Central Mexico and Unforgettable Cuba

Duration

19 Days

Physical rate

Moderate

Starting city

Mexico City, Mexico DF

Available

April 2023 / March 2024

Cities to visit: Mexico City, Mexico DF; Morelia; Patzcuaro; Tzintzuntzan; Chapala; Tlaquepaque; Guadalajara; Guanajuato; Dolores Hidalgo; San Miguel De Allende; Queretaro; Havana; Guama; Caleta Buena; Giron; Cienfuegos; Trinidad; H.guachinango; Camaguey; Guaimaro; Bayamo; Santiago De Cuba; Banes; Guardalavaca; Holguin; Cayo Coco; Remedios; Central Azucarera; Santa Clara

Detailed day by day description

Introduction

This tour is part of our flexible coach touring range, guaranteed with a minimum of 2 people. Once the tour is booked, it is guaranteed so it will definitely go ahead, and will never cancel.

This tour is guided in English only. Please note if English speaking attendance numbers are low, the tour can become bilingual either accompanied by two tour leaders, one for each language, or a single tour leader providing explanations in both languages.

The tour offers flexibility, allowing you to customize it to your preferences. By clicking 'Quote or Book,' you will have the choice to select your desired start and end dates and destinations within the tour's defined parameters. Given this flexibility, it's important to note that the same people, tour guides or drivers may not be on your entire journey.

