- A hat for the sun.
- A bandana, to protect your neck
- A pair of sun glasses.
- 1 or 2 tee shirts 8 (preferably made of cotton)
- 1 sweeter
- 1 coat
- A rain coat.
- 1 or 2 long shorts
- 2 pairs of confortable trousers for the treking
- 1 bathing suit
- 1 pair of shoes for the treking.
- 1 pair of light shoes for the easy walks and the evening.
- 1 pair of shoes adapted to the water for the snorkeling swimming, etc (specially for those who d ont like flippers)
- Pair of socks for the treking.

Helpful equipment

- Sleeping bag for the nights when camping.

Luggage

Preferably a flexible bag. Eventually a big back pack. Limit the weight to 15 kgs per persone. It is also advised to get a personal back pack (minimun 35 lts) to bring your personal affairs for the day. 
It is possible to do the laundry during the trip. 
Just in case, think of bringing in your hand bag some of your every day items, cause it might happen that your luggage does not arrive the same day as you. This should never happen, but it is better to be prepared.
Remember to avoid liquids, sharp objets in your hand bag, caus it is forbidden.   

Passport

The following informations could be changed any time by the local authorities. It is advised that you double check them up before the trip.

Your passport should be valid 6 months after the end of the trip. When confirming the trip, you are asked to provide you passport informations ( Surname-Name-Birthdate-Passport Numbre- Expiring Date) We need them to book the domestic flights and some entries and activities.   

WARNING : 
- You must send the information related to the passport that you will bring on the trip. If you need to renew your passport, wait until you have the new one to send us the informations.
- Kids, no matter their age, must have a passport.   

Visa

The so called Tourism card is required to enter the country. To obtain it you have to go to the cuban Consulate in your country. Some airlines sale the visa to Cuba at their offices or airport.

Mandatory vaccines

Even if no vaccine is required, you will ensure that vaccines commonly used in western countries (tetanus, diphtheria, poliomyelitis, typhoid) are still valid. Hepatitis A and B vaccines also recommended.

Health information & recommendations

Pharmacy
Our guides have a basic pharmacy including: Local antiseptic, bandages, compresses. We advise you to have a small pharmacy kit to take with you for the "little sores" everyday, and a second kit more complete to leave in the main luggage. In case of special treatment, thank you to let your guide know on arrival.

Recommendations
No compulsory vaccination, however, make sure you are up to date with "classic" vaccinations: tetanus, diphtheria, polio and typhoid. Malaria (or malaria): the country is classified in zone 1. The risks of contagion by mosquito bites are low. It is advisable to protect yourself by applying repellent creams. We do not encourage the use of preventive treatments when they are not needed. Indeed, besides the undesirable effects that they afflict with our organism, these can cause a resistance of the parasites. However, we recommend that you follow the advice of your doctor.

Hygiene
Observe basic hygiene measures such as washing your hands regularly, especially before meals. Be careful, the water is not drinkable.

Viruses transmitted by mosquitoes
It is advisable to protect yourself by applying repellent creams. We do not encourage the use of preventive treatments when they are not needed. Indeed, besides the undesirable effects that they inflict on our organism, these can cause a resistance of the parasites. However, we recommend that you follow the advice of your doctor.

Weather

Cuban weather is divided in two seasons:
- Rainy season from May to October.
- Dry season from November to April. 
Average temperatures go between 22°C (february) eand30°C (july and August). Eastern side is slightly hotter than western side. Rainy records in Septembre and October. Hurricane season goes between June and October.     

Electricity

Most electrical outlets are flat plugs and deliver 110 V (as in the USA). Some places are equipped with 110V but also 220 V. Ask always before plugging anything. It is essential to provide an adapter for electrical outlets.

Sustainable tourism

In a concern of respect of the environment, Altai engages for a minimum impact on the environment. Altai has always worked for a more responsible tourism and is part of a journey organization that respects equitable and sustainable principles. Harmonization of practices ensures a fair distribution of economic benefits and improved working conditions of local teams and their awareness of the protection of the environment Adopt, you too, simple actions during your travels and act in favor responsible tourism.
- Avoid leaving trash behind: put them in bins or bring them back with you
- Use drinking water sparingly (prefer showers to baths and report leaks) and avoid wasting it (prefer biodegradable soaps for you wash etc.)
- Avoid degrading cultural sites: do not touch the statues, do not move stones and objects etc.
- Prefer exchanges to donations (gifts too important given the standard of living of the country can destabilize the local economic balance)
- Take a walk, especially in some fragile ecosystems, observe the wildlife from a distance, do not leave the trails, limit trampling and do not bring back "memories": give up picking rare flowers, collecting fossils, etc.
- In some hotels, you will have individual air conditioning.
It is strongly recommended to avoid excessive energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions to cut it systematically when you are not present in the room.
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Ricardo

My local agent
Ricardo

  • 20 years in the Cuban tourism.
  • English, Portuguese and Spanish speaking.
  • Sales in Altai Cuba.
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Region
La Havana West
Activity
Best of Local living
Duration
9 days
Code
CUBAFIT2
Price
From €1,090
Level
3/5
Comfort
3/5

Strengths

  • Discovery of Havana and Trinidad.
  • Varied hikes to discover the different faces of the Cuban landscape from Hanabanilla Lake to the Viñales Valley.
  • Homestay accommodation.

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