The best of Cuba and Mexico. Yucatan, beaches, Chichen Itza and Ek Balam

Price
$1851
+ flight to Havana and from Cancun back home
Duration
15 days

What you get

Two countries
Cuba and Mexico
Transportation
During the entire trip
Guiding
Professional guide
Breakfasts in Cuba
and tickets to all attractions
Accommodation
14 days
Physical grade
Level 1 (easy) out of 5

The best of Cuba and Mexico. Yucatan, beaches, Chichen Itza and Ek Balam

Spend two weeks in the two most vibrant Caribbean countries to immerse yourself in a completely different, exotic life. 

  • Walk along the colorful streets of the colonial cities of Havana and Trinidad, and listen to famous Cuban street musicians. 
  • Collect tobacco on a real plantation in the Vinales Valley and roll your own cigar. 
  • Explore the mausoleum of the legendary revolutionary Che Guevara and the museum near his burial.
  • Swim in the crystal clear water of the open caves of the cenotes and the main beaches of the two countries. 
  • Follow in the footsteps of ancient Maya in the archaeological sites of Chichen Itza and Ek-Balam.

Trip code
CUME
Cuba,Mexico,Yucatan,Chichen Itza,Ek Balam

The price of the trip includes:

  1. All transportation;
  2. Havana-Cancun flight;
  3. Accommodation throughout the trip;
  4. Breakfasts during our stay in Cuba;
  5. Entrance tickets to all parks, museums and archaeological complexes;
  6. Professional guiding services.

What is NOT included:

  1. Flight to Havana and from Cancun back home;
  2. Insurance (mandatory);
  3. Food, except for breakfast in Cuba ($20-30 per person per day);
  4. Visas.

Departures

2019
Price
Book
28 April, Sun 14 May, Tue
$ 1851
2020
28 April, Tue 14 May, Thu
$ 1851

Day 1 - 2

The capital of Cuba, Havana Driving retro cars Revolution Square

We arrive in Havana and check into a home hotel. We rest, talk to our friendly hosts and begin to get acquainted with Cuban cuisine. In the morning we go for a walk in old Havana. This is the oldest quarter of the city, built in 1519 by the Spanish colonialists. Nothing remains since that time, as in 1555 French pirates captured and burned Havana. But buildings that are several hundred years old are not uncommon in the Cuban capital!

We will walk along the streets between colorful houses, and then rent bright retro cars and drive along the picturesque seafront. We will park at the Capitol and explore this grand palace where the government of the country was located before the revolution of 1959. Next we head to the colonial fort built by the Spaniards in the 18th century and walk along the Revolution Square. This is the place where all the most important events of the country take place, for example, Fidel Castro always gave his famously long speaches here.

Last but not least - tasting of local coffee, rum and mojito. These drinks flow like water in every cafe and bar! And lots of music - from performances in every cafe to improvised concerts of street musicians. We will try to learn a few steps of the most popular local dances - bachata and salsa. Cubans are knows as the best dancers, but they are also great dance teachers!

Day 3 - 4

Vinales valley Tobacco plantations and cigar factory Exploring lost villages and farms

In the morning we go to the town of Vinales (about three hours by rented transport). It is located near the valley of the same name, which is considered the most picturesque place of the island and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Here karst rocks rise above the bright fields and jungles, and the locals in the villages grow tobacco, keep cattle and lead a very traditional life, preserving their traditions and culture.

We will visit the tobacco plantations and cigar factory and see all stages of production of the world famous Cuban cigars. You can also try to roll your own cigar!

Next day we explore the valley, visiting small traditional villages and farms. This is very different, non-touristic Cuba, where life flows slowly, like a local river.

Day 5

Сayo Jutias island

After breakfast on a rented vehicle we go to Сayo Jutias (one and a half hours on the way). This is a small Caribbean island, without hotels and tourist infrastructure. It boasts incredible beauty of wild beaches with white sand, clear water and coconut palm trees. In crystal clear turquoise water you can see a lot of starfish and exotic fish. There are no tourists here. We will be alone in this pristine paradise!

We swim, sunbathe and enjoy the sea views until lunch, and then we go to the colonial city of Trinidad by public transport (up to 6 hours on the way). We check into a private house.

Day 6

The city of Trinidad Colonial architecture Traditional music

The city of Trinidad is known as an open-air museum. It is older than Havana - founded by the Spaniards back in 1514. We walk through the narrow paved streets, marvel at the old colonial buildings on the main square, and colorful houses with tiles. All this is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After lunch you can appreciate local souvenir shops, and art galleries, visit museums, take a salsa or merengue lesson, or visit the nearby beach.

In the evening, we will listen to traditional music and try to learn a few dance steps from energetic Cubans.