Day
Welcome to EuropaMundo!!!. On arrival, transfer to hotel and free time. You will receive information about the start of the circuit during the afternoon.
IMPORTANT - IF YOU REQUESTED ADDITIONAL NIGHTS on arrival at the hotel you will have your booking made but the guide of your trip will normally not arrive until the start of the included activities. YOUR TIME BEFORE THIS MOMENT IS THEREFORE FREE.
NB: The schedules you will find in this itinerary are approximate. The guide, depending on the situation and in order to improve the development of the circuit, may adjust the schedules.
08.30 hrs.- Today we have a fantastic day acquaint ourselves with Mexico. We include a sightseeing tour of the city . We will visit the Plaza of Three Cultures, and the historic centre in which the Zócalo (main square) and its Metropolitan Cathedral stand out, the main Aztec temple, Chapultepec Park, the “Paseo de la Reforma” Avenue and the other main avenues of this impressive city.
At the end of the visit we travel to the BASILICA OF GUADALUPE , the most visited Catholic temple in the Americas where the Virgin of Guadalupe is found. There we will be able to explore the old basilica dating back to the 18th Century and also the modern temple.
In the afternoon we travel to the neighbourhood of XOCHIMILCO, a wonderful place with its canals and semi-floating gardens. Here we include a ride in a “trajinera” , one of the boats festooned with flowers.
In the evening we include a transfer to the Plaza de GARIBALDI, with its many bars, restaurants and bars where tacos and tequila are served and the Mariachis sing. Dinner is included in a traditional restaurant.
Total distance by road: 380 km Scenery: Pleasant mountain landscapes.
07.30 h.- Mexico –Departure-. We enter the state of Michocaín and its lush, green countryside.
12:30 h.- MORELIA –Arrival- . The centre of the splendid capital of Michoacán is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its magnificent cathedral, large busy square and aqueduct. Time to explore and have lunch.
16.00 h. - Morelia –Departure- .
17.00h. - PATZCUARO , arrival to the pretty colonial town with the basilica of Our Lady of Health and the House of Eleven Patios, now an arts and crafts centre. Accommodation in in this “magical town”.
Total distance: 360 km
Scenery: Beautiful countryside near Chapala Lake.
08:30 h.- Pátzcuaro –Departure-. We set out for the state of Jalisco where we visit Chapala lake, the largest natural lake in Mexico, set amidst mountains.
13:00 h.- CHAPALA, free time to wander around and have lunch in this small touristic resort near the lake.
15:00 h.- Chapala – Departure-.
16.00 h.- TLAQUEPAQUE arrival to this quarter, with its charming streets filled with shops and arts and crafts centres. Free time to explore.
17.30 hrs.- Tlaquepaque. Departure.
18.00 h.- GUADALAJARA. –Arrival to Mexico´s second largest city, birthplace of Mariachi and Tequila. Free time to explore.
In the morning we include a visit to Guadalajara , the modern metropolis with its colonial historic centre, its cathedral, its market, its Tapatía square. We will enter the Cabañas Hospice , declared Unesco World Heritage. After the visit, we will go on to the next town of TEQUILA , we include entrance to the MUNDO CUERVO distillery and will see how this famous Mexican drink is made (entrance and tasting included) . After this, time for a stroll and lunch in the picturesque town of Tequila. After lunch, we return to Guadalajara.
Total distance: 275 km
09:00 h.- Guadalajara –Departure-.
12:45 h.- GUANAJUATO – Arrival-. Free time to have lunch, followed by a two-hour visit to this beautiful university city and World Heritage Site, with its narrow, steep streets and churches. The visit ends with a trip on the funicular railway to admire the view from “el Pípila”, followed by free time. Visitors who are interested can visit the impressive “Mummies´ Museum”.
Total distance: 170 km
Scenery: Attractive mountain scenery between Guanajuato and Dolores Hidalgo.
08:30 h.- Guanajuato –Departure-. We travel through impressive mountain landscapes.
09:45 h.- DOLORES HIDALGO , the birthplace of Mexican independence. Visit to the church where the priest “Hidalgo” cried out for independence.
11:00 h.- Dolores Hidalgo –Departure-.On the way, we will visit the Sanctuary of ATOTONILCO , known as "Sanctuary of God and the Patria", a World Heritage Site (sometimes we will not be able to visit its interior due to the retreats that take place).
12:15 h.- SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE , a beautiful city with colonial architecture and cobbled streets, declared a World Heritage Site. Time to explore.
15:30 h.- San Miguel de Allende –Departure.
16:30 h.- QUERÉTARO –Arrival-. Time to explore the city, with its attractive colonial city centre, main square and busy restaurants and pedestrian streets.
We travel to TEOTIHUACAN , in Náhuatl “the place where men become gods”, one of the most impressive cities in the ancient world. Here we admire the pyramids of the sun and the moon, entrance and tour. Continuation to MEXICO CITY, arrival at lunchtime.
After breakfast a transfer takes you to the airport to take your flight to La Havana. Upon arrival, we shall be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. To welcome you at the end of the afternoon we will include a trip in an old classic car to the fortress of San Carlos passing the ‘Malecón’ and we will attend the cannon shooting ceremony (admission included) . Return to the hotel (by coach or vehicles) and accommodation.
09:00 hrs.- This morning we include a visit of about 4 hours; we will include a stroll through Colonial Havana; declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a panoramic tour of Revolution Square and the University. We will include a boat trip across the bay in the little boat to Regla where we will see the church of the Virgin of Regla, a place of great devotion where there is a strong syncretism between the Catholic religion and the Afro-Cuban. Will you buy flowers and have a daughter of Ochun read your hand? After this, at lunchtime, we will take you to the area of the ‘ Callejón del Chorro ’, an area with multiple “paladares” (private restaurants) where you can have lunch. Afternoon free.
We will leave Havana for the south of the island, where we can enjoy its beautiful tropical landscapes. Arrival in GUAMA , and a visit to the crocodile farm , including a boat trip to admire this area declared a national park. In the village of Taina we will see a little more about the population that existed before the arrival of the Europeans. We continue along the Caribbean coastal road. Have your swimsuit to hand! We will have time in CALETA BUENA , where we will include lunch , and you can swim, see its cenotes or snorkel!
Note: Sometimes, instead of going to Caleta Buena we will go to Punta Perdiz.
After that in GIRON , we will visit the Girón Beach Museum which tells us about the Bay of Pigs invasion and the revolution. Continuation to CIENFUEGOS , “the pearl of the south”, a very nice colonial city, where we will walk through its French neoclassical colonial streets. Dinner included and accommodation.
Note: In case of the Museum of Playa de Girón being closed on arrival, an alternative will be given to visit the Museum of the fight against bandits in the city of Trinidad.
