Horse riding in the Vinales Valley
14-day adventure

Cuba Discovery

Cuba
  • Multi-activity
  • Kayaking
  • Trekking & Hiking
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Code: CBCD

14 days
Easy

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our UK team

Our local team

Our local team in Cuba is managed by Ivan, he has spent a lifetime exploring every hidden corner of the island and has been guiding travellers here for more than 20 years. He is supported by a team of 10 guides and a further 10 operational staff who will take care of every detail of your trip from beginning to end. The team are 100% Cuban, speak Spanish, English, French and Italian and have been providing exceptional travel experiences for over...
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Kandoo's view

A 14 day multi activity adventure in the west of Cuba that is perfect for anybody who wants to experience this unique Caribbean island in an active and adventurous way. We will be exploring the old city of Havana and enjoying cocktails on idyllic beaches but you can also expect high speed zip wires, kayaking trips, horse riding and salsa dancing. We will take a boat to the paradise island of Cayo Levisa for snorkeling along coral reefs and hike through the forested mountains of the Sierra de Escambray. An action packed 2 weeks of adventure and discovery amidst the beautiful Caribbean sea.

Trip highlights

  • Kayaking through the Sierra del Escambray
  • Horse riding in the Vinales Valley
  • Snorkeling at Cayo Santa Maria
  • Guided tours of Havana and Trinidad

Experiences

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  • Kayaking
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  • Trekking & Hiking
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    Our core collection of treks and hikes, through some of the world's most outstanding landscapes

Gallery

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Havana

    Welcome to Havana! A member of our local team will meet you at the airport and we transfer to our hotel in the city.

    • Accomodation: Hotel
  • Day 2

    Havana City Tour

    This morning we wake up in lively Havana and start exploring! We will take a walking tour of the colonial squares in the old city. This really is like taking a step back in time, the cobblestoned streets are dotted with cascading fountains and art galleries can be discovered in little hidden courtyards. The air is filled with music and cigars as you wonder the streets and soak up this captivating Caribbean city. After a guided tour and some lunch at a local restaurant there is plenty of time to explore independently.

    • Hiking time: 3 - 4 hours
    • Accomodation: Hotel Parque Central
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch
  • Day 3

    Havana - Las Terrazas

    Today we leave Havana and head to the region of Las Terrazas. We visit a small community living within a protected natural park and take time to chat with the locals and discover the stunning flora and fauna to be found here. The highlight of the day is high speed zip line through the jungle canopy and out over the lake! In the afternoon we reach our hotel and settle down for the evening.

    • Hiking time: 3 - 4 hours
    • Accomodation: Hotel
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
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Trip information

Difficulty

This active exploration of Cuba is not very demanding but you will need to be in good health with a reasonable level of fitness. You will be hiking, kayaking, swimming or horse ridding nearly every day of the trip so a good amount of stamina is required. To discuss your suitability for this trip please feel free to contact us. 

Food & drink

During this trip all breakfasts are included. When lunch or dinner is not included on a certain day, there is a wide range of cafes or restaurants where you can find food for all tastes and budgets. 

Cuban cuisine has remained fairly simple as a result of all businesses being state owned and the American embargo. There is not always a wide variety of foods to choose from. In state restaurants, meals mainly consist of chicken, fish or pork with congri (rice and kidney beans) and plantains (cooking bananas). On the nights we stay with local families you will find the food is significantly more varied and plentiful, highlighting all the incredible local produce. Cassava, plantain, mango, guava, pineapple, coconut, pork, chicken fish and even lobster are all common ingredients. Private restaurants are now starting to emerge and offer a much more rich and refined cuisine than the state owned restaurants and hotels. 

In Cuba you can always find an excellent selection of fruit juices, local beers and of course, rum. Drinking water is not included in your trip and it is your own responsibility to make sure you stay well hydrated, especially when trekking. You can fill your drinks bottles in hotels, villages and at natural springs throughout the trip. We recommend you use a water treatment system of some kind, either a filter attached to your hydration pack or purifying tablets. We do not recommend buying plastic bottles which must be carried with you and recycled after use. 

Accommodation

This trip includes a mix of different accommodation types with 4 star hotels in Havana, homestays with local families and basic mountain refuges in the mountains.  In most cases (including homestays) you will have a double or twin room with a private bathroom. At some homestays, a bathroom may be shared between 2 rooms. When staying in mountain refuges, accommodation will be basic with dormitories of between 4 and 8 people and shared bathroom facilities. 

Please note that hotels in Cuba are owned by the state and the quality of the accommodation can vary significantly. Rooms will always be clean and spacious with private bathrooms but in some cases are not up to international standards. 

Luggage

Your luggage should be packed in a flexible 70-80 litre duffel bag or backpack and not a rigid suitcase. Please limit the weight of your luggage to 15kg.  Your bags will be transported with you in minibus or 4x4 vehicles and can be safely stored at your accommodation when you are out. You should also bring a smaller 30-40 litre daypack to carry with you while trekking or exploring each day. Your daypack will be needed for carrying water, spare clothing, swimming costume, camera etc. On some nights we may ask that you leave your main luggage in storage and carry only what you need for a 1 night stay in your daypack.  

How do I get there?

You will need to arrive at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana on day 1 of your trip. The airport code is HAV.

