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Cuba Itinerary: Havana And Viñales


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Bridgette Natale



Welcome to Cuba, a vibrant and captivating country known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and lively culture. From the bustling streets of Havana to the picturesque beauty of Viñales, Cuba offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience.


As the largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba has a diverse range of attractions to explore. Whether you are a history buff, an adventure seeker, or simply looking to relax on pristine beaches, Cuba has something for everyone.


This article will guide you through a six-day itinerary in two of Cuba’s most popular destinations: Havana and Viñales. You will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and flavors of these fascinating places.


Prepare yourself for a journey through time as you stroll down the colorful streets of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site. From well-preserved colonial buildings to lively plazas and charming cobblestone streets, Old Havana is a testament to Cuba’s colonial past.


In contrast, modern Havana offers a glimpse into Cuba’s present-day culture and lifestyle. Explore the vibrant neighborhoods, visit iconic landmarks such as El Capitolio and the Revolution Museum, and indulge in the vibrant music, art, and culinary scenes that make Havana truly unique.


But the adventure doesn’t stop at Havana. Just a few hours away lies the picturesque Viñales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its stunning landscapes and tobacco plantations. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this rural paradise, visit tobacco farms, and explore underground caves.


As you embark on this six-day journey, get ready to be enchanted by the charm of Cuba, from the lively streets of Havana to the tranquil beauty of Viñales. Let’s dive into the details of this captivating itinerary!


Day 1: Arrival in Havana

Welcome to Havana, the vibrant capital city of Cuba! Upon your arrival at José Martí International Airport, you will be greeted by the warm Caribbean breeze and the lively energy of the city. After clearing customs and retrieving your luggage, a private transfer will take you to your accommodation in Havana.


Once you have checked in and settled into your hotel, take some time to relax and freshen up before venturing out to explore this fascinating city. Havana is a city full of history, charm, and captivating architecture, and there is no better place to start your Cuban adventure.


Begin your exploration in the heart of Havana, Old Havana (Habana Vieja). This UNESCO World Heritage site is a treasure trove of well-preserved colonial buildings, narrow streets lined with colorful facades, and charming plazas. Walk along Calle Obispo, a bustling pedestrian street lined with shops, restaurants, and historic buildings.


Make a stop at Plaza de Armas, the oldest square in Havana, surrounded by historical landmarks such as the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales and the Castillo de la Real Fuerza. Take a leisurely stroll through the square, soaking in the atmosphere and admiring the stunning architecture.


Continue your walk to Plaza de la Catedral, home to the grand Havana Cathedral. This magnificent cathedral, built in the 18th century, showcases a unique mix of Baroque and neoclassical architectural styles. Take some time to explore the interior of the cathedral, marvel at its intricate design, and learn about its fascinating history.


As the evening approaches, make your way to El Malecón, Havana’s famous seaside promenade. This iconic stretch of roadway overlooks the stunning Caribbean Sea and is a favorite gathering spot for locals and visitors alike. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Malecón, taking in the breathtaking views and the lively atmosphere.


For dinner, indulge in the flavors of Cuba at one of the city’s many paladares, privately-owned restaurants serving delicious home-cooked meals. Taste traditional Cuban dishes such as ropa vieja (shredded beef), congrí (rice and beans), and tostones (fried plantains). Pair your meal with a refreshing mojito or a glass of Cuban rum to complete the experience.


After dinner, if you’re in the mood for some live music, head to one of Havana’s famous salsa clubs. Dance the night away to infectious rhythms or simply sit back and enjoy the vibrant music scene that Cuba is known for.


As the first day comes to a close, reflect on the incredible sights and experiences you’ve had in Havana. Get a good night’s rest, as there are many more adventures awaiting you in the days to come.


Day 2: Exploring Old Havana

After a good night’s rest, wake up refreshed and ready to continue your exploration of Havana. Today, you will delve deeper into the historic neighborhood of Old Havana, immersing yourself in its rich history, vibrant culture, and architectural wonders.


Start your day with a visit to the impressive Havana Capitol Building, known as El Capitolio. This iconic landmark, resembling the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., is a striking example of neo-classical architecture and serves as the headquarters of the National Assembly of Cuba. Take a guided tour inside to admire the grandeur of the building and learn about its historical and political significance.