A little under a hundred kilometers take us to TRINIDAD, arrival and visit to Cuba’s most beautiful and best-preserved colonial city, a true “open-air museum”, declared a world heritage site. After the visit we will see the “ Temple of Santería Yemayá ”, dedicated to the orisha (God) of the Sea, with its offerings of fruit, water and stones; a santero will tell us about this religion and its beliefs. After the visit and lunch included , we will stay at our resort hotel at Ancon beach. You will have the afternoon free to enjoy the Caribbean Sea on this magnificent beach, or, if you prefer, to stroll at leisure in Trinidad. At night we provide a transfer to the cathedral to enjoy the “place of music” and its little restaurants with Cuban music. Dinner included.
Our day is full of beautiful landscapes and unforgettable experiences. By coach we travel to MANACA IZNAGA, at the center of the sugar zone that brought Trinidad prosperity; here we will remember the story of the slaves next to the ancient 44-metre tower that was used to watch over them. We will then take a historic train with its old wooden carriages that slowly runs through the hacienda. The train stops at FENOTA , a sugar mill today a museum , and goes on to GUACHINANGO , in this beautiful area of hills we will have time to relax over lunch (included) . In the afternoon, by coach, we will continue to SANCTI SPIRITUS , a charming little colonial town little visited by tourism, where we will have time for a walk and a coffee. Continuation through the center of the island towards CAMAGÜEY -Arrival in the country’s third city, considered the city of art and with a lot of atmosphere at night.
Important Note: At the moment the train is not running and Guachinango is closed , therefore the stage this day is as follows:
Our day is full of beautiful landscapes and unforgettable experiences. By coach we travel to the Valle de los Ingenios , a beautiful area of hills and museum of what used to be the sugar development. We will visit San Isidro de los Destiladeros , which are the best-preserved ruins of an old mill, where we can see the colonial house that is under restoration, a small tower, the ruins of what were the boilers, steam area of the Ingenios, the old dam, ruin of the barracks. We will have the tour with specialized guides of the place. Departure by coach to MANACA IZNAGA , center of the sugar zone that gave rise to the prosperity of Trinidad. Here we will remember the history of the slaves next to the old tower of 44 meters that served to watch them. Lunch included. In the afternoon, by coach, we will continue to SANCTI SPIRITUS , a charming small colonial town rarely visited by tourism where we will have time for a walk and a coffee. Continuation through the center of the island to CAMAGÜEY -Arrival to the third city of the country, considered as the city of art and with a lot of nightlife.-
Morning visit to the city’s great historical center with its many theatres, squares, alleys and churches. We will include a visit to the Camaguey Ballet Center, where they will tell us about the origin of the company, and we will watch dancers, teachers and choreographers rehearsing and assembling their works. Lunch included. We continue on our route, with a brief stop in GUÁIMARO where the first Cuban constitution which was approved, and the slaves’ emancipation was demanded. BAYAMO , a picturesque small colonial town; here we will stroll and see the schoolchildren practicing at the chess academy. SANTIAGO DE CUBA , arrival at the end of the afternoon. In the evening we will go to CASA DE LA TROVA , a meeting place for Cuban music lovers, with its live performances.
Important Note: The Camagüey Ballet Headquarters may close without prior notice. During the summer months, the Bayamo chess academy is closed as the students are on vacation.
We include a tour of SANTIAGO , Cuba’s second city and one of contrasts, capital of the ‘son’ and the revolution. Around 20 km from the city, in the mountains, we will go to the Basilica of our Lady of Charity of Copper , where we will be surprised at the veneration for the virgin patron of Cuba. After that we will go to the Santa Ifigenia cemetery , where Fidel Castro and José Martí are buried. We will see the Ron Bacardí factory and go to the CASTILLO DEL MORRO, an impregnable citadel on a promontory declared a world heritage site, which houses an interesting museum on Piracy. Lunch included . Free time in the afternoon.
Among beautiful landscapes of tropical hills, we travel to the north coast. A walk through the quiet center of HOLGUIN before continuing to GUARDALAVACA , where we see the Museo Chorro de Maita archaeological park that protects the remains of a village and an Indian cemetery with the remains of 62 human skeletons, and Taina Village, which reproduces scenes of how the Indigenous peoples lived. We see the magnificent surroundings of BARIAY BAY. Lunch included. Afternoon free at the resort by the beautiful Guardalavaca beaches. Dinner included in the hotel.
Important Note: Because the next day the ROUTE BETWEEN GUARDALAVACA AND PUERTO PADRE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION, this day the itinerary will be as follows:
Among beautiful landscapes of tropical hills we travel to the north coast. Stop in BANES , the city where the Cuban President Fulgencio Batista was born, center until 1950 of the American company United Fruit, pleasant parks and old houses. Later, we visit the archaeological park CHORRO DE MAITA MUSEUM that protects the remains of a village and an Indian cemetery with remains of 62 human skeletons, and the TAINA VILLAGE that reproduces scenes of how the indigenous peoples lived. We visit BAHIA DE BARIAY , in a magnificent landscape. Lunch included. Free time in the resort next to the beautiful beaches of Guardalavaca. Dinner included at the hotel.
We travel to the west of the island. Stop at PUERTO PADRE , a small town stopped in time, which was once the largest sugar port on the planet. Lunch included on route. In LAGUNA DE LA REDONDA , we will include a beautiful one-hour boat ride between the mangroves, foliage-covered tributaries and small inland lakes. After that, spectacular landscapes on the road that crosses the sea towards CAYO COCO . Arrival mid-afternoon, dinner included.
Important Note: The ROUTE BETWEEN GUARDALAVACA AND PUERTO PADRE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. In the meantime, you will travel along the central route, eliminating the stop in Puerto Padre, in that case the itinerary will be as follows:
Departure to the quiet center of HOLGUIN and visit before continuing to the west of the island. Lunch included en route. In LAGUNA DE LA REDONDA , we will include a nice one-hour boat ride among the mangroves, tributaries covered with foliage and small inland lakes. Afterwards, spectacular landscapes on the road that crosses the sea to CAYO COCO -Arrival in afternoon- Dinner included.
Free morning to enjoy the beach. After lunch (included) we will leave for YAGUAJAY, where the Camilo Cienfuegos museum-cemetery is located. Night in REMEDIOS , one of the most beautiful colonial towns in Cuba. Dinner included.
On the outskirts of Remedios, we see the old Marcelo Salado sugar mill , a former sugar mill closed after the fall of the USSR, and today a museum that shows us what traditional sugar production was like. We include a 20-minute ride on an old train with a steam engine. After that we travel to SANTA CLARA , where we see the Constantino Pérez cigar factory (Montecristo and Partagas cigars). ( Important Note: In case of not being in operation, we would visit in Remedios the House of the Three Kings, where you can observe the manual elaboration of Habanos and buy coffee, rum, and cigars.) After lunch (included) we visit the Che Guevara Mausoleum Museum . Return to Havana. Arrival at about 19:00.
End of our services. Please, check the time of your flight in case you might need an additional night.

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From AUD 4,080