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

3
nights
Havana

Havana ©
Cuba's capital and major commercial center, Havana manages to be very old and very modern at the same time.
On the 2nd (Thu), get to know the fascinating history of Malecón of Havana, make a trip to Plaza de Armas, don't miss a visit to Plaza de la Catedral, then examine the collection at Wifredo Lam Center, and finally contemplate the long history of Old Square (Plaza Vieja). On the 3rd (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get engrossed in the history at Museum of the Revolution (Museo de la Revolucion), don't miss a visit to Old Havana, and then pause for some photo ops at Neptune Statue.

To find other places to visit, photos, ratings, and tourist information, use the Havana trip builder app .

St. John's, Canada to Havana is an approximately 11.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from St. John's to Havana. 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 4th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Vinales.

Things to do in Havana

Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Plaza de la Catedral ©
Plaza de la Catedral
Malecón of Havana ©
Malecón of Havana
Old Havana ©
Old Havana

1
night
Vinales

Vinales ©
Offering a taste of authentic rural life, Vinales remains a small agricultural town, dominated by surrounding low mountain ranges.
On the 4th (Sat), trot along with a tour on horseback, appreciate the views at Valle de Vinales, and then laugh and play at Palenque de los Cimarrones. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the fascinating underground world of Cueva del Indio, make a trip to Mural de la Prehistoria, then explore the fascinating underground world of Cuevas de Santo Tomas, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus.

For more things to do and more tourist information, refer to the Vinales online trip itinerary builder .

You can drive from Havana to Vinales in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In January in Vinales, expect temperatures between 31°C during the day and 20°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Cienfuegos.

Things to do in Vinales

Parks Nature Tours
Highlights from your plan
Valle de Vinales ©
Valle de Vinales
Cuevas de Santo Tomas ©
Cuevas de Santo Tomas
Horseback Riding Tours

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 6th (Mon): admire the striking features of Palacio de Valle, take in the pleasant sights at Malecon de Cienfuegos, then make a trip to Parque Jose Marti, and finally get a sense of history and politics at Ferrer Palace.

To find ratings, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Cienfuegos trip itinerary planning website .

You can drive from Vinales to Cienfuegos in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. In January, daily temperatures in Cienfuegos can reach 33°C, while at night they dip to 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can take a train to Camaguey.

Things to do in Cienfuegos

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Palacio de Valle ©
Palacio de Valle
Malecon de Cienfuegos ©
Malecon de Cienfuegos
Parque Jose Marti ©
Parque Jose Marti

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.
To find maps, photos, and more tourist information, read our Holguin route planner.

Traveling by car from Cienfuegos to Holguin takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 22°C. On the 7th (Tue), you're off toBaracoa.

Things to do in Holguin

Parks Nature Outdoors

1
night
Baracoa

Baracoa ©
Baracoa is a municipality and city in Guantánamo Province near the eastern tip of Cuba. Start off your visit on the 7th (Tue): get outside with El Yunque and then enjoy the sand and surf at Maguana Beach. On the 8th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: head outdoors with Canon del Rio Yumuri, see the interesting displays at Museo Arqueologico la Cueva Del Paraiso, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion, and finally take in the awesome beauty at Parque Independencia.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Baracoa trip itinerary planning site .

Traveling by car from Holguin to Baracoa takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and taxi; or do a combination of train and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to travel to Santiago de Cuba.

Things to do in Baracoa

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Canon del Rio Yumuri
Highlights from your plan
Maguana Beach ©
Maguana Beach
El Yunque ©
El Yunque

2
nights
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.
Get out of town with these interesting Santiago de Cuba side-trips: El Cobre (El Cobre Basilica & Basilica de la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre). And it doesn't end there: explore the different monuments and memorials at Cementerio Santa Ifigenia, take a memorable drive along La Gran Piedra (The Big Rock), steep yourself in history at Moncada Barracks, and don't miss a visit to Casa Museo Granjita de Siboney.

To see reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Santiago de Cuba online attractions planner .

Getting from Baracoa to Santiago de Cuba by combination of taxi and train takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive; 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 11th (Sat) so you can go by car to Trinidad.

Things to do in Santiago de Cuba

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trip

El Cobre
Highlights from your plan
Cementerio Santa Ifigenia ©
Cementerio Santa Ifigenia
Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca ©
Casa de Diego Velazquez ©
Casa de Diego Velazquez

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 12th (Sun): steep yourself in history at Valle de los Ingenios, kick back and relax at Ancon Beach, see the interesting displays at Colonial Architecture Museum, then examine the collection at Romance Museum, and finally don't miss a visit to Plaza Mayor. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: identify plant and animal life at Topes de Collantes, examine the collection at Museo de Historia Municipal, and then don't miss a visit to Trinidad de Cuba.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Trinidad trip builder .

You can drive from Santiago de Cuba to Trinidad in 9 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from Santiago de Cuba in January, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Trinidad, with lows around 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to drive to Varadero.

Things to do in Trinidad

Parks Wildlife Museums

Side Trips

Trinidad de Cuba, Topes de Collantes
Highlights from your plan
Valle de los Ingenios ©
Valle de los Ingenios
Ancon Beach ©
Ancon Beach
Topes de Collantes ©
Topes de Collantes

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Tue): get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Delfinario, walk around Josone Park, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Varadero Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Wed): kick back and relax at Coral Beach - Playa Coral, Head underground at Cueva de Saturno, and then examine the collection at House of Rum.

To see ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Varadero online day trip planner .

Getting from Trinidad to Varadero by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a bus. Expect slightly colder evenings in Varadero when traveling from Trinidad in January, with lows around 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Matanzas.

Things to do in Varadero

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Varadero Beach ©
Varadero Beach
Josone Park ©
Josone Park
Coral Beach - Playa Coral ©
Coral Beach - Playa Coral

few
hours
Matanzas

Matanzas ©
Though located near a popular tourist resort, Matanzas remains a relatively small town with a strong cultural heritage.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Thu): take in the views from Puente de Bacunayagua and then Head underground at Cuevas de Bellamar.

To see ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Matanzas trip itinerary app .

You can drive from Varadero to Matanzas in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in January, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can go by car to Havana.

Things to do in Matanzas

Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan
Cuevas de Bellamar ©
Cuevas de Bellamar
Puente de Bacunayagua ©
Puente de Bacunayagua

2
nights
Havana

Kick off your visit on the 16th (Thu): take an in-depth tour of Museo de las Telecomunicaciones de la Habana "ETECSA".

For where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Havana trip itinerary builder .

Getting from Matanzas to Havana by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Havana

Tours Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Walking tours
El Capitolio ©
El Capitolio
El Morro ©
El Morro

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