Cuba Vacations

New Years Hiking Trip Across the Island

This tour is designed for all hiking and nature enthusiasts, as we trace the footsteps of the Taino Indians, Cuban guerrillas, and counterrevolutionaries in the breathtaking mountain ranges of Cuba. We will ascend the tallest peak in Cuba, Pico Turquino, and experience a spectacular descent towards the Caribbean Sea. We will hike through the pristine jungle of Baracoa to reach the sacred mountain of the Tainos – El Yunque. Our journey will include traversing the waterfall trail in the Escambray Mountains. Along the way, we will explore the Afro-Cuban heritage of Santiago, the labyrinthine city of Camaguey, and visit Finca del Medio farm, a world leader in the slow food movement, among other exciting experiences. Join us for this extraordinary New Years expedition!
All our trips to Cuba are safe and legal. The itinerary is carefully designed to meet the category: “Support for the Cuban people”.

Highlights of Cuba Vacations

  • Spectacular Hikes: to Pico Turquino, Cuba’s highest peak, where the revolution through tropical forests adorned with vibrant orchids, hike to El Yunque, the sacred mountain of the Taino people, waterfall hikes in the Escambray Mountains.
  • Lagunas and Cayo Coco  to enjoy the tranquility of Cuba’s natural landscapes.
    Less-Known Colonial Towns and Cities: Santiago de Cuba, Camaguay, Baracoa, Holguin, and Sancti Spiritus.
  • Sustainable slow food movement by the Finca Del Medio farm and meeting the Casimiro family
  • Trip to the Community of Lost Taino Descendants
  • Visit to Havana and Trinidad

Cuba Itinerary


Afternoon         Group lunch and orientation Historic tour of Holguin named city of parks: We start the tour from Parque Calixto García in the heart of Holguín. It’s a great place to relax, people-watch, and soak in the local atmosphere and stop by San Isidro Cathedral. We climb the 465 steps to reach the top of Loma de la Cruz (Hill of the Cross) for a panoramic view of Holguín

Evening        Travel to Santo Domingo Group dinner

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Cuba’s highest peak—Pico Turquino—sits in the heart of the Sierra Maestra mountain range (altitude of 1974 meters) . It is a great place to see endangered animals, wild orchids and giant ferns growing in beautiful cloud forests.

7 AM            Breakfast

Morning/Afternoon      On the first day we will we will also explore La Comandancia, headquarters of the rebel army of Fidel Castro. We will spend the night at the mountain base (simple lodge accommodation)
Discussion on history of the rebels movement in Sierra Maestra and situation of the peasants and farmers in the area then and now.

Evening     Dinner in the lodge.

Meals included: breakfast, dinner

6 AM            Breakfast

Morning/Afternoon      The next day, hikers continue their way to Pico Turquino, dealing with steep slopes and wooden ladders. This is the longest and toughest hiking day – we spend about 8-10 hours hiking (9-10 miles) total. We reach the summit of Pico Turquino with a statue of Jose Marti – a short workshop on the life of this iconic Cuban political thinker and poet.
We start descending towards the Caribbean sea on this beautiful yet difficult (especially for your knees) trail.

Evening       Dinner and sunset watch in Las Cuevas and transfer to Santiago de Cuba

Meals included: breakfast, dinner

8 AM            Breakfast

Morning      Historic tour of Santiago de Cuba: We explore Plaza de Marte and admire the surrounding colonial architecture walk to the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, one of the oldest cathedrals in Cuba and appreciate its beautiful interior, visit the Cementerio de Santa Ifigenia, where many notable figures, including José Martí, Fidel Castro and members of Buena vista social club.

Afternoon   Lunch. We take a stroll through the lively neighborhood of El Tivolí, known for its vibrant atmosphere, street art, and music. Afterward, we drove to Baracoa – a 4-5 hours ride on a curvy mountain road.

Evening       Dinner and music by the beach

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Hiking El Yunque, visiting a chocolate plantation in Baracoa, and visiting the lost Taino community offers a delightful combination of adventure, natural beauty, and cultural immersion.

7 AM            Breakfast

Morning      We start early in the morning to avoid the heat and make the most of the day.
The hike to the summit of El Yunque usually takes about 4-5 hours. It’s a moderately challenging hike with steep sections, so be prepared for some physical exertion.

We will be as close as you ever come to seeing the idyll Columbus saw on his first voyage to the New World!

