Autotour: La Vida Cubana

On this quite special round trip you will experience the real Cuba, get to see and meet its inhabitants during their everyday life as well as delight in the classics of the country: colorful, lively Havana, the picturesque valley of Viñales, Cienfuegos, the pearl of the south, Trinidad, the UNESCO world heritage site and Santa Clara, famous for its Ché Memorial, among others. In addition to this really very different tour where you stay with Cuban families in their private homes, there is the possibility to extend your stay at a hotel on a dream beach.

Day 1: Arrival Havana

Reception at the airport Havana. Transfer to accommodation. Dinner at own expense.

Important: Supplements for transfers (Varadero - Havana) on arrival in Varadero, see CARIBBEAN TOURS Transfer Rates. 

Included meals today: -
Included fees / tours: transfer 
Total km today: 30 km
Total driving time today: 30 min

Day 2: Habana Colonial

After breakfast, an English speaking representative of CARIBBEAN TOURS will be waiting at the car rental agency. He will assist you at the delivery of documents and when filling in the contract, as well as answer questions regarding the route. (CARIBBEAN TOURS Car Rental Set: COMFORT). Beginning of your self-drive tour.
Suggestion for today´s programme: Havana is the crown jewel of Spanish colonial towns in the Caribbean. However, this city is much more than just a museum: the pulsating street life can be just as fascinating as the many architectural treasures. The day begins with a walking tour through colonial Havana with its most important sights: Calle Obispo, El Templete, Plaza de Armas, past the palace of the Spanish Governors General, Cathedral square, Plaza Vieja and taste a Mojito at Hemingway’s favorite bar “Bodeguita”. Lunch e.g. at the Restaurant „La Imprenta“ or „Ambos Mundos“ in the old part of the city. In the afternoon visit of CDR (Committee for defense of revolution) in Centro Habana, with possibilities to talk to locals, as well as visiting a secondary school or a local medical center and a typical food store. Finally, short walk through Callejon de Hamel with paintings of the Afro-Cuban Santería. Later in the evening possibility (optional) to attend the “Havana Queens” dance ensemble (Price on request).

Important: Please note that particularly during high season longer waiting times might occur when taking over the rental car at the rental station.

Included meals today: breakfast
Included fees / tours: -
Total km today: -
Total driving time today: -

Day 3: Havana - Viñales

Suggestion for today´s programme:
The day starts with a panoramic tour through the Havana of the 19th and early 20th century: past the imposing Capitolio, Gran Teatro and Barcardí building, along the Malecón, past the legendary Hotel Nacional through the Avenida de los Presidentes to the Revolution square with the portrait of Ché Guevara and José Martí memorial, followed by a visit to the legendary cemetery Colón with the largest amount of statues in Cuba, a miniature city of marble, bronze, angels, crosses and allegories. Observe the bustling life at a typical farmer’s market where locals sell and buy: fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat and spices. Lunch e.g. at Paladar “La Casa” in Vedado. In the afternoon drive on the tobacco route to Pinar del Rio, the greenest of all Cuban provinces with the best tobacco soil of the world. Visit of Patio Pelegrín a help programme especially for kids. While the visitors learn more about the programme fresh fruits and coffee are served. Panoramic tour through Viñales valley with its imposing limestone rocks (Mogotes) to Viñales village where time seems to stand still.

Included meals today: breakfast
Included fees / tours: -
Total km today: 220 km
Total driving time today: 2 h 30 min - 3 h

Day 4: Viñales

Suggestion for today´s programme:
Visit of Caridad’s small botanic garden, a beautiful, very well looked after private garden with a large number of different plants. Panoramic tour through Viñales valley with its famous Mogotes (limestone rocks). Visit of Casa del Veguero (house of a tobacco farmer) who will explain all about tobacco growing. Lunch e.g. at the friendly "Finca Paraíso" giving an interesting insight into the Cuban cuisine of an agro-ecological farmhouse.

