Discover Cuba!

Take a women-only private tour to Cuba with Canyon Calling
TRIP DATES: March 23 – 31, 2025
PRICE: $5,195

Discover Cuba Trip for Women

Discover and connect with the culture of this land of richness and spirited people. We’ll learn the history of this island nation back to the 15th century, the spirit of revolution the Cuban people carry in their hearts, and how this spirit is reflected in their beautiful art, music, architecture and food. Cuban culture is vibrant; and the Cuban people are warm and welcoming. On this trip we go beyond Havana into the countryside, where we combine visits to national parks and nature reserves, with visits with naturalist guides, farmers, historians, artists, and small business entrepreneurs. We start from Havana, Cuba’s enigmatic capital city, whose nearly 500 year Old Havana is home to the largest collection of Spanish-Colonial architecture in the Americas. Then we’re off to the Vinales Valley, Playa Larga, Trinidad, and back to Havana, with incredible memories and an appreciation for an era and a culture. Join us on this special adventure, and interact with local Cuban women to discuss their lives, economy, challenges, aspirations, and more. We’ve revitalized this itinerary and have brought intentional elements into the trip to connect with locals, experience this beautiful country and everything she has to offer. Bucket list trip!

Activities at a Glance

  • Old Havana Walking Tour (UNESCO)

  • Meet with Beatriz Santacana and make art

  • Snorkel in the Caribbean

  • Cooking class of local flavors

  • Meet and discussion with Cuban women

  • Visit Hemingway’s home and museum

  • Las Terrazas (UNESCO)

  • Kayak, Hike, The Arts, Photography

Discover Cuba Itinerary

Day 1

Please arrive in Havana before noon. Our local guide and drivers will greet you and bring you to the hotel to store your bag. We’ll provide a brief orientation before we head out into Cuba’s most dynamic city. Time to stretch our legs with a walking tour of Habana Vieja. Colonial Havana’s colonnaded streets are as colorful as the old American cars. As you walk through a rainbow of pastels listen for rumba riffs rumbling down the cobbled streets and the sounds of people working as we pass. We’ll also have lunch in the area, depending on flights and their arrival times. After the walking tour, we check in to our accommodations to relax then get ready for a night out. Overnight Havana.

Day 2

This morning after breakfast, we transfer west by bus about one hour to Las Terrazas, a biosphere under UNESCO safeguard. This community was created as part of Castro’s 1968 initiative to reforest regions over-logged since the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors and defaced by miles of coffee plantations. The 5,000-hectare nature reserve and eco-village is now home to over 117 different bird species, 12 of which are endemic including the tocororo and zorzal. There are several hikes in the area to choose from based on our interest and energy, including one interesting and easy walkthrough the old coffee processing area and plantation. We can also jump into the San Juan River to refresh ourselves.  Visit the studios of some community artists and discuss their art and process of creation. Get a peek into their lives and the beauty they produce. Then we’ll return to our accommodations in Havana. Enjoy dinner at a local paladar tonight. Overnight Havana.

Day 3

This morning after breakfast, we will meet with Beatriz Santacana in her home studio to learn about her work. From Beatriz: The human being is the center around which I develop my art… I try to discourse on his lights and his shadows, and to provoke an irreverent questioning in order to stir all those preestablished truths, and to propose a self-aware reflection on human nature, its values and principles.” Well, we gotta get in on the artistry so yes, we will create and enamel a ceramic piece that you can later take home. We’ll have her to ourselves on this private excursion and the interaction should be very interesting indeed. Later, we will have lunch in a local restaurant, then enjoy a bit of free time this afternoon. Early evening, we’ll meet up for another instructional and fun activity led by a woman – a cooking class!  We’ll cook the local favorites with a special surprise. We’ll enjoy what we cook after all the photographs are taken. Overnight Havana.

Day 4

After breakfast, we leave Havana to travel southeast toward Zapata National Park. Our first stop is renowned author Ernest Hemingway’s former estate at Finca Vigía and the recently renovated Museo de Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway lived in the Moorish-style home with his third wife, Martha Gellhorn, and wrote nine novels within its walls. We’ll wander the rooms and the grounds of the estate and see where Hemingway lived his life while writing novels that made him a legend. We continue another 2 hours to a small town where we have lunch at a local paladar. We then have a fascinating visit to one of Cuba’s national art and music schools, led by a faculty member with opportunities to engage with students and staff.  Depending on what is happening that day, we might observe a band class, talk with a sculptor or join in for a dance lesson!  In the same small town we visit our friend Bernabe, who has a tree that attracts the bee hummingbird, the world’s smallest hummingbird, to see this brightly colored bird up close.  Then another 20-minute drive gets us to our accommodation in the small village of Playa Larga, set on the Bay of Pigs.  We’ll check into our lodging. There’s time for us to stretch our legs on the beach before dinner. Overnight Playa Larga.

Day 5

Following breakfast, we’re off on a full day excursion to Museum Playa Girón, do some coastal snorkeling, visit the botanical gardens in Cienfuegos, and enjoy Trinidad. The beautiful beaches of Playa Giron await, and our first stop is a prime snorkeling location full of colorful fish and the healthiest reefs in all the region.  After snorkeling we have a very short visit (since we’re here) to the Bay of Pigs Museum to learn about the failed 1961 invasion attempt.  We’ll enjoy lunch in a local paladar before we travel to the Jardin Botanico Cienfuegos. This is one of Cuba’s largest botanical gardens full of 2000 species of plants. A local guide joins us for another great experience supporting the Cuban people as we explore the gardens.  Gorgeous! An hour away, the town of Trinidad will be our night destination. We’ll check in to our Casa Particular Bed & Breakfast, and then enjoy a short walking tour and orientation to this lovely colonial city. Walk right to a local restaurant for dinner, before getting a good night’s rest. Overnight Trinidad.