Next, make your way to the Plaza de la Revolución, a historic square known for its significance in the Cuban Revolution. Marvel at the towering José Martí Memorial, dedicated to Cuba’s national hero, and the iconic portraits of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos adorning the Ministry of the Interior building. This square has been the stage for countless historic speeches and political events, making it an important symbol of Cuban history.


From there, venture into the historic streets of Old Havana. Wander through the vibrant plazas and strategically-placed squares, each with its own unique atmosphere. Visit Plaza Vieja, a picturesque square surrounded by colorful colonial buildings, where you can sip on a refreshing Cuban coffee or indulge in a traditional Cuban dessert. Take a moment to soak in the ambiance and observe the everyday life of the locals.


One of the highlights of Old Havana is the famous Castillo de la Real Fuerza, a fortress built in the 16th century to protect the city from pirate attacks. Explore the fascinating museum within the fortress, which showcases a collection of maritime artifacts and provides insight into the city’s maritime history.


No visit to Old Havana would be complete without a stop at the iconic El Floridita. This historic bar, known as the birthplace of the daiquiri, was a favorite haunt of famous writer Ernest Hemingway. Step inside and savor a refreshing daiquiri while admiring the decor and ambiance that has remained unchanged over the years.


In the evening, head to the famous Tropicana Cabaret, a world-renowned nightclub that has been entertaining visitors since the 1930s. Enjoy a captivating show filled with live music, singing, dancing, and extravagant costumes. This dazzling performance is a true celebration of Cuban culture and is not to be missed.


End your day with a leisurely stroll along the beautiful Malecón, where you can marvel at the stunning sunset over the sea. Capture some memorable photos and reflect on the incredible history and beauty of Old Havana.


As the day comes to a close, take some time to relax and recharge, as tomorrow you will embark on a day trip to the charming Viñales Valley, where natural beauty and rural tranquility await.


Day 3: Modern Havana and Malecon

On day three of your Cuban adventure, shift your focus to modern Havana as you explore the vibrant neighborhoods and iconic landmarks that showcase the city’s contemporary lifestyle. Start your day with a delicious breakfast at a local café, fueling up for a day of exploration.


Begin your tour of modern Havana with a visit to Vedado, a bustling neighborhood known for its wide streets, elegant mansions, and vibrant nightlife. Take a stroll along the famous Calle 23 (La Rampa), a lively avenue lined with shops, theaters, and hotels. Admire the iconic Hotel Nacional, a historic landmark that has hosted countless celebrities and world leaders.


Continue your journey to the Plaza de la Revolución, where you can marvel at the massive memorial to Cuba’s national hero, José Martí. Snap some photos in front of the murals featuring Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos, capturing iconic images of Cuban history.


From there, make your way to the famous University of Havana, the oldest university in Cuba and a symbol of Cuba’s educational system. Take a walk around the campus and soak in the vibrant atmosphere, surrounded by beautiful buildings and lush green areas.


Afterward, head to the bustling neighborhood of Miramar, known for its upscale residences and diplomatic embassies. Take a leisurely drive along Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue) and admire the stunning architecture and manicured gardens. Marvel at the sprawling mansions that were once home to Havana’s elite.


No visit to Havana is complete without a stroll along the Malecón, Havana’s iconic seaside promenade. This lively stretch offers stunning views of the Caribbean Sea, as well as an opportunity to engage with locals and experience the vibrant energy of the city. Feel the ocean breeze on your face as you walk along the Malecón, taking in the captivating sights and sounds of Havana.


For a unique dining experience, head to a paladar in Vedado or Miramar, where you can savor delicious Cuban cuisine in a cozy and intimate setting. Indulge in local specialties like ropa vieja, lechón asado (roast pork), or a seafood feast featuring freshly caught Caribbean delicacies.


In the evening, consider visiting a jazz club to experience the soulful sounds of Cuban jazz firsthand. Havana is renowned for its vibrant jazz scene, and there are numerous clubs where you can enjoy live performances by talented musicians.


As the sun sets over Havana, reflect on the contrast between the historic charm of Old Havana and the modern vibrancy of the city’s contemporary neighborhoods. Tomorrow, you will embark on a day trip to the captivating Viñales Valley, where you will be swept away by the natural beauty and rural tranquility of the Cuban countryside.


Day 4: Day Trip to Viñales Valley

Prepare for a day of natural beauty and rural charm as you embark on a day trip to the enchanting Viñales Valley. Located just a few hours west of Havana, this picturesque valley is known for its stunning landscapes, tobacco farms, and limestone karst formations.


