Eastern Cuba Explorer

Small Group Tours
  • Overview
  • Itinerary

Cuba’s most soulful region is unveiled at this comprehensive tour where you’ll get to see the essence of the so-called ‘tierra caliente’ (hot land). The Eastern Cuba Explorer Tour covers the easternmost part of the island, including overnights at the whimsically fascinating Santiago de Cuba, laid-back Baracoa, and nature-filled Holguín. This is a tour for the immersive traveller who wants to enjoy the freedom of discovering places on their own but without the hassle of booking transfers, accommodations and guided orientation throughout. Start packing your bags today and head to Cuba’s most off-the-beaten-path region – creole food, warm people and verdant hills are just the beginning of a memorable trip.


from / per person

Excludes international flights

  • Holguín + Santiago de Cuba + Baracoa
  • 7 nights
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Staying in Casas Particulares (homestays with private en suite rooms)
  • Private transport throughout: mini-bus, micro-bus, or taxi depending on group size
  • Small Group: 3 -12 travellers



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.

Personalise this itinerary or build a tailor-made tour from scratch by calling us on 0207 148 3042

Day 1 - Holguín

Welcome to the Eastern Cuba Explorer Tour! Whether you are already in Holguín or arriving today, this is the day you’ll meet your specialised tour guide. Transfer from Holguin Aiport to the casa is NOT included on this tour. If you need to book a transfers from the airport, please contact our Travel Consultants with your flights details and we will add it to the itinerary. Once at the guesthouse, check for the Welcome Note we left for you with specific instructions about the welcome meeting we’ll have this first evening. Until then, enjoy your free time in Holguín! Cuba’s fourth largest city is renowned for its Loma de La Cruz, a 261m hill bearing a wooden cross at its peak. Holguín is also one of Cuba’s most important eco-tourist destinations with a breathtaking landscape of jungle, coastline and rugged mountains. The city in itself can easily be explored by foot and it is dotted with several parks for people watching and enjoying provincial cultural vibes. Visitors will admire its charming plazas, including Plaza Calixto García, Plaza Julio Grave de Peralta (home to the Catedral de San Isidoro, a beautiful 18th century church), together with the Plaza de la Marqueta and Plaza de las Flores. The recently renovated Teatro Suñol is an art-deco delight for architecture fanatics (all optional activities).

Day 2 – Santiago de Cuba via Gibara

We’ll hit the road early today to make a visit to Gibara, Holguín’s Villa Blanca (White Village) and home to a lovely fishermen community. In the afternoon, the tour goes southwards to Santiago de Cuba, going through the lush scenery road amidst Sierra del Cristal. The tour leader will help you dust off your Spanish with a quick informal lesson and there will be time for relax in the afternoon.

Day 3 – Santiago de Cuba

Today starts with a three-hour guided tour of Santiago city, visiting El Morro Castle, the Ifigenia cemetery and the Moncada barracks. You’ll soon realize why Cuba’s second city is proudly Afro-Cuban, strongly socialist, and never deeply embedded in the colonial culture. Known as the capital of the Caribbean, Santiago mixes Spanish, Haitian, Jamaican and West African genes and, as you might expect, its dance traditions are second to none in the island. Afternoon is free for extra activities. Ask your guide for references on places to go eating, dancing, or relaxing.

Day 4 - Baracoa

One of our all-time favourite road trips in Cuba, today’s journey takes you to Baracoa, winding the southern coast of Santiago and Guantánamo. Arid lands and dry vegetation meet the bluest ocean on rocky cliffs before the bus turns left to the road known as La Farola. Traversing the mountains of Sierra Maestra, La Farola offers a unique opportunity to photograph the Sierra’s verdant hills from its lookout point in La Herradura. Once in Baracoa and after you’ve settle down on your casa particular, take some time to explore the city centre and admire a culture that was isolated for so many years, giving it a strong life (an amazing local food!) of its own.

Day 5 - Baracoa

Enjoy a walking tour of Baracoa with your tour leader before planning the rest of your day at this region. Baracoa is Cuba’s first colonial village, founded in 1511 by the Spaniards. Packed with possibilities to go sightseeing and birdwatching, the city is also known for its rich culinary tradition, featuring coconut sauce, local cacao, and fresh seafood. If feeling more adventurous, ask your guide to suggest excursions to the nearby Unesco-listed National Park Cuchillas del Toa to explore caves and waterfalls (all optional activities).

Day 6 – Santiago de Cuba

On our way back to Santiago de Cuba today, we’ll make a stop at Cuba’s most respected and revered religious site: the National Basilica-Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre. The town surrounding the church is quite picturesque and you may find some spare time to mingle with locals. Later in the evening, let yourself loose in Santiago’s musical scene and dance the night out with the locals at Casa de la Trova or Casa de la Música (all optional activities).

Day 7 – Holguín

En-route to Holguin, our final day on the road includes a visit to the birthplace of Fidel and Raúl Castro, in Birán, which is also the resting place of their parents. Once in Holguín city, there will be time for a final panoramic tour of the city, including a tour to Loma de la Cruz. At night, the streets of Holguín pulsate with an upbeat energy – take the final photos of the Eastern Cuba Explorer Tour before saying Adiós to Cuba.

Day 8 – Departure or Extension Day

Plan your hours to make the most out of them on this final day. If your flight leaves late and you want to explore a bit more, don’t hesitate to ask for help to your tour leader.

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