Note: The itinerary and activities you see below are subject to change due to factors such as weather, transportation schedules and availability of guest speakers. We always attempt to replace missed activities with similar opportunities that maintain the same spirit of the tour as well as our focus on People-to-People exchanges.
Uncharted, unprecedented, unbelievable…Cuba Unbound! Take part of the first people-to-people Cuba adventure vacation kayak tour.
Cuba holds a unique charisma as the Caribbean’s wild island. Cuba’s wildness extends beyond its stretches of untouched forests or coral reefs. It’s wildness lies in its essence—its indefatigable spirit, its zeal for life that percolates into its music and dance, and its palpable enthusiasm for its people and country. Cuba catches the imagination and inspires it, a quality that has drawn writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene to it for centuries.
Discover Cuba’s wildness for yourself on our eight-day adventure vacation through its forests and wetlands, beaches and cities. You start the trip off in the Caribbean’s most vivacious city, Havana, where you feel its electric charge in its Spanish colonial architecture, civic fervor, and vintage ambience. With our local Cuban guide as well as a ROW Adventures guide, our trip takes you out of Havana’s energetic heat into the verdant reaches of the Parque Nacional Zapata and Boca de Guamá, where you see Cuba’s indigenous history and its incredible biodiversity. The Zapata peninsula is replete with wildlife and geologic wonders, and whether you are swimming in submerged pools linked to the ocean through subterranean passages or kayaking through arterial river systems rimmed with lush mangroves, you find that Cuba takes the Caribbean to a new level of wildness and natural splendor.
- 8 days
November through April
- Special Interest
- Miami, Florida
- Miami, Florida
- Miami International (MIA)
Welcome to Cuba! Havana, Plaza de la Revolución & UNESCO World Heritage
This morning, we depart Miami toward our first Cuban destination: Havana. We will be taking an early morning flight on an American Airlines charter nonstop to Havana—the Caribbean’s largest, most electric city. Once we have arrived in Cuba, we will spend the rest of our morning enjoying some of Havana’s finest sites accompanied by our professional Cuban guide as well as our own US-based tour leader.
First, we will visit Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución, an extensive city square initially envisioned in the 1920s as part of Havana’s ‘new city.’ The square stands on the Loma de los Catalanes and now functions as a center for the Cuban government. Often, Plaza de la Revolución lives up to its name when mass political rallies are held there. Around the square, you can see murals of Cuba’s valorized guerrilleros painted on the surrounding buildings.
After we wander through one of Havana’s unique political hubs, we enjoy the culinary experience of El Aljibe—one of Havana’s best spots. The restaurant is best known for its pollo asodo, or roast chicken, served with a bitter orange sauce whose recipe has yet to be duplicated.
In the afternoon, we take a guided tour to Habana Vieja, otherwise known as Old or Colonial Havana. While Colonial Habana was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982, Spanish colonists first founded it in 1519 on Cuba’s northwestern shore. As a central hub for both Spanish ships traveling to and from the New World as well as shipbuilding, Habana Vieja attracted Spanish architecture built in the baroque and neoclassic style. Although Old Havana suffered from piracy, plundering, and reconstruction, it retains a beauty redolent of its colonial history.
After our afternoon wandering through Old Havana’s plazas, we enjoy dining at the private Cuban restaurant, La Guarida. The restaurant sprawls on the top floor of a delightfully dilapidated residence that was once a film location. Once we have dined in true Cuban elegance, we transfer to our hotel in the heart of the city for the evening.
Criadero de Cocodrilos, Kayak the Bay of Pigs, and Arrive at Zapata National Park
After breakfast, our exploration of Cuba beyond Havana begins with a bus trip to Boca de Guamá, named after the Taíno chief Guamá who stood against the Spanish colonists in 1532.
Our first stop is to visit the Criadero de Cocodrilos. This crocodile breeding facility raises Cuban and American crocodiles, both of which were close to extinction in Cuba before the program’s establishment in 1962. On this tour, you learn about the crocodiles and see them in various stages of maturity. If you are lucky, it will be close to feeding time and you can see the employees tossing the crocodiles some tasty snacks. After we finish observing and learning about these impressively strong creatures, we will eat lunch at Restaurante Boca de Guamá where you will have the opportunity to try out some crocodile meat if you want a culinary adventure.
We drive a short distance further to the small village of Playa Larga. On arrival we check into our modest home style accommodations in a Casa Particular (read: B&B). After settling in, there may be time for a short walk before we head to the beach for our first kayak excursion. The highlight this afternoon is a paddle in the Bay of Pigs! Our local guide tells the story of the events that happened here in April 1961.
After our paddle of roughly two hours, we return to the beach as the sun sets. Then it’s on to a home-cooked dinner of traditional Cuban fare.