General

It’s undisputedly true that almost always when you talk about Cuba, what you are really talking about is Havana. The eastern part of Cuba, el Oriente, has been able to remain almost virgin, far from prying eyes, away from fashions and trends, very comfortable with its own traditions, its rich culture and its unique essentially Caribbean identity. The conventional tourist lands in Havana or Varadero, goes to the beach, strolls along the colonial streets of Old Havana, jaunts over to Trinidad and maybe to Las Terrazas or Viñales Valley in Pinar del Río, and that’s the end of the trip. Oriente remains a mystery that can be unveiled day by day. This tour helps you to do so.

Visited destinations

Santiago de Cuba, Baracoa, Holguin, Bayamo, Cayo Saetía, Pinares de Mayarí

Duration

10 nights

Languages

Guides speak following languages:

  • French
  • Spanish
  • English

Please specify the languge of your preference.

Itinerary

Day 1: Santiago de Cuba, the Heroic City

We will welcome you in Santiago de Cuba, the Heroic City.

Santiago has been praised for being hospitable and at one time was the capital of Cuba, bathed by the white-capped waves and the sea breezes of the Caribbean.

Day one will get you into Santiago de Cuba downtown. Every corner of the city of Santiago de Cuba, or the Heroic City as it is also known, is stamped with the history of the making of the Cuban Nation. As you tour the city, you will see the Moncada Barracks, Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, the Casa del Habano and Caney Rum, among other attractions.

El Cayo Restaurant will help you recover your strength with a great lunch. The location of this place is one of its great attractions: the view of the city of Santiago from the key is lovely. Cayo Granma can be reached by a boat that crosses the bay from Punta Gorda. It is an ideal place for the family to enjoy seafoods, especially shrimp and lobster. A plus for this restaurant is that you can take a walk around the key and get to know the small town that is nestled there.

Santiago de Cuba has a sign spelling out the name of CUBA in gigantic letters, in tribute to the Island and its people. Make sure you take a selfie there to prove to your friends that you have really been to Oriente!

At the end of the day, we will take you to your hotel for check in. The night hasn’t been programmed in order to guarantee your rest for next intense days.

Included on day 1:

  • The tourist guide in your language.
  • Lunch at Cayo Restaurant.
  • Entrance to all mentioned places.
  • Boat to Cayo Granma.
  • Your Santiago de Cuba Hotel.

Day 2: Santiago de Cuba Surroundings: La Caridad del Cobre y el Morro

In its second day, the tour will take you to the “Sanctuary of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre” is a site of religious pilgrimage all year round, Cubans have been venerating the Patron Saint of Cuba, Caridad del Cobre, for ages. The sanctuary is 27 kilometers from the city of Santiago. The Virgin has been the object of worship by the faithful, including popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

In the way back to Santiago de Cuba city, you will stop for lunch at one of the many restaurants recently opened in the city. Later on, the tour continues to Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca del Morro. This living example of the Spanish imprint on Cuba, it is considered an architectural jewel for its esthetic and historical merits. As the sun dips into the sea every evening, you can witness the Cañon Firing Ceremony, the Cañonazo. An exciting way to enjoy the Caribbean sunset.

For the evening, if you are no too tired, we have reserved a table at Iris Jazz Club. Santiago de Cuba is not just rumba and French tumba. Jazz is making its way in this populous city of more than one million people, and one of the places where you can enjoy live performances is the Iris Jazz Club, together with a fabulous dinner.

Included on day 2:

  • The tourist guide in your language.
  • Lunch and dinner.
  • Entrance to Castillo de San Pedro del Morro.
  • Your Santiago de Cuba hotel.

Day 3: Gran Piedra Excursion

Early in the morning you will embark on a nature-bound adventure where the views, flora – even the temperature – are worlds away from Santiago de Cuba. Located just 20 kilometers from Santiago de Cuba city, La Gran Piedra is natural wonder, romantic legacy and botanical splendor rolled into one. Exploring this area in a 4x4 Jeep with one of our expert local guides is a singular adventure.

Coming back to Santiago, nothing has been scheduled, giving you the chance of resting for the rest of the tour that continues next day to Bayamo.

Anyway, as recommendation we will suggest to enjoy your last night in Santiago having a dinner in St. Pauli restaurant. St. Pauli is one of the most fashionable establishments in the city of Santiago today. We specially recommend the St. Pauli pork ribs and the chicken in chocolate, although all the entrees are a delicatessen. Also, Casa de la Trova and Casa de la Música are legendary places for live music. Live performances of best Cuban bands are held every day and matinees are very popular with locals.

Included on day 3:

  • Excursion to Gran Piedra.
  • Your Santiago de Cuba hotel.
  • Tourist guide in your language.

Day 4: Bayamo, in Granma Province 

About 400 km leads you to the historical city of Bayamo, when the insurrection against the Spanish began two centuries ago. It was in Bayamo that the first notes of the Cuban national anthem were heard, and the anthem was composed for a native of the city: Perucho Figueredo.

