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The Ultimate Cuban Kayak Adventure - Trip 2

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  • Cuba Kayak Adventures

    Santa Clara, Cuba, Santa Clara (map)

    22.424398 -79.941658

  • Price: $300.00 /per person

    Refund policy

  • The Ultimate Cuban Kayak Adventure - Trip 1

    Chesapeake Kayak Adventures is pleased to be working with Jay and Peter from Cuba Kayak Adventures on this utterly fantastic once in a lifetime opportunity for our members.

    Please note the total cost of this trip is $[masked] and does not include airfare.  $300 is just the NON-REFUNDABLE deposit you must pay when you RSVP yes.The balance of $2549 is due no later than 90 days before your departure date

    There will actually be two trips.  THIS POSTING is for Trip 2 from March 3, 2017 to March 10, 2017

    Trip 2 will be from February 23. 2017 to March 3, 2017 under a different posting

    There is room for 12 people on each trip.  While most everyone will be in an individual kayak there will be one tandem and everyone will have to take one day in the tandem.

    I have had feedback from a number of people who have actually done the trip and all say it is fantastic.

    Here's chance for you to paddle in Cuba with people you know and enjoy paddling with.


    One of the most important goals is to have all our everyone's flights arriving and departing around the same time.  Before booking your flights for our trips please let us help guide you into the right flight choice based on our tour schedule and other party’s flights.  As you can imagine, this can get very complicated.  It is our goal to make this as smooth as possible and to use our bus as the main shuttle to and from the airport.

    DAY 1 – Cienfuegos City “The Pearl of the South”

    Arrival at the airport. Head through customs, collect your bags and head in to the sunshine.  You will be welcomed at the airport lobby by your bilingual Cuban guide and professional bus driver. This is the perfect time to exchange your money into the local Cuban currency (C.U.C.).  We recommend exchanging enough money to have $200 - $250 C.U.C. on you for the duration of the trip.  This will come in handy for buying extra drinks, souvenirs, and tipping. Enjoy the comfort of our air-conditioned coach bus while taking in the scenery on route to our first location.  Lunch on the first day is the only meal not included in your trip cost.  If your flight arrives in time for lunch, we will arrange a great meal at a private restaurant.

    With our bellies full we are off to the city of Cienfuegos, also known as La Perla del Sur.  It has very unique architecture as it was heavily influenced by French settlers.  Take in a city tour and then check into our casa particulars (private homes converted into a cultural overnight experiences).  Dinner will be at the Cienfuegos yacht club right on the bay.  Free time in the evening to walk the sea side malecon or just relax. 

    ACCOMMODATION:  Private houses 

    DAY 2 – Cienfuegos Bay 

    After a breakfast we will load up our personal gear on our bus and dress ready for a half day of paddling on Cienfuegos bay.  Our home base is just a couple minutes’ walk away at Marlin marina.  Here we will get you set up with your kayak and paddling gear.  We will launch from this site and paddle due south towards the mouth of the bay.  As we leave the Cienfuegos city behind you will notice to the east the beautiful Escambray Mountains making the perfect backdrop for our paddle.  Near the mouth of the bay we will paddle along side a typical fishing village and set-up on the banks is the site of an old Spanish fort called Jagua Castle where we will dock and walk up to this beautifully restored Fort for an interpretive tour.  The fort location was very important to the Spanish because Cienfuegos Bay was a popular area for pirates and buccaneers.  Great views so don’t forget your camera.  After the tour we will paddle east towards the mountains making a stop at the last private property / restaurant on the south side of the bay.  Personally we believe that this restaurant, Rancho Crystal, boasts the best food on the south shore.  With its beautiful views, exceptional service and delicious food, it makes for the perfect lunch location.  Oh yeah, don’t forget to ask for one of their perfect pina-coladas.  Just tell them that kayak Jay recommended it!  After lunch a very short paddle further east reveals the abandoned Russian / Cuban marine base.  This was the place where the Russian nuclear submarine sat in the late 80’s.  Our route circles back past an island that once housed the who’s who of the Russian marine command.  It’s then back to the private restaurant where the bus and trailer awaits our arrival.  Once loaded up we travel just 5 mins. to the hotel Pasacaballos.  Check in and enjoy the amazing views from the top floors giving you a perfect panorama view of where we paddled during our day of adventure.  Can anyone spot the abandon nuclear centre on the horizon?  Your tour guide will share its story with you over a beautiful meal in the hotels V.I.P. guest’s dinner room.  Sleep well because tomorrow we are off towards the largest park lands Reserve area in all of the Caribbean. 

    ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Islazul Pasacaballos

    DAY 3 - Guamá

    After a buffet style breakfast, we hop on our plush bus and travel approx. 2 hours due west to an amazing snorkeling area on the “Bay of Pigs”.  Swim and dive amongst a rich diversity of fish and beautiful coral surrounded by aquamarine waters. After your snorkel we will stop for lunch at a private restaurant in Playa Larga, amazing food with an authentic taste of real Cuban living.

    Just 20 minutes down the road is our next exciting location, La Boca de Guamá. The Guamá Islands in the treasure Lagoon were once the site of a Taíno Aboriginal settlement. Here, we will stay in traditional native style cabins with thatched roofs raised on stilts above the water.  A 2.5 hour paddle through a very calm protected mangrove channel and across an inland lake will take us to this magical place for the night.  There are no roads in to this amazing place, only accessed by water. These rustic thatched huts are equipped with a private bathroom, satellite T.V. and a circular balcony with a lake view. Explore the numerous islands via bridges and board walks or feel free to paddle around the lagoons numerous back channels.  Dinner will be served at one of the most famous wilderness restaurants in Cuba.  Check out a 1 C.U.C. coin in your pocket!   Enjoy nature at its finest!

    ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Horizontes Villa Guamá

    DAY 4 - Guamá / Hanabanilla Lake

    After breakfast the group can enjoy some free time paddling kayaks through the mangroves and around the islands…a birder’s paradise. Then we are on our way by kayak across the Treasure Lagoon and through a water channel in the jungle back to La Boca de Guamá. This winding maze of peaceful waterways will help the group with paddling skills and will build up confidence for the amazing week to come.  Lunch will be waiting for us at La Boca de Guamá Restaurant, another treat!  Take a short walk to visit the Breeding Center of Crocodiles on site.  After lunch we will depart to Hotel Hanabanilla on Hanabanilla Lake in the middle of the majestic Escambray Mountains.  After checking in, hit the pool with a million-dollar view of the mountains, truly spectacular.  For dinner we will take a short hike from the hotel to a private restaurant for some great food and drinks Cuban style.  

    ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Hanabanilla. 

    DAY 5 – Hanabanilla Lake / Rio Negro

    After breakfast we depart from a launch very close to Hotel Hanabanilla.  Here we have the opportunity to explore the beautiful and only intra-mountainous lake in the country. The three river outlets are Río Negro, Hanabanilla and Guanayara rivers. It is 364 meters above sea level and has an approximate surface area of 15 square kilometers. We have the privilege of being the only kayak company that is out exploring this truly majestic place! We will enjoy the lake's wonderful view as we paddle south across the lake that has steep mountains rising up from the shore line. Half way down the lake we stop at one of Cuba’s most isolated unique restaurants: Río Negro. This is a place right out of a story book and what a better place to camp out under the stars.  That’s right, we will spend the night here and camp in comfort and style thanks to the great staff from Hotel Hanabanilla who help make this happen.  This isn’t real camping. More like Glamping!  Foam mattresses and fresh linen are provided for our overnight.  We also have our own private chef and bartender for the night.  After a great lunch at Rio Negro we paddle another 45mins to a hidden oasis filled with steep rock faces, waterfalls and crystal clear nature pools where we will disembark for a refreshing swim.  Yes, you have found paradise!  After a short paddle back to Rio Negro we cap the day off with a short 20 min hike up to a bird’s eye view of tomorrows paddling route down the mountain lake. This vista offers a spectacular panoramic picture of what’s is store.  During our dinner you will all be wondering if you are actually dreaming because a setting like this seems only possible in a dream.  Your guide will be happy to pinch you to reassure you that this moment is real! There is a Cuban saying that sums up this perfect moment in just one word, “APULULU!!” Enjoy your sleep under the thatched roofs of Rio Negro where the sounds of the jungle will lull you to sleep and the sweet songs of birds of paradise will wake you up.  The beautiful and rare Cuban national bird the “Tocororo” can be spotted and heard around this site early morning.  Not to worry, nary a biting bug to be found around this site at night.  Thank goodness. 

