Highlights of Cuba Tour with Wildlife of Central America Cruise
|Resort:||Cuba & More|
Strolling the cobbled streets of historic Sancti Spritus. Learning more about Cubas recent history at the Bay of Pigs. Dipping a toe in the bath-warm Caribbean Sea from Cayo Santa Marias white-sand beach.
Combine a Cuban adventure with a two-week cruise to wildlife-rich rainforests and Caribbean idylls. A weeks tour of Cuba reveals Spanish colonial cities and sugar-sand beaches – highlights of our itinerary include the Bay of Pigs, postcard-perfect Trinidad and the 16th-century town of Sancti Spritus. Boarding our ship, youll enjoy two days in sultry, soulful Havana. Its then off to Central America, looking for monkeys, sloths, manatees and more in Costa Rica, Honduras and Belize. Visits to a trio of laid-back Caribbean islands round off this fantastic Central America holiday.
Your holiday includes:
11 excursions and visits
Day 1 UK – Havana
Titans VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Havana. Therell be time to freshen up at the hotel before we head out to a welcome dinner at a local restaurant – your Cuba holiday has begun!
Day 2 Havana – Bay of Pigs – Cienfuegos
A short orientation tour introduces us to some of Havanas highlights this morning – well be back at the end of our tour of Cuba to explore even more.
Our route to Cienfuegos, our destination for the next two nights, takes us via the Bay of Pigs, location of a failed landing operation by 1,400 Cuban exiles who opposed Fidel Castros Cuban Revolution.
Taking place at the height of the Cold War, the operation had major repercussions on relations between Cuba, the US and the Soviet Union. Well learn more about the landing and its impact during our visit, and during a trip to the superb museum at Playa Girn, which well visit later on.
This afternoon, well enjoy a scenic boat ride across lush wetlands to Aldea Taina, a reconstruction of a traditional Cuban village.
Day 3 Cienfuegos
Known as the Pearl of the South, Cienfuegos is a glorious UNESCO-listed jumble of colourful villas, elegant architecture and Parisian-style boulevards. A walking tour gets us up close to its mint, peach and raspberry-hued houses, and includes a visit to a cigar factory and the ornate Tomas Terry Theatre.
Lunch will be a highlight – we dine at the rooftop restaurant of the Palacio de Valle, a hundred-year-old Moorish-inspired palace with spectacular views across city and sea.
Day 4 Trinidad
We make our way south-east to lovely Trinidad this morning. Hailed as one of the best-preserved colonial cities in the world, its World Heritage Site old town is all cobbled streets, palm-flecked gardens and balconied mansions painted in a rainbow of colours.
Well explore on foot with a guided walking tour and sip a complimentary canchanchara (rum, lime and honey) at the bar where the cocktail was invented. Well also delve into the wonderful Museo Romntico, a sunshine-yellow mansion housing a treasure trove of art, antiques and fine china.
We round off the day with a Cuban music and dance lesson, and a visit to the Santander Fine Art Family House, a workshop-gallery that displays traditionally made mud pottery.
Day 5 Valle de los Ingenios – Sancti Spritus – Cayo Santa Maria
Our first stop this morning is Manaca Iznaga, a historic sugarcane plantation nestled in the verdant Valle de los Ingenios (also known as the Valley of the Sugar Mills). One of the valleys largest sugar mills, Manaca Iznaga was infamous for slave trafficking – as we wander through the estate, well learn a little about what life might have been like here.
We then continue on to little-visited Sancti Spritus, a pretty town that was one of the original Spanish cities settled in the 16th century. Its winding cobblestone streets are lined by colonial and baroque buildings and a handsome stone bridge crosses the meandering River Yayabo. Well discover Sancti Sprituss charms on a guided tour, before heading on to the beautiful island of Cayo Santa Maria.
Day 6 Cayo Santa Maria
Today is free for you to relax and enjoy your idyllic surroundings – wander barefoot along the flour-white sandy beach, take a dip in the pool or bath-warm Caribbean Sea, or relax in the shade with a book and a cocktail (our stay here is all inclusive, so meals, snacks and drinks are all part of the package).
Day 7 Santa Clara – Havana (overnight)
Continuing our Cuban tour adventure, we arrive in Santa Clara. The town is the final resting place of revolutionary leader Ernesto Che Guevara, with a museum and mausoleum dedicated to him.
