Cuba With Kids: A 10-Day Itinerary
We enjoyed the following 10 day Itinerary.
As soon as you say you’re travelling to Cuba with kids, many travel guides will tell you to head for the coastal town of Varadero. Located on the Hicacos peninsula, and just over a two-hour drive from Havana, Varadero is the Caribbean’s largest resort town. Its main draw is its 12-mile long spit of white sands with clear, shallow waters. The area is packed with all-inclusive mega-resorts, complete with kids’ clubs and crowded swimming pools. No doubt a good option for a package beach holiday with guaranteed sunshine but not an option for us.
We were keen to see more of Cuba than its beaches and hotel buffet bars, and besides, we live in Panama where we have beaches and sunshine on our doorstep.
From Viñales many itineraries backtrack to Havana, and continue south to Cienfuegos, ‘La Perla del Sur’. We thought this drive (approx. 6 hours) would be too long for the kids (and us!) so we spent another night in Havana to break down the journey. We had also planned to see Las Terrazes on the way back to Havana from Viñales but regrettably ran out of time.
From the port town of Cienfuegos we continued south to Trinidad, a pretty colonial town frozen in time. We also took a little detour between Cienfuegos and Trinidad to see the spectacular waterfalls of El Nicho.
This itinerary is often extended to include a few days in Cuba’s Northern Cayes. These little islands are less developed than Varadero and provide a quieter beach option for more intrepid families.
On the way back to Havana we had also planned to see Che’s mausoleum in Santa Clara but the drive in and out of the city would have added a good hour to the driving time, 5.5 hours instead of 4.5 hours. If, however, you opt for the extended itinerary to include the Northern Cayes, then Santa Clara makes a convenient halfway lunch spot.
We found the itinerary fairly fast paced with a number of long car journeys (3-5 hours each), but on the whole it worked well for us. As three of the four key places we stayed in were colonial towns, it helped to inject some kid-friendly countryside activities as well. In places like Viñales and El Nicho the children got to ride horses, explore ancient cave systems, scramble up rocks and swim beneath waterfalls.
If I were to do this tour again I would probably spend two nights in Viñales (instead of one) and two nights in Trinidad (instead of three). And/or a night in Las Terrazes (between Viñales and Havana).
By the end of the trip we were all pretty weary and would definitely have benefited from two to three days flat-out on a beach had we had the time! We did visit Playa Ancon one morning (20 minutes from Trinidad) which was lovely but I wouldn’t choose it as a beach holiday destination. If we had had the time, we would have definitely chosen the Northern Cayes for our beach time. Furthermore, a domestic flight from Las Brujas Cayo to Havana can complete the circuit if you can’t face the drive back!
Where to go in Cuba with Kids: A Video Tour!
For more information, see Cuba With Kids: Havana Highlights
Finca La Vigia: Ernest Hemingway’s Home in Havana
For more information, see Cuba With Kids: The Home Of Ernest Hemingway
Viñales for Kids
Cienfuegos for Kids
For more information, see Cuba With Kids: An Afternoon in Cienfuegos
The Waterfalls of El Nicho for Kids
For more information, see Cuba With Kids: The Waterfalls of El Nicho
Trinidad for Kids
For more information, see Cuba With Kids: A Trinidad Time Warp!
How to Book a Family Holiday to Cuba
We booked our family holiday to Cuba through our UK-based partner agent, Liddy, who specialises in family travel. Liddy is also a mum and, as such, is well versed in creating itineraries that work really well for both parents and children.
Booking through a travel agent vs booking directly: the pros and cons
Booking through a travel agent will cost more than booking directly but if, like us you book at the last minute or are short of time, it can be well worth paying the extra. Furthermore, you are paying for a safety net which isn’t a bad idea in a country like Cuba where communication channels are limited (remember very few people have access to the internet) and double bookings happen frequently. If you book through an agent, you have 24/7 back up and peace of mind.
If you would like to receive a quote from Liddy and her team, please fill out the enquiry form at the bottom of this page here. Your enquiry will be sent directly to her.
(Disclaimer: Please note that we do receive a small commission for any holidays successfully booked but this does not affect your quote in any way.)
Pin for later!
Bookmark this post by pinning the image below to one of your Pinterest boards.
You May Also Enjoy the Following Posts:
To view all our blog posts in the Cuba with Kids series see our Family Guide to Cuba.