TRAVEL THROUGH CUBA – MAY DAY PARADE (APRIL 30TH – MAY 9TH )
If you have always wanted to travel through Cuba rather than seeing the inside of an overpriced resort, we are the company to go with! There is no better time to travel to Cuba than for the May Day celebrations each year, we offer one of the best tours available to see Cuba up close.
Our trip starts in Old Havana, one of the best-preserved colonial cities in the Americas. Walk its historic streets, where you can try a traditional slow-cooked rice dish, and sample a famous Cuban Espresso with the locals. Next, we visit the Bay of Pigs, the mausoleum of “Che”, where we not only see his final resting place but the legendary train that he derailed. Before visiting Trinidad, we will take part in the celebrations of Guevara’s’ life, after which we return to Havana, where we take in iconic locations such as the revolutionary museum, and also continue with our Che-based theme by visiting the San Carlos de la Cabana, where Che lived and held his office (and allegedly shot people sentenced to execution).
For those familiar with our DPRK tours, we stick with the revolutionary theme, but also indulge in the more relaxed environment that any travel to Cuba should offer. After all, Cuba is the home of the mojito – cool off from the sun with the world’s finest rum, made with locally grown mint and raw cane sugar. And if a cigar tickles your fancy you’ll not find a better one anywhere else in the world.
We have our very own tour bus that will stay with us for the duration of the journey, meaning lots of flexibility and chances to get off the beaten track. Nothing stays the same forever, and Cuba is changing rapidly day by day, so see it with Global Village Tours now!
If you are unable to travel with us in May, check out our Revolutionary Cuba Tour happening in November. You can also check out our tailor made Cuba tours.
- Accommodation: Every night of the tour.
- Transport: To complete the itinerary.
- Breakfasts: for each day of the tour, except the arrival day.
- All lunches (excluding arrival and departure day)
- Local English-speaking guide throughout.
- Experienced, western Cuban Pioneer guide throughout.
- All entrance fees as per itinerary
- International Flights
- Visa (we will advise you depending on your passport and country of residence)
- All dinners (unless otherwise stated)
- Tips (we suggest about $8 in total per day for guides and drivers)
- Optional activities, day-tours, and excursions
- Excess baggage fees
|At a glance
||Havana – Cienfuegos – Trinidad – Santa Clara – Havana – Vinales – Havana 9 nights, 11 days
ITINERARY > TRAVEL THROUGH CUBA – MAY DAY PARADE
Monday 30th April
- Arrivals will travel to Cuba via Jose Martí International Airport in Havana as per your own schedule
- Transfer to your homestay accommodation in Vedado district Havana.
- Check-in to your room and you will have the afternoon to take in some of the sights and sounds of Havana and meet up with the other travellers in your group for a drink if you like.
- This is a cool city so enjoy it now that you have finally made the decision to travel to Cuba!
- In the evening we will get dinner at Cafe Laurent in Havana before getting a few bottles of rum and heading down to the Malecón to chill out there and get chatting to the locals.
- We spend the night at our homestay
Tuesday 1st May
- What we all came here for!
- Start the morning off with breakfast in Havana before all heading off together and joining with the locals to make our way on foot through the city centre for the May Day celebrations and
- May Day march. This is probably one of the best May Day celebrations in the world and it’s an incredible thing to experience.
- We will get lunch in the city that afternoon before soaking-up more of the celebrations around the streets. You can escape the busy streets a little as we check out some of the Spanish colonial architecture and make our way towards the Bacardi building!
- We drink a few daiquiris in Ernest Hemingway’s favourite bar and the birthplace of the daiquiri itself!
- Dinner that evening at Nazdarovie Restaurant in Havana
- Overnight at our homestay accommodation
Wednesday 2nd May
- In the morning, we head for the city of Cienfuegos which is a 5-hour drive via The Bay of Pigs.
- En route to Cienfuegos, we will travel through the central plain of Cuba where you smell the citrus plantations in the air before making our way through swampland with some unique fauna and an area that is also home to varying species of reptiles! We will visit a crocodile farm in Guama.
- Once we get to the coast along the Caribbean, we will make our way along the Bay of Pigs itself which is really beautiful and past the site of the actual counter-revolutionary invasion of 1961. No travel to Cuba experience would be the same without this site!
- Over the course of the day, we will be able to take a swim in some really good tropical swimming spots. There will be an opportunity to dive and snorkel as well as an optional activity. We will visit a museum in the area that tells the story of the invasion of The Bay of Pigs and the events that led up to it.
- Arriving at Cienfuegos later in the day, prepare to be taken back in time with its relaxed atmosphere and French colonial style architecture. We will check-in with our homestay host family before heading out to the city for a walkabout. You can stay with your guide or take a stroll yourself if you like.
- We will have dinner together that evening at a homestyle restaurant before hitting the town properly to check-out the nightlife!
- Overnight sleep at your homestay.
Thursday 3rd May
- Time to head for Trinidad! We leave Cienfuegos behind and make our way to the beautiful city of Trinidad with more fine examples of colonial architecture and sensational nightlife!When we arrive in the city we head to a local pizza restaurant to get a quick bite while our rooms are being prepared.
