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Fri 12 Feb - Sun 21 Feb 2016


What to expect


What you will do


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All you need to know

Your challenge day by day

Day 1, Fri 12 Feb 2016

International departure from London

Meet at the airport for our flight to Havana, the capital of Cuba and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A Charity Challenge representative will be there to assist with check-in. On arrival, we will be met at the airport by our Charity Challenge local expedition leader who will transfer us to a three-star hotel, where we will spend the night and be briefed about the adventure ahead.


Day 2, Sat 13 Feb 2016

Discover Havana and transfer to Hanabanilla Lake (approximately 5 hours)

Founded in 1519, Havana is the Caribbean’s largest city and we will have plenty of time to explore it. Among other attractions in the Cuban capital, we will visit Old Havana, Plaza de Armas and Cathedral Square street markets. After lunch, we will leave the city for our transfer (four to five hours) to Hanabanilla Lake, where we will overnight in a hotel.


Day 3, Sun 14 Feb 2016

From Lake Hanabanilla to Salto de Rocio (approximately 7-8 hours)

Lake Hanabanilla is Cuba’s largest man-made reservoir, surrounded by tropical vegetation and small farmsteads. We will take a boat across the lake and continue trekking to Casa de la Gallega, an old hacienda. A further hour’s walk brings us to the Salto de Rocio, a 25m high waterfall where you can swim. You will spend the night under the eaves of the Casa de la Gallega hacienda.


Day 4, Mon 15 Feb 2016

Casa de la Gallega to Codina (approximately 7-8 hours)

The next four days will be spent trekking across the awe-inspiring Escambray Mountains. The highest peak of Cuba’s second largest mountain range is Pico San Juan at 1,140m. The slopes are swathed in pine, ancient tree-ferns, bamboo and eucalyptus. From the Casa de la Gallega we hike mostly uphill, reaching a second hacienda in the late afternoon. Spend the night either in the hacienda or camping.


Day 5, Tue 16 Feb 2016

Codina to Topes de Collantes (approximately 6-7 hours)

The day starts on the hacienda’s educational trail. The route traverses a cave through the mountains, as we head for Topes de Collantes. Topes is renowed as a medical centre due to its clean and pure air. From here it’s a steep descent to Salto Caburni for a swim in a crystal clear pool, before completing the day’s hike at a small hotel back in Topes de Collantes.


Day 6, Wed 17 Feb 2016

Topes de Collantes to Vega Grande (approximately 8 hours)

After breakfast it’s an arduous – mostly uphill trek – along the Vega Grande, meaning large fertile plain.  This trail takes us through dense vegetation deep into the heart of the Escambray Mountains. We will reach Mi Retiro hacienda for a late lunch, before returning for an overnight stay in the hotel in Topes de Collantes.


Day 7, Thu 18 Feb 2016

Topes de Collantes to El Cubano (approximately 7 hours)

The last day of your trek is through dry scrub with occasional views of the turquoise Caribbean. As the hours pass, we visit our third and final waterfall before celebrating our achievements with lunch and cocktails at a local restaurant. From here we drive to the coast of the Ancon Peninsula, just outside Trinidad. The night is spent in a hotel on southern Cuba’s best beach.


Day 8, Fri 19 Feb 2016

Relaxation and transfer back to Havana

Chill out at the beach or in the hotel pool. Alternatively, you can explore the charming town of Trinidad. With its cobbled streets and colonial housing, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has hardly changed in more than 150 years. Later we transfer back to Havana for a celebratory dinner and the chance to sample some of Cuba’s finest exports – rum and cigars! Overnight in centrally located hotel.


Day 9, Sat 20 Feb 2016

Free day in Havana

Spend more time sight-seeing or perhaps take part in a salsa or rumba lesson. And if you’re feeling hungry you could grab a bite at one of Havanas many paladares (local Cuban houses that cater for paying guests). Supper is provided in a restaurant close to the airport, before your evening flight back to the UK. (Please note lunch is not included today).


Day 10, Sun 21 Feb 2016

International departure

We will arrive back in the UK at London Heathrow airport in the afternoon.


Important information

The itinerary is there as a guide and may change due to unusual weather patterns, the strength of the group, and so on. We will do our very best to keep to the set itinerary; however we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes that might occur. In all such circumstances, your expedition leader will have the final say.

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ATOL protected

We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to:

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