Open Roads & Colonial Retreats

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Dates & Prices
  • Accommodation

Explore some of Cuba’s most fascinating beaches and cities with a fly and drive package across the country. Kick-off in Havana, exploring the capital’s most exciting attractions – on to Playa Larga in the Zapata Peninsula, to Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Varadero.

£1399 £999

from / per person

Save £400*

Self-Drive Holidays

Excludes international flights

Save £400 if you book before 31st June!
Travel Period: 25/08/2018 - 31/10/2018
  • Havana + Cienfuegos + Trinidad + Varadero
  • 11 nights
  • Price based on 11 nights, 2 people sharing. Quotation includes accommodation, car-hire, transfers, and representation services.

Speak to someone who's been there

LOCAL REPS AT YOUR SERVICE

LOCAL REPS AT YOUR SERVICE

With our own on-the-ground team in Cuba, you'll benefit from the support and advice of highly-trained, friendly, English-speaking reps. Based in Havana, Varadero, Viñales and Trinidad, our Cuba Direct reps will ensure that your holiday runs smoothly from beginning to end, giving you peace of mind.

Days 1-4: Havana

Arrival in Havana

If you'd like to arrange your flights, please get in touch. We can get you good prices and convenient upgrades in a choice of airlines including Virgin Atlantic, Air Europa, Air France, KLM flying from most airports in the UK.

Our Reps will Welcome You

A Cuba Direct representative will welcome you at the Airport, extend an invitation to a Welcome Briefing Meeting, and escort you to your transfer to the hotel. They will be your first point of contact in Cuba, provide you with an emergency number, assist you in booking excursions and day trips, and help you with valuable local information. We recommend not collecting your rental car from the airport to avoid over-charging. Furthermore, we suggest starting the self-drive portion of your holiday once you leave Havana. It's easier and cheaper to move around the capital by taxi. Speak to us for more details.

Private Transfer to Havana

You will transfer to your accommodation in a modern, air-conditioned car. Enjoy your first glimpses of the city and take in its electric atmosphere!

Stay in Havana

Few cities in The Americas or the Caribbean boast the life and soul of the sultry showgirl that is Havana. To know Havana is to love her – her buzzing street corners, where the bored and the busy-with-gossip congregate; her gorgeous colonial cityscape, her virtuoso musicians and dancers; her antiquated classic cars and her Socialist slogans. Havana is at its busiest with tourism and private enterprise since 1959, with a new restaurant, shop, art project or hip private villa opening every week. There’s never been a better time to join the party! Unless you instruct us to do otherwise, you won't be needing a car-hire just yet. Enjoy the city's vibrant atmosphere, you'll get on the road soon enough!

Pick-Up Your Hire Car

After the first few days exploring Havana, it's time to hit the road and discover some of the most beautiful, off-the-beaten-track towns in Cuba - at your own pace. Collect your car from its designated pick-up location, which will be conveniently close to where you'll be staying.

Days 4-5: Playa Larga, Bay of Pigs

Drive from Havana to Bay of Pigs

Next step on your adventure: driving from Havana to Playa Larga, Bay of Pigs. This is an easy drive along the motorway with lots of potential interesting stops along the way. Ask your Cuba Direct travel consultant for good places to stop on your way to the Bay of Pigs.

Explore Playa Larga

Your next stop will be in enchanting Playa Larga. One of two beaches invaded by US-backed exiles in 1961, Playa Larga is a fisherman and diver's paradise. The other beach, Playa Giron, is only 40-minutes away. Here, you'll be able to learn all about the invasion of Bay of Pigs, visiting a local museum which is specifically dedicated to the conflict. Like Playa Giron, Guama is also a short distance away - and is certainly worth a visit. On arrival, cross The Laguna del Tesero (Treasure Lagoon) by boat, and make your way to Taino village - a staged recreation of an ancient indigenous village showing how the original inhabitants used to live. On your way back to Playa Larga, you could also stop off at the Cueva de los Peces (Cave of the Fish) for a quick dip amongst colourful schools of tropical fish.

Days 5-6: Cienfuegos

Drive to Cienfuegos City

Cienfuegos is not far from the Bay of Pigs with two routes to choose from. One is more scenic, taking you along the Cuba's southern coast. The other offers the chance to see the ruins of the Juragua Power Plant, a Soviet-era nuclear power plant. Though never finished it generated quite a stir in the West at the time of its construction.

A Night in Cienfuegos

With its sweeping bay, the charming colonial port city of Cienfuegos was established in 1819 and was the principal French enclave in Cuba for quite some time. Spacious Francophile streets offer an alternative to the small-scale chaos of other Cuban provincial capitals, and the tranquil town retains an unsullied, old-fashioned air, with horse-drawn carriages still the main mode of transport. Cienfuegos is made for wandering and absorbing everyday provincial life. The Paseo del Prado, the longest street in Cuba, is all about people-watching. Parque José Martí, the main square, is for catching up on Wi-Fi, admiring the beautiful Catedral de la Purísma Concepción and Teatro Tomas Terry. The beautiful mountains flanking the city offer nature lovers a good chance to explore some of the most beautiful landscapes in Cuba, including the waterwalls at El Nicho.