- After check-in, we head out for a walking tour of Trinidad old town centre with a visit to a backstreet cigar shop where you can purchase at lower prices that more expensive tourist places.
- We pay a visit to a revolutionary museum for a look around before leaving for some cocktails in town.
- Head back to our homestay to relax and get cleaned up before dinner at La Redacción restaurant in Trinidad.
- There is a serious nightlife in Trinidad for us to enjoy tonight, the stuff dreams are made of! Think rum, music, dancing and sweat as you make your way through the cobbled colonial streets.
- Spend the night at our homestay
Friday 4th May
- After what no doubt will have been a great night last night – today there is plenty planned for your Cuba group tour.
- We visit Valle de los Ingenios (The valley of the sugar mills) which was at the heart of commerce in Trinidad from in the 1800s.
- Later in the afternoon you have the option to take some free time and explore Trinidad yourself or you can take a horse ride to a waterfall or take part in a salsa lesson (extra charge for both)
- There will be plenty of time to relax before dinner at one of a number of restaurants in the city depending on what people feel like.
Later, we will all head out for dinner and Trinidad nightlife 2.0 – there is a nightclub contained in a cave that we will most definitely be going to.
Spend the night at our homestay in Trinidad
Saturday 5th May
- Next stop on our blazing city trail is Santa Clara which played a key role in the revolution. Hopefully, on the way there (depending on weather conditions) we will be able to drive through the Sierra del Escambray which is an incredibly scenic location.
- Along the route, we can make a few stops depending on conditions and timing.
- As we approach Santa Clara you will see a gigantic statue of Ernesto Ché Guevara that tower above the mausoleum where he lays in state. When you travel to Cuba this is another key site.
- We will, of course, visit the museum that is dedicated to the life of this major historical figure. Afterwards, we will take a walk about tour of Santa Clara city and check-out some cool sites scattered around the area including an armoured train that was derailed and captured by Ernesto Ché Guevara and his troops.
- Great dinner in the evening time with drinks and live music in Santa Clara at a focal point of local entertainment where not many tourists visit.
- Overnight stay in Santa Clara, Cuba.
Sunday 6th May
- Up early to make our way back to Havana.
- We will check out the open air October Crisis museum that looks out on Havana Bay. There are old Soviet nuclear missiles here from 1962 – of the variety that brought the world a hair’s breadth from thermos nuclear war.
- Lunch in Havana city before taking in a city tour that will take us to a lot of the cool sites to be found here. The energy on the streets here is buzzing.
- We will also visit the Museo de la Revolucion to get more insight into the revolution and its roots.
- Afterwards, it’s off to a museum of a slightly different variety – Havana Club Museum of Rum. Free samples, Happy days!
- We go for a more upmarket dinner in Havana tonight and eat at San Cristobal Paladar Restaurant in the city. It’s about an hour away and you can either walk through the city to get there or for an extra charge, we can arrange to hire a Soviet-era Zil limousine.
- We have farewell drinks with the group in the old town.
- Overnight stay at our homestay in Havana
Monday 7th May
- We plan to leave Havana at 11am, but this could change, depending on Cuban bureaucracy.
- First stop: Lenin Hill, where the first statue of Lenin was erected following his death. This is a derelict site, far off the beaten path.
- Enjoy lunch at a Cuban-style street restaurant.
- After lunch, we’ll visit the top-secret bunker where the Soviet Union stored the nuclear weapons that precipitated the Cuban Missile Crisis. This site is of extreme historical significance and was only recently discovered. This is not on the tourist trail, and a definite highlight of our trip.
- Our next stop is the former Soviet Embassy, a perfect example of socialist architecture. We’ll check out another Soviet era for some great fusion photos of Havana’s rich history.
- We’ll then take the scenic drive to Viñales (2-3 hours). On arrival, we’ll check into our casa before heading out for dinner and drinks in this formerly sleepy town. Whilst still laid back, this town has developed a bustling nightlife.
- Overnight in Viñales.
Tuesday 8th May
- In the morning, we’ll go to the prehistoric wall for some photos before venturing over to a tobacco farm for a chance to see the process of cigar making, before trying the produce. This farm also has stunning views of the surrounding rolling hills.
- We’ll enjoy a scenic lunch at the farm.
- Viñales is famous for its stunning caves, with a number being big tourist attractions. We’ll avoid these and instead follow our local guide to a cave that is currently relatively unknown. It takes an hour’s hike and a journey through the cave network with lights before we hit the swimming part of our adventure. This is truly stunning, so don’t forget the go-pro!
- We’ll go back to our casa for a shower before seeking out a great vantage point to soak in our last sunset, with a cocktail in hand.
- Our last supper in Viñales will be an authentic home cooked Cuban meal at our casa.
- Our final evening will wind down with drinks and conversation in the rocking chairs on the patio.
- We’ll stay overnight in Viñales.
Wednesday 9th May
- We’ll head back to Havana after breakfast.
- End of tour! A private taxi to the airport can be organised, if you wish.