18 days in Cuba Itinerary

18 days in Cuba Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Cuba Itinerary

Start: St. John's
Fly:  19​h
1
Havana
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Vinales
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 45​min
3
Santa Clara
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Cienfuegos
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Trinidad
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
6
Camaguey
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
7
Holguin
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
8
Santiago de Cuba
— 1 night
train + taxi:  3​h 15​min
9
Baracoa
— 1 night
+4
Fly + taxi + bus + foot + train:  14​h 15​min
10
Varadero
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
11
Matanzas
— Few hours
Drive:  1​h 45​min
12
Havana
— 2 nights
Fly:  11​h 15​min
End: St. John's

2
nights
Havana

Havana ©
Cuba's capital and major commercial center, Havana manages to be very old and very modern at the same time.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): hit the best photo ops around with an inspiring photography tour, get engrossed in the history at Museo de Arte Colonial, then make a trip to Plaza de la Catedral, then get to know the fascinating history of Malecón of Havana, and finally deepen your understanding at University of Havana. On the next day, steep yourself in history at Palacio De Los Capitanes Generales, don't miss a visit to Plaza de Armas, walk around Central Park, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, then make a trip to Cuba Libro, and finally pause for some photo ops at Neptune Statue.

For reviews, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, read Havana trip itinerary website .

St. John's, Canada to Havana is an approximately 11.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from St. John's to Havana is minus 1 hour. Traveling from St. John's in January, expect Havana to be much warmer, temps between 30°C and 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to drive to Vinales.

Things to do in Havana

Tours Historic Sites Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Plaza de la Catedral ©
Plaza de la Catedral
Malecón of Havana ©
Malecón of Havana
Photography Tours

2
nights
Vinales

Vinales ©
Offering a taste of authentic rural life, Vinales remains a small agricultural town, dominated by surrounding low mountain ranges.
Step off the beaten path and head to Horseback Riding Tours and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Get out of town with these interesting Vinales side-trips: Cayo Jutias (in Minas de Matahambre) and Pinar del Rio (PALACIO DE GUASCH & Alejandro Robaina Tobacco Plantation). And it doesn't end there: appreciate the views at Valle de Vinales, try out the rides at Palenque de los Cimarrones, make a trip to Mural de la Prehistoria, and Head underground at Cuevas de Santo Tomas.

To find maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Vinales day trip planner.

Getting from Havana to Vinales by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. January in Vinales sees daily highs of 31°C and lows of 20°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to drive to Santa Clara.

Things to do in Vinales

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Pinar del Rio, Cayo Jutias
Highlights from your plan
Valle de Vinales ©
Valle de Vinales
Horseback Riding Tours
Jardin Botanico de Vinales ©
Jardin Botanico de Vinales

1
night
Santa Clara

Santa Clara ©
The scene of one of the most dramatic battles of the Cuban Revolution, Santa Clara today possesses a youthful feel and a reputation for progressive thought.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Tue): appreciate the history behind Monumento a la Toma del Tren Blindado, look for all kinds of wild species at Loma del Capiro, pause for some photo ops at Che Guevara Mausoleum, then pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral de Santa Clara de Asis, then get engrossed in the history at Museo de Artes Decorativas, and finally pause for some photo ops at Statue of Che Guevara Holding a Child.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Santa Clara trip planning tool .

You can drive from Vinales to Santa Clara in 6 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of shuttle and train. In January in Santa Clara, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 19°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Cienfuegos.

Things to do in Santa Clara

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks
Highlights from your plan
Catedral de Santa Clara de Asis ©
Catedral de Santa Clara de Asis
Che Guevara Mausoleum ©
Che Guevara Mausoleum

1
night
Cienfuegos

Cienfuegos ©
The city of Cienfuegos sits in a scenic natural bay, attracting visitors from across the country and further afield since its establishment in the early 19th century.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Wed): take in the dramatic scenery at El Nicho Waterfalls, stroll the grounds of Cementerio Tomas Acea, then get a sense of history and politics at Ferrer Palace, then don't miss a visit to Parque Jose Marti, and finally admire the landmark architecture of Palacio de Valle.

To see more things to do, maps, photos, and other tourist information, use the Cienfuegos trip itinerary planning site .

Traveling by car from Santa Clara to Cienfuegos takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In January, daily temperatures in Cienfuegos can reach 33°C, while at night they dip to 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Trinidad.

Things to do in Cienfuegos

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan
Cementerio Tomas Acea ©
Cementerio Tomas Acea
Palacio de Valle ©
Palacio de Valle
El Nicho Waterfalls ©
El Nicho Waterfalls

2
nights
Trinidad

Trinidad ©
Built on sugar and seemingly preserved in molasses, the town of Trinidad attracts visitors with its well-aged 19th century architecture and rustic charm, showcasing the sounds, scents, and sights of days gone by.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Thu): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Maria Aguilar, then view the masterpieces at Galerie D'Art Calleyro, then take in the dramatic scenery at Vegas Grande Waterfall, and finally get outside with Parque Guanayara. On the next day, kick back and relax at Ancon Beach, look for gifts at Casa del Alfarero, steep yourself in history at Valle de los Ingenios, don't miss a visit to Cerro de la Vigia, then don't miss a visit to Plaza Mayor, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Yudit Vidal Faife.

For maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Trinidad trip maker site .

