- Prices between £1649 - £1849
- 8 days
7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners, including a Cuban cooking class
7 nights’ accommodation in twin room hotels and a beachside bungalow
All activities, from city cycling to salsa dancing, included. Local Flash Pack guide and driver
Max 14 Flashpackers
Private airport transfers anytime on Day 1, country travel by bus and coach
Hotel Boutique 25 Y G, Havana
Converted colonial mansion in Vedado
This is a wonderful casa particular, with each ensuite room individually designed and filled with a mix of modern and vintage furniture and Cuban artwork.
Why we stay here
The large roof terrace, filled with comfy chairs and sofas and overlooking the apartments, restaurants and cafes of vibrant Vedado is a great spot for socialising and catching some rays with your fellow Flashpackers.
Hotel La Ermita, Viñales
A traditional rural guest house
This enchanting lodgings boasts spectacular views over the Viñales Valley, with green landscape and rolling hills stretching as far as the eye can see.
Why we stay here
An eco-hotel nestled into the Cuban countryside, facilities include a swimming pool, salsa lessons, tennis courts and horse-back riding. Settle into life Cuban-style.
The Flash Pack Promise
Here at Flash Pack, we’re committed to unique adventures that deliver great value for money. We pack our trips with epic experiences (unlike other companies, all activities are included) and match you with like-minded people.
Our Cuban adventure is only suitable for our more adventurous Flashpackers. Cuba is a country that is changing rapidly however you should know some of the hotels are hand-picked & charming but basic, itinerary changes will likely happen along with the odd power cut. We can’t always guarantee the ‘Flash Pack’ factor.
However for those who love the odd surprise and the charm of visiting places a little different to home will absolutely fall in love with Cuba.
Cocktails in Havana
Flashpackers, welcome to Cuba. Whatever time you touch down at Havana airport, a private transfer will take you to your hotel, although this process may be rather slow – you’re on Cuba time now! Set in the hip district of Vedado just a few miles west of Havana’s Old Town, your restored colonial bolthole lies amid the impressive art deco mansions of what was once known as Havana’s ‘forbidden district’. Soak up the exquisite architecture of Vedado; a neighbourhood once notorious for its Mafia connections, now heralded as a hub for nightlife and chic cafe-spots. Once the whole group has arrived and settled in, we’ll head to the Old Town for a masterclass in artisan cocktail making and a delicious spread of local cuisine. Get to know your new compadres and guide a little better over some delicious food and a rum cocktail or threeRead more
Havana by bike and Viñales valley road trip
Today we’ll take a two-hour cycle ride around Havana, led by members of the Cuban Masters, a veteran cycle team who know the city inside-out. We’ll ride 16 kilometres through the woodland valley of Bosque de Almendares to Plaza de la Revolución, passing the Hotel Nacional as we take the El Malecon coastal road into Havana’s rustic Centro Habana district. We’ll dismount by Old Town to explore its maze of narrow streets on foot. We’ll stop for lunch in a chic café before boarding a coach to Viñales, two and a half hours’ away. We’ll head around the Sierra del Rosario mountains and into the Pinar del Rio province; aka lesser-known rural Cuba. Arriving in Viñales, we’ll hit up a local restaurant before cutting the rug at dance venue Centro Cultural Polo Montanez.Read more
Limestone hills & rolling Cubans
Today, we’ll delve into the beauty of rural Cuba as we explore Viñales and its spectacular natural scenery. We’ll begin our day in Cueva del Indio, an intricate cave network boasting shimmering green waters and drooping vines. Then prepare to cut through the canopy on a zipline course on the outskirts of the town. After that, we’ll hike through the countryside, slowly making our way to Finca de Raul Reyes, a tobacco farm located at the foot of a limestone mogote. These dramatic karst stone formations are characteristic of Central Cuba, with their rugged forested peaks jutting through the skies. We’ll learn all about the traditional processes behind growing and drying tobacco leaves, before turning our hand to Cuban cigar rolling. If you’re interested in Cuban cigars, this is the place to treat yourself. Expect to pay between two to three CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso) per puro – you can take 50 out of the country without having to deal with customs. We’ll tuck into lunch here at the farm, before strolling through the surrounding region at a chilled pace. Later we’ll take a sunset walk through the Valle del Silencio, a picturesque valley running along the foot of the La Aquiana mountain.Read more
Sea, sand and a beach BBQ
Today we’ll drive an hour to the north coastline of Pinar del Rio. We’ll catch a 30-minute ferry at Palma Rubia and sail seven kilometers to the island of Cayo Levisa – a coral key that makes up part of the Archipelago de Los Colorados in the Gulf of Mexico. An unfailing paradise, Cayo Levisa is best known for its three-kilometer stretch of golden sandy beach, mangroves and abundant sea life. Today is about taking it easy, so order a mojito and sink your toes into the sand. As the sun goes down, we’ll be feasting on a private Flash Pack BBQ. After swimming and sunbathing all afternoon, join us on the beach come evening for a pork-roast dinner with a Cuban twist (we have vegetarian options too), before bedding down in tonight’s accommodation – wooden beach bungalows nestled in the sand: a lot more basic than the big beach resorts but way more authentic…Read more
Master the art of salsa