Day 7

The city of Santa Clara Memorial and museum of Che Guevara

We leave for the city of Santa Clara (3 hours by rented transport) and check into a hotel. This city in the very center of Cuba is a place of real pilgrimage for admirers of the famous revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara and history lovers. At the end of 1958, it was in Santa Clara that the final battle of the Cuban revolution took place. Fulgencio Batista who ruled the country, fled the country hours after the battle.

The main attraction of the city is the memorial at the burial place of Che and a museum dedicated to his life. Needless to say, many places throughout the city are also dedicated to the famous revolutionary. For example, we will enjoy coffee in the colorful cafe-museum of Che.

Day 8

Varadero beach

We travel to Havana (approximately 3 hours on the way) stopping in the town of Varadero, where the country's most popular beach is located. 20 kilometers of the purest white sand and turquoise water! There is everything for a perfect holiday - cozy cafes and restaurants, infrastructure for tourists, and quiet corners where vacationers almost never wander. 

Photos from these places do not lie. The sand is really this white. The water is completely transparent. The sky is clear. You can look at this pristine beauty and breathe in the fresh sea air forever! After a few hours, we continue our journey to Havana and check into a homestay hotel. Free time. You can visit local museums, art galleries or go shopping.

Day 9 - 10

The ancient city of Chichen Itza Cenotes

Flight to Cancun (1.5 hours), bus (3 hours) to the colonial town of Valladolid. We check into a hotel and walk in the streets with colorful houses. In the evening, we will watch an open-air light show on the facade of an old monastery. 

In the morning we dive into the history of Mexico before Columbus and visit the ancient city of Chichen Itza - one of the seven new wonders of the world! The famous pyramid of Kukulkan is located here. Scientists believe that this grand pyramid with a height of 24 meters served not only as a temple, but also as a calendar. 

365 steps divided into 18 sections lead to the top of the pyramid - the Mayans had 18 months in a year. A small temple with four entrances stands at the top of the pyramid. Scientists believe that it was here that young men from noble families were offered as sacrifices to Kukulkan. We will learn more about the Mayan calendar, Kukulkan and understand why so many architectural styles are mixed in this ancient city. 

But the main attraction of Yucatan is the cenotes! Imagine a limestone cave with the collapsed arch. A huge open cave is filled with light and the purest water. This is a paradise for those who like to explore the underwater world and swim with exotic fish. We will enjoy several cenotes, and visit a couple of sacred ones, where ancient Maya performed their ceremonies.

Day 11 - 13

Pink lakes with flamingos Bacalar Lake The ancient city of Ek-Balam

We go to the town of Las Coloradas on the coast of the Mexical Gulf to see lakes with pink water - the favorite place of hundreds of  flamingos!

After dinner we will visit another archaeological complex of ancient Maya - Ek-Balam and walk to the top of the acropolis. Just a few centuries ago, here was the capital of one of the most mysterious civilizations of our planet! We observe the impressive work of ancient masters of sculpture. For example, the famous figures of winged warriors.

In the morning we take a bus (5 hours on the way) to the south of the Yucatan Peninsula - the village of Bacalar, which is located on the shores of the lake of the same name. It is also called the Lake of Seven Colors. All because of the bottom with white sand, which creates the illusion of seven shades of blue water in different parts of the lake. We check into a hotel.

Next day is free. We can enjoy rest on the lake, go kayaking, visit cenotes, explore the pirate channel, or visit the local fort.

Day 14 - 15

Playa del Carmen

Bus to Playa del Carmen (4 hours on the way), one of the most popular places on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. White beaches, shopping, food, souvenirs, parties... This place has it all! 

Next day we go to Cancun airport (1.5 hours on the way). Those interested can stay in Cancun to enjoy the beach life. Other participants say goodbye to Mexico and fly home.

Tour leader

Sofia Vovk
tour guide

Is this trip for you?

This trip is of easy physical grade. It includes long walks in cities, the national park and walks in archaeological complexes. We will be moving around by rented buses and public transport. The trip includes one short flight from Havana to Cancun. Accommodation in Cuba - in double/twin rooms of homestay hotels. All hotels will have hot water, some - air conditioners. Accommodation in Mexico - double/twin rooms of tourist class hotels. Most will have hot water and wi fi internet.

Visa

Citizens of most countries need a visa to enter Cuba.

Visa should be applied for in the embassy of Cuba in your country of residence before the trip.

Citizens of some countries need a visa to Mexico. It should be arranged in the embassy or online before the trip.

We provide free visa consulting to our clients. 

Additional options

Мобильный интернет 4G в Мексике
Price: + $10
Сим-карточка местного оператора с 4G мобильным интернетом

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