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Day trips from Havana

London, United...
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Day trips from Havana

I had been finding it quite difficult to find local companies in Havana that would offer day trip excursions out of Havana. I was looking to do a trip out to Vinales and nothing seem to come up with my internet searches. The tour Operator that I did my main 2 week holiday to Cuba with, quoted an extortionate amount for one day, which although it meant a private taxi & guide for the day, was almost the same cost as a cheap weekend in Europe (from the UK that is!). I thought there had to be a cheaper way of doing this!

Thanks to the forums on TripAdvisor I was able to make contact with a local Havana guide called Jorge (jorgeguide2004@yahoo.es). I emailed him asking if he would offer any trips out and what would his charges be? Jorge responded asking what our requirements for the day would be & he quoted according to the request. Now, although this was still quite expensive, it was by far, cheaper than the tour operator had quoted. in truth, there don't seem to be any local excursion companies that offer trips to Vinales from Havana (yet!), so we had no option other than paying the quoted price.

Ok, move on from price now. The day itself was probably the most memorable of the holiday. We were picked up from our hotel by a guide/driver (who spoke excellent English). He was totally knowledgeable of the region, drove safely (modern car)& made our day very pleasing.

We visited the mogotes with marvellous views of the natural beauty of the region,the tabacco fields, rich red earth and lofty palms. We went down inside a mogote to some caves "Cueva del Indio", which was pleasent, but nothing spectacular as caves go, also on the little boat trip through the cave. We then had a trip around the little town of Vinales itself, which is quite pretty with it's little brightly coloured houses and also the colonial houses.

We had lunch at a Casa Particular, where we were treated to a royal feast, fantastic & so much of it!

Finally - the main purpose of us wanting to come to this region, we went to a tobacco farm and went horse-riding over the fields. It was fantastic, just the farmer, the guide & us 2. The sun was setting over the mogotes, such a fantastic sighting. The farmer also gave us a demo of cigar rolling where we were able to take as many photos as we wished. I had found that when I'd done a tour to a cigar factory earlier in the week as part of my tour, although fascinating, they prohibited any taking of photos. Further investigation on the web reveals that the majority of the factories forbid photography completely.

The best time to go to see the harvest would be february, the time we were there, the new crop had just been planted. it would have been nice to have seen the harvesting and the full storage houses.

Ideally, a couple of days is required in this region, but we were shoty on time and wanted to see the best of Vinales in one day. I'd certainly say we got it. It was a full, fantastic day. Our driver was such a laugh too!

One other thing I will say though - make sure you agree just exactly what your price covers, as we paid out for a couple of things that we assumed were included in the cost. I will say however, that it was the exclusivity that made it special. There is a great sense of satisfaction in getting back into your private car & driving off, when you see a 52-seat coach herding it's passengers into a government controlled restaurant.

Thanks to Jorge and his flexibility for arranging all this. He met us in the hotel at the beginning of our holiday to finalise arrangements for our planned day at the end of holiday fortnight.

highly recommended.

Edmonton
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1. Re: Day trips from Havana

Hi flower36,

I have just returned from Cuba myself and had most of my adventure arranged by Jorge as well. I didn't make it to Vinalez as I've only had 7 days for Cuba and aside from Havana, also wanted to do Bay of Pigs, Trinidad and Santa Clara. I keep it locked on Vinalez and Pinal del Rio as that's where I will be heading on my next visit to Cuba. Great information, thanks for sharing. The "February" information was especially valuable. I'm really looking forward to visiting the region, even though I will likely stay for at least 3 days in the area to get the most of it.

Mark

Havana, Cuba
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2. Re: Day trips from Havana

A day trip from Havana to either Las Terrazas, Soroa or all the way to Vinales is certainly recommended for those who can’t count with enough time to overnight out there. It would complete the views of the “ real” Cuba for those who have experienced Varadero and Havana with a countryside town experience. Three “ different” parts of Cuba.

Sweden
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2 posts
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3. Re: Day trips from Havana

Hi!

How much did your daytrip cost? My boyfriend and i will travel to Cuba in may and have already been searching via www for daytrips from Havanna to Sorora/Vinales- without success (its not possible to rent a car just for one day... or does anybody now how/where?) Aventoura (we booked the other things like rental car, hotels, flights with them) can`t offer a daytrip either. To travel with Jorge sounds interesting...

Thanks for more information. Costs?

MC

London, United...
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4. Re: Day trips from Havana

It worked out at circa $100 each. For that we had a driver/guide and a hire-car. At the time I thought it was a bit expensive, but in fact, now I think it was money well spent. It was just 2 of us and the driver. We were out for about 14 hours.

It's worth doing. I searched for ages on the web looking for day trips, but no local tours came up - as you are finding now. I think doing it via Jorge is you only option (or people like him). Their English was really good too.

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Havana
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5. Re: Day trips from Havana

I just book day trips out of Havana with the travel agency in the Hotel ... There has never been any problems and I have been satisfied every time ..

Sweden
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6. Re: Day trips from Havana

Thanks a lot for your answer, I think we will also contact Jorge.

Its really not cheap- but, well if its worth it...

I don`t want to rely on that HOTEL DEAUVILLE offers a daytrip with the date and route we d like...

Warsaw, Poland
1 post
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7. Re: Day trips from Havana

Hi, you said 100$ each meaning 200$ for a couple but that includes a hire- car? Am I correct? Planning to go to Cuba checking the options.

Toronto
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8. Re: Day trips from Havana

Right in the lobby of my hotel Parkview was a little tour desk and I wanted to go to the Soroa orchid gardens. She asked us $50.00cuc each which included a lunch and think admissions if there were any. She had trips to Vinales as well. Of course you drive right through tobacco country on the way.

A cab driver with very good english offered to take us to the Soroa Orchid farm and wait and take us back for $50.00cuc for the whole trip. He was driving one of the beautiful new air conditioned Pugeots which was the only cab I felt comfortable in as I am a huge giant.

Calgary, Canada
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9. Re: Day trips from Havana

The taxi drivers offer was very fair. Cheap even.

Did you get to the Orchid Farm? I had been told it was badly damaged in the hurricanes...

Cheers,

Terry

10. Re: Day trips from Havana

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