Included meals today: breakfast
Included fees / tours: -
Total km today: -
Total driving time today: -

Day 5: Viñales - Cienfuegos 

Suggestion for today´s programme:
Drive towards the center of the island to Cienfuegos, characterized by French colonial architecture. Stop for lunch e.g. at „Finca Campesina“. Arrival in Cienfuegos, a charming coastal city located on the wide bay of the same name. Inspired by the picturesque surrounding scenery, Cienfuegos is also called pearl of the south. The magnificent building ensembles are an architectural highlight and part of the UNESCO world cultural heritage, e.g. the cultural center of the city la casa de la cultura, a large, palatial building where dance and music activities for the local school children are organized. The legendary Cuban musician Benny Moré, a son of Cienfuegos and one of the most famous musicians of Cuba, gives a special glamour to this town, his bronze statue stands in a prominent location at Prado street.

Included meals today: breakfast
Included fees / tours: -
Total km today: 475 km
Total driving time today: about 6 h

Day 6: Cienfuegos - Excursion “El Nicho”

Suggestion for today´s programme:
(Optional: Can be booked in Cienfuegos on the previous day.)
In the morning drive to El Nicho. This small national park east of Cienfuegos is home to the most beautiful waterfall in Cuba. Guided hike amongst lush, untouched nature to the waterfall which cascades down into a small lake. Possibility to swim. Lunch at the restaurant „El Nicho“. Back in Cienfuegos stroll through the pedestrian zone to the main square with the nostalgic Terry theatre where Caruso and Sarah Bernhardt performed. Enjoy a ride by horse carriage or by bicitaxi to the peninsula Punta Gorda for a cocktail on the roof terrace of the Moorish style “Palacio de Valle”. Dinner e.g. at a private restaurant, “Aché” whose loving decoration creates a special atmosphere or "Villa Lagarto" with beautiful views of the bay.

Included meals today: breakfast
Included fees / tours: -
Total km today: -
Total driving time today: -

Day 7: Cienfuegos - Sugar Mill Valley - Trinidad 

Suggestion for today´s programme:
Drive along the coastal road to Trinidad UNESCO World heritage site with unique colonial architecture - Trinidad is still detained in time keeping its soul and essence. Founded in 1514, this town had its peak during the sugar boom era in the 19th century. Stroll to the main square surrounded by the splendid mansions of the former sugar barons. Visit of Casa del Alfarero a pottery workshop. In continuation guided tour through Museo Municipal and enjoy the beautiful view from its tower. Taste the typical honey liquor at the quaint bar “Casa de la Trova”. Lunch e.g. at restaurant “La Marinera”, in the fishing village Casilda, famous for its fish and sea food or “Sol y Son” with antique furniture and beautiful backyard. In the afternoon drive through the Sugar Mill Valley. Visit of hacienda Iznaga, home of the former sugar barons Iznaga with its legendary slave tower. 

Important: Please note, climbing of the slave tower at own risk.

Included meals today: breakfast
Included fees / tours: -
Total km today: 110 km
Total driving time today: 1 h - 1 h 30 min

Day 8: Trinidad and Sierra Escambray 

Suggestion for today´s programme:
(Optional: Can be booked in Trinidad on the previous day.)
The day begins with a drive to national park Topes de Collantes at Sierra Escambray and further down on adventurous paths to the view point of the trail. Hike amongst vibrant flora and fauna. Depending on the path, with opportunity to take a bath in a natural pool under waterfalls. Rustic lunch at a finca midst of lush nature. In the afternoon drive back to Trinidad, rest of the day at leisure. Dinner at own expense. Enjoy the romantic night-life by listening to traditional music and dancing e.g. at Casa de la Música near the main square.

Important: Please note, the hike takes about 2 - 3 hours with local guide.

Included meals today: breakfast
Included fees / tours: -
Total km today: 70 km
Total driving time today: 1 h 15 min

Day 9: Trinidad - Santa Clara - Varadero / Havana

Suggestion for today´s programme:
Drive to Santa Clara the capital of the province. This town is inseparably linked with Ché´s history. With the famous battle of Santa Clara, Ché marked the final victory over Batista’s regime and became the hero of the revolution. It is here where he found his last rest. Visit to the mausoleum close to Revolution square and to the monument of the Tren blindado, a relic from the revolutionary war. In the afternoon head for Varadero or to Cayo Santa Maria (for a beach extension) or to the Int. Airport Havana. Return of your rental car in the late afternoon or in the evening at one of the offices in Havana, Varadero or on Cayo Santa Maria/Cayo Ensenachos.