Getting from Cienfuegos to Trinidad by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a shuttle. Traveling from Cienfuegos in January, Trinidad is a bit warmer at night with lows of 32°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can go by car to Camaguey.

Things to do in Trinidad

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Parque Guanayara, Vegas Grande Waterfall, Playa Maria Aguilar
Highlights from your plan
Vegas Grande Waterfall ©
Vegas Grande Waterfall
Ancon Beach ©
Ancon Beach
Parque Guanayara ©
Parque Guanayara

1
night
Camaguey

Camaguey ©
Camaguey encompasses the central section of Cuba and remains largely agricultural, its economy dependent on small-scale cattle raising and fruit production.
On the 11th (Sat), take in the exciting artwork at Estudio Galeria Magdiel, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglecia de san juan de dios, make a trip to Gallery Larios, then walk around Casino Campestre, then view the masterpieces at Martha Jimenez's Studio Workshop, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Plaza del Carmen.

To find ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Camaguey trip planner .

You can drive from Trinidad to Camaguey in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Trinidad in January, expect little chillier with lows of 21°C in Camaguey. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) so you can drive to Holguin.

Things to do in Camaguey

Historic Sites Parks Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Plaza del Carmen ©
Plaza del Carmen
Martha Jimenez's Studio Workshop ©
Martha Jimenez's Studio Workshop
Casino Campestre ©
Casino Campestre

1
night
Holguin

Holguin ©
Not overly touristy, Holguin offers a different perspective on Cuban life, standing as a major city that doesn't seek to commercialize its past or cover itself in all inclusive resorts.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Guardalavaca Beach, stroll around BioParque Rocazul, then don't miss a visit to Hill of the Cross (Loma de la Cruz), and finally stroll around Parque Peralta (Parque de las Flores).

Plan my Holguin trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Getting from Camaguey to Holguin by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. In January, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Santiago de Cuba.

Things to do in Holguin

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Guardalavaca Beach ©
Guardalavaca Beach
Hill of the Cross (Loma de la Cruz) ©
Parque Peralta (Parque de las Flores) ©

1
night
Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba ©
Santiago de Cuba has taken almost as much influence from Haiti and the Dominican Republic as it has from Havana, distilling a concoction of cultures to create a city with a distinct identity.
On the 13th (Mon), stroll around Cespedes Park, admire the natural beauty at Jardin Ave del Paraiso, explore the different monuments and memorials at Cementerio Santa Ifigenia, then get a taste of life in the country at Rancho El Dajao, then admire the natural beauty at Jardin de los Helechos, and finally step into the grandiose world of Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca.

For other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read Santiago de Cuba road trip site .

Traveling by car from Holguin to Santiago de Cuba takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. January in Santiago de Cuba sees daily highs of 33°C and lows of 24°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) so you can travel to Baracoa.

Things to do in Santiago de Cuba

Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Rancho El Dajao
Highlights from your plan
Cespedes Park ©
Cespedes Park
Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca ©
Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca
Cementerio Santa Ifigenia ©
Cementerio Santa Ifigenia

1
night
Baracoa

Baracoa
Baracoa is a municipality and city in Guantánamo Province near the eastern tip of Cuba. To see maps, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Baracoa trip itinerary builder site .

You can do a combination of train and taxi from Santiago de Cuba to Baracoa in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. On the 14th (Tue), you'll travel to Varadero.

Things to do in Baracoa

Outdoors Parks Beaches

1
night
Varadero

Varadero ©
One of the largest resort towns in the Caribbean, Varadero boasts a 20 km (12 mi) long stretch of sand, lined with hotels and all-inclusive resorts.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Wed): squeeze the most out of the city with City Tours, explore the fascinating underground world of Cueva de Saturno, then kick back and relax at Varadero Beach, and finally identify plant and animal life at Varahicacos Ecological Reserve.

To find reviews, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Varadero trip itinerary planning site .

Drive from Baracoa to Varadero in 14.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or take a bus. In January in Varadero, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 19°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) so you can go by car to Matanzas.

Things to do in Varadero

Parks Tours Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Varadero Beach ©
Varadero Beach
Varahicacos Ecological Reserve ©
Varahicacos Ecological Reserve
Cueva de Saturno ©
Cueva de Saturno

few
hours
Matanzas

Matanzas
Though located near a popular tourist resort, Matanzas remains a relatively small town with a strong cultural heritage.
To find more things to do, maps, ratings, and tourist information, read our Matanzas trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Vinales to Matanzas in 4 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. In January, daily temperatures in Matanzas can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. On the 16th (Thu), you'll travel to Havana.

Things to do in Matanzas

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

2
nights
Havana

Start off your visit on the 16th (Thu): make a trip to Sculpture Conversation, examine the collection at Museo Napoleonico, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Church and Convent of St. Francis of Asisi, then see the interesting displays at Taquechel Pharmacy Museum, and finally wander the streets of Central Havana. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 17th (Fri): take in the local highlights with Walking tours, then get engrossed in the history at Museum of the Revolution (Museo de la Revolucion), then contemplate the long history of El Morro, and finally make a trip to El Capitolio.

To find photos, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Havana trip itinerary planning tool .

You can drive from Matanzas to Havana in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Havana

Museums Tours Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Walking tours
Sculpture Conversation ©
Sculpture Conversation

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