Cuba highlights and beach holiday

“A two week, tailor made tour travelling independently around southern Cuba’s highlights. Staying in both casas and hotels, using buses or hire car, up to you! ”


Havana | Las Terrazas | Viñales | Cienfuegos | Trinidad | Santa Clara | Cayo Santa Maria | Stay in casas particulares

Description of Cuba highlights and beach holiday

A trip that captures all of Cuba’s highlights with plenty of beach holiday moments thrown into the magical mix. As this is a tailor made holiday, we can tweak it to suit your interests, budget and time frame, but the carefully crafted itinerary below ensures that you have several days in all our recommended regions, so that you have time to enjoy the country’s inimitable culture and bewitching natural beauty.

Starting in Havana, this is a city that needs little introduction, the old town living up to all expectations with its crumbling colonialism, fascinating backstreets, shady plazas and famous classic car filled Malecón, all contributing to the city’s UNESCO World Heritage status.

In total contrast, your next few days are spent inland at La Terazzas, a fascinating eco-community that was set up during the 1960’s as a communist project. In a stunning location, you will meet the community that sustains the farm and artisans’ studios and enjoy time around its lake. The tobacco growing region around Viñales is next, where you can go horseriding through the valleys and mountains, bedecked with farms and plantations, limestone caves and lakes.

More cultural delights await in coastal Cienfuegos, otherwise known as the "Pearl of the South" and another Cuban UNESCO World Heritage site for its French colonial buildings and palaces. As with several other places along your way, you stay in a traditional casa particular, or homestay, where the now familiar great Cuban welcome is par for the course.

Coastal and Caribbean culture will take you all the way back to Havana, with a couple of days in both the colourful, historical town of Trinidad, considered the musical capital by many, and some serious chill out time on the island of Cayo Santa Maria.

Travel Team

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Departure information

Everything is tweak-able, giving you the freedom to build a unique and personal trip for your chosen date. Upgrade your accommodation for all - or just part - of your trip, slow down the pace with few extra nights here and there or add a few more active adventures along the way

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cuba highlights and beach holiday


You’ll find Cuba has some beautiful landscapes, from the unspoiled tranquil beaches of Maria la Gorda to the lush vegetation of the Humboldt National Park – and we want to keep it that way! This itinerary includes a trip to Las Terrazas, Cuba’s pioneering eco-village, where you’ll stay in an unusual eco-resort with an airy atrium built around a giant lime tree. The proceeds from tourism go back into preserving the area’s unique biosphere, its ruins of 18th century coffee plantations and upkeep of the ecological research centre.

On the tour we will travel as lightly as possible, for example walking to hidden waterfalls, and exploring the landscape on horseback in Viñales.

Throughout our trips we prioritise small-scale, low impact accommodation, such as locally-owned Casa particilares and we visit local farmers and businesses who are balancing crop growing with protecting the landscape.

Meanwhile at our offices in Brighton, we’re dedicated recyclers and work hard to reduce the amount of energy we consume. Our local partners do the same; keeping energy use to a minimum and using energy-saving light bulbs. We even advise our customers on keeping energy use down in their travel documentation.


We firmly believe in the concept of meaningful travel; having experiences which benefit you and the destination you’re visiting. We advise all our customers on local customs and cultures in their travel documentation.

You will be visiting local businesses, such as coffee growers and cigar makers and meeting the local guajiros in Viñales. We’ve included a few casa particulars in this itinerary – a private room in a local home. By staying with a family instead of in a hotel, you’ll put money directly into the pockets of the local people and catch a glimpse of how Cubans really live.

We’re really proud that our local partners care as much about meaningful travel as we do. They work together with several artists, dancers, and intellectuals in Cuba and stimulate cultural tourism by organizing workshops, tours and courses to promote the Cuban culture.

We also support a local project in Cuba; the Music Fund for Cuba. They support the education and development of music and performing arts in Cuba. The Music Fund for Cuba provides much needed support and equipment for children and young Cuban musicians, dancers and artists throughout the island.

3 Reviews of Cuba highlights and beach holiday

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 10 Jan 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Our time in Trinidad

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Allow more money than we were

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

It benefited the local economy as
everyone wants tips and taxis and
meals are not cheap! I would say it is
not reducing the environmental
impact, quite the opposite.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The holiday was well organised and all
our transfers and accommodation were
good bar one at the beginning.

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Nicole,

Thank you for your feedback, we are happy to hear that you had a great time in Cuba – especially in Trinidad – and that all the services arranged by
us went smoothly.

Advising spending money is a bit tricky as due to different individuals spending habits when travelling. We generally advise around £35-45 spending
money per person per day.

As a communist country Cuba is in the process of learning how to cater to the western world and being tipped is one of the great advantages. We believe it’s
good to help them learn that tips should be received for good service, rather than as a given. Whilst accommodation in the local bed and breakfasts is quite
economical, transfers and meals are more expensive as the maintenance of cars is harder and groceries more difficult to come by due to restricted supply.

It would be great to hear more detailed feedback regarding the environmental impact of your trip. Whilst your transport by private taxis is less
environmentally friendly than the alternative option to travel by public transport, we feel that by staying at local homes and at the Eco-Biosphere Las
Terrazas your trip benefited the environment, as opposed to staying in e.g. the government run all-inclusive hotels.

Once again, thank you for you review, Nicole, it’s much appreciated!

Warm regards,

Reviewed on 09 May 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The tours were excellent, much better than we expected.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't expect much from Cuban food, don't move around too quickly, be polite- say hola and smile, watch out for stomach problems and go prepared.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, very much so

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent, it was a fantastic trip and we all had a great time

Reviewed on 24 Apr 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

For me, the highlight was riding through the tobacco lands with the red earth, hot sun and beautiful scenery, or perhaps it was the horse-drawn cart trip to the
waterfall and then swimming in the cool, clear water with the birds swooping in and out of their little cave nests.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If part of your trip involves time an all-inclusive resort, take a large refillable thermos mug (like you might use for take-away coffee). Not only do you get
more beer or cocktails every time you fill up, but more importantly it saves on little plastic cups!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Staying in casa particulares definitely benefits the locals and the trips we took involved small local producers, farms and restaurants. The quality all round
was excellent.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Exceptionally well organised, lovely knowledgeable local guides and hosts. Cuba was so interesting, plenty to be curious about and people happy to chat. A
wonderful experience topped off with a few days of indulgent sun, sea and sand!

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