Cuba Libre !

From colonial cities with quaint charm to tobacco plantations, you are off to a timeless journey on an island of a thousand flavors! From the historic center of Havana to Trinidad, passing through the magnificent Viñales region that you walk on foot, you have an overview of this very special island. In complete autonomy with your rental vehicle, you will be carried away by the Cuban joie de vivre and taste the pleasures of the island: cigar, rum, salsa ...

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Havana

    Welcome to Havana by our local team. Delivery of the Roadbook and presentation of the stay.

    Homestay
    Meals not included

  • Day 2 Havana Tour - Vinales

    Havana Tour - Vinales In the morning, you visit the colonial city of Havana, its streets, squares and monuments. The historic center has been classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a lunch on the terrace in the city center, you pick up your rental car and go to the Viñales area. You arrive at the end of the afternoon and are welcomed by your hosts the next 2 nights.

    Transportation: 3 hours
    Homestay
    Lunch at your own

  • Day 3 Vinales

    Vinales Today, you walk to the foothills of the Sierra del Infierno. You enjoy beautiful views of the valley from the natural viewpoints. Lunch at a farmer's house in the area. You continue in the afternoon towards the mirador de los Jazmines with a breathtaking view of the Mogotes. Back to Viñales for your last evening in the village

    Homestay
    4 to 5 hours of walking; + 150m / -150m

  • Day 4 Vinales - Pinar del Rio - Soroa - Caleton

    You leave today for the region of Sierra del Rosario. On the way, you stop to visit the cigar factory of Pinar del Rio. This is an opportunity to understand the different stages of cigar manufacturing. You continue to Soroa where you have lunch. You then go to Salto de Soroa before leaving for the mirador. For those who want to go down, you can stop at the botanical garden. Continuation to Playa Larga. Installation in a home in Caleton.

    Transportation: 5 hours
    Homestay
    2 hours of walking
    Lunch at your own

  • Day 5 Caleton - Cienfuegos - Trinidad

    Departure to Cienfuegos. You visit the colonial city of Cienfuegos and then continue to Trinidad.

    Transportation: 3 hours
    Homestay
    1 to 2 hours of walking
    Lunch at your own

  • Day 6 Trinidad and Playa Ancon

    Trinidad and Playa Ancon You spend your day visiting the colonial city of Trinidad and discover its beautiful monuments and shady squares. You savor the atmosphere and the old-fashioned charm of this city. Visit the craft market. For a seaside break you can go to Plya Ancon, 15 minutes from the city. One of the most beautiful beaches of the South coast of Cuba.

    Homestay
    Lunch at your own

  • Day 7 Trinidad - Topes de Collantes - Trinidad

    You leave early in the morning for Topes de Collantes Park. The road passes through the Caburni Canyon, along forests and rivers, then a series of waterfalls over 100 meters! You can enjoy swimming in the natural pools. Accompanied by a local guide, you go hiking in the park. Return to your vehicle in the afternoon and return to Trinidad.

    Transportation: 3 hours
    Homestay
    4 to 5 hours of walking; + 250m / -250m

  • Day 8 Santa Clara - Havana

    This morning, you start the road back to Havana. On the way, passing through the city of Santa Clara. Visit of the city and the Mausoleum of Che Guevara. Arrival in Havana at the end of the afternoon and return of the rental vehicle. Evening in the old town and night homestay.

    Transport: 3 to 4 hours
    Homestay
    Meals at your own

  • Day 9 Havana - End of stay

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

    Meals at your own

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 € 890 per person (based on 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 and homestay with breakfasts.
- The meals of the days 3, 7 and 8 and the dinners of the days 2, 4, 5 and 6
- The entries in the sites planned in the program
- The rental of a category B vehicle (type Hunday Atos, Accent or similar) for 8 days, including basic insurance and unlimited mileage
- Our Engish speaking assistance 24h / 24h
- The Roadbook

Not included

- International flight
- Tourist card (necessary for entry into the country)
- Supplement in single room: 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.

Pricing

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 does not require supervision. You have a category B vehicle (type Hunday Atos, Accent or similar) and a Road-Book provided by Altai Cuba. You are under your own responsibility during this trip, you have the opportunity to stop and wander whenever you want. We invite you to remain alert during your travels.

