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We believe in travel with a difference.....for eclectics who like the pleasantly unexpected. We are endeavouring to find a variety of trips, spas, yoga retreats, hotels, cities, art tours, gourmet cooking courses, and travel experiences that will be unique and special so that you remember them well into old age!

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11 Days - Cuba Explorer Adventure in November 2020

Havana airport


11 days in Cuba 21st Nov- 1st Dec 2020 Itinerary Notes - please email for pdf file with full itinerary GBP 1,[masked] per person Based on Double occupancy We keep our groups small for special attention and a better travel experience -Maximum of 12 Let me know if you would prefer single occupancy please. £ 285 Single occupancy ============================ Right now is an exciting time in Cuba with rapidly changing legislation and local conditions. Cuba has seen a massive increase in tourism lately, which has put a strain on local tourist infrastructure. While we will will strive to operate our tours as closely to published itineraries as possible, conditions often change from one day to the next, and minor tour modifications may be necessary with no advance notice. Introduction Explore a side of Cuba that few rarely get to experience on this eleven-day adventure. Cruise Havana’s history-infused streets in a classic car and stroll along Trinidad’s cobblestone avenues to the rhythms of music floating from open windows. Tour a tobacco plantation for a taste of iconic Cuban culture and luxuriate in the view of the island’s rolling western hills. Travel by private air-conditioned vehicle is well-paced, so you're refreshed and ready to explore the island’s vibrant culture and tropical airs. Explore the fascinating culture and history of Cuba. Stay at local homestays for an authentic Cuban experience Duration: 11 days Start/Finish City: Havana to Havana Highlights Cruise through Havana in a vintage automobile, watch local experts make the famous Cuban cigar, explore the fascinating culture and history of Cuba, stay at local homestays for an authentic Cuban experience Itinerary Day 1 Havana Direct flight London Gatwick to Havana Arrival transfer included to your casa particular (a Cuban home used as a bed and breakfast) for an authentic Cuban experience. One of the oldest cities in the western hemisphere, Havana was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. It contains a wealth of colonial architecture, and the old city and streets around the malecon (ocean-side walkway) are best discovered on foot. It is important to note that Cuba tends to be quite different to other areas of the world you may have travelled in. Buildings and infrastructure are generally old and may not have been maintained to the highest standard. Elevators, internet and A/C often break down, things happen very slowly and water pressure and hot water can be minimal. Cuba is an amazing place to visit but to fully enjoy and relax, western expectations should be left at home and your sense of adventure should be your guide. The adventure begins tonight. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel to start your adventure. Accommodation Hostal Casa Vieja (or similar) Guesthouse Day 2 Havana Day with guided tour, 3-course lunch Havana City Walking Tour Havana 2- 3 hours Take a walking tour of Havana and find out what your guide loves best about this amazing city. See city highlights that may include La Catedral de San Cristóbal de La Habana, the Palacio de los Marqueses de Aguas Claras (which now houses a restaurant), the Museo de Arte Colonial and the Plaza de Armas, with its statue of Manuel de Céspedes (one of the leaders of the Cuban independence movement). Use this walk as a jumping off point to explore the rest of this lively city. Havana City Tour in Vintage Car 2h A fantastic way to experience most of Havana—and in style! Hop into a well-preserved car from the 1950s and cruise around, soaking in the city's atmosphere. Free Time Havana Afternoon Accommodation: Hostal Casa Vieja (or similar) Guesthouse Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch Day 3 Havana Cigar Factory tour Pinar del Rio is tobacco country. Fans of the ubiquitous Cuban cigar will be hard-pressed not to be impressed by this tour. See fields of green plants punctuated by thatch roof drying huts, then witness a demonstration of how the cured leaves are hand-rolled, cut and packaged. Prepare for the smell. The smell of tobacco is heady and headache-inducing. Buy a box to bring home to friends. Or smoke them all by yourself. Group lunch reservation at Rum Rum 1pm – (cost of meal/drinks not included & payable locally) Cocktail lesson at Jibaro Dinner at 5 Sentidos, at 8.00 pm (choice of 3-course set menu included, drinks additional cost). Enjoy dinner in a local restaurant with the group. An