Stride climate

No longer available. See new versions below.
Kayaking in the Wake of Christopher Columbus  tour

Kayaking in the Wake of Christopher Columbus

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
8 days
From: $ 3,590 $ 449 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Enjoy Kayaking of Gibara Bay
  • Visit to Iglesia de San Fulqencia
  • Enjoy Kayaking and Snorkelling of Cayo Saetía
  • Visit to Puerto Padre, birthplace to Emiliano Salvador

Short Description

Eastern Cuba:

Cuba flips the paradigm, and on the other side of the island you can find the wild wild east…for now. Compared to Central and Western Cuba, Eastern Cuba (or Cuba’s Oriente) is a little more raw. A little more unrestrained.  A lot less visited.  We’ve scouted out the finest kayaking waters where you will be the only paddlers, in a private tropical paradise.

Discover why Christopher Columbus laid his eyes on the region and declared it “the most beautiful land human eyes have seen.” Though time has passed since 1492, the Oriente still embraces winsome coastlines, tranquil rivers, and striking mountains. The towns are no less vibrant, and their lack of infrastructure and tourist trappings only add to its unadulterated allure.

We have designed this tour as a stand-alone kayak-centric adventure that can also be combined with continued exploration of eastern Cuba on one of our two walking itineraries.

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 Holguín
End City Holguín

Destinations

Cuba

Cities & Attractions

Havana

Age Requirement

12

N/A
See more

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

Find your perfect trip
A vast selection of trips on every continent, for every style. Thousands of itineraries from hundreds of trusted travel companies.
Save time
Use simple search and comparison tools to easily find the best trip. Don't sweat the logistics -- travel providers plan for you.
Save money
Book directly with the operator. Find inclusive packages for the best value and get access to amazing deals.
Travel confidently
Read unbiased user reviews, pick the company that fits your style, and connect with them directly. No worries, just memories.

Travelers Also Viewed

See all similar trips

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Holguín and Kayak to Gibara Bay

Meals: Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Gibara Hotel (Arsenita or Ordono)

Fly out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale into Holguin on a morning flight to arrive no later than noon to 1:00 pm. Upon landing, your Tour Leader greets you and gathers guests for a brief orientation. Then, set off on our journey through Cuba. Though it’s no Havana, Holguín has its own appeal with its 18th century churches and colonial plazas. Though we don't spend much time here today, you appreciate the scenery of Cuba’s “city of parks” as we take the meandering drive toward the coastal town of Gibara.

A few miles from the sea, we stop for our first kayaking opportunity. After we’ve geared up, we paddle down a river coursing toward Gibara and enjoy the passing scenery. Mangroves and birds are a highlight of the paddle.  The river arrives in Gibara Bay and another 20 minutes has us washing up against the shores of the coastal fishing village. Dock, stretch your legs, and get your first view of Gibara. Squally yet slowly seductive, wily yet understated—Gibara is ideal for travelers disenchanted with throngs of tourists and looking for a Cuba that remains much as it has been.

Check into your hotel for the evening before we meet up for dinner featuring some of Cuba’s favorite dishes including the freshest of fresh seafood.

Day 2: Explore & Kayak Gibara

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Gibara Hotel

We wake early and spend our day exploring more of Gibara and its inviting bay. There’s some dispute over where Christopher Columbus first landed. Gibara, specifically the Silla de Gibara rising, is believed to have been first seen by Christopher Columbus in 1492; meanwhile, Holguín claims he first landed at Cayo Bariay, and both lay claim to Columbus’ proclamation of it being “the most beautiful land human eyes have ever seen.”  Decide for yourself as you explore Gibara today!

First up, we kayak around the bay where fishermen ply the waters for shrimp and crab. We paddle up the mangrove-lined Gibara river, with good birdwatching as we go.  We return to the bay, and perhaps a little wind and swell as we make our way back to our beach take-out point.  From there it’s off to an exquisite lunch of the region’s bounty.

We then meet with Señor Jose for a stimulating People-to-People opportunity. Jose is a host of local radio and TV show as well as a master of several languages including English, French, Portuguese, and Russian. He gives us a tour of the town, bringing to life its once-vibrant history as a cultural and trade center as well as its still-vital annual hosting of the international film festival, the Festival Internacional de Cine Pobre.  We visit the Iglesia de San Fulqencia and discuss the history and current status of religion in Cuba.

If there’s time and they are allowing visitors, we visit the local cigar factory to see the involved process required to make cigars and learn about the transformation from green leaf to brown cigar.  The workers take pride in showing off their skill.  Then we go to the Caverna de los Panaderos, caves tucked under limestone hills located just outside of town. Our local guide leads us through the caverns that hold a labyrinth of 19 mineral galleries where glittering stalactites catch the minimal light. Wander the dark caves in search of “the mammoth”—an elephantine knob—as well as a lake lying in silent, calm anticipation with Tolkien-esque mysticism. Our guide is a fount of knowledge, providing excellent tutoring in the geology of the caves and eastern Cuba and in true People-to-People manner, telling us about his local caving club and their work with local youth.

