If you haven’t, it’s a good time to book travel.
Best to fly into Havana before the 17th and out of Cienfuegos late the 25th … or later. Consider extending your visit, both towns are amazing. AC Journeys Jose can assist.
Our tour picks up in Havana on the 17th, at 0830 at Hotel Melia Cohiba, departing at 0900 on the 17th. It’s a ♫three hour tour♪ that takes us to Cienfuegos with some stops. Included is basically everything … transpo, our guide, lunch at Villa Lagarto, tour of Cienfuegos and gardens (Unesco world heritage site), your room at Casa Perla del Mar & dinner at Paladar Ache. Breakfast the next morning and your ride to the marina and the boats. Full tour details are below. All is included as part of your Adventure Voyage.
I have asked our Cuba-legal expert travel agent, senor Pineda, if it is allowed for us to pass on the free room and book our own (higher quality) accommodations. The Casa Perla Inn looks cute and is on by water but I know some of you might prefer a little more, if available. Standby for that.
Tour info from AC Journeys … ‘Pre-sailing Program (Havana – Cienfuegos)’
Day 1 – March 17, 2017
9:00am Departure from Havana, point of departure TBD. 3-hour drive with stops along the road to break from the driving [sic].
12:00pm Lunch at Villa Lagarto Restaurant
This restaurant on the bay has a great view of the water and the feel of the sea breeze in the air. Menu favorites are the organic fruits and vegetables, meats seasoned with olive oil and herbs, fresh from the grill.
2:00pm Tour of Cienfuegos
Cuba’s so-called Perla del Sur (Pearl of the South) has long seduced travelers from around the island with its elegance, enlightened French spirit and feisty Caribbean panache. If Cuba has a Paris, this is most definitely it. Arranged around the country’s most spectacular natural bay, Cienfuegos is a nautical city. Founded in 1819, it’s one of Cuba’s newest settlements, featuring some of the island’s prettiest buildings, a factor that earned it a UNESCO World Heritage Site listing in 2005. You’ll see historical highlights such as the castle of Nuestra Señora de los Angeles de Jagua, situated right in the canyon of the entrance to the bay.
4:30pm Visit the Cienfuegos Botanical Gardens
The Soledad Botanical Garden is set 6 miles (10 km) outside of Cienfuegos. New Englander Edward Atkins started the garden in 1899. Atkins owned local sugar plantations and enjoyed collecting rare plant species in the backyard of his estate. He brought Harvard botanists here to improve existing sugarcane strains, and Harvard University eventually gained control of the garden under a 99-year lease. In the early 20th century, it was one of the best botanical gardens in the tropics. Since the Revolution, the Cuban Academy of Science’s Institute of Botany has cared for the Soledad Botanical Garden. A variety of trails extend through the 230-acre (94-ha) garden. Naturalist guides lead visitors on tours, with options for 30-minute and 1-hour excursions. Travelers learn heaps while exploring the garden and will undoubtedly appreciate the variety of represented species. You’ll see huge trees with epiphytes hanging from the branches, enormous bamboo clusters, and flowering cacti. There’s also a greenhouse that has smaller, more delicate plants on hand. In total, the Soledad Botanical Garden has around 1,490 plant species—this includes 89 species of rubber trees, 400 species of cactus, and 245 species of palms.
6:00pm Check-in at Casa Perla
8:00pm Welcome Dinner at Paladar Ache Restaurant
A restaurant and bar founded in 1996, built as a Cuban ranchon and decorated with natural elements, ceramic objects and works of art from local artists. Our main courses are based on seafood and grilled while still fresh. We also can provide you with all the extra rum you may desire. We are known for our excellent service and cozy ambiance.
Day 2 – March 18, 2017
Breakfast at accommodations.
Transfer from accommodations to Cienfuegos’ Marina (15-minute drive).
More Cuba tips and info from a traveller … Click Here