    ACCOMMODATION: Camping Río Negro 

    DAY 6 – Rio Negro / Guanayara Park

    Nice to wake up and realize that you weren’t dreaming, and that you are still in paradise!  After breakfast we will continue by kayak to the south, making our way along the beautiful jungle shoreline.  Jibacoa Dam is the south dam on Hanabanilla Lake and the take out point. Here we will board a mountain truck which will drive us up stream alongside the Río Guanayara to Casa de La Gallega Restaurant for a delicious lunch in Guanayara Park, inserted in the Guamuahaya Mountain Range.  How did you like your free 4 by 4 mountain truck massage?  Who says you don’t get anything for free anymore? You’re welcome! J

    After lunch, with our bellies full and our spirits high we take in a breathtaking view overlooking the Ocean and Trinidad and then wind down the mountain in our 4 by 4 towards Trinidad to meet up with our bus by the main highway.  Its then off to the secluded cabins of Villa Guajimico perched on ancient coral over- looking the ocean. Guajimico is in a word...Nature! This little piece of paradise is located in the central south coast with an inlet, full of vegetation, attractive forests, caves and small hidden beaches. You will fall in love with this Gem of a location.  Just below the massive ancient coral cliffs lies the most beautiful turquoise water, teaming with aquatic life.  Enjoy dinner overlooking the ocean and bring your camera to capture the sunset right from the pool deck. 

    ACCOMMADATION: Villa Guajimico

    DAY 7 – Guajimico

    After breakfast a short paddle on the Caribbean Sea to an isolated beach with rock cliffs on both sides. Enjoy a little beach time and snorkeling in the coral reef.  If time permits, we will travel a little further west to another pristine cove surrounds by massive cliffs. These hidden, spectacular beach cuts served as shelter and a place for pirates to stash their loot. It’s then back to Guajimico for lunch over looking the turquoise water and limestone coral cliffs.

    After lunch you have a full afternoon of relaxing or adventure. Guajimico has amazing scuba diving and/or snorkeling right in front of the resort.  The salt water pool is also a favorite of guests and has one of the best views going from the top of the bluffs. Your guide would also be more than happy to show you a hidden cave system that is simply breathtaking.  Be sure to pack a good headlight or flashlight. For the paddle nuts there is the chance of a short paddle on the Caribbean Sea to enjoy the sunset from their kayaks.  Dinner is served at the villa and free time in the evening for song and dance or pure relaxation. 

    ACCOMMDATION: Villa Guajimico

     DAY 8 - International Airport and HomeAfter breakfast, enjoy free time until you head to the Airport via a private shuttle.  Have a safe flight home and we hope to see you again on another Cuba Kayak Adventure.  

    ACCOMMODATION: Your own bed! 

    Not Included:

    - Lunch on the arrival day                                - Cuban Tourist Card (provided by most airlines)              

    - Airfare                                                                - TIPPING                                          

    - Cuban Tourist Card or OFAC paperwork   - Personal incidentals                                                

    - 8 Days health insurance valid in Cuba  - Activities outside the above program

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  • kim

    Wow! This looks like a great trip, and I would definitely love to do it, Chuck. What level of skills are needed for the trip? Is it suitable for beginners?

    September 7

    • Chuck

      Hey Kim - I'm quite certain you can handle it. You need to be able to paddle an average of about 10 miles every day for a week but no special or advanced skills are required.

      September 7

  • Arlene

    Muy impresionante! My mediocre paddling skills seem like they might be good enough. What say you? Worth considering.

    May 26

    • A former member
      A former member

      What if I would like to stay few days longer to see the city, is it an option?

      July 20

    • Chuck

      Hey Irina - That was sort of my original plan but with only charter flights available it was looking very difficult to accomplish. Then a couple weeks ago it was announced that 8 airlines would be allowed to conduct regular flights to Havana. I'm still waiting for the dust to settle but it appears that it will be a lot easier. The added bonus is that flights are getting really cheap. Maybe only $300???

      July 20

  • FRAN K.

    What paddling skills are needed and how many miles a day would you paddle....

    1 · May 27

  • Cheryl

    Wow, wow, wow!

    May 26

  • Greg H.

    I'm impressed Chuck! This would be an awesome trip, if only I could go.

    May 26

    • Chuck

      I guess I seriously doubt it but things may change by February of next year. It would be a blast to have you and Luci along.

      May 26

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Your organizer's refund policy for The Ultimate Cuban Kayak Adventure - Trip 2

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled

Additional notes: The $300.00 deposit is NON-REFUNDABLE unless this event is canceled by the organizer. The total price of this trip is $2899.00 not including airfare to Cuba. The balance of $2599 is due 90 days prior to your departure date.

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

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