Afternoon   Lunch
Baracoa is known for its rich chocolate heritage, and visiting a local chocolate plantation is a must-do activity. One popular chocolate plantation in the area is the Finca Duaba. During the tour, we learn about the entire chocolate-making process, from harvesting the cacao beans to making the final product. We see cacao trees, observe the bean fermentation and drying process, and even participate in making your own chocolate. Our hosts explain the history and significance of chocolate in Baracoa and share interesting facts about the region’s unique cacao varieties.

Evening        Dinner at El Güirito community.
Many rural Cuban families live in simple bohíos (thatched huts) with palm-plank walls. It is the only place in Cuba where you can see graves topped by thatch and surrounded by guamo (conch) shells, preserving a Taíno superstition meant to thwart evil spirits, the still-smouldering plots of boniato (sweet potato), yucca and maize, newly cleared by slash-and-burn and heaped in earthen mounds, Taíno-style that pre-date Columbus’ arrival in Cuba on 27 October 1492.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

09 AM        Breakfast.

Morning      We travel on the longest bus drive on this trip from Baracoa to Camaguey with two scenic stops and lunch break.

Afternoon   Historic tour of the labyrinth city: We visit Parque Ignacio Agramonte, the main square in Camagüey, stroll around the park and admire the statue of Ignacio Agramonte, one of Cuba’s national heroes, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, a beautiful church located near Parque Ignacio Agramonte.
We head to Casa Natal de Ignacio Agramonte for a short workshop as this museum provides insights into the life and accomplishments of Ignacio Agramonte, offering a glimpse into Cuba’s history. Finally we will visit a local art gallery showcasing the works of local artist Martha Jiménez. Explore the gallery’s exhibitions and appreciate the unique artistic expression of Camagüey.

Evening       Dinner and music in Casa de La Musica.

Meals included: breakfast, dinner

Morning      We will leave early to the little town of Moron and continue towards Cayo Coco for a spectacular observation of pink flamingos.

Afternoon/Evening   We travel to Sancti Spiritus for dinner and night.

Meals included: breakfast, dinner

9 AM            Breakfast

Morning      Tour of Sancti Spiritus, a charming city in central Cuba known for its colonial architecture and historical sites.We explore the city’s main square, Parque Serafin Sanchez, where you can admire the beautiful colonial buildings and the iconic Iglesia Parroquial Mayor del Espiritu Santo, a neoclassical church and visit the Puente Yayabo, a historic bridge that crosses the Yayabo River. This bridge is one of the city’s most famous landmarks and offers great views of the river and surrounding areas.

Afternoon   we head to Finca del Medio Farm, located just outside Sancti Spiritus. This farm offers a unique dining experience as the unique, sustainable farm produces all its food except for … salt!
Meet the Casimiro family – local sustainable farmers and world leaders in slow food and kilometer 0 movements. Admire their stunning farm with renewable energy, fully sustainable water system all built by Jose Casimiro and his two daughters who run the farm. To learn more take a peak at their youtube channel.

After lunch, we make our way to Lake Hanabanilla, which is approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Sancti Spiritus.

Evening       Upon arrival at Lake Hanabanilla, take in the breathtaking scenery of the lake nestled amidst lush mountains. The lake is surrounded by the Escambray Mountains and offers a tranquil and picturesque setting.
We can go boating on the lake or take a relaxing swim in its clear waters. There are rental services available for boats or kayaks. Alternatively, some can explore the surrounding area by taking a hike along one of the trails near the lake. The trails offer opportunities to discover the local flora and fauna while enjoying the natural beauty of the region.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Morning/Afternoon      We start with early breakfast and start the hike in Topes de Collantes, located in the Sierra Escambray Mountains.

Evening       Dinner and live music in Trinidad

Meals included: breakfast, dinner

09 AM         Breakfast

Morning     Historic tour of Trinidad. Departure to Cienfuegos

Afternoon    Lunch in Cienfuegos and hike to El Nicho waterfall – one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Cuba

Evening        Arrival in Havana

Meals included: breakfast, lunch

Morning      Breakfast.
Historic tour of Old Havana with focus on colonial history of the City. Visit to all four squares: Plaza Vieja Plaza de La Catedral Plaza de Armas Plaza de San Francisco Calle Obispo Calle Mercaderes , Capitolio and Parque Central, Bacardi Building , Ambos Mundos Hotel (Hemingway room), Theatre Alicia Alonso, Floridita (Hemingway bar), Chocolate Museum

Afternoon   Lunch
Convertible car ride via Plaza de La Revolución, Havana Forrest, Malecon.

