Cuba: Our Itinerary

Planning this trip opened my eyes to just how big Cuba is. Initially I thought 2 weeks was more than enough time to experience the whole country. How ignorant I was. Cuba is over 42,000 square miles and is 780 miles long. It is not a quaint little Caribbean Isle, each region has it's own personality. Santiago de Cuba and Baracoa on the East feels nothing like Havana on the West. This revelation also meant that I would not, in fact, get to see all of Cuba. However, I would get to see a lot. Just a reason to go back right?

Two men working on a classic car in Viñales

The plan going into the trip was this route:
Havana > Trinidad > Cienfuegos > Viñales > Trinidad

For the above to happen we would have needed prior knowledge of how traveling through Cuba worked. Since we didn't connect to internet, we were on our own for figuring out best practices. And like I said in another post, the internet really didn't have any great information (thus, this!). 

We quickly figured out that we needed about a day in each new place to figure out how to navigate it and how to get to our next destination. 

Below is what actually ended up happening:

Day 1: Arrive to Havana
- Get to casa
- Decide not to try and go to Trinidad the very next day
- Run around trying to figure Cuba out

Day 2: Havana
- Spend day exploring city
- Wait in crazy line a Coppelia, end up in the tourist area anyway

Day 3: Travel to Trinidad
- Find casa and walk around

Day 4: Trinidad
- Horseback tour day

Day 5: Trinidad
- Local hike and explore Trinidad

Day 6: Trinidad
- SCUBA and Playa Ancon

Day 7: Travel to Vinales
- Find casa and walk around

Day 8: Vinales
- Horseback tour day

Day 9: Vinales
- Sunrise hike
- Overeat at the Finca

Day 10: Vinales
- Cayo Jutias

Day 11: Travel to Havana
- Return to original casa
- Walk an obscene amount all over Havana
- Fortaleza de San Carlos

Day 12: Havana
- Let Havana happen to us
- Cabaret Parisien

Day 13: Havana
- Let Havana happen to us

Day 14: Depart Havana
- Not before a nice breakfast out!
- Catch classic cab to the airport

Final thoughts

I am sad we missed Cienfuegos. I'm sure it would have been a great addition to our itinerary. However, everything started to feel too rushed when we tried fitting it into the schedule. Of course now I am confident that we could plan the same trip and get Cienfuegos in, but hindsight is 20/20 and we enjoyed spending a good amount of time in each place we stayed. 

Graffiti on the Malecón