- Visit the Hemingway's Museum with VIP guest guide, Valerie Hemingway
- Discover Havana's historical buildings with renowned architect Hermes Mallea
- Accompanied throughout by esteemed journalist and Cubaphile Lydia Bell
- In-depth introductions to tobacco cultivation in Vinales and the historic city of Trinidad
Through a series of special private meetings, hosted dinners and expert-led tours, this unique journey through Cuba will introduce you to the highlights of western and central Cuba and take you behind the scenes with some of Cuba’s most celebrated names.
Travel with journalist, Lydia Bell, on this exclusive small group tour to discover and understand this extraordinary and complex society. Begin your journey in Havana where you will meet with Valerie Hemingway, who will share her experiences as Ernest’s PA and later, daughter in-law, whilst exploring the exterior of his residence, Finca Vigia. Discover Havana’s outstanding architectural masterpieces through the creative eyes of renowned architect Hermes Mallea and tap the nights away to the sounds of Cuba’s finest musicians.
Continue to the jagged countryside of Viñales to explore the striking landscape and meet with local farmers to better understand the challenges that face Cuba’s tobacco and food production. Travel south to explore the natural highlights of UNESCO wetlands biosphere Cienega de Zapata before continuing to Trinidad, once the centre of Cuba’s slave industry. Finally, to Santa Clara (Che’s City) for an account of the decisive battle that secured the success of the revolution and a visit to Che Guevara’s mausoleum.
To learn more about Valerie Hemingway and her time as Ernest Hemingway's personal assistant, read her blog here.
Why should I join this group tour to Cuba?
This tour is for those who wish to seek not only an overview of Cuba but also wish to gain a comprehensive understanding of its historical development and culture, in a small group environment. The classic images of Cuba as a cigar producing tropical socialist republic stuck in a time warp of vintage American cars, crumbling colonial buildings and songs from the Buena Vista Social Club remain but we’ll scratch beneath this surface to identify political, social and cultural changes that are slowly carving out a new future for the island. Guides, invited guests and characters you meet along the way will help bring the island, its stories and possible futures to life. Of course, there will also be plenty of opportunity to enjoy what Cuba does best, and party. Music, art and rum take over after dark when the island’s vibrancy and infectious zest for life comes to the fore. Prepare to be mojito’d.
Who is Lydia Bell?
Lydia Bell is a journalist whose love affair with Cuba has spanned more than a decade. She has written numerous travel and feature articles about the island and since returning to England, she travels to Cuba at least twice a year. Fully aware of the nuances of Cuba and fluent in Spanish, Lydia will be on hand to take you on an in depth journey through this extraordinary country.
Is this tour suitable for solo travellers?
This tour is ideal for solo travellers. There is a single supplement of £950 or it is possible to book a willing twin share with a fellow solo traveller of the same sex.
What is the accommodation in Cuba like?
You will be staying in a range of accommodation from the high-end Kempinski Hotel, Cuba’s first true luxury five star property, to privately run guest houses such as Finca Kenia. Each accommodation has been carefully selected to maximise your experience in each location.
Is April the best time to travel to Cuba?
April is a great time to visit Cuba. The days are warm and sunny, and the temperature rarely drops below 20 degrees Celsius in the evening. There is little rainfall in April, so low humidity.
Does this Trip offer Value for money?
Through our contacts we have designed this tour to go beyond the highlights and to give you the most comprehensive and privileged insight into Cuba that we can. Not only have we included some of Cuba's most high-end properties but also behind the scene access, private performances and guest appearances from iconic figures and revered names. In addition to Lydia Bell, you will have a driver-guide accompanying you throughout as well as a concierge service. All your excursions have been included too with excellent local guides. Besides the odd meal for you to pay for locally (where we felt you might be like some time to yourself) meals are included at hand-picked eateries, not only for the quality of food, but also for location and ambience (we’ve even thrown in the odd cocktail). If in any doubt, just call our travel expert, John, who has just returned from two weeks travelling in Cuba to research this tour and can share his first-hand experiences and give you his honest opinion.
Can I extend my time in Cuba?
We will be happy to advise on extending your stay in Cuba, perhaps to explore the Eastern part of the island and travel in the footsteps of Ché and Fidel as the country celebrates 60 years since the revolution. Or, combine Cuba with another destination in the Caribbean or Central America. Please call 01285 885333 to speak to one of our travel experts.
For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.