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Two week itinerary Cuba – for fast and slow travelers

Many people I met in Cuba were traveling around the island for two weeks. That’s why today I’m gonna share two two-week itineraries for Cuba – one for fast travelers and one for slow travelers.

In the following weeks, I will get more into detail in consideration of what to do in those destinations. Enjoy your trip to Cuba!

Two week itinerary Cuba – The fast traveler

Day 1 & 2 Havana
Use your first two days to explore Havana. I’d recommend you to stroll around Havana Vieja for one day and the neighborhoods Vedado and Centro Habana on the other day. When walking through Havana Vieja, get off the big touristy streets like Obispo once in a while. The city changes a lot when you just pass a couple of streets.

Havana

Plaza Vieja

If you enjoy visiting museums, Havana has a lot of them. From the Museum of the revolution, to the museum of rum, the museum of cigars to the museum of Fine Arts. Everyone will find a museum for his/her interests. Unfortunately those museums are quite expensive, so if you travel on a budget, you have to decide which one(s) really interest you.

In terms of the Museum of the Revolution, I found it quite interesting. Nonetheless the entrance is more expensive than the exhibition deserves. History is obviously only considered from the Cuban point of view and ends in the 80s. So, they completely leave out the problems they have had the last 2.5 decades.

Havana

Museum of the Revolution

While in Havana you also shouldn’t forget to head to the Malecón for people watching and some rum and coke in the evening.

Further reading:

  • Traveling back in time: Havana in pictures Part 1 and Part 2

Day 3 & 4 Viñales
Take the Viazul bus early in the morning or organize a shuttle from your accommodation. The drive from Havana to Viñales is about 3 hours. You will be in Viñales around lunch time. After having a small snack, find a shared taxi in front of the church which brings you to Cayo Jutía – the most beautiful beach I’ve seen in Cuba.

Cayo Jutía

Cayo Jutía

In the evening, head to the Casa de la Musica to hear some live Salsa Music, see dance performances and of course to dance yourself!

On day 4 organize a horseback riding tour with your casa particular. You can decide how many hours you want to ride the horse. It costs you 5 CUC per hour. You will ride through the Valle de Viñales, visit a tobacco farm, a coffee plantation, a cave, a lake and a viewpoint over the valley if you do about 5 hours. It’s definitely a tour I would recommend to everyone. That tour definitely was one of my highlights in Cuba.

Vinales

Horseback riding

 

Vinales

Overlooking the valley

If you don’t want to ride a horse, you can do a hiking tour in the valley as well (but you cannot see as much obviously). Nonetheless, I’ve never ridden a horse before that day and really enjoyed it. So don’t be scared, it’s fun.

Vinales

A lake all for ourselves

In the late afternoon, you still have some time to walk a bit along the streets of the small village of Viñales.

Further reading:

Day 5 & 6 Cienfuegos
The drive from Viñales to Cienfuegos is about 5 hours and should be done by shuttle because the Viazul busses takes much more time.

On day 6 take part in an excursion to the El Nicho waterfall which is about 46 km away from Cienfuegos. The waterfall is situated in a beautiful mountainous area. You can observe different birds there and enjoy the flora of El Nicho. Hike to the waterfall and refresh in the water before heading back to Cienfuegos.

El Nicho, Cienfuegos (Cuba)

El Nicho (Source)

Day 7 & 8 Trinidad
Take a bus or a shuttle early in the morning to enjoy a full day in Trinidad. The best thing in Trinidad is to simply follow your feet and explore the small cobblestone streets of the city.

Trinidad

Kids playing in Trinidad

You can also go up to the mountain Cerro de la Vigia to see Trinidad and the Caribbean from above. In the evening eat in the Taberna la Botija and enjoy some really good tapas, pizza or pasta.

Trinidad

Overlooking Trinidad

After dinner, head to the stairs on the right of the main square. It is the meeting point in the city and great for people watching. Have a Mojito or Pina Colada and take in the atmosphere.

In case you want to go out, just go up the stairs to the Casa de la Musica. For a really special night out visit the Disco Ayala. You passed it when you got up the mountain. It is a huge disco in a cave. Unfortunately it was closed due to some construction works when I was there but they let me have a look inside during the day. It is definitely a unique place to party and if you get the chance to go there, do it!

Trinidad

Casa de la Musica, Trinidad

On the next day it’s time for some excursions around Trinidad. According to your interests you can go diving, have a relaxing day at the beach on either Playa Ancon or La Boca, do some horseback riding or hike in the Valle de los Ingenios.

Coming back in the afternoon, either get lost in the streets of Trinidad again (because I can guarantee you, you still won’t have enough from one day) or get some salsa lessons. To find a good teacher, ask the people in your casa particular.

Trinidad

Colorful streets of Trinidad

Day 9 Sancti Spiritus
Sancti Spiritus is about 1 hour away from Trinidad. You can either go there with all your stuff and stay there or do a day trip from Trinidad and go back in the evening.

It is another colonial town and the capital of the region. Lonely Planet says that “Sancti Spíritus is Trinidad without the tourist hassle.”

