Cuba adventure holiday

“Affordable tour of Cuba as part of a small guided group. Overland travel around the island's lesser-known west coast. Loads of optional activities.”

Highlights

Havana | Viñales | María la Gorda | Cabo San Antonio | UNESCO biosphere reserve: Las Terrazas | Optional activities in Viñales include: caving, hiking and mountain biking | Optional activities in María la Gorda include: snorkelling and sunset boat rides |

Description of Cuba adventure holiday

This week long adventure holiday in Cuba is for anyone wishing to explore in the company of other like minded and similar aged travellers.

Becoming part of a group is a great way to build confidence and get a deeper understanding of the locations that you’re visiting. Places like: Havana, Vinales, Maria la Gorda and Las Terrazas.

This particular eight day itinerary focuses on Cuba’s western shores, more commonly known as the Garden Province. This is where vast fertile hillsides have been turned over to the cultivation of coffee and tobacco alongside luscious valley slopes peppered with brightly coloured orchids.

Head to the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, and it’s tales of piracy that capture the imagination as you snorkel over coral reefs on the lookout for tropical fish and pilfered plunder.

Led by a knowledgeable group leader, you’ll be invited to soak up the Caribbean sunshine as well as Cuba’s cultural heritage as you spend a night in a rural homestay and continue to explore way off the typical tourist radar.

This is a great tour for travellers looking for the security and affordability of group travel but without the crowds associated with Cuba's tourist hot spots.

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

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03 Nov 2018
£ 649
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10 Nov 2018
£ 649
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17 Nov 2018
£ 699
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24 Nov 2018
£ 630
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01 Dec 2018
£ 595
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08 Dec 2018
£ 595
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15 Dec 2018
£ 719
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22 Dec 2018
£ 719
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26 Dec 2018
£ 612
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29 Dec 2018
£ 719
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Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travellers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cuba adventure holiday

Through our commitment to responsible tourism, we ensure minimal social and environmental impact in the places we visit by travelling in small groups, using local transportation and staying in locally owned hotels. We also work with experienced local guides who are knowledgeable of local culture, history, flora and fauna.

Las Terrazas started as a reforestation project and was later declared Cuba’s first UNESCO-sanctioned biosphere reserve. Today it is an ecotourism resort providing employment for the local community.

On this tour you may have the opportunity to visit a local bike workshop in Old Havana developed by BICYCLES CROSSING BORDERS (BCB), a non-profit organization that promotes cycling by shipping unused and repairable bikes to Cuba. BCB has trained up to 30 Cubans in bicycle repair and maintenance, the majority being women and encourages more Cubans to set up efficient bike shops across the island. We support this project through our non-profit organization, the Planeterra Foundation.

7 Reviews of Cuba adventure holiday

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 01 Aug 2017 by

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


Las Terrazas is beautiful and interesting. Our group did a death ride there (optional) and that was a lot of fun. The beach and resort at María la Gorda is just like heaven: sit back, drink a mojito and enjoy the beautiful sea. Horseback riding in the beautiful scenery of Viñales is one of the most exciting activities.

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


The trip ends in a very colorful and authentic neighborhood of Havana. Make sure to book some extra nights afterwards in this area in one of the casa
particulares. Here you are among local Cubans and in just walking distance from the center.

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


Yes. We learned a lot about Cuban Society and government.

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


Best holiday ever :-) Everyone of our group was so happy because of the colors, friendly locals, salsa music and rum :-)

Reviewed on 10 Feb 2016 by

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


Havana was wonderful.

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


This is a really basic trip and accommodation is poor.

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


The home stay part definitely benefitted the local communities.

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


Poor - I wouldn't recommend this trip. It didn't live up to my expectations one bit.

Read the operator's response here:

I was sorry to hear that your were disappointed in your recent experience with us in Cuba.

We do take client feedback seriously and if you would like to reach out to us directly we would be happy to look into your concerns.

Many thanks

Reviewed on 23 Mar 2013 by

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


Horse-back riding and galloping through the fields and valley of Vinales.

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


Take all of your toiletries with you - more so if you have the space - as it is
hard to buy anything essential out there.

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


Yes through the homestay.

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


Ten out of ten.

Reviewed on 11 Mar 2011 by

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


We went to see the Buena Vista Social Club in Havana - these musicians were amazing and the whole club was jumping. Cruising in the 1950's cars was absolutely amazing - this is a must in Havana!!! Also loved the horseback riding in Vinales - Che's monument - Trinidad was fun, lots of music/salsa dancing there.

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


If you can, try and add a couple of days at the end of the trip to take in Old Havana - there is just too much to see and not enough time to do it in!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


All of our group seemed to be very generous/considerate of the local people. Some people came with toiletries and stationery to give to children.

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


I had a great time and would recommend it - there was just too much to fit in 9 days!

Reviewed on 08 Mar 2011 by

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


Cuba Colonial
The most interesting place on this tour was Trinidad. It had a lovely, chilled atmosphere and was a well maintained city, where the people were friendly. This compared quite considerably to other towns in Cuba that I visited such as Santiago, Santa Clara and even Havana, where the people were hassly and the town was not particularly well cared for. A brilliant restaurant in Plaza Vieja, called Santo Angel, which I would recommend to any other visitor to Cuba. A meal with actual flavour!

Cuba Libre
This tour was much more enjoyable overall than Cuba Colonial, as it was more small town and countryside based. The scenery in the western part of the island is beautiful and the places visited were all very welcoming with lots of options for good things to do.

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


Expect to wait a long time for anything to be done by Cubans. Relax into the flow and it will be enjoyable, if you keep expecting you'll just get frustrated. Cuba is a very interesting country where visitors face many difficulties, so as a traditional holiday destination it is not ideal.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Not particularly. The guides and drivers were local, but since everything is so restricted in Cuba then the impact on real people rather than those in the tourist industry was negligible.

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


The experience is very dependent on the tour guide, so overall I preferred the Cuba Libre tour to the Cuba Colonial tour.

Reviewed on 06 Jan 2007 by

We really fell in love with Cuba. The tour served perfectly as an introduction. I only wish I had had more time to take the two week trip that included eastern Cuba as well.

Cuba is difficult for a vegetarian, rice and beans was about all that was on offer for us. Fortunately I like rice and beans. As for the impact on locals, I think it was minimum simply because we did not stay anyway long enough to make any positive or negative impact.

Old Havana was the highlight of the tour. We spent an extra few days walking around it, admiring the architecture, the museums, the music and life in the alleyways.

Reviewed on 28 Apr 2006 by

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


Horse riding across country to get to a waterfall for a swim. The guys that organised it were extremely friendly. We knew it was going to be amazing when they sent a horse and carriage to pick us up, and it just got better from there. Also, on Islas de los Iguanas, having an iguana come scurrying towards my camera for a close-up rather than scurrying away from it like most of its mates.

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


As with all trips to Cuba, ensure you take absolutely everything you are going to need while you are there, ie don't assume you can pick up anything you have forgotten when you get there as shopping is extremely limited. Also, the locals, especially those further away from the towns will appreciate any pens, toiletries, old clothes/shoes you can give them.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


In most places we stayed in Casa Particulares (what we would probably call B&B's) and mostly ate in these or in paladares, all benefitting the local economy. Environment? Well, the bus we used for most of our travel wasn't very good for my environment (fuel fumes inside the vehicle) so I can't imagine it was particularly good for Cuba's either but then in Cuba, all things are relative!!!

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