Known for being an island rich with culture, music and the arts, a trip to Cuba isn’t complete without a visit to the stunning colonial town of Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. Trinidad has barely changed since 1850 and the buildings have been beautifully conserved, giving the impression that you have travelled to a bygone era. With its rich history, cobbled streets, architecture and friendly locals, set against a backdrop of the Sierra del Escambray Mountains and overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Trinidad is a one of a kind destination!
During this extension, a guided city tour of Trinidad is included and you will have free time to spend as you wish. On our return journey to Havana, we stop at the historic site of the Bay of Pigs, a beautiful UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, also made famous for the failed CIA military Invasion in 1961.
This is a great opportunity to extend your stay after your main trip and enjoy the unforgettable sights of central Cuba.
After breakfast, we transfer to Trinidad (approx. 4 hours), the jewel in Cuba's patrimonial crown. Much of the city's fortune was made during the sugar boom of the early 19th century, when the city’s elegant mansions were built. After checking in to our hotel, we can stop for lunch before a local guide takes us on a tour of the town, after which we have free time to continue exploring by ourselves. Trinidad is best explored on foot, following the winding cobbled streets to open market places where local artisans sell their goods, from hand-woven tablecloths to pottery. In the evening, there is a choice to eat in one of the many paladars (private restaurants). Trinidad really comes to life after sunset, and we recommend a visit to Casa de la Trova or Casa de la Música for traditional Cuban music and dancing. Night hotel.
Today is spent at your leisure, to continue exploring Trinidad (where a visit to Casa Cantero, a sugar baron’s former home is recommended) or arrange excursions and activities as desired. Options include a trip to Topes de Collantes in the Sierra del Escambray Mountains, take a trip to Ancon Beach (12km from the city), horse riding or a visit to the ‘Valle de los Ingenios’ (Valley of the Sugar Mills) to see a sugar plantation house with its tower. Night hotel.
After breakfast, we begin our journey back to Havana, stopping at the Bay of Pigs along the way. Located in the vast Ciénaga de Zapata National Park, the largest peninsula on the island, this is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, full of wildlife and native birdlife. The Bay of Pigs is one of the most spectacular diving/snorkelling spots on the island, with a wonderful array of corals which can be reached easily from the shore. The Bay of Pigs become world-renowned for the Invasion in 1961, when 1,500 heavily armed CIA-trained Cuban exiles came ashore, equipped to establish a beach-head and cause a counter-revolution to topple the Castro regime. We have the opportunity to visit a small museum that tells the story of the invasion in Playa Giron. After a stop for lunch, the afternoon can be spent swimming and snorkelling, before we return to Havana in the late afternoon. Night hotel.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.
We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
If you are still to buy some kit don’t forget that Cotswold Outdoor, Snow and Rock, Cycle Surgery and Runners Need offer all Discover Adventure participants 15% off any purchases you make with them. Please ask us for the code if you do not have this already.