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Cuba itinerary 3 weeks by rental car

Havana - Vinales - Cienfuegos - Trinidad - Ciego de Avila - Jardines del Rey - Camaguey - Bayamo - Baracoa - Santiago de Cuba









Havana Airport

After arrival at the airport of Havana take a taxi to your casa particular or hotel.
It is a good idea to make a reservation for your hotel, casa particular and car rental on forehand through the internet, in specific for high season (July/August and December/March)

Cuba does not have enough rental cars for high season, it is wise to reserve your car at least 3 months before you go to Cuba when you will visit Cuba during the months of July, August, December and January.

Havana Capitolio

Day 1 - 2 - 3 Havana

Visit the historical part of the city; Habana Vieja (Old Havana), relax at terraces with life Cuban bands singing romantic boleros and Cuban traditional songs, walk through Habana Centro to see and feel how the real Habaneros live.
At night I suggest to visit the traditional closing of the harbor, El Cañonazo, at 9:00 pm at El Moro. Afterwards restaurant Dona Carmela is on walking distance, where you can have a real Cuban meal in their garden.

Pinar del Rio city center

Day 4 Pinar del Rio

From Havana to Pinar del Rio

Pick up your rental car in the center of Havana.
Taking the Freeway From Havana to Pinar del Rio:
Taking the new freeway Havana - Pinar del Rio it is possible to avoid the old Central Highway and to reduce the necessary time to cover the distance between both points. In less than two hours you arrive to the city of Pinar del Rio.
There are approximately 180 km of distance.

The trip is very pleasant. You can find florid fields, abundant vegetation, valleys and some mountain chains, as the Sierra de Rosario, one of the most beautiful places of the Isle. It is one of the reservation of the Biosphere of the country.

This route doesn't cross towns or cities. It starts in Havana and it ends up in the city of Pinar del Rio, capital of the province with the same name, and the westernmost of the country. It is located in the western end of the Isle.

All Through this route, you will find in both sides of the freeway landscapes and cultivated fields. Nevertheless, you can choose certain deviations to get to small towns, cities and very attractive touristic centers.

The deviation could be:
In the km 50, you can move away from the freeway and 4 km far you will find the San Juan River, a place of wild nature, cascades and small lakes, ideal to take a bath and enjoy a camping day.
2 km far through the same highway you will get to La Moka Hotel. This touristic center, located among big trees and surrounded by pure, wild nature, is probably one of the nicest and most pleasant places of the country.

Soroa. A national park with a hotel, a magnificent orchid garden, divers nature and the most amazing Cuban flora. It also counts on an observatory that, to get there you will have to climb stones and mountains, and finally, a great valley to your feet.

There are some of the towns you will find if you cross the city of Pinar del Rio 5 to 20 km far: Artemisa, Candelaria, San Critóbal, Los Palacios, Paso Real de San Diego, Herraduras, Consolación del Sur, Viñales, La Coloma, San Luis, San Juan y Martinez, Guane, Sandino and Mantua.

You can also, all along the itinerary, visit some touristic places of interest like Los Portales Cave, La Güira, which is a National Park, the Santino Tomás Cave, the Mines of Matahambre, Cayo Levisa, Cayo Paraiso and Maria La Gorda. All these places are located a few km far from the city of Pinar del Rio.

Cape San Antonio is the westernmost point of the country

Just before you arrive to the city of Pinar del Rio, you can turn to the right and there you will find a group of touristic places of great value.
Among them it stands out the Viñales Valley, a prominent height, in which you it is located the Hotel Los Jazmines. This is the most spectacular touristic scenario in Cuba. It is a group of hummocks that surround a great valley where you will find the famous Cuban tobacco plantations.

Near the valley you can find interesting places such as The Indian Cave, the Rancho San Vicente Hotel and Hotel La Ermita.

Going straight through the highway you will find the City of Pinar del Rio, the westernmost province of Cuba, the province of the valleys, the mountains, the hummocks, the caves, the underground rivers and the medicinal waters.


