Afro-Cuban Essence: A Cultural Voyage in Cuba

Unveil Havana’s captivating narrative alongside a local aficionado, meandering from the iconic Museum of The Revolution to the charismatic Cayo Hueso neighborhood, showcasing the working-class ethos. The town of Matanzas beckons with its historical San Severino Castle, a poignant reminder of the African slaves’ arrival, juxtaposed with the sweet legacy of the sugar factory in Trinidad town. Relish in the inherited culinary traditions through authentic recipes, and explore the secluded Marianao neighborhood, a living tapestry of Afro-Cuban culture. The rhythmic beats of an exhilarating Afro-Cuban show culminate your journey, where drumbeats resonate with the heartbeat of Cuba’s indomitable spirit.
Manaca Iznaga in Trinidad, Cuba
Alandis Students at Prehistorical Mural in Viñales

Your Tour:

10 nights

11 days

16 meals

Up to 4 miles / day

Tour overview

Torre Manaca Iznaga Trinidad Artesanías scaled
Musicos.Tambores Rumba
Embark on an enlightening expedition through Cuba’s rich Afro-Cuban cultural heritage. This meticulously curated 11-day itinerary unveils the profound influence of African traditions on Cuban religion, cuisine, music, dance, and history. Delve into the spiritual essence of Santería, a practice deeply rooted since the slavery epoch, echoed in today’s Cuban society. Traverse through time as you explore Havana’s vintage neighborhoods, historical museums, and savor emblematic dishes like Ajiaco, epitomizing Cuba’s societal fabric. This immersive Cuban cultural tour is a rendezvous with the heart and soul of Afro-Cuban legacy, offering a profound understanding and appreciation of a culture that’s as vibrant as it’s enduring.

Program activities, schedules and personnel may change due to local circumstances.

In such an event, we will alert you as quickly as possible.

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Day by Day

Day 1

Overnight: Havana

The tour coordinator will greet everyone, and we will review the program schedule, emergency procedures and answer questions. After orientation we will set out with our tour coordinator to take a walk and explore the area around the hotel. At a restaurant, we will enjoy a welcome dinner with a delicious set menu.

Day 2

Overnight: Havana

Breakfast at the hotel. We will depart from the hotel by private bus towards Old Havana where we will meet a local expert who will lead our walking tour around the area discovering the main colonial squares. We will continue visiting the Museum of The Revolution where we will learn the history of Cuba from the early 1960s to the present. In the afternoon a local expert will join us for a presentation on Religion and Santería in Cuba.

Day 3

Overnight: Trinidad

Breakfast at the hotel. We will take a private bus to Matanzas, an important town not only for its important literary and musical legacy, but also for being the cradle of several Afro Cuban religions. We will visit the San Severino Castle, a fortress where the Africans slaves disembarked in the XVIII century. Afterwards, we will have a walking tour around Matanzas, discovering the main points like the Vigía square, Sauto Theatre, Ediciones Vigía (unique publishing house founded in 1985) and the Triolet pharmacy, first founded in Latin America.

In the afternoon we will return to Havana.

Day 4

Overnight:  Havana

Breakfast at the hotel. We will depart to Marianao, outside of Havana, a neighborhood known for its Santería tradition and for its social commitment. We will visit and learn about a special social project which promotes the development of the community by creative, solidarity and participatory actions. We will have the opportunity to know about the secret Abakuá society. Afterwards we will enjoy a gastronomic and solidary experience at the same community.

Day 5

Overnight: Viñales

Breakfast at the hotel. We will depart to Viñales Valley, UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we will enter Mogotes (limestone mounds) located on top of tobacco plantations and one of the most spectacular natural landscapes in the world. The first stop will be at a tobacco plantation where we will learn about this important and artisanal farming. After this, we will enjoy a delicious set menu at an ecological open-air restaurant, enjoying the magical landscape.

Afterwards, we will tour around the Natural Park visiting the Indigenous caves (their old native homes) and the famous prehistorical mural.

Finally, we will check in at Casas Particulares, private guest houses with all amenities which contribute to the local economy. Afterwards we’ll set out with our tour coordinator to take a walk and explore the area around Viñales.

