Love Havana, but want to explore more of Cuba? Here are four ways approach an overnight trip outside our glittering capital that will satisfy even the most adventurous traveler.
Topes de Collantes
This expedition through central Cuba to Topes de Collantes, a nature reserve park in the Sierra del Escambray mountain range, features natural, historical and cultural highlights, including a chance to romp in the “El Rocío” waterfall
Insider tips: Find the Mirador (viewing platform) for the best views; about 30 minutes from outside of colonial Trinidad. And while swimsuits are suggested, be sure to pack some warm clothing: the temperature in the mountains is much cooler than in Havana, especially at night and in the early morning.
Founded in 1819 by French colonists, Cienfuegos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has maintained its urban fabric. Not only is the city an architectural highlight, but it’s also a nautical city that boasts a beautiful bay: referred to as Cuba’s “Perla del Sur,” meaning pearl of the south, in reference to its elegancy and spirit.
Insider tip: Visit the ancient fortress of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Jagua (so-called Castillo de Jagua), one of the oldest symbols of the city. Not only is it an important piece of Cuban history, but the backdrop of the bay makes for a great photo.
A trip to the city of Trinidad is a trip to Spanish colonial Cuba. Trinidad was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988, and has since become a popular destination for travelers interested in its colonial architecture and history. Specific highlights include visiting “la Casa del Alfarero” pottery house and the Canchánchara tavern to enjoy local cocktails.
Insider tip: Trinidad owes its prosperity to the sugar boom in the 18th and 19th centuries. Vestiges of that boom can be seen in the Valley of the Sugar Mills including the Manaca Iznaga Tower, a symbol of Trinidad named after one of the once-richest sugar barons of the region. Today, after climbing the tower, you can see a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside and even catch a small glimpse of the sea.
Travelers looking to go way off the beaten path should consider a private jeep tour to the Viñales Valley. In rural Cuba, do several outdoor activities including hiking the trail “Del Infierno al Paraíso” and going horseback riding through the local pastoral landscape. To top it all, stay with locals at homestay.
Insider tip: The Viñales Valley has fields that yield some of the best tobacco in the world. Hiking around the area, you’ll be sure to capture the beauty of tobacco farming. Visit a tobacco farm on your escape to better understand the process of nurturing the crop that will become world-famous cigars.
Learn more about our four overnight excursions from Havana and contact us any time online or on (347) 758-4209 to book your next trip to Cuba.