Cuba History Tour

Our tours to Cuba explore the history of how Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries overthrew the Batista dictatorship, the role of Che Guevara, the CIA-backed invasion attempt at the Bay of Pigs and the subsequent Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 which brought Khrushchev and Kennedy to the brink of nuclear war.

che mural havana

School History Trip to Cuba

When Fidel Castro overthrew the brutal and corrupt regime of Batista in 1959 it set the country on a collision course with the United States.  The ensuing CIA-backed invasion attempt at the Bay of Pigs and subsequent Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 brought the world as close to nuclear war as it had ever been and the drama that played out between Khrushchev and Kennedy shaped the global power politics of the 1960's.  The successors of Castro's revolutionaries still rule Cuba today, where the American embargo has created a society in many ways frozen in time and where gleaming and iconic American cars of the 1950's are still common on the roads of Havana.

Suggested Itinerary

The itinerary featured here is intended to give you inspiration and an idea of what you could do on your tour. Your trip will be created individually by one of our travel advisors to match your requirements and budget.

Day 1

Flight to Havana

Flight to Havana: You depart in the morning and arrive later the same day. On arrival you are met by your guide and transfer by private coach to your hotel. There is a large swimming pool and a place to change money into Cuban currency. After checking in and time to relax, you have dinner at a city restaurant.

Day 2

Havana City Tour and Obispo Street

Havana City Tour: This morning there is a city tour of Havana which will focus on the extensive Spanish cultural and colonial history including the Plaza Vieja, the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral Square. You explore the traditional and well-preserved quarter of Old Havana, where you have lunch.

Free Time on Obispo Street: After lunch there will be free time to explore and shop for souvenirs on Obispo Street, the lively and vibrant shopping street in Havana. We return to our hotel in the late afternoon with free time to relax at the pool before dinner.

havana

Day 3

Revolutionary Havana and Cuban Dance Class

Revolutionary Havana: Today you discover the Havana of Fidel at the Museum of the Revolution. Formerly the Presidential Palace, the building now houses a museum which pays homage to Fidel and his fellow revolutionaries. You visit the Plaza de la Revolucion to take the obligatory photo of Che Guevara on the side of the Ministry of the Interior Building. Across the Plaza is a tall monument to José Martí, one of the main figures in Cuba’s independence movement. You also visit the CDR Museum which documents the so-called block-watch system prevalent throughout Cuba which ensured Castro’s iron grip on society at all levels.

Cuban Dance Class: Lunch is on your own and there are many options to try local fare. In the afternoon you return to the hotel for some down time at the hotel pool. In the early evening we have a Cuban dance experience learning salsa, before dinner at a city restaurant.

dance-and-music-havana

Day 4

Cuban Missile Crisis and Vinales

Cuban Missile Crisis: This morning you depart from Havana and visit the Cueva de los Portales, the cave which was the headquarters of Che Guevara during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Che set up his staff headquarters here as commander of the Western Army for 45 days during the crisis and the cave is still furnished with some of his furniture and personal items. There are tables, an army bed, his office and chess board.

Vinales: You have a picnic lunch and then continue on to Vinales, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This region of Cuba is known for its stunning mountains and fertile soil that makes it the tobacco growing capital of the world. After we have checked into our hotel we will go out to dinner for a feast of typical Cuban country cuisine. Our guide will explain how the US trade embargo has made food importation difficult and forced Cuba to embrace organic farming to feed the population.

vinales-cuba-1

Day 5

Bay of Pigs and Trinidad

Bay of Pigs: Today is a long day with a lot of driving as we depart Vinales and head back in the direction of Havana, continuing towards the south coast of Matanzas Province. Our first destination on the coastline is the site of the failed CIA-backed invasion of Cuba in 1961, known as the Bay of Pigs which was orchestrated by Kennedy using Cuban emigres in a botched attempt to overthrow Castro. We stop for lunch on the coastline at a place called Cueva de los Peces where there will also be the chance for a swim and a snorkel for those that want to take a dip. Afterwards we visit the museum at Playa Giron where we will learn about the events of the infamous attempted invasion.

Trinidad: We continue our journey to the town of Trinidad and our hotel which is situated near the beach at Playa Ancon. Dinner will be at the hotel.

view-over-trinidad-cuba

Day 6

Trinidad Walking Tour and Beach Time

Trinidad Walking Tour:  This morning we have a guided walking tour of Trinidad’s beautifully preserved colonial buildings. Trinidad’s wealth derived from sugar and tobacco, made possible by the importation of African slaves, when many of the elegant mansions were built. Trinidad is best explored on foot, following its winding cobbled streets to the open market-places where local people sell hand woven cloths and pottery. After lunch at a local paladar you can explore on your own, maybe listening to live music in the plaza or cool off with fresh squeezed sugar cane juice or visiting the beach at Playa Ancon.

playa-ancon-trinidad-cuba

Day 7

Santa Clara ands Che Guevara

Santa Clara & Che Guevara: This morning you drive to Santa Clara where you visit the Che Guevara Monument and Mausoleum and Tren Blindado Museum. This was where Che intercepted Batista’s troop train on route to Santiago de Cuba and heralded the end of the Batista’s brutal dictatorship. The enigmatic revolutionary leader was finally killed in a shoot-out in Bolivia in 1967 and his remains lay undiscovered until 1997 when they were relocated to this specially built monument, along with others of his compatriots. At the base of the memorial is Guevara’s motto, ‘Hasta la Victoria Siempre’ (Until the Eternal Victory). The Tren Blindado is a museum which houses armoured railway carriages which were involved in the Battle of Santa Clara which was a key encounter and turning point in the revolutionary struggle against Batista. Lunch is in Santa Clara and you then return to Havana.

santa-clara-memorial-cuba

Day 8

Havana Classic Car Tour and Afternoon Flight Home

Havana Classic Car Tour: This morning you have a classic car cruise around the city, driving in a convoy of gleaming 1950’s American cars, cruising along the ocean-front Malacon, the broad esplanade which stretches for 5 miles along the coast in Havana. After lunch in Old Havana you transfer to the airport for your homeward flight.

driving-in-havana

Day 9

Arrive Home

Arrive Home: You arrive back home today.

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