There’s a bit of time to relax before dinner at an excellent paladar where you can taste some more Cuban food prepared with a local flair and accompanied by lively Cuban music.

Day 3: Paddle Bahia Puerto Padre, Farm Lunch, Special Jazz Performance

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Casa Particulares

From Gibara we drive west through sugar cane fields and country landscapes toward the small town of Puerto Padre.  We arrive at our kayaking launch and paddle about two to three hours on the large, protected Bay of Puerto Padre.  Our local guides tell about life as a fisherman in this small town and we may see fishermen throwing their nets, or searching for shrimp.  After our paddle, we drive a short distance to our lunch at a local farm to enjoy a traditional Cuban feast! The lovely family welcomes us and we learn from them about this carefully-tended farm that has been in their family for generations.

From lunch we head to the small town of Puerto Padre, birthplace to Emiliano Salvador, a legendary jazz pianist and also, Juan Pablo Torres, a legendary trombone player.  A small group of musicians continues their tradition and we meet with them to learn about this special history and hear their music.  After our great day, we settle into our first family-home experience at a local Casa Particular.  These Bed & Breakfast places give you a chance to meet more Cuban people on a casual, comfortable level and learn more about daily life in Cuba.

Day 4: Sugar Cane Fields and Rum, back to Holguin

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Caballeriza or similar

We take a break from paddling today to learn about the industry that was once the heart of Cuba’s economy.  Surrounded by fields of sugar cane, we visit the local sugar factory along with its rum production facility.  Here we learn about the history of sugar and rum, as well as how state-run businesses operate in Cuba.  It’s a lively discussion along with some tasting.

Then it’s on the bus and back to Holguin for lunch.  After lunch we have a walking tour of this historically-rich city with its plazas, parks and commemorative statues.  For those with energy, there’s an optional walk up to the top of Lomas de la Cruz, crowned with a cross that has stood here since 1790 and from the base of which are grand vistas over the surrounding landscape.

Day 5: Visit Cuba’s Highest Waterfall and Pinares de Mayarí

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Villa Pinares Mayarí Hotel

We gather for a fresh breakfast before heading out to the east towards Pinares de Mayarí following the distinguished “Ruta de Chan Chan.” Compay Segundo’s canonical song “Chan Chan” is now immortalized by a 360 km route that follows along the iconic places mentioned in the song such as Macarné, Cueto, and Mayarí as well as several other towns bounded by Sierra del Cristal. 

Once we reach the town of Mayarí, we head south into the mountains to the Parque Nacional la Mensura and then on to a forested area of Caribbean pines known as the Pinares de Mayarí. It’s a lofty region settled neatly over the cloud line and the entire region is perfumed with crisp pine.

Our first stop in the mountains is the Gran Salto del Guayabo, the highest waterfall in Cuba at over 100m in height. Hike through the lush tropical forest where orchids grow and Cuban parrots nest until we reach the waterfall. Then, play in the water and watch as water cascades down the rock face in frothing streams until it meets the waiting pool below.

After our time at the waterfall, and lunch, we continue to a small mountain resort. On the drive up the incline toward the hotel, we pass forests and ranches.  This is an agriculturally rich part of Cuba and we may pass ox carts hauling their goods. We arrive at our lodge and after checking in, head out for a three-mile hike to explore the surroundings. We return before sunset with time for a dip in the resort’s pool, then dinner in the dining room.

Day 6: From Mountains to Sea, Kayak & Snorkel Cayo Saetía

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Cayo Saetía Hotel

Today we leave the mountains on a road with spectacular views to the plains and coast below.  It’s about a two hour drive to one of Cuba’s more idiosyncratic spots as we travel to Cayo Saetía. On the way we stop for some time to explore the small town of Mayeri and visit with local merchants. Then, a bit further to the east, is Cayo Saetía, an island located in Cuba’s largest bay, Bahía de Nipe. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, Cayo Saetía was a favorite haunt for communist apparatchiks looking for the thrill of some large wild game hunting a la Hemingway himself.  Fidel and Raul both stayed here. Now, the animals are protected in the wildlife park rather than vulnerable to passing bullets. That being said, Cayo Saetía is the closest to an African Safari Cubans get on the island with its 19 species of exotic, introduced animals including zebras, camels, antelopes, ostriches, buffalo, wild boar, bulls, and peacocks.

Our exploration begins in our kayaks, as we paddle the western shores of the island.  It’s a beautiful coastline with transparent waters.  After about a two-hour paddle, we exit on a soft white sand beach and walk to the nearby resort which is our home for the night.

Day 7: Kayak and Snorkel Cayo Saetia

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Cayo Saetía Hotel

Today is a day of beaches, snorkeling and kayaking.  With our local guides who help us better understand the history of this place as well as the underwater marvels, we have a relaxed day.  Here we find some of the most sublime coastal scenery in all of Cuba.  The white sand beaches and secluded coves lend a Caribbean air to the otherwise African ambience. We take to the kayaks and glide along the azure waters enveloping unique beaches and interesting rock formations. We also have the opportunity for a clearer look at the underwater worlds surrounding the small island while we snorkel in the warm waters.