Day 5 Vinales

Lovely small town in the middle of nature, surrounded by tabac plantations and the typical Vinales mountains; Mogotes At night we recommend to visit Centro Culturo Polo Montanez for life music and dancing in the open air.

Besides three lovely hotels has Vinales many excellent casas to choose from.


Day 6 - 7Cienfuegos

From Vinales to Cienfuegos
Once out of the valley this is, for Cuban standards, a fast freeway, without cities or towns to it sides. It counts on two small deviations of 2 and 4 km that will lead you to the towns of Nueva Paz, Vegas, Jagüey Grande, Aguada de Pasajeros, among others. You will cover through this fast freeway about 400 km.

The City of Cienfuegos is the most beautiful of the southern coast. It is called La Perla del Sur (The Pearl of the South). The Jagua Hotel is besides Hotel la Union the best place to stay. The city was built with the eclectic style of the fifties. Its balconies open up toward the Bay of Cienfuegos, of calm and clean waters. There is also another hotel very near the city, the Rancho Luna Hotel, close to the sea.

From Havana to Guamá
Departing from Havana you can take the highway about 200 km and arrive to Zapata March.
Taking the highway heading Playa Girón near the Central Australia, you will find Guamá, which is the name of an original Taino village, as those belonging to the Cuban ancient inhabitants when the Spanish came to colonize the Isle.

Guamá is a very special touristic center. It is the reproduction of a Taino village on the water.
Beautiful indigenous style cabins are built on pivots in the water. Hanging bridges link the residences to the central point where there are a quay of yachts and boats, a restaurant and a balcony.

About 30 km forward is located Playa Girón, a place full history. There, the invasion organized by the CIA in April 1961 took place.
There are still remains of the infernal combat, which happened about half a century ago. But now, there is also a village, a school, a museum, a restaurant and Hotel Playa Girón. A few kilometers before is Hotel Playa Larga, another historical invasion point. Besides the hotels there are also casas particulares in this area

From Playa Girón to Cienfuegos
Less then 100 km separate Playa Girón from Cienfuegos, taking the southern coast and skirting the swamps. It is a journey amid abundant vegetation very near to the coast, small villages and scare cities.


Day 8 - 9 Trinidad

From Cienfuegos to Trinidad
Skirting approximately 50 km of coast you can get to Trinidad, in a journey where very dens vegetation, valleys, plantations of sugar and small towns are found.

Trinidad city is like anyone would say "A city detained in time", where large houses, churches and buildings of the XVII, XVIII and XIX can be admired just the way they used to be at that time. It is a beautiful, kind of an alive historical relic, because their new residents have taken charge of conserving it. It is not a "dull city", but it is vivacious, loquacious, picturesque and really nice.

You can lodge in several casa particulares and hotels in the city or at the beach: Las Cuevas, Brisas del Mar, Ancón, Costa Sur, the luxury Gran Iberostar Trinidad or the idyllic Finca Maria Dolores
In the outskirts of the city you can stay in the mountain area Topes de Collantes

Ciego de Avila

Day 10 - 11

From Trinidad via Ciego de Avila to Jardines del Rey

Up to Ciego de Avila today.
On the way you could stop at the Che Guevara Memorial in Santa Clara.

From Santa Clara to Sancti Spiritus
For about 100 km of highway there is a quick route amid nature to both sides.

In Sancti Spiritus, capital of the province with the same name, you can lodge in the Zaza Hotel and in the outskirts in Topes de Collantes.

From Sancti Spiritus to Ciego de Avila
Continuing for the Central Highway you can find the cities of Jatibonico, Majagua and Jicotea. About 100 km of distance, with beautiful places to both sides, you can see flat territories.

From Ciego de Avila to Morón
Driving the highway from Ciego de Avila to Morón, for a deviation of the Central Highway you arrive to an important city of the Ciego de Avila province, Morón.

From Morón to Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo
The city of Morón has gained greater significance due to the construction of the highway to Cayo Coco, about 60 km outside the largest island. You can get there either by plane or car.

