Kayaking Cuba

Here´s an exciting experience that will show you the island as nobody´s seen it yet. During this holidays you will be doing a lot of sightseeing from a kayak while you furrow rivers and lagoons. You´ll find the origins of our current population; you´ll visit a crocodiles farm (the largest in Latin-America) and explore natural parks and reserves. It´s the nicest combination of nature, architecture, and traditions: the Cuban culture apéritifs!


Visit: Cienfuegos, Havana, Trinidad, Zapata

10 Days / 9 Nights

Starting at:

1671

2012
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itinerary

Day 1 - HAVANA

Arrival at the José Martí International Airport, meeting and assistance by the staff of the agency to help you in the transfer to a traditional private house in Havana with breakfast included, but you could get the option of staying in a hotel in Havana. After check in you get the night free for leisure but if you´re feeling up to, you should take one of our nocturnal tours, like Havana salsa night or a show at Parisien Cabaret.

Day 2 - HAVANA - GUAMÁ

Let’s start the day with an early breakfast because minutes later you´ll be transfer to La Boca de Guama in Peninsula de Zapata National Park (Biosphere Reserve and Ramsar Site) where the biggest insular Caribbean humid marsh lies. Once in here we are throwing the kayaks into the waters and paddle through mangrove channel and across Laguna Del Tesoro on the way to the Tourist Village of Guama. This Tourist Village resembles an authentic Tainos Village and is located on several small islands inside the Laguna Del Tesoro. According to the legend, the name of this lake reminds an event in which the inhabitants of the place decided to throw their appreciated treasures to the lake to avoid the Spanish colonizers who would take possession of them. At the entrance of the Village, in one of the first and smallest cays there is a re-creation of an Aldea Taina (Real Tainos Hamlet), work made by the prestigious Cuba sculptor Rita Longa. There are 25 natural size sculptures arranged in a way that reproduces different activities of the everyday life of those small villages of the Cuban Aborigines. There are four huts and a large Caney that provide originality to the environment. We will be visiting a museum that exposes the different pre-Columbian cultures in Cuba. We will stay at Villa Guama, in traditional native style cabins with thatched roofs and raised on stilts above the water. Free time to settle in and rest up after check in and later feel free to explore the numerous before the dinner gets served at the hotel.

Day 3 - GUAMA - PLAYA LARGA

Let´s start the morning with a breakfast at the hotel to get strength to paddle back to Boca de Guamá across the Treasure Lagoon and through a winding channel. The lunch will be served at La Boca de Guama Restaurant and right after we will visit the famous crocodile farm. After this experience we´ll travel to Playa Larga and check in at a private house with breakfast included. After settle in you might want to take a bath on the beach cause at night the dinner will be waiting for you at home.

Day 4 - PLAYA LARGA - CIENFUEGOS

Morning breakfast of course and departure to Salinas de Brito at the southwestern side of Bay of Pigs in Zapata Peninsula. This route is a harmonious natural combination and you´ll go through several wooded areas and enjoy different kinds of vegetation; pass some large but very shallow lakes, where several species of birds live. Once we get to Las Salinas, we will continue the trip in kayak, paddling across mangroves and cays with sandy beaches. The trip includes other cays, so you can see different species of iguanas, jutías and crocodiles in their natural habitat. Around noon you´ll have a box lunch and right after we continue our trip to Punta Perdiz or Cueva de los Peces at the eastern side of Bay of Pigs to do some snorkeling while you enjoy swimming among a large variety of tropical colorful fishes. After a while we´ll departure to Cienfuegos, this city was settled by French immigrants from Bordeaux and Louisiana, and in 2005, UNESCO inscribed the Urban Historic Centre of Cienfuegos on the Cultural World Heritage List. On the arrival we´ll enjoy a city tour, visiting the main square Jose Martí Park (National Monument) and the most interesting places and buildings in the city: Catedral de la Purísima Concepción, Tomás Terry Theater and Arco de Triunfo (the only existing Arch of Triumph in Cuba) built in 1902, among other obvious landmarks. After the tour we must check in at a private house to settle in and rest up. The folk from Cuatro Caminos private restaurant will be waiting for us to have dinner and the night free for leisure.

Day 5 - CIENFUEGOS - JAGUA FORTRESS - GUAJIMICO

Good morning for an early breakfast and right away departure to Pasacaballos Old Dock in the mouth of Cienfuegos Bay. Now it´s time to grab our kayaks and paddle to get to Jagua Fortress, on the way there, we will enjoy a panoramic view of Jagua Fortress and the small fishermen town. We´ll leave our kayaks and walk a very short path to the Jagua Fortress where we will learn of this place and part of the history of Cuba through a guided visit. After lunch at Rancho Cristal Restaurant we will visit a fishermen town in El Perché neighborhood. The path continues to Villa Guajimico. In this place located in the central south coast there is a hidden paradise full of vegetation, attractive forests, caves and small hidden beaches ideals for the practice of nautical and diving activities and recreation. Let´s check in at Guajimico Village at night the dinner will be served right here and the rest of the evening at leisure.

