Day 1-3: Trinidad
- Even if you flight arrives in Havana, resist to the temptation to visit immediately the capital: it’s better rent a car and leave quickly for Trinidad. It’ll take 4/5 but it’ll be the longest ride of your trip, I promise.
- Get lost in this lovely city: start your walk from Plaza Mayor, have a look to the cosy Inglesia Parroquial de la Santìsima Trinidad and enjoy the colors of the streets to arrive to the Convento de San Francisco de Asìs
- Give a glimpse to Museo Històrico Municipal, hosted in one of the most awesome buildings of the city
- In the Barrio Los Tres Cruces you’ll have the chance to see how really local lives in this city. Sat outside their doors there’re men who are playing chess, women who are embroidering and the friendly noise of children everywhere
- Take a rest from the hellish temperature and enjoy an afternoon in front of the Caribbean sea in Playa Ancòn
- Have a cold mojito one the stairs of the Plaza Central, where every night you can have salsa live music, wonderful dance and fun (a lot!)
- If you’re going in high season, I can assure you that all the most famous casas particulares will be fully booked. Trust the local: they’ll find you a good accomodation
Day 4 – 6: Cienfuegos
- Take your time to appreciate the monumental architecture of Plaza Josè Marti and remember that in the evening, just nearby the theatre Tomàs Terry, there’s a cool bar where you can drink a good mojito and listen to local music
- Enjoy the sunset time (preferably with a cold beer in your hand) in Punta Gorda, just fifteen minutes by car from the city
- Don’t miss the ultimate of kitsch: during your wandering in the centre, take a look to the incredible Palacio de Valle
- It’s like in Havana, but if you go to the malecòn you have the chance to see examples of real life in Cienfuegos
Day 6 – 8: Playa Larga
- Playa Larga is located in the famous Bahìa de Cochinos, where in 1961 cuban exiles arrived to try to free the island from the government of Batista. Beyond its historical relevance, this area is wonderful: the sea is simply breathtaking.
- For a cheap price you have the chance to dive in its wonderful reef: the instructors are incredible kind and professional and this place is like a diving paradise. Punta Perdiz is a lovely and quiet portion of beach that is perfect both for sunbathing and for awesome dives.
- The dive inside the 70mt-depth Cenote in the Cueva de los Peces is a little creepy but it’s also one of the best I’ve ever done. If you’re an expert diver, think twice before skipping it
- The resorts in the area are shoody, don’t spend the night there. Hostal Enrique is a good casa particular with the access to an incredible portion of beach
Day 9 – 13: Havana
- Believe me, you’ll always have the impression to haven’t spend enough time to explore the life of Havana. Its charme hardly decreases with the passing of the days and you simply can’t have enough of walking in the streets of Havana Vieja
- Start your exploration from the beautiful Plaza Vieja, continue to Calle Oisbo and its endless number of art galleries and go back through Plaza de Armas (full of nice used book stands) and Calle Mercaderes
- In Plaza Vieja, go to see Camara Obscura, from which you can enjoy a 360 degree live view of the city thanks to an optic device installed on the top of the tower. If you’re interested in photography the nearby Fototeca de Cuba is quite impressive
- Have a drink in the fancy bar Oriente to enjoy the view of Plaza de San Francisco de Asìs, my very favorite one in Cuba
- Give a proper look to Centro Habana, starting from the Capitol Nacional to the popular Hotel Inglaterra – where you should stop for a drink – and finishing with a nice walk in the Prado
- An aperitif in the Hotel Ambos Mundos, where Hemingway was an habituè, should be mandatory
- When the sun goes down take the car and just go along the Malecòn, the road that runs along the sea. The magnificent colonial buildings are near to collapse and their view will remember that Cuba is also that
- Be best place to have dinner is without doubt Doña Eutimia, a lovely restaurant nearby Calle Oisbo where the fish is always fresh, the atmosphere is friendly and the dishes are delicious. Be sure to make a reservation for dinner or you won’t find a place available. If you want to have a good meal you can also go to the Hotel Saratoga, where the fancy restaurant will satisfy each dream of yours
- The nightlife of Havana is a mixture of rhum, salsa and people. You can have a good beer in La Factoria de Plaza Vieja or go directly to the most famous bars of the city (thanks to our fella Hemingway): La Bodeguita del Medio and El Floridita, both perfect for having a wonderful night.
Day 13 – 15: Viñales valley
- Viñales Valley is one of the most incredible natural settings of Cuba. This limestone karst valley is made to be explored with a peaceful horse riding
- During your exploration, take the chance to walk inside the Gran Caverna de Santo Tòmas, a stunning cave where you can see stalagmites and stalactites, underground pools, interesting rock formations and a replica of an ancient native Indian mural.
- Don’t miss to take a look to the Mural de la Prehistoria, 120m-long painting designed in 1961 by Leovigildo González Morillo. It’s wonderful
- 25/40 USD per night for a double room in a casa particular. There’s not a rule about it, basically it’s a matter of luck: sometimes you’re lucky and the accommodation is wonderful, sometimes it simply sucks.
- 300/400 USD per night for a room in a hotel. The only hotel category in Cuba is super-luxury, but the room sometimes isn’t even worthy – with the big exception of Hotel Saratoga (Havana)
- 25 USD per (fish) meal in a restaurant. If you’re staying in a casa particular with 5 USD you can have breakfast; instead the price is 12/15 USD for the dinner
- 25 USD per dive in Playa Larga with good quality equipment, 40 USD to dive in the cenote
- 100 USD per day to rent a car. It could be hard to find but the cost it isn’t particularly expensive and the gasoline too
- 5/8 USD per entrance in some museum or exhibition
- Not all the type of credit card are accepted in Cuba and most of the time you will be asked to pay in cash. Good news: 90% of people accept both USD and EUR