Cuba Awakened – A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2023/24)

Cuba is bursting with colour, sound and culture, the cobbled streets of Havana home to breathtaking architecture, flavourful fare and some of the most inspired years of Ernst Hemingway.

Journey Overview

Threadbare but dazzling, perplexing and entertaining – this charming Caribbean nation is nothing short of magic. Stuck in a time warp yet full of quirky invention, it’s these rich contradictions that make Cuba so fascinating. Beyond its palm-fringed beaches, you’ll find a country steeped in radical history, grand architecture, soulful music and bohemian spirit. From Cuban cigars and vintage convertibles to tobacco farms and salsa; relive revolutionary moments with local experts and explore the favourite haunts of Ernest Hemmingway on this inspiring journey to ‘awakening’ Cuba.

Journey Highlights

  • Cruise ‘Cuban’ style, in a vintage convertible car-tour of Havana
  • Enjoy lively conversation with a local economist over a delicious Cuban lunch
  • Be enthralled by the natural wonders of Guanayara in Topes de Collantes
  • Understand the majesty and delight of Cuban cigars on a tobacco farm tour
  • Explore the legacy of Benny Moré with a guided arts school tour and choral performance
  • Wander the cobbled streets of UNESCO World Heritage listed Trinidad
  • Typically features a small group size of 10–12 guests
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Havana, Cuba

Arrive in Havana to a warm A&K welcome and VIP assistance through the airport, followed by a private transfer to your hotel. A city trapped in time, Havana captures the imagination like no other. Faded glamour meets careful colonial-era reconstruction against a backdrop of irresistible colour, an eclectic history, and a magnificent artistic and cultural heritage.

Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana

Day 2: Havana | Classic Cars & Historical Icons

This morning meet your Resident Tour Director before you get a taste of Havana daily life on a walking tour of the colourful UNESCO World Heritage listed old city. In the afternoon, cruise around town in style admiring stunning baroque churches, Spanish colonial structures and neoclassical buildings in a vintage convertible. This evening, savour a welcome dinner with your group at La Guarida, widely acclaimed to be the best paladar in Cuba.

Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana | Meals: BD

Day 3: Havana | Design Your Day

Today be immersed in everything classically Cuba, with a guided tour of a Havana cigar factory. Afterwards, discover the tastes of Cuba at lunch enjoying lively conversation with an expert economist. This afternoon Design Your Day with one of the following activities:

  • Discover the origins of one of Cuba’s most famous exports at the Havana Club Rum Museum. Gain an understanding of the rum-making process, wrapping up with a tasting.
  • Ernest Hemingway is possibly the only American to have achieved idol status among the Cuban locals. Join your expert guide as you drive around Havana and learn about the great writer’s life on the island that was his home for more than 20 years.
  • Spend the afternoon at an organic and sustainable farm learning from its welcoming Nicaraguan owners – Anabelle and Alfredo – about their passionate farm-to-table business. Enjoy an inventive Cuban cooking class with Anabelle and then sit down with the couple to share stories over food and drink.

Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana | Meals: BL

Day 4: Viñales | Traditional Tobacco Farming

Travel west of Havana to Viñales and the rolling hills of Pinar del Rio. Stop for lunch en route and take a tour of Finca Robaina, Cuba’s most famous private tobacco farm which has been growing tobacco since 1845. Arrive in Viñales for dinner at the foot of a stunning mogote.

Hotel E Central Viñales | Meals: BLD

Day 5: Viñales | Discovering the Valley of Penance

Discover Valle de la Penitencia (Valley of Penance) on a relaxed walking tour with picturesque rounded hills that dot the dramatic landscape as far as the eye can see. Afterwards, visit a tobacco stripping house (despalillo) to witness local women moisten, smooth and strip the leaves which will be used in iconic Cuban cigars. Return to the city with your evening at leisure.

Hotel E Central Viñales | Meals: BL

Day 6: Cienfuegos | Immersed in Military History

Today, you’ll take a dive into Cuban military history at the infamous Bay of Pigs. Stop for a traditional home-cooked meal on the open terrace at Casa Zuleyda, a stunning house overlooking the beach, followed by a leisurely dip in the crystal-clear waters. This afternoon, it’s on to the Bay of Pigs Museum to discover the fascinating story behind one of the biggest military blunders of the Kennedy administration. Finish the day at the French and Caribbean inspired coastal town of Cienfuegos – ‘The Pearl of the South’. Sip sundowners at the Palacio del Valle with the rest of the night at your leisure.

Boutique La Union | Meals: BL

Day 7: Cienfuegos | The Pearl of the South

Discover the ‘Pearl of the South’ on a guided city tour. Explore Jose Marti Park, the lavish Tomas Terry Theatre and the Palacio del Valle at Punta Gorda, with its exotic mix of Byzantine, Venetian, Gothic, Baroque and Mudejar architecture. Afterwards visit Cienfuegos’ Benny Moré School of Arts with an expertly guided tour and witness a choir performance by aspiring trainees. Enjoy delicious local fare for dinner with your travel companions.

