Classical Cuba: From Havana to Cayo Levisa
Explore Havana Old Town in a 1950s car, learn how to salsa with locals and embrace Caribbean bliss on Cayo Levisa island
Classical Cuba: From Havana to Cayo Levisa
ABOUT YOUR TRIP
Revolutionary ruins, Caribbean beaches and tropical cocktails – all unfolding to the rhythms of salsa. Your adventure to Cuba starts here.
Your adventure begins with a bike ride through Havana’s backstreets, followed by a tête-à-tête with a revolutionary who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Che Guevara. You’ll cruise through the Old Town in a vintage motor, and turn your hand to rolling Cuban cigars. All before escaping to an idyllic coral caye, where you’ll swim in crystalline waters and enjoy a beach barbecue.
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Local transport
- Most meals included
- Max 14 travellers per group
- Private airport transfers
Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.
Day 01 Hello, Havana
Welcome to Cuba. Upon arrival, a private transfer will greet you, ready to take you to your hotel. Located in the Vedado neighbourhood, you’ll find your restored colonial hotel in the midst of Havana’s former ‘forbidden district’. Whilst this part of town was once notorious for its Mafia connections, it’s now heralded as a lively hub of bars and cafes. Meet your guide and group at the hotel, then you’ll make for the Old Town for your welcome feast. Buen provecho.
Day 02 Cycle the streets of Havana
Today, you’ll explore Havana on a two-hour cycle, led by a veteran cycling team called the Cuban Masters. Your local guides know the city inside out, and will lead you through the wooded valley of Bosque de Almendares, through the Plaza de la Revolución and into the Centro Habana district. Here, you’ll dismount at the edge of the Old Town, ready to venture into its labyrinthine streets by foot. Along the way, you’ll meet a veteran revolutionary, who stood alongside Che Guevara and the Castro brothers during the Cuban Revolution. Pause for lunch in a charming cafe, before boarding a coach to Viñales. Upon arrival in the countryside, you’ll enjoy dinner in a traditional restaurant, before joining the locals in dancing at Centro Cultural Polo Montanez.
Day 03 LIMESTONE HILLS & ROLLING CUBANS
Today, you’ll explore Viñales and the surrounding landscape. Begin your day in Cueva del Indio, an intricate cave network where you’ll find mysterious waterways and drooping vines. Then you’ll soar through the canopy on a zipline on the outskirts of the town. You’ll then enjoy a short hike through the countryside, making your way to Finca de Raul Reyes, a tobacco farm located at the foot of a limestone mogote. Here, you’ll learn all about the traditional processes behind growing and drying tobacco leaves, before turning your hand to Cuban cigar rolling. Enjoy lunch at the farm, with the rest of the afternoon yours to explore the area at leisure. As evening falls, you’ll be served an organic feast, complete with sunset views over the Cuban hills.
Day 04 SEA, SAND AND A BEACH BBQ
This morning will see you catch a ferry over to Cayo Levisa, an island home to soft beaches, mangroves and lush sea life. Spend the rest of the day taking it easy, with a mojito in hand and toes in the sand. As dusk sets in, you’ll be treated to a beach barbecue, with a menu featuring Cuban pork-roast (and vegetarian options, too). Bed down tonight in wooden beach bungalows, with the sound of the waves to lull you to sleep.
Day 05 MASTER THE ART OF SALSA
Enjoy breakfast overlooking the sea, then you’ll leave Cayo Levisa behind as you catch a ferry back to the mainland. On the way back into Havana, you’ll pause to visit Fusterlandia in the Jaimanitas neighbourhood, home of local artist José Fuster. An unorthodox house tiled with vibrant mosaics, you’ll find Fusterlandia both surreal and charming. Then, you’ll have lunch back in the Vedado district, before spending the rest of the afternoon mastering the steps of salsa. Follow this up with dinner at a traditional restaurant, before showing off your new salsa skills in Havana’s dancing bars.
Day 06 Cuban cooking & cultured clubbing
After a late breakfast at the casa (with a long lie-in yours to savour, if needed), head out for a Cuban cooking class, in which you’ll select a traditional recipe to cook from scratch. Then enjoy lunch (cooked by professionals) overlooking the clear blue ocean. This afternoon, you’ll visit a recording studio in the city, where you’ll meet some of Cuba’s contemporary musicians. Learn all about Havana’s modern-day musical scene, before enjoying tapas and cocktails at a nearby restaurant. Tonight, you’ll head to a nightclub art gallery, where you can expect photography exhibitions, improvised theatre and live DJ sets.
Day 07 CLASSIC CARS AND STAR-LIT COCKTAILS
Your last full day in Havana will begin with a walking tour of the UNESCO-status Old Town, with its beautiful ruins and historical atmosphere. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the local Santeria religion, which is practised by many Cubans, besides an exclusive meeting with a veteran revolutionary who fought alongside Che Guevara and the Castros. The rest of the afternoon is yours to spend at leisure. Then, gather with your group in the evening to embark on a tour of greater Havana, cruising in the iconic 1950s cars for which the city is famous. End the night with dinner and cocktails on the terrace of a paladar restaurant, beneath the starry Caribbean sky.
Day 08 HASTA LUEGO, CUBA
Today, it’s over to you to make your own way to the airport – your guide can assist you in arranging a transfer. Whilst your adventure in Cuba comes to an end, another adventure begins – in Costa Rica? Take a look at our itineraries and see how you can extend your escape.
OUR FAVOURITE HOTELS
Browse a selection of our favourite hotels, for a flavour of where you may stay on this trip.
Hotel Boutique 25 Y G, Havana
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.
Hotel La Ermita, Viñales
The main draw? Sweeping views over the Viñales Valley, with rolling hills stretching as far as the eye can see.
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.
In June 2019, the White House and the OFAC tightened restrictions on travel in Cuba for US citizens. If you’re a citizen or dual citizen of the United States, unfortunately you are no longer able to book this adventure. Please contact our Sales Team if you would like us to help you find your next adventure.
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.
"Very well organized, our itinerary was planned out well. Even when an experience couldn’t be accommodated, our tour guide always found another thoughtful experience to replace it."
"What Flash Pack put together was brilliant - incorporated a bit of everything so that we got that real Cuban experience! The trip delivered exactly what it promised which is so important! "
"This is my second trip with the Flash Pack and as before all the planning and organisation was handled very well by the team, all I had to do was turn up!"
"Incredible experience in Cuba. They made sure the guide was exceptional, the accommodation, the activities, everything. Best holiday I have been on."
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