This tour is perfect for the adventurous traveler that prioritizes experience and cultural immersion over high end accommodations. Your expert guides will take you deep into the local culture of Cuba's hidden east that few have the privilege of seeing. There are no 4 or 5 star accommodation options in these areas of Cuba. You will be staying in 3 star casa particulars.
For this tour, we suggest flying directly in and out of Holguin from Miami.
Group Tour—All departures guaranteed, 8 persons maximum.
Private Tour—Flexible dates, fixed itinerary.
Prices are $USD, per person and based on double occupancy.
“Our time in Cuba with Cuba Candela was thought-provoking, eye-opening, preconceived notion challenging, awe inspiring, and fun! Everything that I want out of travel. We made human connections and hopefully lifelong friends…muchas gracias Cuba Candela and keep up the great work of forming lasting connections with the amazing people of Cuba!”
Island Arrival: You will be taken to your accommodation in Bayamo, Granma’s provincial capital, the freshen up and settle in.
Beautiful Bayamo: Spend an hour or two exploring this picturesque town and enjoying classic Granma dishes at its best restaurant.
Exploring Sierra Maestra: We will drive to the iconic Sierra Maestra mountains to learn about the “mambises”- guerilla fighters during Cuba’s independence wars against Spain who made the Sierra Maestra both their battle background and place of refuge.
Al Fresco Cooking: Following in their footsteps, we will forage for ingredients and cook typical “mambi” dishes on an open fire and prepare cocktails that were born out of survival in this remote landscape.
Rise and Shine: Getting up early, we will immerse ourselves in the daily lives of the mountains’ campesinos (farmers.) In the morning, we will be shown around our guide’s farm and taught to make Cuban coffee the rustic way.
Mountain Trekking: Enjoy horseback riding through the area’s farms and pineapple, coffee and cacao plantations, cooling ourselves down in a nearby river.
Puerco Asado: Back at the farm, we will join the campesinos for a traditional pork roast, Cuba’s version of a family barbecue, with all the trimmings.
Farmer’s Fiesta: As the sun sets, bottles of rum and dominos will be brought out for a Cuban campesino party. Option to go back to Bayamo to sleep or camp out at the farm.
Lunch in Holguín: Leaving Granma, we will stop off for lunch in the quaint city of Holguín before arriving in Baracoa in the late afternoon.
Exploring the Town of Baracoa: We will explore the town center of Baracoa, one of the last remaining parts of Cuba that maintains its indigenous culture and known for having the best food on the island.
Cuba Goes Vegan: We will eat at an experimental and eccentric vegan restaurant which will be unlike anything you have experienced before.
Life Along the River: We will take a boat trip down the winding, wildlife-filled Yumurí to learn about Baracoa’s many rivers and how they form an essential part of local life and community. Disembarking, we will walk through the surrounding forests and discover remnants of Baracoa’s golden area of the banana boom in the 20th century and its rapid decline.
Lunch at Sea: A rustic lunch looking out at the open ocean.
All-Female Finca: We will visit a female-run cacao farm to understand the cultivation and production method that turns the crop into chocolate and the importance of cacao in Baracoan identity.
Baracoa Cooking Class: With a local expert we will prepare classic dishes from the area that make Baracoan cuisine so distinct from the rest of the island.
Sustainable Farm to Table: We will visit a permaculture farm – a form of alternative agriculture that hardly exists in Cuba. The owners will invite us to a rustic farm-to-table lunch using ingredients sourced right from the finca.
Beach time: Baracoa also has some of the island’s most beautiful and wildest beaches. We will sunbathe on the sand, swim in the shallows, drink cocktails, and chat with the locals.
Dinner: We will go to Baracoa’s best restaurant owned by the town’s best chef serving the best Baracoan ingredients with a fine dining twist (the chocolate cake is out of this world).
Baracoa Farewell: We will depart from Baracoa and drive to Santiago de Cuba, a hot Caribbean melting pot of history and influences.
Distillery Tour and Rum Tasting: The afternoon and evening will be all about rum which is synonymous with the city. Guided by a local expert, we will visit distilleries and learn about the controversial legacy of the Bacardi family that pioneered the Cuban rum industry and later fled the island. We will also have a tasting session of the rum that is produced in Santiago today followed by cocktails.
Cuba’s coffee trail: As well as rum, Santiago is famous for its former coffee empire and we will be heading to the countryside to visit some of the area’s old French cafetales (coffee plantations). One we will visit has even been transformed into a working botanical garden.
Santiago Bar Crawl: For our final night in Santiago, we will enjoy live music, cocktails, and food at some of Santiago’s best spots.
Welcome to Camagüey: Camagüey is an elegant city boasting cultural academies, artisan workshops, art galleries, and really good food! We will take a tour around the city and stop off at the best eating and drinking spots.