Evening       Dinner and celebration

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

All day      Free time. Departures

Meals included: breakfast


Tour Operator

Sylvia  +1 617-301-1237  Jorge +53 5-344-2776

Emergency Telephone Numbers

Country Code for Cuba +53

Police 106

American Embassy: (+53) 7-839-4100 Address: Calzada St between L&M

Asistur English speaking tourist information: 7-866-8527 (regular hours), 7-866-4121 (24h emergency)

Hospital: Clínica Central Cira García Hospital in Miramar, +509 34 86 8761

Panataxi: 7-55-5555

Dates & Cost



COST (double / single)

December 26th – January 7th, 2024

12 days

$3095 / 3595



We stay in boutique hotels, private bed and breakfast or Eco-lodges that best reflect the local architecture and flavors.

Air condition

Towels and soap

Hair Dryer


Example from past accommodations


What’s included?

What’s not included

Essential Travel Information

for Cuba vacations 

visa requirements, health, currency, and more

▹ Visa requirements for Cuba vacations

Cuba requires each traveler to obtain a visa (tarjeta de turista) before entering the country. Colibri Travel & Tours can provide each of our travelers with a visa ($75 USD including shipping/handling). Alternatively, you can purchase your visa at the gate from the airline. It is mandatory that all airlines operating in Cuba have the blank visas available before boarding (cost: $50-$100 USD depending on the airline). Please make sure your passport is valid for at least another 6 months and has empty pages.

▹ How to make flight reservations for Cuba vacations

If you are booking a flight on your own you will be asked by the airline to choose a travel category. Please choose: “ Support for the Cuban people”.
Colibri Travel & Tours  can help with flight bookings.

▹ Health, Vaccinations

✔︎ All travelers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveler is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should be able to walk at least 2-3 miles a day and be able to climb at least two sets of stairs.
✔︎ You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or any necessary vaccinations before departure.
✔︎ There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Cuba. The most common tropical disease in Cuba is dengue. There is no vaccination against dengue and the best protection is mosquito spray.
✔︎ Please make sure to have mosquito spray and sunscreen (travel size) always with you.
✔︎ At least 30 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at
✔︎ If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour and any possible delays (we recommend adding 1-2 weeks of supply).
✔︎ If you tend to get motion sickness please travel with appropriate medication. If you have a sensitive stomach consider bringing Imodium as well.

Health Insurance: international health insurance, evacuation, or cancelation insurance are not included. We recommend purchasing those before the trip. See the insurance box on the sidebar of this page.

▹ Electricity

Cuba operates on both US and European types of outlets and electricity so there is no need for a converter.

▹ Connectivity, Internet

✔︎ Please contact your phone provider to make sure that your phone will work in Cuba. International calls from Cuba are expensive ($2 USD/min, 50c – text).
✔︎ The internet in Cuba is limited and can be accessed via a special internet card. Colibri will provide the cards ( $1.50 per 1 hour). We will make sure that you will be able to connect each day for 1-2 hours. Please remember that the connection is generally slow.

▹ Time zones
Cuba is in Eastern Time (ET) zone so 12 pm in New York it is also 12 pm in Havana.

▹ Currency, cash, credit cards

✔︎ You will be using Cuban currency for tourists CUC (peso convertible) and we will help you exchange the money after arrival in Havana. Cuban currency is not traded abroad so you can only exchange money in Cuba.
✔︎ Please note that you can’t use US credit cards or travelers checks in Cuba due to the US embargo so you must travel with cash. We recommend bringing at least $50-$70 per day per traveler (more if you plan to shop for art, cigars, etc.) for personal use and $300-$500 emergency cash.
Here is our blog with detailed information on money in Cuba.

▹ Transportation and arrival information

✔︎ If you add airport pick up our driver will meet you at the airport with a sign that says: Colibri Travel & Tours. If you do not see your driver immediately stay right by exit from the secure area for another 15 min. If you still can’t find each other please give us a call. The driver’s name and phone number will be provided within 24 hours before your departure.
✔︎ If you choose to arrange for your own transportation we will meet you at the hotel or casa. In this case please make sure that you have the address and phone number.

