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Kayaking in Cuba

Cuba Kayaking West Tour

Example 8 Day Tour
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The world’s fascination with Cuba has lasted for many generations, and for good reason. Cuba is a cultural hub, with a mix of descendants of indigenous people, European immigrants, and slaves. The country's music and art draw from these diverse influences. Cuba has also exerted an influence on world history. Join this unique land-and-sea trip that balances experiences in the country’s cultural centers with explorations of wild coastal sites. Receive an introduction to the main attractions of Cuba, meet the friendly and always interesting residents, and gain a rich and rewarding understanding of this multifaceted country. It’s a fascinating time to be here, when Cuba is on the cusp of undergoing significant and rapid change.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Havana
Day 2 : Boca de Guama | Bay of Pigs | Playa Larga
Day 3 : Zapata National Park
Day 4 : Playa Giron | Trinidad
Day 5 : Trinidad
Day 6 : Guanaroca Nature Reserve | Cienfuegos
Day 7 : Ernest Hemingway Museum | Havana
Day 8 : Return Home

Highlights

  • See colonial Trinidad, vibrant Havana & Cienfuegos, a UNESCO Heritage Site
  • Visit the Bay of Pigs where exiles tried to overthrow the government
  • Kayak, snorkel, and walk throughout different regions of Cuba
  • Experience rich culture from unique architecture to superb Cuban cuisine

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Group

Activity Level

Easy Active

Trip Snapshots

Kayaking in Cuba Iconic vintage car on a street in Havana Mountains of Trinidad, Cuba Bay of Pigs, Cuba Kayaking Varadero beach Church in Trinidad, Cuba The Capitol in Havana Havana Plaza de la Catedral

Day 1 Havana

Your introduction to Cuba is in one of the most popular destinations in the country - Havana! This beautiful city is known for its friendly people and picturesque places. Your morning is spent exploring the city by foot with your guide. This walking tour takes you to old Havana, where you can learn further history and interesting facts about this intriguing city. Enjoy lunch and dinner today at two of Havana's finest private restaurants called "paladares". Both meals include delicious, authentic Cuban cuisine. Afterwards, head back to your hotel to rest or experience Havana's nightlife on your own in a city where live music is plentiful!
 

Day 2 Boca de Guama | Bay of Pigs | Playa Larga

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today visit a crocodile breeding facility where you can learn about this animal and even sample some crocodile meat! Boca de Guama houses both Cuban and American crocodiles. This breeding facility was named after a Taino chief and is actually considered a historic site.

After your exciting wildlife adventure drive to the nearby town of Palpite. Visit the community art school to meet the students, as well as watch a dance or music performance. Enjoy a picnic lunch in Palpite before continuing to the small village of Playa Larga. There is a little time to stroll along the beach before your first kayaking excursion of the trip! Paddle through the Bay of Pigs as your guide shares stories and the history of this area. The exciting two hours seems short, and before you know it, it is time to return to the beach for dinner.

Stay in a Casa Particular (local bed & breakfast accommodations) in Playa Larga tonight.

Day 3 Zapata National Park

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Zapata National Park offers a rare opportunity to observe exotic wildlife, such as flamingos and a variety of birds, in their natural habitat. On this tour learn a lot about the surrounding tropical ecosystem, as well as kayak across the Zapata peninsula. You also have the chance to snorkel and relax during a lunch stop on a small island. Return to Playa Larga by late afternoon where you have the opportunity to meet with the director of Zapata National Park to learn more about the park's mission and programs. The day concludes with a private dinner for your group. 

Day 4 Playa Giron | Trinidad

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Playa Giron is a beautiful town of white, sandy beaches. Your first stop of the day is a prime snorkeling location where you can get an up-close look at the diverse species of colorful marine life. Learn more about the Caribbean Sea and how Cuba has the healthiest reefs in this region. The local Bay of Pigs Museum features artifacts that help paint a picture of historic events, such as the Cold War and the Bay of Pigs invasion. After lunch in a local paladar, your group takes a trip to one of the largest botanical gardens in Cuba! Jardin Botanico Cienfuegos features over 2,000 plant varieties that are known for their beauty, as well as medicinal use. Your knowledgeable guide tells you all about plant origins and the history involved. An hour drive takes you to the town of Trinidad where your day concludes with dinner. Enjoy staying overnight at a private home. 

Day 5 Trinidad

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Trinidad is the third oldest city in Cuba, and its beautiful colonial architecture will have you in awe! The town itself, which is a UNESCO Heritage Site, is a work of art that you get to experience firsthand. Start the day with a morning kayak adventure on a nearby river where Hernan Cortez landed 500 years ago. Paddling along the tree-lined river, you are rewarded with a sweeping view of the city perched above.

Return to town after this refreshing excursion. There are so many things to do in Trinidad, so this day includes a walking tour to give you an overview. Your guide explains the culture, architecture, history, and fine art along the way. Later in the day a well-known photographer, Julio Munoz, hosts you in his home to share his fascinating personal story and discuss life in Cuba today. Enjoy another festive dinner at a paladar followed by music at the outdoor venue on the city's steps, Casa de la Musica!

Day 6 Guanaroca Nature Reserve | Cienfuegos

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start your day with a visit to Guanaroca Nature Reserve, home to thousands of wildlife species. Learn about different animals and get to observe wildlife in their natural habitat from your kayak. This refuge for wildlife is near the Bay of Cienfuegos where your group spends a relaxing afternoon kayaking. A fresh seafood lunch awaits you after the fun-filled excursion. The remainder of the afternoon takes you to the "Pearl of the South", the city of Cienfuegos. This city is known for Creole architecture and French flair due to French settlements here in the 1800s. Take a walking tour of this fascinating city where you get to socialize with residents, visit the local theater, and see examples of the Creole architecture. Stroll the Prado, a wide boulevard full of pedestrians, and enjoy dinner together in Cienfuegos.

Day 7 Ernest Hemingway Museum | Havana

Drive back to Havana this morning for your last full day of activites. Along the way, make a stop at Ernest Hemingway's home of 20 years where he wrote many of his novels. The Finca Vigia is an on-site museum honoring this famous author. The old home is filled with interesting artifacts and tells some of Hemingway's story. You also get to visit Cojimar, the fishing hamlet where Hemingway kept his boat.

Continue into Havana for a visit to Mercado San Jose, the perfect place to find a souvenir. Classic cars from the 1940s drive you to the Plaza de la Revolucion, as well as a few other sites! Enjoy your farewell dinner at an authentic local restaurant and soak in your last evening in Cuba!

Day 8 Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Return home or continue independent travels.

Casa Particular

Havana

Per person starting at
$3,590

Notes

Select a Date
Rates based on group of 4 in double occupancy.

Included

  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
    • 2 Nights Hotel
    • 5 Nights Community Stay
  • 8 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are included.
  • Gear Rental
    • Kayaking equipment provided

Excluded

  • International Flights
  • Airport Departure Tax
    • $25 CUC payable in cash
  • Visa fee
    • Ranges from US$25-100 depending on where purchased

Budgeting

  • $100 Meals not Included
  • $200 Guide gratuities
    • US$175- $200 recommended per person for your guide team
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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