Day 6

Overnight: Trinidad

After an early breakfast at Casa Particular, we will depart to Trinidad, Cuba’s finest colonial town founded in 1514, UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town was built thanks to the success of the sugar industry from the beginning of the XIX century produced near the Ingenio Valley. We will visit downtown discovering its architectural value and explore the History Museum showing the high-class architecture and neoclassical decoration of colonial mansions.

Day 7

Overnight: Trinidad

Breakfast at Casa Particular. We will depart to The Ingenio valley, located 5 miles from Trinidad, the place where the Ingenios (sugar factory) settled, becoming the epicenter of the sugar industry in Cuba during the XIX century.

The first stop will be at The Ingenio Valley lookout where you can see a panoramic view of the valley which is now a World Heritage Site. You will learn about Cuba’s sugar industry through the many old sugar cane mills, plantation houses, and barracks. Afterwards, we’ll visit San Isidro de los Destiladeros, probably the last example of the many archaeological sites found in the valley. Finally, we’ll visit Manaca-Iznaga town with its famous Tower and local artisans.

Optional: Climb to the Manaca Iznaga Tower, old vigilance tower used to control slaves where you can also enjoy amazing views.

After lunch, we will visit a local pottery workshop where artisans produce classical pieces that characterize the city of Trinidad. 

To finish our stay in this marvelous city, we will assist a live music and dance show at Palenque de los Congos Reales, where the rumba drummers and African rhythms will not leave you indifferent. 

Day 8

Overnight: Havana

Breakfast at Casa Particular. We will depart to Havana. At night, we will go to the San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress, a colonial fort used to protect the town from pirate invasions in the past. You will be able to witness the cannon blast ceremony that takes place each night at 9 pm repeating the old tradition of the cannon blast which was used to give the sign of the city’s curfew, moment in which the doors of old Havana’s wall would close.

Day 9

Overnight: Havana

Breakfast at the hotel. We will enjoy the morning learning about one of the main Santería neighborhoods in Havana, Cayo Hueso. An expert guide will show us the picturesque Hamel alley and how the Cuban artist Salvador Gonzáles Escalona describes his Afro-Cuban style as a mix of surrealism, cubism, and abstract art. Afterwards, we will immerse ourselves in the Afro Cuban culinary culture through a fantastic cooking workshop, where we will enjoy a real Cuban Ajiaco.

Day 10

Overnight: Havana

Breakfast at the hotel. We will take a private bus to Regla, on the other side of the Havana bay. There, we will visit the Regla Sanctuary, a temple where both Catholic and Santería faith are worshipped. Later, we will learn more about Santería at Guanabacoa Museum. Free afternoon to pack, explore or just relax. 

Farewell dinner at a restaurant.

Day 11

Transfer to the airport at a designated time.

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Tour Inclusions

Tour Pricing

Price per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement $405.

For a minimum of 15 pax.

Additional Experiences

Customize your trip according to your interests by adding any of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

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Manaca Iznaga in Trinidad, Cuba

Visit Manaca Iznaga Tower

Inside the Ingenios Valley, the main point is Manaca Iznaga farm. Its tower, more than 40 meters in height, was used to guard the slaves. Today you can climb to the tower and enjoy amazing views over the wide Valley.
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Horseback Riding in Viñales

Enjoy the magic landscapes of the valley and discover more about the traditional tobacco culture and artisanal cigar production through horseback riding and feel like you were a “guajiro”.
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Latin Jazz Concert

Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a freestyle Jazz Show at one of the most famous Jazz Clubs in Havana where you can still feel in the atmosphere the energy of great musicians such as Chucho Valdés or George Benson.
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Meeting with a CDR (Committees for the Defense of the Revolution)

“¡En cada barrio, Revolución!” (“In every neighborhood, Revolution!”), It’s the slogan of the CDR proclaimed by Fidel Castro for the network of neighborhood committees across Cuba. The mission: Nowadays a kay role in community services. Experience first hand this organisation visiting and meeting with a CDR president.

Visit a Santero or Babalawo

Dig deeper into Cuban Santería and experience the magic knowing a Babalawo or Santero, the priests in the Yoruba Religion. Make a Spiritual consultation and live the sensations to participate in a ritual.