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Havana/Vinales – 5 Days

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Just a few hours driving from Havana, Viñales Valley is a unique landscape dotted with gigantic “mogotes” (karst formations) surrounding a lovely valley with rich, red earth and majestic palm trees. This is one of Cuba’s most fertile areas and where some of the world’s best tobacco is grown, harvested, dried and processed. 

The tobacco plant reaches its full height between November and February. Once the harvest is over, other crops are planted such as malanga, yucca, corn etc until October. 

A visit to the “Casa del Veguero” (the Tobacco Farmer’s House), surrounded by tobacco plantations, provides a mini-education on the subject.

In 1999, the Viñales Valley was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. A voyage through this beautifully verdant land which has preserved traditional (country) life shows you why.

A 120-meter tall replica of prehistoric paintings on a “mogote” and a boat trip on a river through a cave are fun and educational: they explain the evolution of life in the Sierra de Los Órganos (mountain range) where the valley is located. There is an awe-inspiring panoramic view from the viewpoint close to Hotel Los Jazmines.

Rate Includes

  • Visitor’s Visa
  • Lodging (including breakfast)
  • Air Conditioned Transportation
  • Guided City Tours, entrance fees to activities and interaction with private entrepreneurs
  • Welcome Lunch & orientation
  • Cabaret Parisien Dinner & Show
    **TIPS for services not included**

Additional Services

  • Airfare – We can assist you with your flight reservations.

PAYMENT & CANCELLATION POLICY

  • 20% non-refundable deposit to book tour
  • Balance is due 35 days prior to arrival date (flexible payment plan available)
  • No refunds will be issued within 35 days prior to arrival.
  • Travel Insurance is available through https://alphatravelassist.com/A1
Itinerary

Day 1Welcome to Havana!

Pick up at Jose Marti Airport

Meet Letty’s Cuba Tour Leader, Cuban guide, and driver, who would guide you throughout your visit.

Panoramic view of Plaza de la Revolucion, Bosque de la Habana, Vedado, Malecon.

Walking tour at Parque Central (take the opportunity to interact with locals), Capitolio (experts considers it one of the six palaces of major world relevance), Gran Teatro de la Habana (Alicia Alonso), a place for significant concerts and ballets. Continue along Paseo Prado, visit with street artist and musicians. Interact with property traders. Then continue towards the Habana Malecon to San Salvador de la Punta Castle.

Welcome Lunch at La Moneda Cubana “Paladar” (included)

Museum of Rum – learn all the steps in the manufacture of the original Cuban rum.

Check-in for lodging.

Panoramic tour around Morro and Cabaña in the early evening and then attend the Cannon Fire Ceremony at the Fort 9:00 pm – be there at 8:00 pm (included)

Drop off at lodging or place of your choice.

Day 2 Old Havana City Tour - The Four Plazas (History, Architecture, Art, and Music)

Start at Plaza de San Francisco de Asis. Immediately inland of Havana harbor, Plaza de San Francisco (on Avenida del Puerto at Amargura) is one of the four leading plazas laid out in the 17th century. The spacious cobbled square, which was fully restored in the 1990s, takes its current name from the Franciscan convent built there. One of the plaza’s architecture beauty is the domed Lonja del Comercio Building, and the boutique hotel Palacio del Marques de San Felipe y Santiago de Bejucal.

Continue to Plaza Vieja. In the 1980s, when Old Havana was listed by UNESCO as a Cultural Heritage site, architects and restorers began to work to save the Plaza Vieja. The 16th-century Plaza Vieja has always been a residential rather than a military, religious or administrative space, and is surrounded by elegant colonial residences, combined with a few very striking early 20th-century art nouveau buildings. Restoration is gradually re-establishing Plaza Vieja’s original atmosphere; the Carrara showpiece fountain at the center of the square is a replica of the original 18th-century one by Italian sculptor Giorgio Massari that was destroyed by the construction of the car park; and many of the 18th-century residences around the square are now restored with housing on the top floors and commercial establishments, including several small museums and art/photo galleries, on the ground floor.

Lunch at Casa De la Cerveza or Casa Eutemia (not included)

Next is Plaza La Catedral. The last of the main squares to be created, this is one of Old Havana’s most beautiful spots. After the plaza was paved in colonial times, wealthy families moved into the area and began building their mansions there. It finally became Plaza de la Catedral after the old Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús was consecrated as a cathedral. Today the plaza is the home of art galleries, museums, and restaurants.

Stop by La Bodeguita del Medio (one of Hemingway’s favorite).

Last, walk Plaza de Armas to Obispo Blvd, a lively place where tourists and locals enjoy music, dance and shopping. Stop at La Lluvia de Oro and visit with musician Jorge Vigo Duarte and his Havana Souls band. Suggest eating dinner at Sevillas in Obispo (not included). Back to lodging.

Day 3Trip to Vinales

The Viñales valley is encircled by mountains and its landscape is interspersed with dramatic rocky outcrops called Mogotes.

Traditional techniques are still in use for agricultural production, particularly of tobacco. Attractions in Viñales include visits to tobacco farms, caves, hiking and the spectacular lookout site.

Drive 2 hours to this country side community, where the scenery of beautiful stand-alone rock formations will take your breath away. Stop at the look-out point.

Lunch at a local Restaurant (included)

Visit the Indian Cave (included) and take a short boat ride

Visit a privately owned tobacco farm

Drive by Mural de la Pre-historia

Return to accommodation – free night to rest or explore on your own

Day 4The Hemingway Experience / Arts & Crafts

Take a drive to San Francisco de Paula for a tour of Finca Vigia, Hemingway’s country home in the 1940’s and where he wrote some of his famous work including “The Old Man and the Sea.”

Visit the fishing town of Cojimar, the idyllic location where his famous novel “The Old Man and the Sea” takes place.

Lunch at El Ajiaco Paladar (not included)

Back to Hemingway’s city experience at Obispo Blvd. Start your walk to Hotel Ambos Mundos, his first home in the 1930’s and where he wrote part of As the Bell Tolls. Pass various lively bars and shops to one of Hemingway’s favorite hangouts “El Floridita,” and take a photo with his bronze, life-size statue by the bar. Don’t miss the tasty “Daiquiri!”

Visit Almacenes San Jose Fair for art, crafts and souvenirs.

Return to accommodation to freshen up and get ready for showtime.

Relax at iconic Hotel Nacional’s terrace. Don’t miss the Hall of Fame Bar!!

It is Showtime! Enjoy the Cabaret Parisien’s dinner and show at Hotel Nacional (included). Be at the door by 9:30 pm. Take taxi back to lodging.

Day 5Bye, Bye Cuba!

Transfer to Jose Marti airport. (Be there 2 and ½ hours prior to your flight time).

The itinerary is subject to change.

Vinales Tour Pictures