Boutique La Union | Meals: BD

Day 8: Trinidad | Sugar Barons & Seaside Views

Travel to Trinidad and discover the hidden secrets of this UNESCO World Heritage listed city with your expert local guide, keeping a camera at the ready as you stroll through the cobbled streets. Sugar and slavery were intertwined in the 18th and 19th centuries in Cuba, showcased on a guided tour to the vast ‘Valley of the Sugar Mills’ before dinner at Los Conspiradores in the heart of the historic district.

Iberostar Grand Hotel Trinidad | Meals: BD

Day 9: Trinidad | Design Your Day

This morning you can choose your own adventure, with three Design Your Day activities on offer:

  • Put your best foot forward in an hour-long salsa lesson led by a professional local dancer, who will teach you the basic Cuban salsa steps and have you moving to the local rhythms in no time.
  • Cycle to La Boca and Ancon beaches. Continue to Playa Ancon, Trinidad´s main beach resort and enjoy the expanse of white sand beach and warm turquoise seas.
  • Take an expertly guided Art and Artisan Tour to discover some of Cienfuegos’s leading artists and artisans in their studios and galleries – enjoying lively chatter with the locals.

The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore the city.

Iberostar Grand Hotel Trinidad | Meals: B

Day 10: Santa Clara | Natural Wonders & Revolutionary Icons

This morning is for natural wonders, exploring beautiful Guanayara in Topes de Collantes National Park on foot, admiring gorgeous scenery culminating in the chance to swim in a natural pool and stunning waterfall. Transfer to Santa Clara — a city steeped in history and culture. Your day comes to an end with a group dinner.

Hotel E Central Santa Clara | Meals: BLD

Day 11: Santa Clara | The History of Che Guevara

Further your cigar education at Fabrica de Tabacos Costantino Perez Carrodegua, Santa Clara’s main tobacco factory producing some of the best cigars in the country. No trip to Cuba is complete without a visit to the Che Guevara Mausoleum, located in Plaza Che Guevara alongside the bronze statue of the revolutionary icon. Continue exploring the city with a guided tour. Architecture lovers will revel in the Santa Clara Cathedral with its spectacular collection of stained-glass windows.

Hotel E Central Santa Clara | Meals: B

Day 12: Havana | Farewell to the Caribbean

Travel to Havana and visit Los Almacenes de San Jose, an iconic handicraft market and cultural hub featuring art exhibitions and musical performances. Celebrate your Cuban discovery at a farewell dinner on your hotel’s rooftop terrace.

Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana | Meals: BD

Day 13: Depart Havana

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

Meals: B

Journey Details

Minimum age is 10 years.
First group event: welcome briefing at 9:00 a.m. on Day 2.
Last group event: farewell dinner at 8:00 p.m. on Day 12.
Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 2 guests.

Please note: Proof of COVID-19 full vaccination is required for this program.

Included with this Limited Edition Small Group Journey

  • All accommodation as detailed with private facilities
  • Meals as specified in itinerary, including welcome and farewell dinners
  • Services of English speaking A&K Resident Tour Directors, one per country
  • Airport welcome
  • Porterage
  • Group transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle
  • Bottled water during transfers and touring
  • Wine & beer during lunches and dinners (selected by Resident Tour Director)
  • Individual Wireless Audio Systems where appropriate
  • All entrance fees
  • Planning, handling, operational and communication charges
  • All tipping

Customise this Journey

Talk to one of our expert Journey Designers or your travel agent about booking this tour as a private journey for your own small group with family or friends. Or, if you would prefer to travel privately, find out more about creating the perfect bespoke tailor-made journey based on this itinerary.

Show Full Itinerary
Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana

Cuba Awakened – A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2023/24)

Overlooking Parque Central, Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski’s central location and the city’s first true five-star hotel, is ideal for explo... Read more

Hotel E Central Vinales

Cuba Awakened – A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2023/24)

Located centrally within Vinales, Hotel E Central Vinales put you steps away from sights such as the main square, art gallery, Valle de V... Read more

Hotel La Union, Cienfuegos

Cuba Awakened – A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2023/24)

A privately-owned mansion built in 1869, Hotel La Union has been painstakingly restored. Located just one block from the main square, a r... Read more

Iberostar Grand Hotel, Trinidad

Cuba Awakened – A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2023/24)

In the heart of Trinidad, Iberostar Grand Hotel offers boutique-style accommodation in the UNESCO World Heritage city. This attractive ho... Read more

Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Apr 10, 2023 - Apr 22, 2023 Special
Price AU$8,995pp Single Supplement AU$0 was AU$2,585 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Enquire
Nov 13, 2023 - Nov 25, 2023 Special
Price AU$8,995pp Single Supplement AU$0 was AU$2,585 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Enquire
Feb 11, 2024 - Feb 23, 2024 Special
Price AU$9,295pp Single Supplement AU$0 was AU$2,685 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Enquire
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