A Final Culinary Surprise: We will drive just outside of the city to an eco-finca with a level of luxury rare to find outside of Havana. We will help out in the greenhouses, do some fruit picking, lounge by the pool, and finish with a very special farewell dinner and drinks in their stylish outdoor restaurant.
Flight: Flights are not included. Book flights directly from Miami to Holguin. You may book your flight to Havana from the U.S. or country of origin. Learn more.
Visa: The Cuba Tourist Visa is required for all travelers visiting Cuba and is not included in our standard tours. You may purchase a visa at the airport on the same day of departure or you may request a visa at checkout for an additional fee. Learn more.
- 3-star accommodation
- Meals where listed
- All activities listed on the itinerary*
- Engaging bilingual local guide
- All transportation, airport and excursion transfers
- Compliance with all U.S. travel regulations
- Flight and any airline fees
- Cuba Tourist Visa
- Discretionary tips for guide, driver and other activities
- Alcoholic beverages
- Trip insurance (highly recommended)
*Note: Itinerary is representative of your experience. Activities are subject to change based on availability and adjustments required due to the realities of island life in Cuba.
Cuba has mild temperatures year round with a dry season from November – April. Prepare for your trip by staying updated on weather in Cuba. Learn more.
From what to pack and how to connect to the internet to information on money and souvenirs, we have compiled everything you need to know for a smooth and carefree trip. Learn more.
We recommend that all guests purchase travel insurance in the event of an emergency. You may purchase coverage from a travel insurance provider like Allianz for a smooth and carefree trip. Learn more.
Visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for information on vaccines and COVID-19 in Cuba. Learn more.
Yes! Travel to Cuba is still legal under the “Support for the Cuban People” travel authorization. We take care of required documents including the visa.
Read our blog “Yes, You Can Travel To Cuba. Here’s How” to learn more.
Clients booking Standard Tours may purchase the visa from us as an add-on to their trip package, or may choose to purchase it at the airport on the day of arrival for commercial flights.
Commercial flights are the most common method of transportation for most travelers from the United States to Havana. Almost all major airlines offer nonstop flights to Cuba, including American, Jet Blue, Delta, United and Southwest Airlines. You may book your flight to Cuba directly with your preferred airline, just as you would to any other destination in the world.
When booking your flight, you’ll be asked to select a purpose for travel. The preferred license for our travelers is the “Support for the Cuban People” license.
Read our blog “How To Get To Cuba” for more information on flying to Cuba and direct flight locations.
Cuba Candela offers 3 types of tours to Cuba: Group Tours, Private Tours and Custom Tours.
Group Tours are open sign up, have set departure dates and offer a chance to meet other travelers during your time on the island. Learn more here.
Private Tours are for your group only with dates of your choice. You select one of our handmade private itineraries and tell us when you want to travel. Learn more here.
Custom Tours are highly curated, totally unique trips to Cuba. Our team of experienced designers works with you to handcraft a one-of-a-kind itinerary. Our private custom tours have been a Cuba Candela specialty since our founding. Learn more here.
The main differences between these packages are in the accommodations, meal inclusions, experiences and visa inclusion. Standard Tours include 4-star accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner at $20 per meal and standard experiences. Standard Tours do not include the Cuba Tourist Visa. Luxury Tours offer 5-star accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner at $40 per meal, exclusive experiences and the Cuba Tourist Visa is included.
Learn more about our pricing and packages here.
We provide all transportation from the moment you land until the moment you leave (airport pick-ups, drop-offs and all excursion transfers included) in an air-conditioned private car, van or similar vehicle with a professional driver.
When you arrive in Havana, your driver will be waiting for you and will show you to the currency conversion desk in the airport. Currency in Cuba is called the Cuban Peso (CUP.)
Note that Cuba is cash-only, so you will not be able to use a debit or credit card or an ATM. It is important to bring a sufficient amount of cash with you to cover the duration of your trip.
Read more about money in Cuba here.
Yes, but we recommend that travelers expect to be disconnected from WIFI during their trip and embrace the digital detox! WIFI in Cuba has improved dramatically and is available at all 5-star accommodations and some 4-star accommodations. If your 4-star accommodation does not have WIFI, you will be provided with time to connect at hotel lobbies or designated WIFI parks.
Yes. Cuba is one of the safest countries in the world to visit and has a stellar track record of safeguarding tourists. It has always welcomed and embraced American travelers with open arms.
Visit our Safety First page to learn more.
A deposit of $99 per person is due at the time of booking to reserve your trip, with a 35% deposit due 1 month later, or 60 days prior to departure (whichever date comes first). All deposits are fully refundable for any reason up to 30 days prior to departure. If you cancel your trip anytime up until 30 days prior to departure, you will receive a full refund.
Visit our FAQ for a more comprehensive list of frequently asked questions.