▹ Baggage allowance

✔︎ Our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motorcoaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights. Additional baggage can be a subject of extra fees. Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights.
✔︎ We recommend that you make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, documents, and a set of clothes, pajamas and cosmetics (travel size) in your carry-on bag in case of baggage delays. 


▹ Tipping

✔︎ It’s customary to offer your guide and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep currency exchange rates in mind.
✔︎ We recommend tipping the equivalent of $10 per day per person and giving the tips to tour leaders to distribute between drivers, guides etc.
✔︎ Tips can only be paid in cash.


▹ Itinerary

Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travelers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour.


We LOVE to talk about travel. If you have any questions please give us a call: 617 301 1237 or email us:

We are always happy to talk to our travelers and answer the questions!


Register now!

Steps to enroll:

  1. Fill up the registration form on-line here.

Or download the registration form below, fill it out and send to or mail to Colibri Travel & Tours, 341 Pearl St, Cambridge, MA 02139.

2. Send us a copy of your passport and deposit check via password protected email or regular mail.

3. Pack your bags and enjoy!

Small group:

8 - 20 ppl

Physical rating:


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While Cuba is a fascinating country, it wouldn’t have been nearly as wonderful without your commentary, creativity, and enthusiasm. I was so utterly impressed with your knowledge of Cuba’s history, your remarkable ability to navigate the Cuban bureaucracy, and your unending flexibility and willingness to make our requests come to fruition. I don’t think that there was a detail that you didn’t attend to. Add to that your wonderful sense of humor, sensitivity and great spirit – and you are hard to beat! I would follow you on any trip you plan knowing it would be just as exciting, informative and fun as Cuba vacations was.

Gail G. of Brookline, MA

As a recent participant on a Cuba Study tour through UMass Bosont guided by Colibri Travel & Tours, I have nothing but high praise for Colibri’s preparations and follow through for all phases. As a frequent foreign traveler who avoids group tours I can say I was pleasantly surprised by their ability to cater to those folks who needed more guidance while leaving us solo types to explore as we wished. The local contacts they made for guide and driver were excellent. Our accommodations were far from spartan yet allowed people to soak up local flavor through the Cuban equivalent of Bed and Breakfasts. Finally, as on all trips, both solo, and group, unforeseen logistical problems arose which Sylvia handled with professional competence and aplomb. Kudos to Colibri.

Joe M. of Seattle, WA

We want to thank Colibri Travel & Tours for organizing our Cuba vacations with great meals, and the excellent tour leaders, Jorge and Alex, who made the whole trip a truly unforgettable experience! It was absolutely superb in every way. The organization of the itinerary was excellent and accurate on every detail. Our group was lucky to have the most amazing, intelligent and funny tour directors ever - Sylvia. She provided valuable insight into the Cuban politics and the daily lives of the Cubans. What we loved about this travel company is that they gave us as much as they could in the time frame allotted but also gave the option of having our own personal time and helped arranged activities that we wanted.

Pete J. of Portland, MA

Sylvia was a country where things may not go as planned, Sylvia made everything appear seamless. Her knowledge of Cuba is astounding. She's unflappable...if plan A doesn't work she has a plan B, C and D and does it with a smile. What my wife and I experienced was eye opening, what Sylvia showed us, where she took us, what she taught us, made the trip more than we ever envisioned.

Doug S. of Jamaica Plain, MA

We had a great experience with Colibri Travel & Tours. They were super quick to respond to every email we sent prior to our trip. All details were set and we knew exactly where to meet our driver at Havana Airport. Jorge was wonderful! His knowledge of the Cuban history was incredible and his English was perfect!

Dan B. of Manchester, NH

This is my 5th experience with Colibri Travel & Tours, and once again, it failed to disappoint. I went to Cuba last year and Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Poland the previous years. As usual, a wonderful time was had by all, and big thanks to Sylvia and her staff for being prompt and accommodating. You are highly recommended!!

Adriana S. of Chicago, IL

Colibri Travel & Tours is awesome! Our guide Jorge was warm, welcoming, smart, fully knowledgeable and spoke excellent English. We enjoyed deep conversations, as we were very curious about daily life in Cuba. As for accommodation, we stayed in stunning villas in Havana and charming “campesino” fincas in the countryside. We loved every bit of our Cuba vacations.

Maria & Tony C. of Boston, MA