By earth, a long way on the sea takes you to one of the most beautiful islands in Cuba; Jardines del Rey. It possesses marvelous beaches, typical vegetation, wild fauna like flamingos and a quiet sea.

Cayo Coco and the neighbor island Cayo Guillermo have several luxury resorts to stay: Melia Cayo Coco, Sol Club Cayo Coco, Melia Cayo Guillermo, Sol Cayo Guillermo, Iberostar Daiquirí, The Gaviota Hotel Playa Coco and more ...
Unfortunately you won't find casa particulares on the islands of Jardines del Rey the closest are casas in Moron


Day 12 - 13 Camaguey

From Ciego de Avila to Camagüey
Taking the Central Highway it is a 150 km trip crossing the center of the island and passing by small and distant towns. Here you will be able to see sugar cane fields to both sides, cattle and fruit-bearing territories.

Following this route you will find the small cities of Colorado, Gaspar, Piedrecita, Alganabo, "Carlos Manuel of Cespedes" and a bigger one Florida.

Then you get to Camagüey, one of Cuba's historical cities, among the first ones been founded by Spaniards in the Isle. It is a city with many old buildings, churches, parks and squares. It is very well conserved that's why people can appreciate the typical city that the Spaniards used to settled down in their colonies.

The best hotel is Camagüey Hotel, two kilometers far from downtown. From this place you can enjoy two quite different types of distraction.

One is Santa Lucia, a beach 60 km far from the city. It is a beautiful coast of sand and sea.
Four comfortable and modern hotels allow the visitor to lodge and enjoy the charms of the place. In Santa Lucia, besides taking a bath in its calm waters it is also possible either the aquatic activity, yatismo, diving, and fishing or driving to Cayo Sabinal. This is a magnificent territory with beautiful beaches and casas to lodge.


Day 14 Holguin

From Camaguey via Las Tunas to Holguin 

From Camagüey to Las Tunas
About 250 km separated both cities, which are capitals of the provinces with the same names.
Driving for the Central Highway you can pass by nice and small towns such as Sibanicú and Cascorro, until getting to Las Tunas. Some kilometers before arriving to the city, the visitor can lodge in El Cornito, a typical country facility very appropriate to the place.

From Las Tunas to Holguin
About 220 km separate both cities. Following the Central Highway you arrive to Holguin city, one of the bigger cities in Cuba. On the way you will find little towns and one bigger: Buenaventura. In this province you can lodge in hotels such as: Pernik, El Bosque or El Mirador de Mayabe or one of the many casas particulares

Already in Holguin you can arrange a journey to charming places. To the north, there are approximately 70 km of beautiful beaches, among them: Guardalavaca, Esmeralda, Don Lino and Pesquero Nuevo. The cemetery, the Taino village, the Bahia del Naranjo, all are spectacular places not far from the city.


Day 15 - 16 - 17 Baracoa

From Holguin via Moa to Baracoa

From Mayarí to Moa
It is an intricate trip going into the thick and sometimes inhospitable nature of the area.
About 100 km separate one point from the other. Moa is an industrial city subordinated to a famous plant that produces nickel and the best cobalt in the world. All its inhabitants are somehow associate to that powerful industry. Hotel Miraflores allows to lodge in the city.

From Moa to Baracoa
This is a great route. About 350 km separate both points. A journey is for the oriental center of the island, rather descending towards the South until getting to the lengthened tip of Cuba. At the same time it becomes a magnificent route to travel by the oriental area of the country until arriving to Baracoa City, where there are several small hotels and casas particulares to choose from.

Cuba transport

Day 18 - 19 - 20 Santiago de Cuba

From Baracoa to Santiago de Cuba
All the way along the famous La Farola road through the mountains with spectacular views. After this you will drive along the southernmost coast of Cuba through Guantanamo to Santiago de Cuba

Drop off your rental car in the center of Santiago de Cuba

Day 20 Havana

Take a domestic flight back to Havana, from there a taxi to your hotel or casa particular














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