Small group tours to Cuba

“This two-week tour traverses the island from east to west, travelling in private vehicles and staying in private homes when possible for a real insight into daily Cuban life.”


Baracoa | Santiago de Cuba | Bayamo | Sierra Maestra Mountains | Camagüey | Trinidad | Che Guevara’s mausoleum in Santa Clara | Havana | Viñales Valley | Optional: beach visit, hike in Escambray Mountains

Description of Small group tours to Cuba

For years, Cuba was thought of as a destination for all inclusive resorts, making the most of its pristine Caribbean beaches. But step away from these coastal enclaves and discover a country in a state of rapid transition, but whose culture remains as vibrant as ever. Discover, too, a thrilling revolutionary history, and wild mountain and forest landscapes that once sheltered guerrillas – and today shelter birdlife and intrepid hikers.

These small group tours to Cuba begin with a flight from Havana to Baracoa, allowing you to spend the next two weeks working your way back west in private vehicles without the need to backtrack. That means you can cover some serious ground, as you travel through Santiago de Cuba – the island’s Afro Cuban stronghold – and onto Bayamo, the birthplace of Cuban independence. A daytrip to the Sierra Maestra mountains is a chance to discover some of the island’s extraordinary natural landscapes, as well as the Comandancia de la Plata – Castro’s former hideout.

Continue on to pretty, colonial Trinidad, with free time here to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site with its cobbles streets and low rise, shuttered buildings. Your tour leader can arrange optional excursions to a nearby beach or into the surrounding Escambray Mountains. Heading out west, you’ll take a guided tour of Havana before continuing onto the sleepy Viñales Valley, to explore subsistence farms, tobacco plantations and hidden caves. Immerse yourself in Cuba’s traditional, rural heart before heading back to Havana for your flight home.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Check dates, prices & availability

14 Nov 2019
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 14 Nov 2019 departure
19 Dec 2019
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 19 Dec 2019 departure
Holiday type

Small group adventure holiday

This trip is run by a company which specialises in only Central and South America holidays. Typically you will be sharing your experiences with between 4-20 like minded travellers (depending on the trip and how many others are booked on it) and you'll have a group leader with you. Whether you are travelling alone, with your partner or with friends its good value, and a great way to meet new people! While itineraries are pre-planned there is some flexibility and you'll have plenty of privacy. This trip will appeal to travellers of all ages who enjoy meeting new people as well as seeing new places, whilst being led by a knowledgeable and enthusiastic leader.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Small group tours to Cuba


On our small group tours to Cuba we visit and support the conservation of several National Parks, including Topes de Collantes in the Sierra Escambray; the Humboldt National Park outside of Baracoa; and Turquino National Park in the Sierra Maestra mountains. By paying entrance fees and hiring local guides within these parks, we encourage the continued preservation and research of these areas.

We visit and support the community project of Las Terrazas in the Sierra del Rosario UNESCO biosphere reserve. This is Cuba’s premier centre for ecotourism, which offers the chance to get a little bit closer to the local community, who coexist harmoniously with their surroundings. The model community was set up as part of a reforestation project and also as a scheme to promote self sufficiency and education in rural areas.


Much of the accommodation on this tour is in private Cuban houses, known as casas particulars. Many Cubans open their homes to travellers to supplement their income with dollars, meaning they can buy many goods not available in local currency – clothes, toothpaste, shampoo etc. Similarly, we also endeavour to eat in ‘paladars’, private homes that serve tourists a hearty, local meal and provide an opportunity for Cubans to earn a living.

Our style of travel ensures that as many local people as possible benefit by our being there. This tour runs with a maximum of 16 people which helps to minimise the impact on delicate environments. Clients joining this tour are encouraged (at their own discretion) to take gifts of everyday items which can be hard to come by in Cuba and are often very costly.

2 Reviews of Small group tours to Cuba

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 28 Apr 2016 by

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

Walking through the Sierra Maestra to Fidel Castros's mountain hideout. Very evocative of the history, beautiful views and we saw Cuba's national bird (tocororo, I think). Also the homestays were very enjoyable with the one in Trinidad having a beautiful roof terrace

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

Toiletry items appear to be welcome so consider taking extra soap and
moisturising creams. Take soap powder for washing clothes which will dry quickly

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

Staying in homestays and eating in private restaurants felt as though our
money was going directly to the local people which was good.

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

Very enjoyable. Very good guide who fostered a sense of group cohesion on the tour and a nice mix of being guided and time to explore independently

Reviewed on 13 Jan 2010 by

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

Meeting the local people - they were genuinely warm and friendly. To be honest I was suspicious of their approaches at first, expecting the usual follow up request for money etc but they just wanted to chat, practice their English ... and help me with my Spanish!

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

As with most holidays, I took old clothes with me that I would not normally wear in UK so that I did not have to return with them. Towards the end of the holiday I gave bags of clothes to those wanting them. It was not encouraging begging but did re-use/recycle un-wanted goods.

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

The Parakeet holiday features many "home-stays" rather than hotels. This was not only giving money directly to the "owners" but also promoting trade with local farmers as the farmers would sell their excess produce to cater for the tourists. Much of the travel was also by local taxi or bicycle rather than the state run buses.

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

A very enjoyable experience ... I have no reservations about visiting again or recommending it to others.

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