Cuba self drive holiday

“A two week, self drive holiday around cuba, with beach time, music time, rum time, mountain time and an all round hell of a time.”

Highlights

Havana | Santa Clara | Trinidad | Playa Larga | Vinales | Cayo Levisa | Havana | Stay at casas particulares

Description of Cuba self drive holiday

This Cuba self drive holiday is designed as a two week itinerary, tailor made to suit your interests and budget, but covering what we believe to be some of the country’s most spectacular and exciting highlights. Spending a few days in each region will give you time to really immerse yourself in Cuban culture, and as we recommend both small boutique hotels and also traditional casas particulares to stay in, or Cuban homestays, you will really get a chance to experience local life and the wonderful Cuban welcome.

Starting in the capital, Havana, this city needs no introduction really with its faded colonialism, classic cars and cobbled streets. Next, we recommend you head down the south coast to Trinidad, considered by many to be the musical capital of Cuba and with a fascinating history from both its French colonial and Afro-Cuban heritage.

Head inland on this wonderful road trip to saunter through the tobacco plantations and luscious hills around the valley and town of Viñales, with its beautiful backdrop of ‘sugarloaf’ limestone mountains. And finish off your Cuban journey in best local style, chilling at the beach on one or two of their stunning ‘cayes’, off the north coast. And toast the joys of this wonderful country with a mojito in hand, surrounded by white sand.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cuba self drive holiday

Environment

Wherever possible we prioritise accommodation with low environmental impact. We pride ourselves in sourcing small-scale, locally owned accommodation with plenty of Cuban character. During this itinerary you’ll stay in a casa particular in Vinales, Trinidad, Santa Clara and Playa Larga. This type of accommodation is similar to a B&B here in the UK and is owned and run by local Cuban families. With only a few rooms the environmental impact is much lower than a hotel and allows Cuban families to make an income and invest directly back into their community.

Travelling by hire car is not always the most environmental way to travel but it does allow our customers the freedom to independently travel and can have less of an environment impact than travelling in a larger group. We always advise our customers that hitch hiking is common in Cuba and is a fantastic way to get to know some locals – and get some directions on route! Do exercise caution but revel in the opportunity to make some new friends.

We offer each and every one of our customer the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions, whether they book their international flights with us or not. On top of this, we also provide each of our customers with a 'How to be a Responsible Traveller' document before they travel. This includes advice and tips on how to buy locally, protect wildlife, and how to make a genuine difference to the country they’re visiting.

Our responsible travel journey starts at home, from our Brighton based paperless office, where we reduce, reuse, and recycle wherever possible. Each and every day a healthy lunch is provided to our staff and any leftovers and food waste are composted. We’re committed to sustainable travel and are proud to have received the thumbs up from Travelife by achieving their Better Places Partner criteria.

Community

As well as supporting local projects in all of our destinations through support from our customers, we also do a little fundraising at home for local and international causes. As music is such an important part of Cuban culture, we’ve chosen to support Music fund for Cuba, a UK based charity that was established in 2001. They support education and development of music and performing arts in Cuba. The project provides much needed support and equipment for children and young Cuban musicians, dancers and artists through the island.

Our local offices also ensure all employees are well treated and are given flexible working hours and paid above the legal minimum wage. This ensures that everyone directly involved in your trip receives all of these benefits and is paid and treated fairly.

We also ensure that the local guides really do come from the area they’re working in. We believe this ensures that a meaningful, truthful insight is given about the area our customers are visiting, and means that our guides can continue to work and live near to their families. This helps avoid the migration of people to larger towns seeking employment and opportunity.

As well as this, we recommend eating in local Paladares. These are restaurants owned by locals and often situated within their Casas. The food here is often superior to that found in Government run hotels and restaurants and it also means that again, the profit is put back into the local community and allows local people to continue building their own businesses.

We believe in putting people first, not just in the destinations we offer but also here in the UK. We believe that happy staff lead to a happy working environment, so with this in mind we offer a wide variety of staff rewards at our office in sunny Brighton. This includes ethically sourced daily lunches, a ride to work scheme and one paid charity day per employee.

2 Reviews of Cuba self drive holiday

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 29 Nov 2017 by

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


The whole holiday was memorable. We enjoyed discovering a new country and a new culture, meeting people. The old American cars are fabulous.

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


Learn some basic Spanish. Most people in the casas particulares did not speak English. Buy a road map of Cuba before you go if you are renting a car. The map we are given is difficult to use. Some of the towns are not mentioned so we ended up using our own map. Be prepared to pay somebody to watch your car at night. The rate in Havana, Vinales and Santa Clara was 2 CUC per night which is good value. 3 CUC in Trinidad but it was in a locked courtyard. Make sure you have enough petrol in the tank. A couple of petrol stations we passed had run out of petrol and some did not have the type of petrol needed for our hired car. We took pens, pencils, soaps and we stopped in a primary school to give away. Forget about wifi and television. Relax. Enjoy the mojitos.

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


Yes. I was glad that whatever we did or spent benefited local people and not big chains as they are not present in Cuba.

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


Great holiday. We enjoyed it very much. Shame we could not stay longer.

Reviewed on 07 Oct 2017 by

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


Tour of Trinidad Cuba where guide took us on life of a typical Cuban and not the tourist spots.

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


Do a thorough job reviewing all accommadations. All but one of ours were very good but one was so inferior we went to a hotel instead.

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


Minimally

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


Excellent

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