On our city tour, well see Tren Blindado, the famous military train that was carrying soldiers and weapons when it was derailed by Che and a group of rebels, paving the way for the Revolution.
We finish up the tour part of our holiday back in Havana, where well embark our ship ready for our cruise of Central America and the Caribbean. The ship remains in Havana for the next two nights, so theres plenty of time to get to know Cubas capital before we set sail.
Days 8-9 Havana (overnight)
With nearly two full days to explore Havana, youll have time to see the sights, sip the mojitos and soak up the citys infectious Latin spirit.
An amble around Habana Vieja, or Old Havana, reveals traffic-free squares, colonial architecture and quirky street art. Duck into salsa dens, cocktail bars or art galleries, or visit one of the citys great museums.
The ship sets sail late evening on day 9, charting a course west for Central America.
Day 10 At sea
Spend today relaxing and enjoying the ship. Go for a swim in the saltwater pool or a soak in the Jacuzzi; catch up on reading in the library; or perhaps indulge with a treatment in the spa. Make sure youre up on deck late afternoon – Caribbean sunsets are famously beautiful.
Day 11 Belize City, Belize
Mostly surrounded by water, Belize City was once a notorious base for pirates. Its history can be uncovered in Old Belize (where youll find a museum and historic train, plus a manmade beach, pool and marina), at St Johns Cathedral (the oldest Anglican church in Central America) and at the Museum of Belize, housed in a former prison.
Venture further afield on a shore excursion and youll find theres plenty more to discover, from wildlife-filled mangroves to Mayan sites. Opt for a guided boat tour of the Belize River and you could spot iguanas, crocodiles, manatees and toucans. Ship to shore tender service.
Day 12 Roatan Island, Honduras
Think Caribbean cruise and you might picture white-sand beaches, swaying palm trees and clear, warm waters. Thats exactly what youll find on Roatan Island, a Honduran gem that floats about 65km off the mainland.
The biggest of Honduras Bay Islands, Roatan is fringed by a colourful coral reef – perfect for divers and snorkellers. If you prefer to stay dry, you could watch for jewel-like hummingbirds in the islands jungle-cloaked interior, browse the market stalls by the harbour, or seek out a local restaurant for fried fish or spicy tacos.
Day 13 At sea
Another day at sea as we cruise to Costa Rica. Why not take advantage of some of the onboard activities – yoga classes, guest lectures and quizzes take place most days.
Days 14-15 Puerto Limon, Costa Rica (overnight)
Puerto Limon is your gateway to the wildlife-rich rainforests of Costa Rica. Arriving early evening and staying overnight, youll then have a full day to explore this biodiverse slice of Central America.Look out for hummingbirds, toucans, parakeets and parrots in the pristine Veragua Rainforest; or join a boat tour of the famous Tortuguero Canals, where you might see caiman, river turtles and otters in the waters, and monkeys and sloths hanging from tree branches.
Days 16-17 At sea
Two days at sea gives you a chance to relax and reflect on your journey so far. Unwind by the pool or perhaps join a class to hone your ballroom dancing, language or painting skills.
Day 18 Oranjestad, Aruba
A full day to discover the delights of Oranjestad, capital of the Dutch isle of Aruba. While the architecture has a Dutch flavour, the overall feel is Caribbean through and through, with candy-coloured buildings, palms, white sands and glimpses of turquoise seas.
Enjoy a fresh fruit smoothie at one of the open-air cafes by the harbour, go for a stroll through peaceful Queen Wilhemina Park, or hit the beach – you might even spot one of the islands resident flamingos.
Day 19 At sea
One last day to relax at sea. Soak up the views on a stroll along the open promenade, or head to the card room for a game of bridge with new friends.
Day 20 Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe
Lush Basse-Terre is todays port of call. Much of the islands interior is covered by stunning national park landscapes, which include tropical rainforest, mangroves, waterfalls and an active volcano.
You can join whale-watching trips in search of humpback, pilot and sperm whales, or there are some lovely beaches if youre looking to relax.
Day 21 Barbados – In flight
We disembark this morning but our holiday isnt over yet. Before making our way to the airport, well head off on an island tour of Barbados. Well stop off at Sunbury Plantation House, built around 1660 by one of the first settlers on the island. As you explore the house, admire the collections of antiques, prints and horse-drawn carriages.
Later, we transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight to the UK.
Day 22 UK
Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.