What's included

  • 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners, including a Cuban cooking class
    7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners, including a Cuban cooking class
  • 7 nights’ accommodation based on sharing twin-rooms, including a night in a beachside bungalow
    7 nights’ accommodation based on sharing twin-rooms, including a night in a beachside bungalow
  • All activities included, from a unique city cycle tour to a salsa class and classic car cruise
    All activities included, from a unique city cycle tour to a salsa class and classic car cruise
  • Max 14
    Max 14
  • Private airport transfer anytime on Day 1
    Private airport transfer anytime on Day 1

Explore bustling Havana on a city cycling tour, cruise through the captivating Old Town in a vintage motor, and discover the vibrant art scene at the heart of modern Cuba. Channel your inner extrovert at a salsa dancing masterclass, feel the heat of local flavour with a Cuban cookery lesson, and try your hand at rolling an iconic Cuban cigar. Savour belly-warming rum on a spectacular sunset walk, ferry to the golden sands of an idyllic coral key, and BBQ under the stars before bedding down in a beachside bungalow

 

Our Cuban adventure is only suitable for our more adventurous Flashpackers. Cuba is a country that is changing rapidly however you should know some of the hotels are charming but basic, itinerary changes will likely happen along with the odd power cut. There is often baffling red tape and the simple luxuries we take for granted are often missing in this beautiful country. However for those who love the odd surprise and the charm of visiting places a little different to home will absolutely fall in love with Cuba.

Are you ready to immerse yourself in a place like no other? Cuba may be famous for its nostalgic scenes of vintage Cadillacs cruising through kaleidoscopic streets, but it’s a country both steeped in history and on the brink of something new. A sun-soaked land slowly emerging from the hangover of revolution and political tighthold, Cuba is a place where contradictions prevail. Here, it makes sense to expect the unexpected. Neighbourhoods are at once exhilarating, vibrant and yet surprisingly conservative; the striking colonial architecture ranges from bombastically majestic to endearingly run-down or entirely dilapidated, while the landscape switches between pulsing city life and remote rural valleys, with golden sandy beaches and dramatic rocky coastline peppered in-between. Following an economic embargo that’s lasted over half a century, and despite still relatively complex socialist State rule, Cuba is now on the cusp of a growth spurt, making it the perfect time to visit. Arrive with an open mind and you’ll soon understand the intoxicating allure of this quirky Caribbean island. Our adventure begins with a bike ride through Havana’s intricate backstreets, followed by a tête-à-tête with a veteran revolutionary who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Che Guevara. Over a special eight-days, you’ll cruise Havana’s captivating Old Town in a vintage motor, try your hand at rolling an iconic Cuban cigar, savour smooth, belly-warming rum at sunset, and scratch the surface of Cuba’s modern music scene. We’ll ferry to the golden sands of an idyllic coral key and snorkel in clear blue waters, before drifting off in beach bungalows to the sound of lulling waves. We’ll BBQ on the beach, sip mojitos on the sand, and head back to Havana for a Cuban cook-off. We’ll salsa dance come sun-down and drink cocktails under the stars, before sampling the nightlife of Havana’s hippest hotspots. Get ready Flashpackers, this is a Cuban immersion like no other…

 

The Flash Pack promise

Here at Flash Pack, we’re committed to unique adventures that deliver great value for money. We pack our trips with epic experiences (unlike other companies, all activities are included), and match you with like-minded people.