After an early breakfast, a private driver will pick you up from your accommodation in Havana and take you on a scenic journey to Viñales. As you drive through the countryside, admire the rolling hills, lush tobacco fields, and dramatic limestone formations that surround you.


Arriving in Viñales, you will immediately be captivated by the serene beauty of the valley. Begin your exploration with a visit to the Mural de la Prehistoria, an impressive mural painted on a limestone cliff. This colorful mural depicts the evolution of life on Earth and is a testament to the creativity and artistry of the Cuban people.


Next, make your way to a tobacco farm to learn about Cuba’s most renowned product – cigars. Engage with local tobacco farmers and witness the meticulous process of growing, harvesting, and rolling tobacco leaves into exquisite cigars. Gain insight into the tobacco industry, an integral part of Cuban culture and tradition.


Continue your journey by exploring the Cueva del Indio, a mesmerizing underground cave system. Board a small boat and glide through the cave, marveling at the stunning rock formations and the underground river. This unique experience provides a glimpse into the natural wonders of the Viñales Valley.


For lunch, indulge in authentic Cuban cuisine at a local restaurant in Viñales town. Savor traditional dishes such as lechón asado (roast pig), yuca con mojo (cassava with garlic sauce), and fresh fruits. Immerse yourself in the laid-back atmosphere of the town, interacting with friendly locals and soaking in the charm of Viñales.


In the afternoon, take a leisurely horseback ride or hike through the picturesque countryside, surrounded by lush greenery and towering mogotes (karst formations). Explore the rich biodiversity of the valley, spotting unique plant species and perhaps encountering colorful birds and other wildlife along the way.


As the day draws to a close, find a tranquil spot to watch the breathtaking sunset over the Viñales Valley. Witness the golden light streaming through the limestone formations, casting a magical glow on the surrounding landscape. Capture this serene moment and cherish the memories of your day in this captivating rural paradise.


Afterward, your private driver will take you back to your accommodation in Havana, where you can relax and reflect on the beauty and tranquility of the Viñales Valley. Tomorrow, you will have another day to explore Viñales town and discover more hidden gems in this breathtaking region.


Day 5: Exploring Viñales Town

On day five of your Cuban adventure, immerse yourself in the charm and laid-back atmosphere of Viñales town. This picturesque town, located in the heart of the Viñales Valley, is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and offers a glimpse into rural Cuban life.


Start your day with a leisurely breakfast at a local café, enjoying the fresh flavors of Cuban cuisine. Fuel up for a day of exploration as you prepare to discover the hidden gems of Viñales.


Begin your exploration of Viñales town with a visit to the Casa del Veguero, a traditional tobacco farmer’s house. Here, you can learn about the process of growing and harvesting tobacco firsthand from the farmers themselves. Gain insight into the art of rolling cigars and even try your hand at rolling your own under the guidance of the experienced farmers.


Continue your journey through the town, wandering along the charming streets lined with colorful houses and vibrant gardens. Take in the relaxed pace of life in Viñales, interacting with friendly locals and soaking in the authentic Cuban atmosphere.


For a unique cultural experience, visit the Casa de la Cultura, a community center that hosts various art and cultural events. Take part in a dance class, learn traditional Cuban dance steps, and immerse yourself in the lively rhythms of Cuban music. Alternatively, visit a local art gallery to admire the works of talented Cuban artists and perhaps purchase a one-of-a-kind piece to take home as a memento.


Afterward, take a break from the heat by exploring one of the nearby natural wonders, the Cueva de Santo Tomás. This expansive cave system is one of the largest in Cuba and offers an opportunity to venture underground and marvel at the stunning formations. Take a guided tour through the cave, learning about its geological significance and enjoying the coolness of the underground world.


In the afternoon, enjoy a relaxing horseback ride or a guided hike through the scenic landscapes surrounding Viñales town. Traverse lush green valleys, pass by tobacco plantations, and soak in the natural beauty of the surrounding mogotes – towering limestone hills that make the region truly unique.


As the day comes to a close, find a cozy restaurant or paladar in Viñales town to indulge in a delicious dinner. Sample traditional Cuban dishes, such as ropa vieja, arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), or a vegetarian feast featuring fresh local produce. Immerse yourself in the flavors of Cuba as you savor the delectable cuisine.