After our day of adventure, we rest and relax in the simple beauty of a villa on the island. In the evening we enjoy another dinner in the refreshing night air before we retire for bed.

Day 8: Depart or Continue Your Journey

Meals: Breakfast

Today you may return to the airport in Holguin in time for mid-day flights home, or continue with us for one of our two walking tours to explore Cuba’s natural and revolutionary history in our signature, active style.

PART II – Your choice of two itineraries that are offered on alternating trips.

We offer two versions of Part II, alternating between trips.  Both are 6-day/5-night adventures.  We call one of these Cuba’s Wild East, as our focus is on hiking and exploring Alexander Humboldt National Park as well as the town of Baracoa.  This itinerary follows the perimeter of the island, circling back to two nights in Santiago de Cuba.  Our other option is the Origins of the Revolution, and visits the Castro’s birthplace and the mountains of the Sierra Maestra where the Revolution took hold.  This trip also includes time in Santiago de Cuba.  Both end in Holguin and both offer an extension to Havana if desired.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 3,590
Price Per Day: $ 449 per day
Check Availability

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Adventure Unbound.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

Ask Our Destination Experts

Dennis Cox
Email Us

Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

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

Kayaking in the Wake of Christopher Columbus

Write a Review
No reviews yet for this trip. Be the first one to write a review

Company Reviews

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.
Read more

The hygiene and quality of food served was par excellence.

5.0
Details
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.
Read more

Wonderful place for day outing and adventure activities

5.0
Details
Value5.0
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 ...
Read more

amazing adventure activities and friendly staff.

5.0
Details
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.
Read more

A wonderful destination for camping and adventure activities

5.0
Details
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.
Read more

Amazing place with lots of adventures activities

5.0
Details
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
Read more

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:

Do I need experience to join the kayaking adventure?

Whether you are an avid sea kayaker or stepping into a sea kayak for your first time, you’ll enjoy these incredible trips. For those new to the sport, kayaking is easy to learn in the sheltered waters that we visit, and we provide all of the kayaking equipment and guidance needed. In addition, we keep our groups small so that you not only travel intimately among nature, but receive the necessary attention from our guides as well. Your guides will give you an introduction to paddling and you’ll have plenty of chances to practice. We take plenty of paddle breaks to observe the biodiversity and learn about the area from our knowledgeable guides. We do recommend that you get some paddling in before your trip as kayaking uses muscles you may not know you have. Getting a little experience and building some strength will help your enjoyment of the trip.

Do I need to bring my own snorkel and fins?

While snorkel gear is sometimes available for rent in Cuba, we advise that you bring your own snorkel and mask (fins and wetsuits not required). Your own equipment also ensures a better fit and better hygiene, as well as prescriptions if needed.

How can I prepare for the hiking & kayaking portions of my tour?

The trip is not extremely strenuous, but it is quite active and physical by nature. The more prepared you are for the trip, the more you'll enjoy it, and the more you’ll be comfortable. Walking a few miles per day, climbing stairs, working out with light weights, and other cardio and strength training exercises are all highly recommended activities. At the very least, we recommend that participants take long walks and condition muscle groups of the upper body and core by exercising for a full month prior to the trip to avoid overuse injuries of the wrists and arms.

Trip ID#:

KayWakAdv

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

Meals Included:

7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches and 7 Dinners

Similar Trips

See all similar trips
×
Great Choice!

Now, Unlock Member Savings

Our Stride Select trips allow you and your travel companions to save up to $700. You wouldn’t want to miss that, right?

or
or
Provide email and password

With your FREE membership you get to:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
Already a member?

We respect your privacy and take great care to protect your information. By joining you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

×
×
Sign in to Save Trips
Welcome back! We're so happy to see you. ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
  • Bookmark trips you like
  • Share with your travel companions
  • Track price changes
  • Access private discounts on trips you save
×
Sign in to see your results

TripFinder is a member-only feature. Don’t worry, it’s free!

With a membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
×
Activate your free Stride membership

Just use the email address and password provided in the email we sent.

? Forgot Password?

With your free membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
×
To Follow, sign in or sign up (it's free) ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
member benefits
First name is required!
Last name is required!
First name is not valid!
Last name is not valid!
This is not an email address!
Email address is required!
This email is already registered!
Please enter valid email address
Password is required!
Enter a valid password!
Please enter 6 or more characters!
Please enter 32 or less characters!
Passwords are not the same!
Terms and Conditions are required!
Email or Password is wrong!
Please select the captcha checkbox!
Please select the valid captcha!
Something went wrong! Try again later!

x
x
Download your brochure

Enter your email to get the "" brochure.

x
Brochure successfully sent!

We've sent the "" brochure to "". Check your inbox!