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Essential Cuba

Our Essential Cuba program explores Havana and Western Cuba including the Cordillera de Guaniguanico (Karst Region), Vuelta Abajo (Tobacco country) and the Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve (Coffee country).

This trip includes two overnights in Havana, an overnight in Pinar del Rio, and an overnight on Playa Jibacoa .


La Habana Vieja The largest intact colonial city in the Americas, it’s an outdoor museum with almost 1,000 historic buildings.
Museum of the Revolution Tells the story of Cuba from Spanish colonization to the Bay of Pigs.
The Malecón Havana’s sunset meeting spot, this broad esplanade follows the seawall.
Fabrica This sprawling art space is possibly the hippest place in the world.
Paladar Dining A private residence is the best place to taste homemade Cuban food.
Cueva de Los Portales Che Guevara’s headquarters during the Cuban missile crisis.
Viñales Valley The most scenic valley in Cuba.
Cueva del Indio Cave hike and underground river tour.
Vuelta Abajo Tobacco tour with a local farmer.
Las Terrazas Model rural community built on a lake where we’ll meet with some local artists.
Buena Vista Coffee Plantation Coffee tour.
Playa Jibacoa Popular beach near Havana.


Meet your Program Director at the airport for your flight to Havana! Private shuttle to your centrally located hotel. Check in, then navigate to Plaza de Armas. Enjoy lunch before visiting the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, and the Cathedral de La Habana. Explore the Columbus Museum at Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro. Pick a restaurant for dinner overlooking Habana Viaja, then head to Castillo de San Carlos de la Cabaña to experience the Cañonazo.
2HavanaVisit to the Museum of the Revolution and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. We’ll spend a few hours around lunch enjoying Havana’s two most interesting streets — Calle Obispo and Calle Mercaderes — on the way to Plaza Vieja where we’ll check out the views from Cámera Obscura. We’ll end the day enjoying an evening of Tapas and Flamenco at Mesón de La Habana.
3Cordillera de
Stay goodbye to Havana, we’re off to explore the Cordillera de Guaniguanico! Our first stop is Cueva de Los Portales, a 100ft high cavern that served as headquarters for Che Guevara during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Next we’ll weave through the valley of Viñales, admiring it’s massive mogotes and stopping for lunch in the unspoiled colonial village. After lunch we’ll head inside one of the mogotes to explore the enormous Cueva del Indio on foot and by motorboat. We then continue to the quiet town of Pinar del Rio at the heart of Cuba’s tobacco country where we’ll check into our hotel and head out for dinner.
4Sierra del RosarioWe’re off to the fertile plains of Vuelta Abajo where we’ll visit with a local tobacco farmer. Next we’ll make our way to the lakeside community of Las Terrazas where we’ll enjoy lunch, visit with the local artists, and hike to the Buena Vista Coffee Plantation. We then continue to Playa Jibacoa where we’ll check into the hotel before enjoying the beach before dinner.
5Playa JibacoaMorning on the beach and then transfer back to Havana for our flight home.

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