Fri 19 Nov - Sun 28 Nov 2021

OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

ESSENTIAL INFO

All you need to know

Your challenge day by day

Day 1, Fri 19 Nov 2021

International departure from London

It’s finally time for your long-awaited departure to Cuba. Wave goodbye to friends and family, before you board the flight and embark upon your challenge!

On arrival in Havana, you will be met at the airport by your Charity Challenge local expedition leader who will transfer you to your hotel for a welcome cocktail and dinner. (D)

Accommodation: Hotel

1

Day 2, Sat 20 Nov 2021

Discover Havana and transfer to Hanabanilla Lake (approx. 5hrs)

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

Accommodation: Hotel

2

Day 3, Sun 21 Nov 2021

From Lake Hanabanilla to Salto de Rocio (approx. 7-8hrs)

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

Accommodation: Hacienda

3

Day 4, Mon 22 Nov 2021

Casa de la Gallega to Codina (approx. 7-8hrs)

The next four days are 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 you hike mostly uphill, reaching a second hacienda in the late afternoon. (B,L,D)

Accommodation: Hacienda or Camping

4

Day 5, Tue 23 Nov 2021

Codina to Topes de Collantes (approx. 6-7hrs)

The day starts on the hacienda’s educational trail. The route passes a cave in the mountains, as you 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, before completing the day’s hike at a small hotel back in Topes de Collantes. (B,L,D)

Accommodation: Hotel

5

Day 6, Wed 24 Nov 2021

Topes de Collantes to Vega Grande (approx. 7-8hrs)

After breakfast it’s an arduous – mostly uphill trek – along the Vega Grande, which means large fertile plain.  This trail takes you through dense vegetation deep into the heart of the Escambray Mountains. You reach Mi Retiro hacienda for a late lunch, before returning for an overnight stay in the hotel in Topes de Collantes. (B,L,D)

Accommodation: Hotel

6

Day 7, Thu 25 Nov 2021

Topes de Collantes to El Cubano (approx. 5-6hrs)

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

Accommodation: Hotel

7

Day 8, Fri 26 Nov 2021

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 you 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. (B,L,D)

Accommodation: Hotel

8

Day 9, Sat 27 Nov 2021

Free day in Havana

Spend more time sight-seeing or perhaps take part in a salsa or rumba lesson. 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). (B,D)

9

Day 10, Sun 28 Nov 2021

International departure

You arrive back in the UK at London Heathrow airport in the afternoon.

10

Important information

B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner
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: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

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