Days 6-8: Trinidad

Drive to Trinidad

The next part of the journey will be relatively short, but the destination is just as exciting as the last. Head east, along the Caribbean coast towards the Escambray Mountains, ‘Coffee country’ - home to some of the best Arabica beans in the world - on to the evocative, Spanish colonial city - Trinidad. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the most perfectly preserved Spanish colonial settlements in Cuba. Pick a day to drive up to Tope de Collantes and visit Cafe de Cafetal to learn about the history of coffee production in Cuba.

Discover The Colonial Town of Trinidad

It’s not so much the history, the scenery or the vast dramatic landscape that makes Trinidad the perfect addition to your multi-centre holiday in Cuba - it's a combination of them all. For most people the highlight of this Multi-Centre Holiday, Trinidad is one of the oldest Spanish colonial settlement towns in Cuba, but its close proximity to the mountains and the beach, also makes it one of the most diverse.

Days 8 to 12: Varadero Beach

Drive from Trinidad to Varadero

Most people would agree we are saving the best for last. Time to head to Varadero, Cuba’s most popular beach. Worthy stops along the way include Remedios (one of Cuba’s oldest colonial settlements), & Santa Clara (for a short stop at the Che Guevara Mausoleum).

Varadero: Cuba's most popular beach.

With its crystal-clear waters and powdery soft sands, Varadero is the ideal haunt for couples and families alike, and the perfect ending to your self-drive holiday across Cuba’s contrasting beaches. A beach as vibrant underwater as it is above land, Varadero is the perfect place for relaxation and water-based activities. Spend your days basking in the beautiful rays of sun in an all-inclusive beach-front resort, or scuba diving and snorkeling in the tropical sea, discovering thousands of varieties of fish and colourful coral.

Car-Hire Drop Off

Arrive to Varadero, rest for the night at your resort, then the following morning drop-off your car at the designated car-hire office. Dropping off your car at this stage of your holiday will save you quite a bit of money. In Varadero you won't need a car. If you still want to move around (there's over 20 km of sand beach to explore after all) you can use inexpensive mopped hires, hop-on hop-off bus services, or local cabs.

Day 12: Transfer from Varadero to Havana Airport

Say goodbye to Cuba before being collected from your hotel and taken back to Havana International Airport. You will arrive with enough time to check in your flight at one of the airline desks, clear immigration, and enjoy some snacks at the airport lounge before boarding your flight back to the UK.

Please remember: International Flights are not included in this sample itinerary. If you would like us to arrange your flights, please give us a call and speak to a Cuba Direct Travel Consultant.

Dates & Prices

Please note:- Dates and Average Prices by month to help you plan ahead. Prices are approximate, updated daily, and may vary depending on your choice of airline, hotel, and optional extras such as visas, car-hire, transfers, and personal guides. Circumstances beyond our control such as flight fare changes and hotel availability may also affect prices. To get an exact quotation for your Cuba holiday, please speak to one of our consultants on 0207 148 3042.

Hotel Conde de Villanueva

Exceptionally well located, nestled between two of Old Havana’s iconic squares, El Conde de Villanueva offers intimacy, comfort, and coziness to its guests. If characterful colonial architecture is not enough, world-famous Casa del Habano is located on the top floor of this lovely building.

Casa Vinola y Zuleida

Right on the beach, amazing hosts, and great reviews from clients. Casa Vinola y Zuleida in Playa Larga is one of the best accommodation choices in the area, and offer visitor an authentic experience. The house has three bedrooms with ensuite bathroom, kitchen, ocean-view porch, breakfast, lunch and dinner service. The owner speaks English and he is an experienced fishing and birdwatching guide.

Casa Osmar y Alberto

Easily spotted thanks to its bright-pink exterior, Osmar y Alberto is one of Trinidad’s largest and finest "casas particulares". Its simple, comfortable rooms are dotted around a pretty courtyard full of greenery and woven hammocks for relaxing. The location is fantastic, with the main square just a short-walk away, though the excellent on-site restaurant and bar make a night-in a tempting option. The friendly owners can even organise private salsa dance lessons to be enjoyed on the grounds, best enjoyed before a round of Alberto’s cocktails!

Starfish Cuatro Palmas

An all-inclusive, adults-only (16+) retreat nestled along the sandy beachfront of Varadero, Starfish Cuatro Palmas offers a vibrant atmosphere and quality accommodation. Its lush gardens are dotted with Mediterranean buildings, hosting 3 restaurants and 3 bars. There's a gorgeous sparkling swimming pool and a variety of organised activities to get involved in. It's an intimate resort with just 160 rooms, all air-conditioned and equipped with a satellite TV, safe and hair dryer. The shops and restaurants of Varadero are just a stone's-throw away.

CREATE YOUR CUBA EXPERIENCE

1Speak to a Cuba Specialist

Get inspired by the itineraries on our site and phone one of our Cuba experts for more information. Your specialist will share first-hand advice, tips and news from Cuba to inform your perfect trip.

2Customise Your Trip

Your travel consultant will design a holiday tailored to your needs, taking care of every last detail. You’ll have the opportunity to refine your itinerary to ensure you’re 100% happy with it.

3Chat with Our Reps in Cuba

Once you’ve booked, our team in Cuba will get in touch. They’ll answer any additional questions and help you plan activities such as a classic American car ride, dance lessons or farm-to-table food tour.

4Enjoy Support & Advice

In Cuba, you’ll benefit from the support and advice of our on-the-ground team. We have an office in Havana and highly-trained, English-speaking reps stationed in the country’s main tourist centres.

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