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Cuba’s Wild East   tour

Cuba’s Wild East

Adventure Unbound
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: N/A
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
7 days
From: $ 2,490 $ 356 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Explore the city on foot, learning about the history of Holguin
  • Visit to Alexander Humboldt National Park and Baracoa
  • Explore Baracoa
  • Enjoy Nature Hike and Chocolate Tasting
  • Experience Tour Guantanamo, Arrive in Santiago de Cuba

Short Description

Nature and Revolution. The remote and rugged northeast coast of Cuba sees few travelers.  From Holguin we travel east looking out to the seas Columbus sailed 500 years ago.  We hike in Alejandro Humboldt National Park, explore other natural areas around Cuba’s oldest city Baracoa, and finally, delve into the rich culture and history of Santiago de Cuba. Our home for three nights is Baracoa, the oldest colonial city in the Americas, founded in 1510.  Until the early 1960’s there was no road access here.  The isolation and remote location has kept Baracoa a treasure.  It was badly damaged by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, but already much has been repaired.  We hike, explore and enjoy this quiet town set on the sea.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Array
Itinerary Focus N/A
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Holguin
End City Santiago de Cuba

Travel Theme

Cultural

Destinations

Cuba

Cities & Attractions

N/A

Activities

Culture

Age Requirement

12

N/A
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Trip Includes

  • Experienced English-speaking guide(s)
  • Specialized activity guides based on activity of trip (kayaking, biking, hiking, etc.)
  • Specialized equipment needed for activities such as kayaks, bikes, helmets, paddles, personal flotation devices, etc.
  • Private pre-tour orientation meeting
  • Cuba Unbound hand-crafted itineraries
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All meals as noted in itinerary
  • Certification of travel to Cuba under the U.S. Department of Treasury general license
  • Small group size (Custom tours for 2, group tours are 16-18)
  • All entrance fees to include events and activities
  • All in-country ground transportation
  • Clean drinking water available at all times
  • Gratuities for presenters, luggage handling, and restaurant staff

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Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Cuba

Meals: Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation : Casa Particular (smaller groups) or Hotel Caballeriza (larger groups)

Arrive Holguin on one of the mid-day flights.  Meet your local guide and transfer to the city for lunch and your first introduction to Cuba! We explore the city on foot, learning about the history of Holguin, Cuba’s fourth-largest city, known as the “City of Parks” and filled with charming colonial architecture.  We also learn about contemporary Cuba and what makes Holguin tick.

Later in the afternoon we check into our accommodations, then enjoy a meal at one of the city’s fine paladars (private restaurants).

Day 2: Alexander Humboldt National Park and Baracoa

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Casa Particulares

Note: Those participating in our Kayak East Tour join up with this tour mid-morning

We depart from Holguin and drive east towards Mayeri, meeting up with anyone from our Kayak East trip near the town of Mayeri.  From here we continue along the northeast coast of the island, paralleling the sailing route Columbus took some 500 years ago.  We pass the town of Moa where nickel is mined as one of Cuba’s most important exports.  Soon thereafter the road gets worse, there’s practically no traffic and we enter the edge of Alexander Humboldt National Park.  This is thickly forested region with many small farms and people living off the land.  We stop at park headquarters at Bahia Taco and take a walk on a nature trail around the bay.  It’s a beautiful, protected bay where manatees come for several months each year.

Continuing east we arrive in Baracoa by late afternoon and check into our casa particulares for the night.  Cuba’s oldest city, the next couple of days are full of surprises!  We enjoy dinner at a local paladar featuring regional specialties.

Day 3: Explore Baracoa

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Casa Particulares

Our day begins with a walking tour of the town to gain perspective an understanding of the long and rich history of this area.  First we visit the Museo Matachin where we meet our personal friend and museum director who regales us with tales, bold and true during our People-to-People encounter.  We continue on foot to the Museo Arqueologico Cueva del Paraiso to learn about the aboriginal peoples of the area.  After lunch we head a bit further east to the dramatic Yumuri gorge for a delightful boat trip. We are almost 800 miles east of Havana at this point, and starting to understand the vastness of this Caribbean island.  We return to town for dinner and overnight.

Day 4: Nature Hike and Chocolate Tasting

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Casa Particulares

Depending on weather and the groups abilities, we have a couple options today for our hikes.  One would be a classic hike in the Parque Natural Duaba and El Yunque, where there is roughly four-five hour hike up the mountain called El Yunque (the anvil).  Revered by the Taino Indians, this massive plateau juts out of the land with sheer cliffs and tropical vegetation. Led by a local guide, this People-to-People hike takes us to the summit at around 1870’ with grand views.  We have other options as well to explore this lush forest and to learn from our local guide about the endemic species and unique ecosystem.