Food

All breakfasts are included. For lunches / picnics, when they are not prepared by your hosts or included in your stay, you can choose to have a picnic or eat in a restaurant. You will find nearby major tourist sites or in towns and villages. Some dinners will be priced at your hosts. For others (not included in your stay), you will find restaurants for every budget at every step.
Due to the American embargo that has been raging for many years and state-owned structures (hotels and restaurants), Cuban cuisine has remained simple and variety is not always in place. Meals: Menus served in state restaurants are most often made of chicken, fish or pork accompanied by congri (rice and kidney beans) and plantains. Homestay, the dishes are significantly more varied and plentiful, highlighting more local products: fruit of the breadfruit, cassava, plantain, mango, guava, pineapple, papaya, coconut, pork, chicken , fish and sometimes lobster. Private restaurants are also beginning to emerge and offer a much more rich and refined cuisine than in the restaurants or hotels of State. Beverages: we find in Cuba excellent seasonal fruit juices, local beers (Bucanero and Cristal) and of course rum used for the preparation of some essential cocktails: mojitos, daïquiris, cuba libre, pina colada ... Water: during your stay drinks, including mineral water, are your responsibility. You can fill your water bottles in villages, springs, hotels. It is best to treat it with purifying lozenges (micropur or hydrochlonazone). Avoid as much as possible the purchase of plastic bottles which must then be recycled. If you have to buy bottled water, we advise you to buy bottles of 10 liters (or 5 liters) to fill your bottles as you go. If you want to buy these bottles, you do it at the beginning of your stay in Havana or Santiago as well as in the main cities of the country.

Accommodation

In the majority of the cases, you are lodged with the inhabitants, in the famous "casas particulares": the Cuban families welcome you to their home. You sleep in a double / twin room with private bathroom as far as possible (in some places, the bathroom can be shared between 2 rooms).
For some stages, we have chosen local 3-star category hotels, standard comfort.
Note that hotels in Cuba belong to the state. We therefore have no control over the quality of the services delivered.
The rooms are always clean and spacious with private bathroom but it may be that in some establishments, the rooms are not up to international standards. In the different Sierra, some steps require sleeping in a shelter.
These are usually quite basic. You sleep in a dormitory of 4 to 6 people. The blankets are provided but we advise you to also take a bag sheet see a sleeping bag for cool nights following the season.

Transportation

For this trip, we provide you a car rental category B type Hunday Atos, Accent or similar.

In accordance with Cuban law, basic third party insurance is included and the deductible is 200 CUC in case of theft or accident. This amount will be "blocked" as a deposit on your credit card at the time of withdrawal of the vehicle but will not be charged. The "unlocking" will occur between 48h and 5 days after the return of the vehicle. 

The road network serves inhabited cities and countryside over most of the country. However, in some areas, these are tracks. They are more or less passable depending on the season, the weather and require the use of adapted vehicles. Inquire before you commit to it. Unpaved sections are generally in good condition, but require vigilant driving. 

There are gas stations in every city in the country. On the road network, the distribution is much more random (between 50 and 150 km). We advise you to refuel every time you are in town. The price of fuel is about 1.5 CUC for a liter of gasoline. 

Important: To rent a car in Cuba, you must be at least 18 years old. Remember to take your international driver's license (one per driver), as well as your credit card (Visa or Mastercard) which will be used for the deposit of the vehicle. The credit card must be in the name of the driver of the vehicle. 

Options to be paid on the spot:
- Additional driver: about 3 CUC / day rental
- Child seat: about 50 CUC / rental

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

This is a common practice and not mandatory, depending on your satisfaction.
It must be adapted according to the standard of living of the country and the duration of your trip.
As a general rule for correct service, you can use the following amounts:
- 3 CUC per day and per participant for a Francophone guide
- 2 CUC per day and per participant for a driver
- 1 CUC per day per participant for a Spanish speaking 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.

Luggage

Prefer any other bag a flexible travel bag with side closure, type sack, or at least a large backpack.
Limit the weight to 15 kg per person. You will also need a backpack (35l minimum) to store your belongings of the day. It is possible to wash the laundry in the middle of the circuit, plan your business accordingly.
As a precaution, think of carrying in your luggage "cabin" enough to survive the first days, and this in case your luggage in the hold would not arrive at the same time as you. This is rare but it is better to be prepared for any eventuality. We recommend you to wear underwear, some T-shirts, walking shoes and sandals.
Do not forget to put any sharp object, or liquid in your luggage "in the hold" because they are prohibited in the cabin.

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

The subtropical climate of Cuba is influenced by the mild trade winds of the northeast. The thermometer varies little during the year and only two seasons are frankly marked:
- The wet summer, lasts from May to October.
- The drier winter is from November to April. Average temperatures range from 22 ° C (February) to 30 ° C (July to August).
The east of the island is slightly warmer than the west. September and October hold rain records and correspond to the peak of the hurricane season.

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 for 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 garbage behind: drop them in garbage cans 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 washing 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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Ivan

My local agent
Ivan

  • Native to Havana
  • A guide for over 20 years
  • Director of Altaï Cuba
  • Languages: Spanish, English and French
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Region
Centre La Havana West
Activity
Local living Road Trip
Duration
9 days
Code
CUAUTOFIT1
Price
From €890
Level
3/5
Comfort
3/5

Strengths

  • Cuba's must-sees in 10 days: Havana, Viñales, Trinidad, Santa Clara, the Caribbean coast and its "cayos"
  • Two days of hiking in the beautiful region of Viñales to discover all stages of tobacco production.
  • Discovery of the Zapata reserve and its biodiversity
  • The paradisiac beaches and the coral reefs of the Caribbean coasts.
  • An autonomous itinerary at the wheel of your rental vehicle

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