I’d heard so much about this Caribbean Island and was intrigued to find out about the post-...
The Adventure Company offers over 250 activity holidays to many destinations spanning every continent. We have many perfect destinations for your adventure travel, whatever your needs
Featured private group holidays
Fancy one of our fantastic adventures but only want to travel with people you know? Do it your way as a private group. We make private group trips for everyone, from big families to scouts and cadets.
- Activity Holidays – all action adventure
- Cultural Tours – lost cities & local life
- Wildlife Holidays – global wildlife encounters
- Trekking Holidays – peaks & summits
- Hands On Trips – conservation & your help
- Collection Trips – added comfort & style
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- Expedition Cruises – polar experiences
- Photographic Holidays - photos for families
- Charity Holidays - do something amazing
- School Trips - exciting school trips abroad
- Northern Lights Tours - aurora borealis
- Private Groups - Create your own group
Feature adventure holidays
We’ve developed a range of dedicated solo holidays & solo travel packages; exclusively for people booking on their own. Around 40% of all our passengers are solo travellers.
Viva Cuba! Young Photographer
Photography - Expert local photographers, photo challenges & feedback.
Transport - Minibus, on foot, boat.
Accommodation - Hotels (10nts).
Meals - 10 breakfasts , 3 lunches & 1 dinner.
We often have multiple itineraries so please check to see which itinerary is suitable for you, by selecting the relevant tab.
Fly to Havana
After your flight, you transfer to your first night’s accommodation and check in. Standing on Cuba’s north coast, less than 100 miles from Florida, Havana is the political, industrial and cultural heart of the nation and home to 20% of its population. The city was founded in 1519 when Spanish settlers moved here from an ill-fated earlier site on the south coast. As the New World started to yield its riches, Havana grew to prominence as the assembly point for the annual treasure convoy to Spain. In 1553 the Spanish governor moved from Santiago de Cuba at the other end of the island, and Havana has been capital ever since. Hotel – 2 nights (AAA)
Today’s orientation tour gives you a feel for how Havana developed over the ages. The old city inside the original fortified walls - La Habana Vieja - houses the finest collection of antique colonial buildings in the Americas. The Plaza de Armas is dominated by the former residence of the Spanish governors, now the City Museum, a treasure trove which provides an excellent insight into their grand lifestyle. A few blocks away, an 18th century baroque cathedral and a clutch of imposing mansions grace the cobbled Plaza de la Catedral. Nearby, Calle del Obispo - the main shopping street - and the Paseo del Prado also contain impressive buildings from the colonial era. During your free afternoon you may wish to travel across the channel leading into Havana’s port, to visit the Cabaña Hill. Of the two great forts designed to defend the city (after British forces captured it in 1762), Castillo San Carlos de la Cabaña is the largest in the Americas with splendid views over the city. Havana’s famous esplanade, the Malecón, extends seven kilometres along the seafront, lined with once elegant mansions. This is where young Havanans come to hang out in the evening - with a bottle of rum and some music; by day it’s a place to stroll and enjoy the sea air. (B)
After a morning briefing with professional photographer Harold Vasquez, you'll check your camera settings and set out into the old city to capture Cuba's iconic images: From vintage Vehicles (camel bus, bullocks, carts, vintage cars), to portraits of charismatic people smoking big cigars to Street vendors and markets for colour and Socialist sign posts for a sense of history (framing and capturing when moving on driving days). At the end of the day you'll all get together for a debrief and to review your pictures.
After breakfast, you set out on the 200km (approx. 3 hours) drive westward to Piñar del Rio province, crossing typical landscapes of cane fields, tobacco plantations and tall palm trees along the way. En route you’ll stop at Las Terrazas set in the midst of the Sierra del Rosario Mountains. Here there is a community of farmers and artisans as well as a coffee plantation where you’ll be able to learn something of the process. Nearby is the beautiful San Juan river, a stunning swimming spot noted for over a century for its sulphur springs and clear natural pools; don’t forget your swimming costumes!
Straw-hatted guajiro peasants tend the finest tobacco in the world; the plant is native to the island. In Pinar del Rio you’ll stop and visit a cigar factory; cigars, along with rum are Cuba’s principal exports. Turning north on a scenic road you climb into the Sierra de los Órganos towards the sleepy village of Viñales.
Hotel – 2 nights (AAA) (Swimming Pool) (B)
Harold will accompany you to Vinales, a lush rural area where you'll learn landscape photography and how to use your wide angle lens, as you pass through coffee and tobacco plantations, and learn how to use focus for close ups. Get creative and experiment with pictures of the water's reflection in the natural pools. In the evening you will review and discuss everyone's pictures.
The Viñales Valley boasts the oldest geological formations in Cuba, unique to the area. Spectacular mogotes - sheer-sided, conical towers of limestone, some over 300 metres high are all that is left of a great plateau after millions of years of erosion by wind and water. The resultant karst terrain is similar to southern China or Vietnam - especially when a layer of mist carpets the valley floor in the early morning. It’s a fascinating scene - all the more so when oxen are working the fields and the heady scent of tobacco fills the air as the plants reach maturity between January and April. You’ll take a guided walk through this rich countryside to see something of rural life and hopefully stop at a farmer’s house. In the afternoon you’ll visit the Cueva del Indio, an impressive limestone cave, once inhabited by local Indians and filled with stalactites and stalagmites. A river runs through the second half of the cave and so you’ll board a boat to take you through and out into the daylight. At dusk thousands of bats stream out of the cave to go and feed. (BL)
Today you will have an early start to capture the sunrise and play with different settings, learning about aperture and learning different light effects.