We return to town in the late afternoon with time to visit the House of Chocolate, always a favorite!  Cocoa is an important crop in this region.  The region has a number of unique culinary delights and coconut is used in many recipes.  Cucurucho is made with shredded coconut mixed with orange, honey, papaya and nuts and then wrapped in palm leaves, and is found only near Baracoa.  There’s also sacoco, a mixture of rum and coconut milk.  Fish is another local favorite, found in the sea as well as the numerous rivers in the area.  We dine on some of these local specialties, then enjoy some evening music.

Day 5: Tour Guantanamo, Arrive in Santiago de Cuba

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Casa Particulares or Hotels (Gran, Imperial or similar)

We depart Baracoa to head south over the mountains on La Farola, a winding road that is one of the most dramatic in Cuba.  Stunning mountain scenery greets us as we pass from the wettest part of Cuba to the driest, the southeast corner of the island and Guantanamo Province.  We stop in the town of Guantanamo for a short walking tour, then continue to Santiago de Cuba. 

Santiago is on the one hand slow-moving and romantic, and on the other, frenetic and thumping.  Music is everywhere and this is where Cuba’s Afro-Cuban roots began.  Some 30,000 French planters and merchants fled Haiti after the revolution there in 1791 and settled here, soon followed by black Haitians too.  Slaves from Africa first landed here by the thousands, and today the town displays this culturally diverse background on a vivid palate, replete with music, myths and ritual.

Day 6: Explore Santiago de Cuba

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Casa Particulares or Hotels (Gran, Imperial or similar)

This is a full and fascinating day as we further explore Santiago. The city’s proximity to tropical islands like Jamaica has infused it with an urbane glamour and vibrant Afro-Caribbean culture evident throughout the streets. It’s also a cultural capital that has played pivotal roles in Castro’s revolution and the Bacardí rum business.

Our walking tour takes us to Parque Céspedes, a quintessential Cuban square where colonial architecture is foregrounded by troubadours smoking cigars and writers seek literary inspiration in terrace bars. A statue of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, the man who incited the 1868 rebellion, overlooks the modern bustle. Next to the park we find the Diego Velázquez Museum, home of Cuba’s first governor built in 1516 reputed to be Cuba’s oldest house.  Our local expert guide brings these places all to life while providing an excellent educational exchange.

After lunch our exploration continues with a visit to the Moncada barracks where Castro’s revolution got off to a failed start in 1953.  Then we visit the Cementerio de Santa Ifigenia where Cuba’s national hero, Jose Marti rests and nearby, the grave of Fidel Castro.  Not far away is San Juan Hill where you learn about the Spanish-American War and Teddy Roosevelt’s role with the Rough Riders.

A stroll down the vehicle-free Boulevard for some souvenir shopping, and on to the El Tivoli neighborhood, named by French plantation owners who had fled Haiti during the Haitian slave revolution and settled here.  Narrow streets crisscross steep hills that head towards the bay and one of Cuba’s only brewpubs where we enjoy a beer or soda before returning to the hotel.

In the evening we have our farewell dinner and for those who want, enjoy a night in the energetic town. 

Day 7: Fly home or on to our Havana Extension

At the end of the trip, we offer the option of a transfer back to Holguin from Santiago (3 hours) because there are more flight options from Holguin.  If you are continuing to our Havana extension we fly from Santiago to Havana directly.

Meals: Breakfast

Availability

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Price From $ 2,490
Price Per Day: $ 356 per day
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7 Adventure Unbound Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
5.0 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 7
Great 0
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
5.0
Guide
5.0
Activities
5.0
Lodging
5.0
Transportation
5.0
Meals
5.0

Cuba’s Wild East

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They are just great!!!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
They are just great!!!
They have a no-nonsense ambience.
The Dormitory is adequate, very clean and comfortable.
The food was very tasty, homely and had a good variety.
The activities catered to our satisfaction. They are provided with lots of patience. Every staff member is so friendly and they ensure that you enjoy the outing.
We were a family with people from all are groups. They took care of every individual needs. Our aged mother was made very comfortable, and they arranged a chair for her at every activity area.
We spent almost two days and one night. And we enjoyed every moment.
If one is looking for a good outing, this is the place. Total value for money. Above all it's the passion of the staff that makes them better than most places around Bangalore.
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The hygiene and quality of food served was par excellence.