Parque Serafín Sanchez de Sancti Spiritus, Cuba

Sancti Spiritus (Source)

Day 10 Santa Clara
Santa Clara is about 1 hour away from Sancti Spiritus or 2 hours from Trinidad. It is a student town in central Cuba which was strategically important during the Cuban revolution.

Santa Clara

Che Guevara Monument and Museum

You can visit the monument of Che Guevara there, which also accommodates a museum, a monument of Che with a child in his arms, the Tren Blindado (another monument of the revolution) as well as hike up a viewpoint called Loma del Capiro.

Santa Clara

Santa Clara from above

Day 11 & 12 Remedios
Use the morning to see some of the monuments you couldn’t visit the day before and make your way to a small town called Remedios up in the north in the afternoon. It is 1 hour away from Santa Clara and was recommended to me by a friend. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it there but it’s supposed to be really authentic and off the beaten track.

Remedios, Cuba

Remedios (Source

On the next day, catch a taxi to one of the northern Cayos – either Cayo Ensenachos or Cayo Santa Maria and have a relaxing day on one of those stunning beaches. You can go back to Santa Clara in the afternoon or the next morning.

Day 13 Back to Havana
Your trip is coming to an end and you have to get back to Havana. From Santa Clara it’s a three hours drive and I’d recommend you to take a shuttle. The Viazul bus station is a bit out of town and you have to catch a taxi to go to your accommodation. This will cost you additional 5-10 CUC. The shuttle only costs 2 CUC more than the bus and brings you directly to your accommodation.

Use the rest of the day to walk around the areas you liked on your first visit and get a more detailed glimpse.

Havana

Wandering in Havana

Day 14 Departure
Go to the airport to head back home or to your next destination. Remember to keep 50 CUC in your pocket. You have to pay 25 CUC for a taxi to the airport (there is no other way to get there) and 25 CUC for the airport tax.

Two week itinerary Cuba – The slow traveler

If you prefer slow travel like I do, you should use the itinerary below to enjoy your trip more. The things to do are the same as described above, you can just do more in one place and get to know it better or have some relaxing time in between.

Day 1-2 Havana
Take your time to explore Havana Vieja properly and visit some of the museums in this neighborhood.

Havana

Vedado

Day 3-5 Viñales
When you arrive in Viñales, use the day to stroll around in the city, hike a bit or visit one of the caves in the valley.

Vinales

A bit of relaxation on a coffee plantation

On day 4 and 5 you do the horseback riding tour described above and have a relaxing day at Cayo Jutía.

Day 6-10 Trinidad
Take a shuttle from Viñales to Trinidad. You will get there in about 6 hours. Use the afternoon to get a first glimpse of the city. Then you have three more days to get to know Trinidad, head to Ancon or La Boca beach or do one of the activities mentioned above.

Trinidad

Cobblestone streets of Trinidad

Day 11-12 Santa Clara
Visit all the monuments Santa Clara has to offer, have some rum and coke in the evening, visit a cigar factory and enjoy Santa Clara calmly.

Santa Clara

Che Guevara y el niño

Day 13 Havana
When getting back to Havana, explore the neighborhoods Vedado and Centro Havana. If you want to have more time in Havana, only stay one day in Santa Clara instead of two.

Havana

Plaza Mayor, Havana Vieja

Day 14 Departure
Go to the airport to head back home or to your next destination. Remember to keep 50 CUC in your pocket. You have to pay 25 CUC for a taxi to the airport (there is no other way to get there) and 25 CUC for the airport tax.

Where to stay in Cuba

While traveling through Cuba, I stayed in a hostel in Havana and Casa Particulares in the rest of the cities. I can absolutely recommend every place I’ve stayed. The families were so incredibly friendly, breakfast and dinner (when I had it) was tasty and huge and all of the places were centrally located.

  • Havana: Casa de Ania (Dorm beds and privates)
    Calle 27 de noviembre (Jovellar) #160, aptos. 8 y 9 e/ Espada y San Francisco
    Tel.: +537 870 4881
  • Viñales: Villa de Maceo y Gladis (shared double and private room)
    Calle rafael trejo (interior) #1 D – Viñales, Cuba
    Tel.: +534 8696741
  • Trinidad: Casa Colonial Carlos Albalat Milord (shared double and private rooms)
    Calle José Martí, 330 between Bolivar and Zerquera
    Tel.: +539 3490887552
  • Santa Clara: Hostal Elida (private room)
    Independencia# 266, e/ Union San Isidro (este)
    Tel.: +534 42215914

Have you already been to Cuba? Which cities were on your itinerary?

Read next:
13 RANDOM THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT CUBA

4 thoughts on “Two week itinerary Cuba – for fast and slow travelers

  1. Catherine

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m going with my famil later this year and we are probably going to do the fast route based on what you have said. Could you possibly tell me more about the shuttle buses you mention? How would I book one and are they much more expensive than the viazul? Thanks again!

    1. Stef Post author

      No, they are just a little bit more expensive than viazul. In some cities you find people on the streets, selling you those shuttles. But if there is like a taxi center (e.g. in Vinales) go and book your shuttle there. A day before is mostly enough. And if you are four people even easier as you alone fill up a whole car.

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