Cuba

Tailor-Made Tours

Introduction

Cuba is the home of hot rumba rhythm, cool mojitos and Havana cigars, of flashy old American cars, cobblestone streets and charming Baroque architecture. It is also a country of deserted white sand beaches and coral cays, forested mountains and lush, expansive wetlands. And above all Cuba is a land of friendly, generous and high-spirited people.

 

Highlights include;

Havana
Trinidad
Santa Clara
Vinales

Cuba Map

HIGHLIGHTS

OVERVIEW:
great-theatre-havana-cuba

Built around a deep natural harbour, Cuba’s capital is one of the best surviving colonial cities in the Americas. Modern day Havana is a mixture of restored and crumbling architectural marvels. Art-deco style buildings provide a backdrop for cruising 50s’ American Cadillacs.
The old district (Habana Vieja) has beautiful neoclassical and Baroque buildings.

OVERVIEW:
trinidad-cuba

Little changed over past centuries, Trinidad is reminiscent of the Spanish colonial era with Baroque church towers, wrought iron gates, cobbled streets and tiled rooftops. Many of the buildings retain their traditional character and are painted in lovely pastel shades. The surrounding countryside was one of the main areas of sugar plantation and slavery, and was frequented by smugglers until the late 1700s.

OVERVIEW:
santiago-de-cuba

Known as the ‘birthplace of the revolution’, Santiago offers a number of imposing monuments marking events in the city’s 500 year history. Overlooking the Caribbean, attractions include ‘El Morro’ castle, a 17th century Spanish fortress. Santiago’s inhabitants are a mix of Caribbean, Haitian and Spanish backgrounds, resulting in a strong music and dance culture.

OVERVIEW:
cienfuegos-cuba

The towns of Ciefuegos and Santa Clara have a very strong link with the Cuban revolution.  Cienfuegos has a beautiful and well maintained town square.  Santa Clara though less beautiful than Cienfuegos was the site of the last battle in the Cuban Revolution in December 1958. There were two guerrilla columns that attacked the city, one led by Che Guevara and the other led by Camilo Cienfuegos. Guevara’s column first captured the garrison at Fomento. Then, using a bulldozer, Guevara’s soldiers destroyed railroad tracks and derailed a train full of troops and supplies sent by Batista. At the same time, Cienfuegos’s column defeated an army garrison at the Battle of Yaguajay not far from town. On December 31, 1958, the combined forces of Guevara and Cienfuegos attacked Santa Clara. The battle was chaotic, the defenders were demoralized, many surrendered without a shot. By the afternoon, the city was captured. This victory for Castro’s troops was a decisive moment in the Cuban Revolution, Batista fled Cuba less than 12 hours later.

Santa Clara has a museum on the site of the last battle, the bulldozer and some of the train carriages are still there.  Close by there is a statue of Che Guevara who is revered by most Cubans.

EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES

Casa de la Trova

‘Trova’ is one of the great roots of the Cuban music tree, a coming together of music and ballad singing that draws from Spanish and African traditions. In the 19th century a group of itinerant musicians known as ‘trovadores’ (as in ‘troubadors’) moved around Oriente, earning their living by singing and playing the guitar. Today the audiences are a mix of local people and tourists and, in the midst of the informality, it’s not uncommon for people to get up and dance. One of the most famous ‘casas’ is in Santiago de Cuba, on Calle Heredia, while Camaguey is also well known for this music.

Topes de Collantes

Situated in the hills just behind Trinidad is a beautiful National Park, Parque National Tope de Collantes.  The highest peak is 1,140 metres, the surrounding lush forest is typically much cooler than Trinidad.  There are several options for discovering the park; we suggest a half day trip that would include a forest walk on well defined, but occasionally steep, trail which passes by several waterfalls and crystal clear pools.  Transportation may well be a soviet built jeep, reflection of a time gone by. The flora and bird life are beautiful with chance of seeing Cuba’s national flower and national bird the Cuban Trogon (those with a keen eye will also see a Cuban Tody a small green kingfisher).  The trail can be combined with a visit to a neraby coffee plantation

A SELECTION OF ACCOMMODATION

First Class

Parque Central

Havana, Cuba

High quality with an excellent room standard, a full range of facilities and first-rate service; may be a new property or regularly refurbished with attention to ongoing maintenance.

Homestay

Vivian’s Homestay 

Trinidad, Cuba

Privately-owned family houses where you are a guest of the family.  A small number of rooms and highly personalised services.
Homestays have become very popular – in part as they were a good way for Cuban families to create a business being one of the few government authorised businesses.
They are also a great way to meet Cubans.

Colonial /First Class

Iberostar Grand Hotel

Trinidad, Cuba

High quality with an excellent room standard, a full range of facilities and first-rate service; a regularly refurbished hotel with attention to ongoing maintenance.

Tourist-superior and tourist class accommodation is also available. For more information on the accommodation we offer, call 1300 784 794 or email contact@satc.com.au.

SAMPLE ITINERARIES

Planning Your Trip

The Booking Process

PLEASE book early (8-12 months in advance): Cuba is currently experiencing significant interest, with demand outstripping supply (of quality hotels, good guides and vehicles) as people rush to see the ‘old’ Cuba.  There are several things to consider when travelling to Cuba; one is that Cuba is still a Communist country and after many years of trade restrictions – particularly since the fall of the Soviet Union – Cuba has done it tough. A more optimistic factor is that Raul Castro, Fidel’s younger brother (at 84 years old), has allowed many more non-government-run businesses to start up, many of them related to tourism.

South America Travel Centre can look after all aspects of your holiday, including flights and travel insurance.

We start by asking you what your interests are and where you are interested in, when, for how long, what standard and style of accommodation. Once we have a good understanding of just what you’re looking for, we can begin to create a holiday to meet your time and budget requirements.

If you’re thinking of travelling during any major holidays like Christmas, New Year and Easter, or during any festivals, our advice is simply to book as early as you can, even 12 months or more, and we can add flights as soon as they become available.

Visa and Health Information

Australian citizens require a visa (Tourist Card) to enter Cuba – we will help you obtain this card (prior to departure). You will need to hold a valid passport and have a return ticket when you arrive.

Vaccination
Vaccinations are advised for common diseases like Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid as well as Influenza. There are no compulsory vaccinations.

 

We advise you to consult a Travel Doctor specialist prior to departure to assess any health risks in relation to your medical history and travel plans.

Flight Information

We have access to a wide range of airfares and have excellent relationships with our key airline partners. Our two main airline partners in Latin America are LATAM Airlines, QANTAS Airlines and Air New Zealand. We can also arrange internal flights for you within Latin America.

Irrespective of whether you book directly with us or with your preferred travel agent, we’ll request the details of all of your fights to ensure if there are any changes your transfers and other arrangements are adjusted accordingly.

The Best Time to Go

The rainy summer season is from May to October, with the drier part of the year from November to April – although seasonal variation is not great and moderating sea breezes reach most of Cuba’s regions.

Hurricane season is at its peak September to October.

Inspiration

  • There’s one destination on everybody’s hot list this year: Cuba. it’s the home of classic cars, glamorous cabaret shows, the world’s best cigars and rum cocktails galore. Kristie Kellahan follows the siren call....

  • As you’ll probably have noticed, Cuba has been in the news quite a lot lately, mainly because the US and its close neighbour are very slowly beginning to ‘normalise’ their relationship after more than 50 years of imposed isolation and punitive embargoes....

Client Reviews

We will tailor the perfect holiday to suit your needs.
We will tailor the perfect holiday to suit your needs.