Spend 10 days visiting the major cultural and historic sites of Cuba, and immerse yourself in the daily rhythms of this unique Caribbean island. Start your exploration in Cuba’s landmark capital city Havana, walking the streets of UNESCO-listed Old Havana and learning about the city’s layered and tumultuous history. Next, stop at the French-founded city Cienfuegos before heading to the beautiful colonial town Trinidad. Lounge on the golden sands of nearby beach Playa Ancon and spend an evening enjoying the city’s acclaimed live music scene. Move on to the scenic Viñales Valley to learn about the region’s tobacco production or do a spot of horseback riding. Return to Havana to finish your trip.

Key information

Destinations Destinations Havana, Viñales, Trinidad, Cienfuegos
Activity Activity Nature & Wildlife, Culture, Culinary
Physical Level Physical Level Easy
Season Season January - December

Suggested itinerary

Stroll through the musical streets of Havana

Stroll through the musical streets of Havana

Day 1–4 in Havana

Vintage American cars weave through crumbling colonial architecture, while snippets of salsa music play from smoky bars in Cuba’s iconic capital city. Founded by the Spanish in the 16th century, Havana’s layered history and rich culture have been largely protected from modern influences for decades, thanks to the country’s self-imposed communist rule since the revolution of 1959. As a result, Cuba’s beating heart is awash with untouched customs and traditions, and its defiant art scene can be felt from the sprawling Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and futuristic Fábrica de Arte Cubano, to the the outlandish street art which adorns the walls of Habana Vieja. Watch out for the capital’s teenagers gathering at government-sanctioned Wi-Fi hotspots around the city — even in Cuba time can’t stand still forever.

Don't miss

Visit Havana’s Revolution Square

Visit Havana’s Revolution Square

Nowhere is more evocative of Cuba’s revolutionary spirit than this central square crowned by an imposing statue of Jose Marti and giant mural of Che Guevara.

Drink a daiquiri in Hemingway’s honour

Drink a daiquiri in Hemingway’s honour

Author Ernest Hemingway’s time in Cuba was famously spent mostly drinking in its bars. Sample an authentic mojito or daiquiri in Havana.

Visit European-influenced Cienfuegos

Visit European-influenced Cienfuegos

Day 5 in Cienfuegos

Cuba’s so-called “Pearl of the South”, French-founded Cienfuegos has long been a popular stop for travellers exploring the region. Lining the cliffs of a spectacular bay, the port city’s key position on the trade route between Jamaica and the cities of South America made it incredibly important to the Cuban sugar oligarchy, and has since become a major industrial centre for the country. With elegant UNESCO-listed architecture and French sophistication, Cienfuegos is a worthy stop on any Cuban travel itinerary.

Don't miss

Live like a local in a Casa particulare

Live like a local in a Casa particulare

Forget the mega resorts, the Cuban homestay is the original AirBnB and locals have been opening their homes to visitors for decades. Casas are a great way to live like a local.

Dance to live music in beautiful Trinidad

Dance to live music in beautiful Trinidad

Day 6–7 in Trinidad

Grab a torta cubana and a mojito and sway to the Caribbean rhythms of beautiful Trinidad. This former Spanish colonial settlement found its fortune in the early 19th century thanks to the sugar fields of nearby Valle de los Ingenios, creating the wonderfully preserved colonial-style mansions which line Trinidad’s cobbled streets today. A UNESCO world heritage site known for its excellent live music scene, Trinidad has plenty to offer visitors, and is the perfect base from which to explore the pristine Playa Ancón or lush Escambray Mountains.

Don't miss

Experience Santeria in Trinidad

Experience Santeria in Trinidad

Cuba’s Santeria merges aspects of Yoruba religion brought from West Africa, Christianity and native Cuban spiritualism. Visit Santeria priests and see performances in Trinidad.

Explore the agricultural splendor of Viñales

Explore the agricultural splendor of Viñales

Day 8–9 in Viñales

A small but culturally-rich village in western Cuba, Viñales has quickly become a must-see for visitors wanting a taste of traditional Cuban living. With charming, colonial-era houses surrounded by farmland and tobacco fields, the village acts as an entry point to the neighbouring Viñales Valley and Sierra de los Organos mountain range. It is well worth staying for a couple of days — the valley’s picturesque limestone hills, known as mogotes, are a major draw for rock climbers, and there are plenty of beautiful walks and cultural experiences to keep visitors occupied.

Return to Havana and depart

Return to Havana and depart

Day 10 in Havana

Head back to Havana and spend a little more time exploring the dynamic capital before your onward departure.

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