After breakfast overlooking the beach, we’ll wave goodbye to Cayo Levisa and catch the ferry back to the mainland. At Palma Rubia we’ll hop on the minibus and head back to where our Cuban adventure began – our boutique casa in Havana’s Vedado district. The scenic drive will take us to the western outskirts of the city, where we’ll tuck into lunch at a beautiful restaurant. We’ll also pay a visit to Casa de Fuster in the Jaimanitas neighborhood, the home of Cuban artist José Fuster. This afternoon, we’ll head to the Playa district of Havana to immerse ourselves in the passionate art of salsa dancing. After learning the steps one-on-one from a local Cuban dance instructor, join your Flashpackers – dance partners, too – for dinner at a nearby restaurant. Specialties in the capital include everything from traditional Cubana sandwiches filled with roasted ham, pork and cheese, to marinated olives, fried sweet plantains and Ropa Vieja—a Cuban take on shredded beef. Appetites sated, head out to Havana’s hottest dance spots to show off your new moves.Read more
Cool beats and Cuban cooking
After last night’s salsa-fuelled evening, revel in a lie-in this morning, and a leisurely paced day. After breakfast at the casa, we’ll head back to Playa district, where you’ll get to indulge in a hands-on cookery class learning how to make a traditional Cuban dish packed full of Latin flavour. After the heat of the kitchen, we’ll cool off with a quick swim in the ocean along the rocky coastline (if the weather is on our side). Then, we’ll let the chefs show us how it’s really done with a slap-up lunch overlooking the clear blue sea. Later we’ll visit BandEra recording studios and meet some of Cuba’s contemporary musicians, who’ll give us the low-down on Havana’s modern-day music scene. As the sun goes down over Havana, we recommend gathering your Flashpackers for tapas and cocktails on the rooftop terrace at a nearby restaurant, before heading out to yet another hip Havana hotspot.Read more
Classic cars and star-lit cocktails
It’s your last full day in Havana, so we’ll start the morning by heading out to the streets to savour the unique atmosphere of this beautiful city. Soak up its faded splendour as we take a leisurely stroll through its boulevards and alleys. We’ll enjoy the special privilege of a once-in-a-lifetime meeting with a veteran revolutionary, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Che Guevara and the infamous Castro brothers during the Cuban revolution. After meandering around Havana, we’ll set off from Miramar, and ride westwards out of the city for this 45-kilometre round-trip, stopping mid-way at the beach to lounge, swim and bask in the sunshine before taking the bus back. In the evening we’ll regroup at the casa and embark on a bucket-list tour of greater Havana riding in 1950s classic American cars. The two-hour cruise will take in the lush woodlands of Parque Almendares, as well as Revolution Square and the El Malecon coastal road, before a fitting finale in the Old Town. We’ll toast to the final night of our Cuban adventure with cocktails on the terrace of a favourite paladar, and have a last dinner together in balmy Havana under a star-studded night sky.Read more
Hasta luego, Cuba
Flashpackers, it’s time to say adiós. Or as we’d prefer it, hasta luego – a more optimistic ‘see you later’! It’s over to you to arrange your taxi to the airport and depart as you please. Wherever you’re headed next, fly out on a high after your whirlwind Cuban adventure. You’ve cruised through Havana in a classic car, danced salsa all night with your adventure compadres, and BBQ’d on the beach under a starry night sky. You’ve waltzed the white sands of Cayo Levisa, dreamt the night away in a beachside bungalow, and snorkelled the clear blue waters of the Caribbean seas. You’ve savoured rum-soaked cocktails, sampled a true Cuban mojito and cycled the backstreets of Havana like a city local. You’ve probably picked up a few new lifelong friends, too. But if you’re not quite ready to leave Cuba – and really, who could blame you? – why not roll your escape out for a few more days? The islands nearby are calling…Read more
- Fly into and out of Havana José Martí International Airport (HAV).
- The accommodation choices in Cuba are plusher than your average Cuban dwelling, but not quite up to Flash Pack’s usual high standards. However, we are staying in some of the best places in each location. Casas, privately owned properties, are some of the most charming places to stay in Cuba but room sizes vary. Regardless of where you stay in Cuba, power cuts and breaks in hot water are sometimes unavoidable, but we’ll always make sure hotels or casas are clean and comfortable, with rooms that are truly unique. Sometimes hotels/casas cancel on us at the last minute, so with this in mind, we always have a backup hotel/casa of a similar standard.
- Our Cuban adventure is only suitable for our more adventurous Flashpackers. Cuba is a country that is changing rapidly but basic itinerary changes will likely happen, along with the odd power cut. There is often baffling red tape and the simple luxuries that we take for granted – such as air conditioning and toilet seats – are often missing in this beautiful country. However, for those who love the odd surprise and the charm of visiting places a little different to home will absolutely fall in love with Cuba
- Wifi in Cuba is definitely a luxury, so the likelihood of you being able to connect is low, and if you do it will be painfully slow! If you need the internet, this trip may not be for you, but it’s the perfect excuse for those who want to unplug and appreciate local culture.
- You’ll need a visa to visit Cuba: check your country requirements and apply for a tourist visa before you travel.
- Coming from the States? Things are more complicated for you. While travel to Cuba is legal, tourism is still prohibited under US law. To comply with the legalities you’ll need a pre-prepared itinerary that is deemed to be in ‘support of the Cuban people’. Our itinerary supports the local community but we will need you to contact us before you book so we can explain the rules clearly.
- If you’re coming from the US, please ensure you book flights to and from Cuba via a third-party country, i.e. Canada, Mexico, Panama etc, to avoid complications.
- Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control. From time to time we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh.
- We take safety very seriously on Flash Pack adventures, click here to learn more.
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- Ride the prairies 10 days
- Caving and kayaking 12 days