  • Uncover the hidden quirks of Cuba’s capital and cruise the captivating Old Town in 1950s classic cars
  • Cycle the intricate backstreets of bustling Havana and see the city from a unique perspective
  • Feel the heat of Havana during a salsa dance class with a one-on-one Cuban partner
  • Snorkel in the clear Caribbean waters of Cayo Levisa and stay in a beach bungalow nestled on the island’s golden sands
  • Travelling in Cuba is not for everyone, luxury doesn't exist and you have to be prepared for last minute changes and odd unexpected surprise.
  • Get a taste for local flavour and master a traditional dish at a Cuban cooking class
  • Experience the intoxicating buzz of hedonistic Havana, then dial things down in the laidback Viñales valley
  • Try your hand at rolling authentic Cuban cigars and take a sunset walk through the rural Valle del Silencio

Itinerary

Day 1: COCKTAILS AND COMPADRES

Take a private transfer from the airport to your boutique casa particular in the buzzy Vedado district of Havana. Meet your guide and fellow Flashpackers and head out to the Old Town for an artisan’s crash course in Cuban cocktail making and a Japanese-Cuban fusion feast

 

Flashpackers, welcome to Cuba! Whatever time you touch down at Havana airport, a private transfer will be on hand to whisk you straight to the boutique casa particular where we’ll spend our first night. Take in the city surroundings, meet your trip guide and get to know all your fellow Flashpackers. Perfectly set in the hip district of Vedado just a few miles west of Havana’s Old Town, you’ll get your first true taste of authentic Cuba at your first night’s accommodation. A restored colonial property set amongst the impressive art deco mansions of what was once known as Havana’s ‘forbidden district’, this is a chance to soak up the exquisite architecture of Vedado; a neighbourhood once notorious for its Mafia connections, now heralded as a hub for nightlife and chic cafe-spots.

 

Once the whole group has arrived and settled in, we’ll head to the Old Town for a masterclass in artisan cocktail making and a delicious spread of local cuisine. Get to know your new compadres a little better while tucking into some delicious food over a drink or two. Fuel up, it’s a busy day tomorrow.

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Get the mojitos in!

Welcome to a world of amazing colour

Watch the sun go down on the streets of Havana

Cuba

Soak in the buzz of the streets

Explore your new colourful surroundings

Cuba

Taste some of the best mojitos in Havana

Day 2: HAVANA BY BIKE AND VIÑALES VALLEY ROADTRIP

Start the day by exploring Havana’s captivating quirks, colour and culture, with a group city cycle tour taking in the woodland valley of Bosque de Almendares, and the coastal road into the Centro Habana district. Have lunch in the Old Town, then take a roadtrip to the picturesque valley of Viñales in time for dinner

You might want to start the day with a Café Cubano (a strong espresso shot sweetened with demerara sugar); today’s schedule is a bonanza of sights and cycling. After breakfast we’ll take to bikes and set off from our casa to see the main sights of Havana from a truly unique perspective. Our two-hour cycle route—led by members of the Cuban Masters, a veteran cycle team who know the city inside-out—will cover 16km, as we ride through the woodland valley of Bosque de Almendares to Plaza de la Revolución—home to the famous Memorial José Martí. From there, we’ll pass the iconic Hotel Nacional as we take the El Malecon coastal road in to Havana’s rustic Centro Habana district, buzzing with lively street vendors and busy locals. We’ll dismount at the Capitolio building on the edge of the Old Town, then head into the maze of busy narrow streets on foot, to better explore. Our guide will highlight key features of the city and lay down the basics of Cuba’s complex political and economic history (there’s much to cover), and you’ll enjoy a once in a lifetime meeting with a veteran revolutionary, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Che Guevara the infamous Castro brothers during the Cuban revolution.

 

After lunch at a chic cafe in the Old Town, you’ll board a private coach with your Flash Pack crew, for a roadtrip to the valley of Viñales and its namesake town. The bumpy journey will take us three hours, so kick back and relax as we drive westwards through the leafy Artemisa province on the edge of the Sierra del Rosario mountain slopes, and into the verdant countryside of Pinar del Rio—just a small leap from where the world’s best tobacco is grown. Get your camera ready for the winding descent into the town of Viñales, those views are worthy of a #nofilter. After checking in at our hotel, where we’ll be based for the next two nights, we’ll enjoy dinner at a local eatery, as opposed to the many State-run options. Later, we’ll head to the town’s main plaza to cut the rug at dance venue Centro Cultural Polo Montanez. Bring your salsa shoes!