The tour will take you to this city, National Monument considered the cradle of Cuban nationality. You will also ride on one of the traditional horse-carriages that you will see all over the streets of Bayamo. Then you will understand the meaning of this popular song: “Quiero ir a Bayamo de noche, a montar por el parque en un coche…” (“I want to go to Bayamo at night, to ride around the park on a horse-and-carriage…”).

You will stay at Hotel Encanto Royalton, in the heart of Bayamo’s downtown.

Included on day 4:

  • Transportation to Bayamo.
  • Lunch and dinner.
  • City tour of Bayamo.
  • Entrance to places in Bayamo city.
  • The tourist guide in your language.
  • Your hotel in Bayamo.

Day 5: Arriving to Holguin your base for exploring this fabulous province.

The tour continues to Holguín. This northeastern province is known for its nickel production, but it is also the country’s third most popular tourist destination.

The tours will take you to several attractions of Holguin city’s historial center. Among them one of the most popular is definitely La Loma de la Cruz. You will climb 458 steps to take in magnificent panoramic views of the city.

Included on day 5:

  • Transportation to Holguín.
  • Lunch and dinner.
  • City tour of Holguín City.
  • Entrance to places in Holguín city.
  • The tourist guide in your language.
  • Your casa particular in Holguín.

Day 6: Excursion to Pinares de Mayarí

Departing early in the morning, the tour will take you to Pinares de Mayarí. Here The Gran Salto (Great Falls) del Guayabo stands out as one of the main attractions of National Park La Mensura. The park is located in the Pinares (Pinewoods) de Mayarí, a marvelous ecological landscape in a refreshing, lush microclimate. These factors combine to make this area the perfect destination for hiking, swimming, bird watching and horseback riding.

At 546 meters above sea level, the Salto del Guayabo is one of Cuba’s highest waterfalls. The cascade is actually a double waterfall, with trails leading to the summit. Dozens of orchid and fern species are found here, along with towering pine trees.

Included on day 6:

  • Excursion to Pinares de Mayarí.
  • Your Santiago de Cuba hotel.
  • Tourist guide in your language.
  • Your hotel in Holguín City.

Day 7 and 8: Cayo Saetía

Cayo Saetía, at the mouth of Cuba’s largest bay of Nipe, is one of Holguin’s principal attractions.

This small island off the northern coast of Holguín province entices visitors with its varied coastal landscape including gorgeous beaches and reefs, mangroves, and marshes. It also has an exotic animal farm – unique in Cuba.

You will stay in the only one hotel in this key: Villa Cayo Saetía.

Included on day 7 and 8:

  • Transportation to Cayo Saetía.
  • Your hotel in Cayo Saetía.

Day 9 and 10: Baracoa, Cuba’s first villa and capital

Tours continues with a great journey for the rest of the Island, rather descending towards the south until getting to the lengthened tip of Cuba. It is a magnificent route to travel by the oriental area of the country until arriving to Baracoa City, where there is La Rusa hotel for lodging.

We decided to finalize our tour here because Baracoa is different. You are there with the certainty that it is a unique place, where nature reigns. Baracoa was the first villa and first capitl of Cuba. Although the city doesn’t have great monuments or cosmopolitan pretentions, the monumental quality is not the work of humans, it is in the environment.

The city is cozy and there are many attractions worth seeing like the Parra Cross that Colombus brought on his first voyage to America. On the first day, the guide will take you to main attractions on the city: the colonial fortresses, Matachin Museum, the cathedral, among others.

Second days is reserved to explore the most authentic spirit of the region: its nature. A visit to Alejandro de Humboldt National Park, World Heritage Site since 1987, with a rich flora and fauna full of charms for you to discover its beautiful scenery, the path of Cocoa and other exciting options.

At the end of both days, you will have some time for enjoying Baracoa’s beach.

Included on day 9 and 10:

  • Excursions in Baracoa to main natural areas.
  • Your Baracoa hotel.
  • Tourist guide in your language.
  • City tour of Baracoa.

Places of Interest

  • Historic centre of Santiago de Cuba
  • Heredia Theater
  • San Pedro de la Roca Castell
  • Basílica de la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre
  • Cayo Granma Park
  • Gran Piedra
  • Santa Ifigenia Cementery
  • Moncada Garrison
  • Diego Velázquez house
  • Trova House
  • Historic centre of Baracoa
  • Alejandro de Humbold National Park
  • Baracoa Beach
  • Historic centre of Bayamo
  • Historic centre of Holguin
  • La Periquera Museum
  • Loma de la Cruz
  • El Guayabo Waterfalls
  • Cayo Saetía

Flexibility

With MojitoTravels.com you will be able to remove or add any particular place to this suggested itinerary. Please contact us and let us know how you want to personalize this trip.

Combine

If you have more than 10 days for travelling to Cuba, maybe is a good idea to combine this tour with other, or to add a couple of days in other nearby destinations. Doing this you will have a bigger picture about Cuba. Some reccommendations are:

  • Tour “Havana’s Must Sees” (4 nights): An inmersion in Cuba’s capital with an overview of its main attractions and iconic places.
  • Guardalavaca or Playa Pesquero beaches (Holguín): Beautiful beaches near the city of Holguín.