Day 6

Following breakfast, we depart early to drive up into the crenelated, Caribbean pine-coated Sierra Escambray mountains (sometimes known as the Guamuhaya Mountains). Within the long stretch of mountains lies the Gran Parque Natural Topes de Collantes. Though Topes is not considered a national park in the strictest of senses, it is highly protected by the Cuban government as are the four smaller parks that make up the umbrella park, Topes. Weather, the group’s abilities, and current conditions determine which hiking trail we enjoy along with our local park guide. One option is the Salto del Caburní trail, a 5km round-trip hike that leads to a beautiful waterfall that crashes down overhanging cliffs into swimming holes below. The rushing water tumbles into a clefted chasm where only the most intrepid adrenaline junkies dare to jump. If the water levels are low we may choose to go on the Vegas Grandes hike, which leads through the fern and pine forests before finishing at a waterfall and pool as well. Yet another option is to hike the Sendero La Batata, or Sweet Potato, Trail. This 6km hike takes us through the forest to a prehistoric cave and its underwater river. This trail explores forests rich with lichens and mosses and lucid pools disrupted only by crashing waterfalls. So many choices, so little time! We return to Trinidad by mid to late afternoon and visit the home and studio of local renowned artist Yudith Vidal. She works in a variety of mediums and exhibits internationally.  Her gallery, studio and house are one, so this is a wonderful one-on-one visit with her. Tonight dinner will be on your own. Overnight Trinidad.

Day 7

After breakfast, we depart Trinidad and drive west along the coast with the towering Sierra Escambray mountains to our north and the turquoise Caribbean to our south.  Soon we arrive at the mouth of the Bay of Cienfuegos for a fun kayak paddle to visit the Fortress of Our Lady of the Angels of Jagua.  The fortress or “castle” was built by order of King Philip V of Spain in 1742 as a defense against pirates who plied the Caribbean coast.  After our paddle and fortress visit we have worked up an appetite, so we feast at a seaside restaurant known for its excellent seafood. Then we shuttle a short distance to the city of Cienfuegos, known as the Pearl of the South. Settled by French and French Creoles invited here by the Spanish government in the 1800’s, there remains a French flair. We take a late-afternoon walking tour to visit Teatro Tomás Terry, a beautiful theater located on the northside of Parque José Martí and an excellent example of Creole architecture.  We visit a number of other sites and take a stroll on the Prado, a boulevard that fills with people late in the evening. A special treat today is a performance with the Cienfuegos Choir which is typically a highlight for our groups. (This is also optional if you’re not a choir person, but it’s a cool experience.) After the performance, we’ll enjoy another delicious dinner.  Overnight Cienfuegos.

Day 8

This morning after breakfast, we drive back to Havana (about 3 hours with stops) to explore some more and enjoy lunch. We arrive in Havana and visit the woman-owned bookstore, Cuba Libro, to learn about Cuban literature and meet with a Cuban author. The visit lasts about 90 minutes and includes an overview of how her project started, is building community, and is an example of social enterprise in Cuba’s new economy.  During this exchange, we’ll also enjoy a local non-alcoholic drink and have the opportunity to break into smaller groups to converse directly with bilingual Cubans from different sectors of society. A very unique opportunity and a cool cultural exchange event. Then we will get checked into our accommodations to relax. What? There’s a classic car to pick us up and drive us to our farewell dinner.  Oh, the papparazzi! We’ll enjoy a wonderful meal together and relive all the memories we have made together. Overnight Havana.

Day 9

Depending on your flight departure time, we’ll have breakfast together and transfer to the airport for return flights home.

What’s Included:

  • 8 days/8 nights fully guided tour by English speaking local guide and a US Canyon Calling Trip Leader
  • Hotels and Casa Particulars in double occupancy. Call for single supplement availability and rate.
  • One group airport transfer on arriving and departing days
  • All transportation as noted in the itinerary via an air-conditioned van
  • All meals from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 9 (1 dinner on own)
  • All activities and gear required by activity as outlined in the itinerary
  • All entrance fees, permits and passes to activities
  • Gratuities for all lodges, local day guides, wait staff at included meals, our drivers
  • Clean drinking water available at all times

What’s Not Included:

  • Round-trip transportation to Havana, Cuba
  • Alcoholic beverages and items of a personal nature
  • Cuba Tourist Visa Fee (ranges from $75-$100 depending on where you buy it)
  • Gratuity to our primary Cuban guide at the end of the tour

Special Notes for Cuba:

On this trip we stay in both hotels and Casa Particulares. Similar to a B&B, Casas Particulares are comfortable bedrooms in private houses. Sometimes they have the feel of a small boutique hotel, and sometimes they feel like you’re visiting family and enjoying the spare bedroom. All are operated by warm and welcoming hosts, offering the unique experience of staying with a Cuban family. This can be a highlight of your trip!

Please note the cancellation fee and our other policies and invest in travel insurance. While we don’t sell it, we highly recommend it.

A passport photo page copy is due with your deposit payment at time of registration. To avoid change fees, submit full passport names (first/mid/last) exactly as they appear on your passport, and double check your expiration date.

If you have special dietary needs, please do your research prior to travel as you may need to supplement your diet if you’re vegan, for example.


Our Tenets

Quick Links