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Cycle the streets of Havana

Cycle the streets of Havana

Get the inside scoop from your local guide

Explore the colourful backstreets

We'll cover 16km today by bike

Cruise along the Malecón

See the Plaza de la Revolución

Arrive in the rural beauty of Viñales

Day 3: ROLLING CUBANS & RUM AT SUNSET

Get a true taste of rural Cuba with an exploration of the Viñales valley and the spectacular scenery of the province of Pinar del Rio. Take in the Jurassic cave networks at Cueva de Santo Tomas enjoy lunch at a converted farm with rolling countryside views, then try your hand at rolling authentic Cuban cigars. Watch the sun go down over Valle del Silencio and soak up the sunset with some belly-warming rum

 

We’ll kick off Day Three by exploring the spectacular scenery in the province of Pinar del Rio, aka lesser-known rural Cuba. After breakfast, we’ll head to the incredible Jurassic caves at Cueva de Santo Tomas—a gigantic network spread over 46km and eight jutting levels. Lunch will be served in the tranquil countryside a world away from the urban thrum of Havana. Pinar del Rio is the home of Cuba’s most internationally acclaimed cigars; Montecristos and Cohibas, for those who know their tobacco. So after lunch we’ll head to tobacco farm Finca de Raul Reyes to try our hands at Cuban cigar rolling. If your handiwork turns out to be less than masterful, this is your chance to buy the good stuff. Expect to pay between two to three CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso) per puro—you can take 50 out of the country without having to deal with customs.

 

We’ll regroup early evening for a sunset walk through the Valle del Silencio—a picturesque valley running along the foot of the La Aquiana mountain—where we’ll sample some of Cuba’s smoothest rums al fresco, as the sun sinks to a burnishing glow. There are plenty of dining options in the town of Viñales, so once we’re back at base feel free to explore local cuisine, from traditional Cubana sandwiches filled with roasted ham, pork and cheese, to marinated olives, fried sweet plantains and Ropa Vieja—a Cuban take on shredded beef, often served with rice and mung beans.

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Explore the dazzling scenery of Pinar del Rio

Go off the beaten path in rural Cuba

Learn the art of cigar rolling

Learn the art of cigar rolling

Take in the amazing rural views

These caves cover a gigantic 46km

Head underground into the caves of Cueva Santo Tomá

Head underground into the caves of Cueva de Santo Tomas

Go on an evening stroll through the Valle del Silencio

Important notes

Fly into and out of: José Martí International Airport (HAV)

The accommodation choices in Cuba are plusher than your average Cuban dwelling, but not quite up to Flash Pack’s usual high standards.If you have travelled with Flash Pack before, please be aware the standards of accommodation in Cuba will not match your previous experience, we are staying in some of the best places in each location, but generally the accommodation in Cuba is of a lower standard. Regardless of where you stay in Cuba, power cuts and breaks in hot water are sometimes unavoidable, but we’ll always make sure hotels or casas are clean and comfortable with rooms that are truly unique. Sometimes hotels/casas cancel on us at the last minute so with this in mind we always have a backup hotel/casa of a similar standard. 

Cuba is a developing country, luxuries such as air conditioning, and even toilet seats, are often scarce in Cuba. Learning to appreciate everyday Cuban resourcefulness is all part of this unique adventure.

You’ll need a visa to visit Cuba: check your country requirements and apply for a tourist visa before you travel

Coming from the States? Things are more complicated for you. While travel to Cuba is legal, tourism is still prohibited under US law. To comply with the legalities you’ll need a pre-prepared itinerary that is deemed to be in ‘support of the Cuban people’. Our itinerary supports the local people but we will need you to contact us before you back so we can explain the rules clearly. Also, you will need to ensure you book flights to and from Cuba via a third-party country, i.e Canada, Mexico, Panama etc, to avoid complications

There is an additional charge for the bike ride to the beach on Day 7 of the trip, as this is an optional extra depending on a minimum of 2 Flashpackers

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