Essence of the East Tour

///Essence of the East Tour
Essence of the East Tour2018-03-21T08:11:09+00:00

Project Description

Essence of the East Tour

Our Essence of the East tour explores Eastern Cuba, a wonderfully diverse region with stunning coastlines, imposing mountains and revolutionary cities.

Our experienced local guide will escort you through towns less frequented by tourism and rich in revolutionary history, the revered Sierra Maestra mountains, Santiago de Cuba a fascinating city rich in history and music, and Baracoa reputedly the oldest colonial town in the Americas.

  • Departures:  Every Monday, year-round

  • Duration: 6 nights / 7 Days

Tour Highlights

  • A fascinating visit to La Plata, the former HQ of Fidel Castro’s revolutionary heroes, situated deep in the Sierra Maestra mountains and affording fantastic views and a window on history.
  • Santiago De Cuba, a passionate, lively and beautiful city, where you can find the finest, raw Cuban music
  • A visit to the Mausoleum of Fidel Castro to watch the changing of the guard undertaken by dedicated young Cuban sentries
  • Baracoa, one of the best places to visit in Cuba and less frequented by visitors. Beautiful and peaceful with wild scenery, a great local music scene and so very different from the rest of Cuba

Tour Complexity


Tour Map

Essential Cuba Tour Map

Make this Tour your Own. Tailor this holiday to your liking when you choose to go private


We are able to organise this tour on a private basis, enabling clients to travel alone with the guide. On a private tour, it can also be possible to tailor the tour further if you require. Visits can be added, as can duration, or indeed a specialist interest can be catered for. We would be delighted to assist, please ask us if you would like a quotation.

What would you like to Personalise?

  • Go private instead of a group

  • Change the duration of the tour

  • Include your interests

  • Extra days by the beach

Day to Day Itinerary

We have included a number of unique highlights in the tour itinerary that most other tours on the market do not offer. A unique chance to wander the streets of Havana, explore Cuba’s most dramatic landscapes in Soroa and Vinales, travel back in time on the streets of Trinidad, and discover historical Santa Clara.

September 2017

Day 1: Arrival to Eastern Cuba

Arriving into Eastern Cuba to either Holguin or Santiago De Cuba, the tour starts in Bayamo, a small town with a long history of revolutionary battles against the Spanish in the 19th Century and Batista’s troops during the last revolution. On arrival into Bayamo, lunch will be available at the hotel and there will be time to settle in, relax and take a stroll around the picturesque and friendly town.

In the afternoon, you will begin a short orientation tour of Bayamo which will focus on the leafy square of Parque Cespedes. Named after the ‘Father of Cuba’, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, born overlooking the square, in fact he announced Cuba’s first independence from Spanish rule in the same square in 1868!

Dinner tonight will be at the hotel in Bayamo.

Day 2: Sierra Maestra

After breakfast, the tour travels deep into the Sierra Maestra Mountains, passing small farmhouses and villages with wonderful mountain scenery. After arriving at Villa Santo Domingo, nestling deep in the mountains with views to Cuba’s highest and most sacred mountain, Pico Turquino in the background. Lunch will be served at a local hotel or casa in this beautiful and peaceful location.

After lunch, jeeps will take you higher into the mountains for a trail deep into the forests to La Plata, the former HQ of Fidel Castro’s revolutionary heroes. You can see the various hidden buildings including Fidel’s actual house and the radio station from where they launched the Revolution. Continuing the trail, there is an option to visit the tiny mountain community of La Platica.

After a late afternoon return from La Plata, you can relax at the local hotel or country Casas Particular and perhaps explore the local hamlet or relax as the darkness creeps up over the mountains. In the evening dinner will be served and you can rest after a long but rewarding day.

Day 3: Yara River and Cobre Sanctuary

Take an easy stroll through the village and along the bank of the River Yara where you can see amazing views of the mountains. The river has gorgeous pools for a cooling bathe.

The tour then leaves for Santiago De Cuba, stopping en-route at El Cobre, a picturesque church and Cuba’s most sacred pilgrimage site with a shrine to Virgin Mary. Enjoy a tour of the church and its many historic gifts bestowed by visitors.

Arrive to Santiago de Cuba in time for a late lunch and the remainder of the day will be free to relax at the hotel or explore the local area. Dinner tonight can be taken at leisure in the hotel.

Day 4: Santiago de Cuba

After breakfast, there is a full exploration of the city that has been of crucial importance throughout Cuba’s history. Visit Moncada Barracks, the location for what many describe as the start of the Revolution with Fidel Castro’s attack on the barracks on 26th July 1953. Explore the centre and visit the square called Parque Cespedes, surrounded by historic buildings, including the Ayuntamiento, where Fidel Castro gave his victory speech when the revolution was won in January 1959.

Also visit Calle Heredia which is one of the city’s liveliest streets, Padre Pico Street, made famous by the intense games of draughts played by the locals, and the Museum ‘Lucha Clandestina’, situated in the 17th Century Tivoli district. The Museum depicts the revolutionary underground movement headed by Fidel Castro, who lived as a youth across the street from the museum.

You will also have the chance to visit to the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery a most important site in Cuba and the final resting place of Fidel Castro, one of the world’s most recognised leaders. His simple, but powerful mausoleum is constantly guarded and there will be a chance to stay for the impressive changing of the guard ceremony. The Cemetery also contains the final resting place of Cuba’s national hero Jose Marti, as well as a number of other important revolutionary and historical figures including the Bacardi family.

Visit the Castillo del Morro, a historical fortress offering fantastic views across the Caribbean Sea and the impressive Sierra Maestra mountains and enjoy a traditional Cuban lunch at a restaurant next to the fortress offering stunning views of the coastal scenery.

Dinner will be served in the hotel and the remainder of the evening will be free to relax at the hotel, wander through the centre of Santiago De Cuba or you could go independently to a local music club such as the Casa De La Trova.

Finish your Tour, Caribbean Style, with extra days by the Beach


After the tour why not continue your journey to the beach resort of Guardalavaca for a few days relaxing.  Alternatively, head to Havana direct from Baracoa for a few extra days.

Suggested Beach Extensions

  • Guardalavaca Beach

  • Cayo Coco

  • Cayo Guillermo

  • Varadero Beach

Inspired Already?
Speak to us and get everything taken care of by a genuine expert on holidays to Cuba
  • 20+ years of experience organising tours and tailor-made holidays to Cuba

  • Hand-Picked, English-Speaking  Professional Tour Guides

  • Professional Team based in Cuba to look after you

  • Complete peace of mind. ATOL and IATA protected holidays

  • Genuine Cuba Experts. Unrivalled local knowledge and expertise

  • A trusted brand. Over 96% positive feedback from clients

Hand-Crafted Memories you will cherish forever.

Who we are, our identity, is the sum total of everything we have seen, the things we have done, and the places we have been: our life experiences. That is what keeps us going at Captivating Cuba, the excitement and enjoyment of planning not itineraries or holidays, but of creating vital experiences and crafting memories you will cherish forever. Experiences that will become part of your identity.
That’s also why we are exclusively specialised in Cuba: a chaotic, eclectic, always surprising, impossible to forget spec of land in the Caribbean we all are a bit in love with.

Begin Planning your next experience. Call Captivating Cuba on 01438 419111