Bay of Pigs; Playa Larga
Today is a relatively long travel day (approx. 5-6 hours). Starting early, you retrace your steps towards Havana before bearing south into Matanzas province. Your route takes you past the badlands of the Zapata Peninsula to Playa Larga standing at the head of the famous Bay of Pigs, where in 1961 a force of CIA-trained Cuban exiles landed to stir up a counter-revolution. Further along the coast at Playa Girón, a small museum commemorates this failed US effort to impose its will on socialist Cuba. You'll also visit a breeding centre for the endangered crocodrilus rhombifer - Cuba's endemic crococodile. Your stay tonight is on a beautiful Caribbean beach. Hotel – 1 night (AAA) (Swimming Pool) (B)
This morning you will enjoy fantastic snorkelling and swimming at Caleta Buena. Natural swimming pools are home to countless species of coral and tropical fish.
After drying off (and buffet lunch), you head to Cienfuegos, a pleasant city with a European feel. This is largely due to the influence of French settlers who arrived in the early 19th century. A sheltered deep-water harbour ensured its prosperity and as the fortunes of nearby Trinidad waned, wealthy merchants and plantation owners indulged in a building bonanza. A walking tour of Cienfuegos is included in the afternoon. Hotel - 1 night (AAA) (BL)
Today you'll meet expert photographer Julio Munoz, who's nuts about horses and a great friend of the cowboys - the perfect man to guide you through cowboy country! You'll brush up on all the skills you've learnt so far, capturing portraits, architecture, everyday life. Evening review of the pictures and comments with lots of helpful feedback.
Continue towards Trinidad (aprox. 1 hours drive).
Trinidad, in the Sancti Spíritus province, is one of the seven cities founded by Diego de Velázquez in 1514, and is now a national monument. Nestling on a plain in the lee of the mountains and within sight of the Caribbean, Cuba’s best-preserved colonial town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its narrow, cobbled streets are paved with stones that once served as ballast for ships on the empty, outward journey from Europe. The town grew rich from trade through the nearby port of Casilda, until it silted up and was eclipsed by Cienfuegos. Despite its well-to-do air, Trinidad has no grand palaces and still retains the intimate feel of a small town. This morning you will explore the old area around the Plaza Mayor on foot. Being virtually car-free, it’s a pleasant place to wander. You’ll also visit one of the museums which will give you an idea of how these opulent families lived. At night there’s often something of interest happening such as a music or dance performance. Hotel - 2 nights (AAA) (Swimming Pool) (B)
Today Julio's photography skills and horsemanship will be put to the test, as you join him and get close to the cowboy life and horses, capturing movement, portraiture, contrasts. You will also get a chance to capture Santeria subjects, with colourful religious pictures. As your photography guidance draws to a close, you'll discuss everything you've learnt and offer your best shots to the Photo Competition. Throughout the tour you'll be able to practise your new found skills...
Cayo Blanco Snorkelling
Today you take a day trip to Cayo Blanco by boat. This outcrop of land in the middle of the sea has a beautiful white sandy beach. There is the opportunity to snorkel off the reef and watch the myriad of brightly coloured fish and corals; you may be able to spot some lobsters or a turtle. Those who prefer can simply swim off the beach in the warm Caribbean Sea. (BL)
A short distance from Trinidad is the El Cubano Hacienda – a former plantation owner’s house. Getting there is part of the adventure as you travel through the lush environment for about six kilometres on the back of a truck – Cuban style! On arrival at the Hacienda you’ll take a walk along one of the many tracks and be engulfed by nature with the added treat of being able to take a refreshing dip in crystalline water pools. For those that fancy it there may be the chance to go horse riding (optional). This afternoon you take the 1 ½ hour drive to Sancti Spiritus, a colonial town where you can visit the local market and ration store to see how Cubans shop for their everyday needs. Your journey for today ends with another 1 ½ hour drive to your destination of Santa Clara.
Hotel - 1 night (AAA) (Swimming Pool) (B)
You wake this morning in the university town of Santa Clara, the site of the last battle of the revolution. It was Che Guevara’s victorious attack on an armoured train here that convinced Batista to flee the country. You will visit the train, now a museum as well as Che’s mausoleum. The museum’s collection includes his famously iconic beret and leather jacket.
From here you drive (approx. 3 ½ hrs) to the northern coast and your "all inclusive" beachside base of Varadero. The crystal clear waters and sparkling sand of this peninsula are justly famous. Hotel – 1 night (AAA) (Swimming Pool) (BD)
This morning is free to soak up the last of the Caribbean sun and bask in the turquoise waters. You head back to Havana in the afternoon where the trip ends for Land Only clients. Those on our group flights return to the airport for your flight home. (B)