Day 6 - GUAJIMICO

What a better way to start the morning than with a healthy breakfast looking for calories that lets us paddle, later, on the Caribbean Sea to an isolated beach with rock cliffs on both sides. There´ll be beach time and snorkeling in the coral reeves. The lunch time will caught us at Hacienda La Vega restaurant with a complete menu with one drink included. The best part come now when we´ll enjoy a horseback ride to Caleta de Castro. Once we return to Gaujimico you´ll have time for some beach time, kayaking waiting for the sunset, anything you want before dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Day 7 - GUAJIMICO - HANABANILLA

Morning breakfast. Today, we will explore the beautiful El Nicho Natural Park, a place that is a wonder of nature with dozens of waterfalls and natural pools of refreshing cool crystal waters, beautiful flora and protected fauna in a practically virgin area hidden amongst the mountains of the Guamuhaya Mountain Range, with breathtaking views and with no doubt one of Cuba’s best spots. Walk through the path: “Sendero Reino de las Aguas”. Lunch at Las Yaguas Private Restaurant. After lunch, we´ll drive to Hanabanilla Lake, where we´ll have the opportunity to explore the beautiful intra-mountainous lake, with three outlets: Río Negro, Hanabanilla and Guanayara rivers. We will launch our kayaks to paddle south across the lake that has steep mountains rising up from the shore line and make a short stopover at La Cueva del Brollo, a cave that can only be accessed from the lake. Then some more paddling to Río Negro located half way down the lake. This is the place where we´ll stay at a tent. Walk through the short path, “Sendero El Mirador” that takes in a spectacular view of the mountains and the lake. The dinner will be at Rio Negro restaurant.

Day 8 - HANABANILLA - GUANAYARA - TRINIDAD

After breakfast in Rio Negro, we will continue by kayak to the south. We will visit the amazing waterfall, “Cascada Los Helechos”, where we´ll take a bath in its cold and clear waters or simply take a moment to enjoy this fantastic spot. We will continue paddling to Jibacoa, the south dam on the Hanabanilla Lake. There, we will board an Army Mountain Truck that will drive us to Río Guanayara in Guanayara Natural Park. Lunch at Casa de La Gallega Restaurant. We will board our Jeep/Mountain Truck again to visit the Coffee House in Topes de Collantes to taste the most exquisite recipes of the typical Cuban coffee and enjoy a permanent exhibition of the world of the coffee. After this, we will departure to La Villa de la Santísima Trinidad founded by Don Diego Velázquez in 1514 and declared Cultural World Heritage by UNESCO in 1988. Stopover at El Mirador del Caribe (view-point) to enjoy the beauty of the area. And now that we arrived to Trinidad we will settle in and rest from the trip at a private house in the center. The dinner will be served at a local private restaurant in Trinidad.

Day 9 - TRINIDAD – GUAURABO - HAVANA

The journey today will be long so you´d better start the day with breakfast before leaving the house to explore Guaurabo River. We will launch our kayaks near Ma. Dolores resort to paddle down Guaurabo River until the fishermen village La Boca, at the mouth of the river. From this place, Hernán Cortés sailed in 1518 towards Mexico to conquer the Aztec empire, reason why that maritime region participated actively and directly in the new discoveries of Mexico. We continue paddling until Maria Aguilar Beach in Peninsula Ancon to get some quality beach time. Lunch at La Marinera private restaurant in Casilda fishermen town. After a good sea food lunch, we will return to Trinidad to check out and get transferred to Havana private house with breakfast includeded.

Day 10 - HAVANA AND FAREWELL

It´s time to say goodbye now with the last breakfast in our colorful and warm country. After the check-out we´ll take you to Jose Marti International Airport according to your flight schedule.

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details

Putting away the conventional itineraries and out of the comfort zone of being on the road the whole trip, we came up with this program that takes you most of the time on a kayak through some pretty spectacular sceneries that only in Cuba you could find. 

After arrival and a first-night resting, we´ll depart to Guamá in Península de Zapata where you´ll visit an authentic aborigine village to  meet Dayamí, the dreamer Indian young girl; Cajimo, the jutía hunter; Abey, the great crocodile hunter; Yaima, a playful young girl or Maguanay, the mother of a family preparing "casabe". You´ll also visit a crocodiles farm and go through several wooded areas and enjoy different types of vegetation on the way to Cienfuegos via Playa Larga. You´d love Juagua Fortress while you sail on your kayak on the way to Guajimico with a visit to a fishermen town. The night camping in Hanabanilla will be the most awesome moment of the experience cause sleeping beneath the stars and the freshly Cuban breeze could stay on your mind forever. Finally, having a meeting with history and architecture in Cienfuegos and Trinidad will be the icing on the cake of this 10-days wild trip. Hope you dare to try it.