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Just a couple of weeks ago, our team had been to ‘Eagles Unbound Adventure Camp’ for a team outing. It was one of the best outings that we have had and a lot of credit goes to Mr. Sunil Chris for being the perfect host. He and his team had ensured that every minute detail was taken into consideration and delivered as promised. The fact that the organizers were able to feel the pulse of our team and plan activities accordingly had built the right tone for team bonding. The hygiene and quality of food served was par excellence. I would recommend ‘Eagles Unbound’ to anyone planning a team outing.
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Wonderful place for day outing and adventure activities

5.0
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Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Wonderful place for day outing and adventure activities , and learning for personality development and come out from inner fear of adventure
good work keep it up ...
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amazing adventure activities and friendly staff.

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Great place to have a refreshing day with friends, family and co-workers.
amazing adventure activities and friendly staff. Food is nice too. They also have a great variety of adventure packages.
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A wonderful destination for camping and adventure activities

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
A wonderful destination for camping and adventure activities in South India. well qualified instructors and world class equipments. safety and security is their prime concern.
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Amazing place with lots of adventures activities

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Amazing place with lots of adventures activities combined with military activities like obstacle course.. A must place to visit... Loved being there.. Worth the penny
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Cancellation Policy:

CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS

If you find it necessary to cancel your trip, you should notify Adventure Unbound in writing, by e-mail or fax immediately.  If written cancellation is received (call to verify) before the final balance is due, you will be given a refund less the amount of the deposit.  Deposits are not refundable.  If cancellations are made on or after the final due date, no money will be refunded.  If you are unable to go on the trip, you are welcome to find a replacement for yourself.  Please understand that once you’ve signed up, we lose the right to sell your reserved space to other individuals or groups.  Therefore, we regret that we cannot make exceptions for personal emergencies.  For this reason we strongly recommend you consider purchasing the Travel Protection Plan we offer.

For non USA-based trips, Adventure Unbound must make substantial payments to its suppliers (hotels, transportation companies, etc.) far in advance of the trip departure date.  If Adventure Unbound cancels any tour, trip or expedition due to acts of insurrection, force majeure, strikes, popular demonstrations, acts of God, earthquake, flooding, or any cause beyond its control, Adventure Unbound will refund the portion of the trip cost not already advanced to suppliers and use its best efforts to recover and refund the balance as promptly as possible.

If we are not able to provide a substitute trip, river, or altered itinerary and have to cancel the departure completely, you will be refunded in full. Refunds are limited to the amount actually paid to Adventure Unbound.

CANCELLATIONS FOR EXTENSIONS

There is a $100 per person non-refundable cancellation fee for all extensions.  Cancellations must be received no later than 60 days prior to departure to avoid additional penalties.  Cancellations made 59-30 days prior to departure incur a cancellation fee of 50% of the total fare.  Cancellations made 29-0 days prior to departure forfeit all fees paid.  For groups of 10 or more, cancellations must be received no later than 120 days prior to departure.  Cancellations made between 119-60 days incur a cancellation fee of 25% of the total fare.

Age Notes

Min. Age: 12

Additional Information:

What is a Casa particular?

This is something you'll hear in Cuba a lot. A casa particular is a private accommodation or private home stay in Cuba, very similar to a bed and breakfast, although it can also take the form of vacation rental.  On ROW's Cuba Unbound tour, you can expect to stay in a mix of traditional hotels and casa particulares, making for a full and authentic visit to Cuba.

How difficult is the walking?

We walk between two and five miles.  Our pace is casual and most walks have little to no elevation gain.  Most of the walking will be done during the day in the cities that we will visit. There will be plenty of breaks to take pictures and to learn about the history of the area from our specialized guides. The hikes in the parks will also be guided by experts and the pace will be set depending on the group's abilities.

What are the trail conditions?

Trails are generally well maintained, but loose rock and dirt are common. All paths may be slippery when wet. Good walking shoes or boots are essential; walking poles are not necessary. In the cities where we walk, careful attention to holes in the sidewalks or streets is critical.

What about drinking water?

We will provide clean drinking water at all times during the tour!

Trip ID#:

CubWilAdv

Trip Excludes

  • Round-trip air to/from Cuba
  • Cuba Tourist Visa Fee  (ranges from $50-$100 depending on where you buy it)
  • Guide and driver gratuities
  • Personal expenses such as souvenirs, gifts, additional drinks/entertainment, and incidentals

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