- The buzz of Cuba in Havana and lazing about in Tulum make for the perfect combination
- Stay in an elegant casa particular (private home stay) in Vedado, then head for the Riviera Maya and its stylish white sand beaches
- The itinerary includes a private, behind-the-scenes tour of Havana, diving in a 'cenote' (a collapsed limestone cave) and a reservation in one of Tulum's best restaurants
- Access to our local Concierge, smartphone app, useful addresses and our usual additional services
Contact one of our Cuba specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
FROM HAVANA TO THE MEXICAN CARIBBEAN
THE TRIPFrom the Vedado guesthouse, Havana is ours to explore. So as not to miss a single thing, two trips are included in the itinerary. The first with a private guide, focusing on the history and architecture of the Cuban capital, the second with an expert local guide for an insider's experience of the city. Decide on the pace for the day in the Caribbean hideaway: swimming in turquoise waters or lazing around by the pool, exploring archaeological sites, diving in cenotes (collapsed limestone caves) - a trip to all three, by bike and on foot, it's already planned with a private guide... There is also a reserved table in the evening: an open kitchen, soft lighting and a menu that is the talk of Tulum. There is a rental car for cruising around complete with GPS navigation and useful places to visit. And if, along the way, there is a sudden urge, or an unforeseen event, there are contact details for our on-site Concierge services, reachable throughout the journey.
Flight to Havana
Airport reception and private transfer to Vedado, Havana's number one residential and art district. Stay four nights in a beautiful and neoclassical residence surrounded by a small garden. There are three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen. There is a veranda for enjoying the fresh air. The building has been carefully renovated and the decor balances tropical chic and a contemporary feel. It feels like getting back in touch with a way of life that has disappeared.
Today, Havana is a UNESCO World Heritage city and from its past, as a stopping point on the way to the New World, it has retained architecture as flamboyant as its inhabitants. The itinerary includes Old Havana with an expert private guide. Old Havana with its pastel hues weathered by the ocean and history comes alive at dusk. Music blares and the engines of the classic American cars fire up. A true open-air museum, it contains the most beautiful monuments and museums in the country. Also planned is a tour of original Havana in the footsteps of a local. You will access the places where Cubans live, the 'huecos' of Vedado, the markets, alleyways and hidden places, different neighbourhoods full of contrasts and surprises. Among them, artists' workshops, abandoned theatres where young musicians rehearse in jamming sessions... It is also an opportunity to discuss daily life in Havana and even to meet one of Cuba's famous faces - a jazz musician, dancer, choreographer, boxer or historian. Optional - A private dance lesson - a night-time drive around in a classic American car...
Havana - Tulum
Private transfer to the airport and flight to Cancun. Pick up the hire car and head to Tulum on the Riviera Maya. A four-night stay in an intimate accommodation, paddling in the water and a bohemian and casual atmosphere. The whitewashed walls resemble those of Santorini; the interiors depict a pared-down Mediterranean style - polished concrete, stone and rustic wood - and Caribbean handicrafts. In the restaurant, the influences are again Mediterranean, while the bar, the rooftop pool, and 13 rooms look out over the jungle or the sea. They reflect the same rustic and chic atmosphere that suits Tulum so well.
Three days to rest, enjoy the comfort of the hotel or discover the surroundings at leisure. The opportunity to explore different cenotes; natural depressions of limestone that allow access to fresh underground water for snorkelling or diving. Or visit Tulum, a wonderful combination of Mayan architecture and nature. Ancient Zama, the 'City of Dawn', originally had two functions: as a port and as a ceremonial centre. Or sail by boat through the mangroves of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. There is always the option of doing nothing at all, except casually saunter from beach to garden, pool to hammock. It's up to you. Discover the cenotes by bike. It is thought that the cenotes were formed millions of years ago by meteorite fragments. This type of diving is quite specific to the Yucatan peninsula; nowhere else in the world can you experience this sensation. Explore the delicate and unique ecosystem of the caves, adorned with thousands of stalactites and swim in the waters of an open cenote surrounded by lush vegetation. A reserved table in a popular Tulum establishment: open-air kitchen, tables under the pergola or next to the coconut palms, soft light filtering in through the leaves, a varied menu and cocktails with a twist. Optional - Private visit to Tulum archaeological site - yoga session or treatment in a jungle spa - Punta Laguna Reserve: monkey-watching, cenotes, canoeing and zip lines.
Tulum - Return flight
Drop the car off at Cancun Airport and catch the flight home. Overnight flight, arriving the next day.
A la carte
SALSA IN HAVANA
Born between Puerto Rico and New York, salsa is Cuba's pop music: its origins draw on Cuban rhythms, such as cha-cha-cha and mambo. It obviously takes a lot of practice to dance like the young Cuban couples in the clubs, but with an introduction, pick up the basics and share the dance floor with the regulars.
HAVANA BY NIGHT IN A CLASSIC AMERICAN CAR
The 1950s were the economic boomtime in the United States and saw the growth of the motor industry. At the time, Cuba was the holiday destination for many Americans who had a second home there. In 1959, the year of the revolution, there were 300,000 American cars on the island, some of which remain today. Chevrolet, Cadillac, Dodge, Pontiac, De Soto: these American classics are part of the landscape here. Cruising through Vedado, along the Malecon or Almendares Park in the back of one of these beautiful American cars gives a whole different view of the capital of the Antilles...
PUNTA LAGUNA RESERVE
This precious reserve is in the middle of the jungle, on the border between the state of Quintana Roo and Yucatan. People come mainly to try to see spider monkeys but also to meet Mayan communities living in the heart of this natural environment. Punta Laguna is also home to impressive lagoons and cenotes with translucent water, and the lush jungle can be explored by bike, canoe, or zip line. Access to the reserve and the various activities on offer aim to develop 'community tourism' by putting the profits back into local communities so that they can continue to grow and protect the area.
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