Cuba on a Shoestring small group holiday
Late availability on these dates: 20 Aug, 27 Aug, 24 Sep, 08 Oct, 22 Oct, 05 Nov, 12 Nov
Description of Cuba on a Shoestring small group holiday
This Cuba on a shoestring small group holiday takes a looping tour around this beautiful island, from the charismatic capital Havana, through sleepy rural Vinales, to colonial Trinidad and the Caribbean beaches of Cienfuegos, nicknamed ‘the pearl of the south’. It’s a great value introduction to the country, with all accommodation, transport and breakfasts included, and lots of optional activities to choose from in each place. Throughout, you’ll stay in local casas particulares – rooms in a home that are rented out to travellers, and this is a wonderful way to meet local Cubans.
This eight day adventure begins in Havana, where classic American cars cruise the malecon and the city’s architecture is colourful and often crumbling. A half day tour of the Old Town will bring its history to life. From here, head west to Vinales, where you can relax and soak up the small-town vibe, or choose to explore nearby caves, take a salsa lesson or hire a bike. Admire the perfectly preserved architecture of Trinidad and make the most of the city’s huge number of live music venues come nightfall, and in gorgeous Cienfuegos, discover a blend of Caribbean and Parisian influences, and a beautiful seafront just perfect for strolling along. You’ll also dip into Cuba’s revolutionary past, visiting the mausoleum of Che Guevara, and throughout this trip enjoy plenty of opportunities to swim, snorkel, bike and hike, exploring Cuba’s scenic countryside, beaches and beautiful cities.
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3 Reviews of Cuba on a Shoestring small group holiday
Reviewed on 19 May 2022 by Mei Yoke ChanThe guide Emilio is really knowledgeable Read full review
Reviewed on 01 Mar 2020 by Robyn KiiruThe most exciting part of the holiday was the variety of things to do. Read full review
Reviewed on 28 Feb 2019 by Manfred BiedermannLearning about history, land and culture was the most memorable part of the holiday... Great experience and a great group. Read full review
PlanetOur trips are run in small groups with a maximum of 16 travellers. We believe this is the best way to enjoy intimate, authentic experiences whilst also being mindful of our impact on the environment and local communities we visit.
Travelling in a small group enables us to stay in family-run guesthouses, which are more environmentally friendly than the bigger hotel chains. A small group size also allows us to support small restaurants and cafes, serving locally sourced produce.
One of the biggest problems facing Cuba is the inadequate disposal of waste. The government has now invested in a program to raise environmental awareness among the population. To help minimise our impact we avoid using single-use plastic bottles, opting for refillable water bottles instead. Large water containers are also provided for the bus journeys so that travellers can fill up as required. During the initial welcome meeting, the tour guide talks to the group about this topic to raise awareness of the problem as early as possible.
PeopleWe work closely with a local team of Cuban nationals who share our commitment to responsible travel, from waste and water management to ensuring we leave as minimal a footprint as possible. Our local team are trained on our global responsible travel policies and practices. We also use a range of other local suppliers for different activities throughout the itinerary.
Promoting cross-cultural exchanges between travellers and locals is hugely important to us, because by interacting with locals our travellers become more than just “visitors” in Cuba. An included Spanish class allows our travellers to improve their language skills, making it easier to communicate the basics. The guided tours through Havana, Trinidad and Viñales are not only about exploring the beautiful places, but also about getting an insight into real Cuban life.
On this trip we stay in Cuban guesthouses. Guesthouses in Cuba are unique and charming. They are not just a style of accommodation, they truly contribute to experiencing what Cuba is all about. We work with a network of over 70 guesthouses across the country, ensuring that the financial benefits of tourism are widely spread.
Furthermore, we consider it essential to gain an insight into the history of Cuba. Your local leader, who is passionate about sharing the history, culture and tradition of their country, will of course contribute to this. But a visit to the Che Guevara mausoleum and museum in Santa Clara also helps to understand why Cuba is the way it is today.