From the UK, the best way to reach Havana is with either British Airways via Madrid or Air France via Paris. Both airlines depart the UK early in the morning and arrive in Havana in the evening of the same day. The connection times in Madrid or Paris are under 3 hours.  

Travellers from the United States are required to obtain a general license for travel to Cuba. Your reason for travel must fall under one of the 12 categories authorised by the OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control).

United Airlines have direct flights from Houston and New York. Southwest Airlines fly direct from Tampa and American Airlines have flights from Miami. Another option is Jet Blue who offer direct flights from New York and Fort Lauderdale. Those people travelling from the west coast will need to connect with one of these services. 

On arrival

On arrival, after collecting your luggage and clearing immigration, please look out for a member of our local team in the arrivals area. They will be holding a large "KANDOO ADVENTURES" sign. 

Budget & change

Cuba has two main currencies, Cuban Pesos (CUP) and Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC).

As a tourist you will mainly be using CUC, pronounced "Kook".  This is the currency that you can use to pay hotel and restaurant bills or buy souvenirs such as cigars and rum.  CUP also know as "Local Pesos" are accepted by street vendors, low budget restaurants, local markets etc.  1CUC is worth 25 CUP.

Cuba is a closed currency so you can only exchange money within the country. Banks and larger hotels will commonly provide an exchange service. Try to avoid exchanging US Dollars if possible as you will be charged a 10% penalty which does not apply to other currencies. 

Formalities & health

Passport

You will need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your departure from Cuba.

Visa

All travellers to Cuba are required to obtain a "Tourist Card" which is basically the same as a visa. This is a physical document that you must have with you when you travel and keep with you while you are in the country. It is best to use a visa agent who will take care of the whole process for you and send the Tourist Card to your home address. For those travelling from the UK, visacuba.com provide a fast and reliable service with prices starting from GBP27.

For travellers from the USA, travel to Cuba for tourism purposes is not permitted. Your reason for travel must fall under one of the 12 approved reasons for travel to Cuba. People who would like to join a trekking trip will often give their reason for travel as supporting the Cuban people. This is because by booking the trip, you will be supporting the economies of the areas and communities you visit. Travellers from the USA must obtain the more expensive pink visa rather than the normal green visa.

To arrange for a visa, we recommend that travellers from the USA contact their airline or the Cuban Embassy.

Vaccinations

There are no mandatory vaccines required for travel to Cuba. However, it is recommend that you have Hepatitis A and B, Tetanus, Typhoid, and Diphtheria.

Health

Malaria

Cuba is considered very low risk for Malaria. The risks of contagion via mosquito bites is highly unlikely. It is advisable to protect yourself by applying repellent creams and covering your arms and legs in the evenings. We do not encourage the use of preventive treatments as they are not needed.

Water

During your trip you can fill your water bottles at natural springs, hotels and villages. We recommend that you bring a water filter or purification system with you to treat your water before drinking. This will greatly reduce the risk of an upset stomach or diarrhea and allow you to enjoy your experience to the full.
It is essential that you avoid dehydration during your trip by drinking 2 to 3 litres of water every day. Cuba can be very hot and humid even at the cooler times of year and especially in the jungle where you will be trekking. Failure to get enough fluids can result in headaches, fatigue and nausea which will spoil your enjoyment of the trip.

First Aid

Although your guide will always carry a comprehensive first aid kit in case of injury, we recommend you also carry a small first aid kit for your own use. Useful things to bring along are painkillers such as paracetamol or Ibuprofen, anti diarrhea medication, antihistamine, plasters and antiseptic cream.

Equipment & clothing

Clothing to bring

  • Sun hat (wide brim for protection)
  • Scarf or bandana to protect your neck
  • Cotton T-shirts
  • Long sleeved T-shirt
  • Comfortable trekking trousers or shorts
  • Shorts for the beach / city tours
  • Waterproof and windproof hard shell jacket
  • Waterproof and windproof hard shell trousers
  • Warm jumper, fleece or soft shell
  • Swimming costume / sandals
  • Walking boots (sturdy soles and good ankle support)
  • Comfortable trainers for the evenings
  • Socks for trekking (not too warm)
  • Thin socks for evenings and touring

Equipment to bring

  • Sun glasses
  • Sun cream
  • Personal medication (pain killers, anti-diarrhea, antihistamine etc)
  • Daypack - 30-40 litre
  • Duffel bag or backpack - 70-80 litre
  • Sleeping bag liner for use at mountain refuges (optional - blankets are provided) 
  • Water bottles or hydration pack
  • Water purification system (charcoal filter, chlorine tablets or similar)
  • Quick drying travel towel
  • Head torch with spare batteries

Dates & prices

No date is available at the moment

Want to add flights or create a private trip? Don't hesitate to contact us!

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Price includes

  • 13 nights accommodation in hotel, homestay or refuge
  • Return airport transfers
  • All transportation as outlined in your itinerary
  • Entrance fees to any sites / attractions listed on your itinerary
  • Services of an expert Kandoo Adventures guide
  • 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 8 diners

Price does not include

  • International flights
  • Visa (tourist card)
  • Travel insurance
  • Any meals not listed on your itinerary
  • Drinks, tips and personal expenses

Options

  • Additional nights accommodation before or after your trip
  • Single room supplement