Evening with the Legends of Cuban Music Accommodation: Hostal Casa Vieja (or similar) Guesthouse Meals included: Breakfast | Dinner Day 4 Viñales Travel to lush Viñales. A short trip west brings us to "The Garden Province" of Pinar del Rio and to the Valley of Viñales with the town of the same name. Get your cameras ready for the lush vistas and pincushion hills around Viñales, called mogotes. Lunch at Finca Paraiso, an organic farm restaurant (sharing platters, drinks additional cost). Private Vehicle Havana – Viñales 2h30m 189km Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle. Accommodation: Homestay Leyanis y Jesus (or similar) Homestay Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch Day 5 Viñales Sunrise walk to Los Aquaticos followed by late breakfast at accommodation. Arguably one of the prettiest natural areas in Cuba, so chose what you'd like to do: hike or explore one of the prettiest areas in Cuba, or sit back, relax, and take in the view - you're in paradise! 1 Hide Optional Activities - Day 5 Hiking Viñales The countryside around Viñales is lush, fertile and punctuated with mogotes – limestone “haystack” hills. Hire a guide or head off with some friends to explore the area. Bring water and wear sturdy shoes. You may stumble upon a cave with an underwater spring. Dive in and cool off. Dinner at Leyanis y Jesus, 8pm (choice of 3-course set menu included, drinks additional cost) Accommodation Homestay Leyanis y Jesus (or similar) Homestay Meals included: Breakfast| Dinner Day 6 Trinidad Travel to Trinidad, tour the city, and opt to take a salsa dancing lesson. A trip south brings us through the beautiful Topes de Collantes region to the southern coastal city and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trinidad. We include a tour of the area to get your general bearings; the rest of the time is free to wander the cobblestone streets, shop, and experience the great music scene that has made this city famous. In Trinidad, we spend 2 nights in a Casa Particular. Utilizing local accommodation puts you closer to the Cuban people and lifestyle and often provides a higher standard of service and comfort than in a hotel. The Casas have air conditioning, hot water, en-suite and are located right in the center of Trinidad. Private VehicleViñales – Trinidad 9h 524km Enjoy the sights and sounds of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and get your bearings through a guided tour. 1 Hide Optional Activities - your guide will have many choices for you Day 7 Cienfuegos - day outing Sightseeing Transfer Vinales to Cienfuegos on the sea Dinner at Hostal Camila included, 8.00 pm (choice of 3-course set menu included, drinks additional cost) Accommodation: Hostal Camila & Los Delfines & Villa Lagarto (or similar) Relaxing journey with time for stop-offs and sight-seeing. Cienfuegos is a beautiful coastal town where you get a real Cuban vibe... Meals included: Breakfast | Dinner Day 8 Trinidad Salsa lessons day Enjoy a guided walking day in Trinidad to discover this Spanish colonial town that was founded in the 16th century and still preserves a look and feel of the past. Group lunch reservation at El Barracon – (cost of meal/drinks not included & payable locally) 2 hour salsa lesson Dinner at Hostal Lola included, 8.00 pm (choice of 3-course set menu included, drinks additional cost) Day at leisure for local exploration, locally sought excursions or a beach day and own lunch arrangements. Dinner at Hostal Lola included, 8.00 pm (choice of 3-course set menu) Accommodation: Hostal Lola Meals included: Breakfast | Dinner Day 9 Varadero Sightseeing transfer Trinidad to Varadero. Varadero, covering Cuba’s narrow Hicacos Peninsula, is a popular beach resort town. Along its 20km of Atlantic Ocean coastline is a string of all-inclusive hotel and spa complexes, and a golf course. Near the peninsula’s eastern tip is Reserva Ecológica Varahicacos, a preserve with trails and an ancient burial cave. Parque Josone is a park with a pond and gardens. Accommodation: Hotel Blau Varadero - standard rooms (superior garden view) Dinner at All Inclusive hotel Meals included: Breakfast | Dinner Day 10 Varadero on the beautiful azure sea. Day at leisure at all inclusive Hotel Blau Varadero Day for sun-bathing, relaxing, strolling, listening to music, and anything else you fancy! Your guide is always on hand for tips and help for excursions. Meals included: All inclusive Day 11. Transfer Varadero to Havana Airport with no guide Hasta la vista Cuba! We are using a top travel company Captivating Cuba, who organised the last few Cuban trips again to run this as they are ABTA and ATOL bonded and very experienced in Cuba. GBP 1,[masked] per person £ 285 Single occupancy Any more questions, please email Gemma [masked] from Captivating Cuba Gemma Thurgood or Tina [masked] or [masked]

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