Reflect on the beauty and tranquility of Viñales as you enjoy a peaceful evening in this rural paradise. Tomorrow, it will be time to bid farewell to Viñales and make your way back to Havana for the final leg of your Cuban adventure.


Day 6: Return to Havana

As your Cuban journey nears its end, it’s time to bid farewell to the enchanting Viñales Valley and make your way back to the vibrant city of Havana. This final day will give you a chance to savor the last moments of your Cuban adventure while reflecting on the unforgettable experiences you’ve had throughout the trip.


After breakfast, take some time to soak in the tranquility of Viñales one last time. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the town, taking in the picturesque landscapes and charming architecture that make this place so special.


Before leaving Viñales, visit a local market to browse for souvenirs or handmade crafts. Take the opportunity to pick up some traditional Cuban cigars, coffee, or rum to take home as memories of your Cuban adventure.


Once you’re ready to depart, your private transfer will take you on a scenic drive back to Havana. Enjoy the views of the countryside and reflect on the beauty and tranquility of the Viñales Valley.


Arriving back in Havana, you’ll reacquaint yourself with the vibrant energy of the city. Check back into your accommodation and take a moment to freshen up before continuing your exploration.


With some free time in Havana, revisit a favorite spot from earlier in your trip or explore a new neighborhood. Consider visiting Centro Habana, a bustling area known for its vibrant street life and colorful buildings. Explore the local markets, sample street food, and engage with the friendly locals.


In the evening, indulge in a farewell dinner at one of Havana’s top-rated restaurants. Savor the flavors of Cuban cuisine one last time, enjoying dishes crafted with local ingredients and traditional techniques. Raise a glass of Cuban rum to toast to the memories you’ve made and the experiences you’ve had throughout your Cuban adventure.


After dinner, take a leisurely evening stroll along the iconic Malecón, enjoying the cool sea breeze and reflecting on the incredible journey you’ve had. As the lights of Havana twinkle in the distance, take a moment to soak in the vibrant atmosphere and bid farewell to this captivating city.


Upon returning to your accommodation, take some time to pack and prepare for your departure the next day. Reflect on the amazing experiences, the vibrant culture, and the warm hospitality you’ve encountered during your time in Cuba.


As you lay your head down to sleep, cherish the memories and friendships you’ve made. Tomorrow, you’ll say “adiós” to Cuba, taking with you a piece of this captivating country in your heart forever.



Your six-day journey through Havana and Viñales has been a true exploration of the beauty, history, and culture that Cuba has to offer. From the vibrant streets of Old Havana to the tranquil landscapes of the Viñales Valley, you’ve experienced the best of both worlds in this captivating country.


In Havana, you delved into the city’s storied past, wandering through the charming streets of Old Havana, exploring iconic landmarks, and immersing yourself in the vibrant music and dance scenes that define this city’s spirit. You discovered the allure of modern Havana, experiencing the vibrant neighborhoods, visiting cultural sites, and indulging in the unique flavors of Cuban cuisine.


In Viñales, you were mesmerized by the natural beauty of the valley, with its lush tobacco fields, impressive limestone formations, and captivating cave systems. You gained insight into the traditional process of cigar-making and immersed yourself in the laid-back lifestyle of Viñales town, interacting with locals, exploring the cultural offerings, and venturing into the breathtaking countryside.


This journey has allowed you to create lasting memories, from witnessing the colorful sunsets over the Malecón to dancing to the infectious rhythms of Cuban music. You’ve tasted the flavors of Cuba, explored its historical landmarks, and connected with the warm and welcoming Cuban people.


As you reflect on your time in Cuba, you realize that this trip was not only a vacation but a cultural exchange and an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of this remarkable country. Cuba has a rich and complex history, and through your experiences, you have gained insights into its past, present, and future.


The beauty of Cuba goes beyond its captivating landscapes and historic sites. It lies in the resilience and vibrancy of its people, the richness of its music and dance, and the warmth of its hospitality. Your journey through Havana and Viñales has allowed you to witness these qualities firsthand and forge a connection with this incredible country.


As you depart from Cuba, you take with you not only souvenirs and photographs but also a deep appreciation for the beauty, culture, and spirit of the country. Cuba’s allure will continue to resonate with you long after your departure, reminding you of the memories you’ve made and inspiring you to return one day.


Thank you for joining us on this unforgettable journey through Havana and Viñales. We hope this experience has ignited your curiosity, opened your eyes to the beauty of Cuba, and left you with a deep appreciation for this remarkable country.