Open Roads & Colonial Retreats

Musician in Havana, Cuba - Self-Drive Holiday
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Taino Village, Guama, Cuba - Self-Drive Holiday
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Cienfuegos, Cuba - Self-Drive, Cuba
Art in Trinidad - Self-Drive Holiday
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Topes de Collantes, Near Trinidad, Cuba - Self-Drive Holidays
Beach in Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba - Self-Drive Holiday
Car fleet5_Havana, Cuba
Havana, Cuba - Self-Drive Holiday
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Self-Drive Holidays

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 Cayo Santa Maria.

Early bird offer! Save £300 if you book before 28 February!
Travel Period: 01/05/2018 - 31/10/2018
  • Havana + Cienfuegos + Trinidad + Cayo Santa María
  • Price based on 11 nights, 2 people sharing. Quotation includes accommodation, car-hire, transfers, and representation services.

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0207 148 3042 Request a free Quotation

12 Day Travel Itinerary

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.

Transfer to Havana

Arrive in Havana in true 1950’s style on board a Classic American car. Experience the nostalgic atmosphere of Havana from the very beginning of your journey with this unforgettable trip through the streets of Havana in one of these timeless classics, true symbols of Havana. Alternatives include taxis, coaches, minibuses, or car hire.

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 11: Cayo Santa Maria

Drive from Trinidad to Cayo Santa Maria

It's time to relax by the beach in Cayo Santa Maria. There are several interesting stops along the way, including Santa Clara (famous for housing the Che Guevara Mausoleum), Remedios (one of the oldest Spanish settlements in Cuba) and Caibarien (a fishing village that offers mouth-watering seafood in local restaurants).

Cayo Santa Maria: Beautiful, Secluded Beaches

Surrounded by aquamarine waters bordering white, powder-soft sands, Cayo Santa Maria is a tropical haven, an island of true natural beauty, and the largest of the Villa Clara Key islands that make up the archipelago Jardines del Rey. Connected by a 48km causeway to the town of Caibarien, Cayo Santa Maria is one of the most beautiful beach destinations in the Caribbean.

Transfer Cayo Santa Maria to Havana

We recommend staying your last two days in Havana in order to arrive rested at the airport with plenty of time to organize your departure.

Day 11-12: Havana

Say goodbye to Havana, visit popular bars and music venues, or take one last stroll along the Malecon, taking in the Caribbean breeze before flying back home.

Transfer Havana Hotel to Havana Airport

Around lunchtime you’ll be 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.

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.

Please note: Room upgrades and Board-Basis upgrades may be available for this Hotel. To request an upgrade or a different hotel altogether, please call your Cuba Direct holiday consultant.
Casa Vinola y Zuleida, Playa Larga, Cuba

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.

Please note: Room upgrades and Board-Basis upgrades may be available for this Hotel. To request an upgrade or a different hotel altogether, please call your Cuba Direct holiday consultant.
Casa OsmaryAlbertO, Trinidad

Casa Osmary Alberto

Easily spotted thanks to its bright-pink exterior, Osmary 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!

Please note: Room upgrades and Board-Basis upgrades may be available for this Hotel. To request an upgrade or a different hotel altogether, please call your Cuba Direct holiday consultant.
Playa Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba

Playa Cayo Santa Maria

Boasting breathtaking sea views, Playa Cayo Santa Maria is an idyllic place to unwind and spend time with loved ones. The popular beach resort boasts a wide range of services and superb all-inclusive package with unlimited access to all its seven bars, five restaurants and ice cream parlour and plenty of on-site entertainment. You can find six swimming pools (two exclusively for children) dotted around its lush foliage-filled grounds as well as gym, Finnish sauna, Turkish sauna and clubhouse. On the paradise beach, you can enjoy unmotorised watersports as part of your all-inclusive package or simply chill out and enjoy the view. When night falls, professional performers delights guests with live music shows and more.

Its 793 rooms are spread across three floors with views of the sea, surrounding gardens and resort pools. Each is air-conditioned and comes equipped with a hairdryer, iron and ironing board, safe, satellite television, minibar, telephone and tea and coffee-making facilities.

Please note: Room upgrades and Board-Basis upgrades may be available for this Hotel. To request an upgrade or a different hotel altogether, please call your Cuba Direct holiday consultant.

What people are saying about us.

Our success in obtaining excellent reviews is down to one key factor: we listen to our clients. From the initial planning stages right through the post-holiday blues, we are always in touch.

Cubadirect Feefo Trusted Service Award

Everything was simply perfect, very well organised, accurate information, good advice from knowledgeable staff. Thank you Cuba Direct for a perfect interesting trip.

Cuba Direct were brilliant from beginning to end, from initial planning of our tour all the way through the trip itself. Fantastic, memorable holiday. I would recommend it to anyone.

All reviews published on this website are collected independently by Feefo, the Global Feedback Engine.