When participating in some jet ski and jeep tours it may also be a good idea to apply an Insect Repellant before setting off on your trip.
Another strong recommendation is to take a small packet of tissues/wipes with you as public washrooms away from the resorts can be a bit lacking and primitive and you could be in a "tight spot" if you use the toilet and then find there isn't any paper..LOL (quite common)!
No matter who you have booked your holiday through; your travel company Representative will invite you to a welcome meeting the day after your arrival, if you attend this meeting not only will you be given useful information about your holiday and Brisas you will also be given a list of excursions that are bookable through your Representative.
NOTE:- You are not obliged to book your excursions through your own Rep and are at liberty to book through any of the Reps that present themselves at your hotel if you so wish; however, prices and excursions do not vary much, if at all.
THOMAS COOK EXCURSION PRICE LIST
Prices correct as of June 2014
NEW Cuba Highlights - Three cities in one tour! - Journey through the Cuba countryside enjoying your view of the Cuban way of life to the Colonial city of TRINIDAD. Marvel at the colonial buildings of Trinidad as you complete a tour of this amazing city. After lunch continue your journey to the capital city HAVANA.Enjoy the next day in Havana taking in the sights in Old Havana and New Havana before taking the opportunity to step back in time at the world famous TROPICANA SHOW. Next day you will start your journey back to your beach hotel stopping at SANTA CLARA to visit the monument and museum of Che Guevara.
Price:- ADULT 435cuc with Tropicana or 369cuc without Tropicana.
Child 247cuc Operates: See your rep
NEW Oriente Supremo - Explore the first capital city of Cuba, the vibrant city of Santiago de Cuba. Enjoy the rhythm warmth and history that had made Santiago a cornerstone of the Cuban Nationality. See the revolutionary square and Moncada Garrison where the final stage of the revolution was born. End the day by journeying to the beautiful area of Pinares de Mayari where you will spend the night amongst the beautiful nature of this area. Spend your second day at the amazing Salto del Guayabo waterfalls; a very important ecological site in Cuba. Marvel at the natural beauty of this area whilst taking a dip in the pool at the waterfall. Fisnish the two days off at the actual birthplace of Fidel and Raul Castro as we visit the village of Biran Castro.
Price:- Adult 129cuc - children 69cuc Trip operates:- Saturday
NEW - Holguins Green Path proving to be very popular - This excursion promotes the importance of local traditions and cultures, bringing these to life for you. It also recognises locl businesses who really go the extra mile to play their part in in using and promoting local products and ensuring a thriving destination environment and economy, providing all of the ingredients that make your holiday special today, and for years to come. Price 93 cuc per adult
Authentic Villa Blanca - Cruise the Crystal clear waters of the Atlantic to the once bustling fishing port of Gibara. Stay overnight in the recently & fantastically renovated colonial house that was once owned by the richest man in Gibara. Enjoy an evening of Cuban entertainment, then the next morning explore the rich history of this quaint village by boat before heading back to the Hotel Ordono for lunch. After lunch you will head off to join the train to experience the beautiful landscapes of the Holguin province. Take your camera as there will be plenty of unmissable photo opportunities.
Operates Thursday 105 cuc ... children 79cuc
For more information on the
Ordono Hotel and Gibara
take a look here:-
*** Please Note ***
Pregnant women will not be allowed
to swim with the Dolphins for safety reasons.
The dolphin trips are well worth the money and a memorable experience
Swim With The Dolphins - A half day excursion.
This is your chance of a lifetime to swim with the Dolphins and enjoy a spectatcular dolphin show.
You will also fall in love with the sealions during their show; or if you are lucky, maybe one will fall in love with you...cameras are a must for this!
Trip operates daily. Adults 84 CUC; Children 42 CUC
You can have your swim with the dolphins and the 2 shows filmed and put onto DVD for you at extra cost - brilliant memories. The trip operates daily and costs 99 CUC adults and 54CUC kids, if you only want to watch you can do so for 40(approx) CUC and 20 (approx) CUC. (Everbody is required to wear a life vest.)
Dine With The Dolphins - Swim, kiss and cuddle these amazing creatures and enjoy a fun-filled afternoon in the dolphinarium. Watch the spectacular dolphin and sea lion show before joining the catamaran as the sun sets over Naranjo Bay. End the evening by enjoying a scrumptious lobster dinner. Trip operates Saturdays Adults 120 CUC; Children 70 CUC.
Sun Cruise (crucero del sol) - A fantastic combination; Let your hair down on a catamaran, sail to a coral reef for snorkelling time, then swim with the dolphins as a final touch to a perfect day.
Trip operates Daily. Adults 100 CUC; Children 50 CUC
The Dolphin Excursion
Ocean Paradise - Fun for everyone onboard this luxury catamaran. Snorkelling stops allow you to explore the coral reefs and cool off in the crystal clear waters. The day includes a mouth watering lobster meal and an all-inclusive bar onboard. Trip operates Daily. Adults 69 CUC; Children 30 CUC.
Island Paradise Catamaran - An unmissable day as you take to the sea and sail out to the Island of Cayo Saetia, with a snorkelling stop. For relaxation take time out on the beautiful beaches and indulge in some sunbathing. The day includes an all-inclusive bar on the boat and lunch on the island with one drink included. Trip operates Daily. Adults 83 CUC; Children 42 CUC.
Boat Adventure - Feel the adrenaline as you drive your own speed boat around the beautiful bay of Sama. 2 persons per boat.
Trip operates Daily; Adults 29 CUC; Children 19 CUC.
Trolling Fishing ( Pesca a vara) – Try your hand at catching the big one! Charter your own boat and be Ernest Hemingway for a few hours. Fish for Marlin, Tuna and Snappers whilst enjoying the open bar. Trip operates daily. Adults & children 78 CUC each. Boat=310 CUC.
Discover Diving - Discover the hidden depths of Cuba when you experience diving, See the Vibrant Coral Reefs, fish and sealife up close as you experience this fantastic event. Courses; See Rep for info. Price 70 CUC
LUXURY & INDULGENCE
Millionaire For A Day - With your very own Chauffeur and private Guide, take this opportunity to be driven in style to the site where Christopher Columbus arrived in Cuba. Enjoy a horse and carriage ride around the historical site to see the Indian Village before enjoying time at the YHI Spa and lunch at the Royal Service Restaurant at Paradisus Rio de Oro before being whisked away to swim with dolphins. Operates Daily - 509 CUC per couple.
Cuba Inside - A popular local tour starting with a ride on an old steam locomotive through the countryside and sugar cane fields. Then into Holguin city to visit a cigar factory and see the world's most famous cigars being hand made. Walk around the Cathedral Square and spend some free time exploring the city centre streets; then visit the fishing town; Gibara with architecture of its own. Lunch with 1 drink included.
Trip operates Mon/Fri Adults 61 CUC; Kids 32 CUC.
****Please note that due to health and safety restrictions NO under 18's are allowed into the cigar factory.
Holguin City View Point ~ Loma de la Cruz - Hill of the Cross
Santiago by Day (The old Santiago) - fantastic opportunity to view this beautiful, vibrant, cultural city filled with Cuban history and where you will be part of the rhythm,warmth and history that had made Santiago a cornerstone of the Cuban Nationality. Full day with lunch in the city with 1 drink included.
Trip operates Sat. Adults 85 CUC; Children 59 CUC. *NB: This is a long day with approx 3 hrs travelling each way.
Holguin By Night - A night in the city of Holguin. Enjoy some free time in the City centre mixing with locals before ending the evening at a local show with dancing.
Trip Operates Sunday. Adults 39 CUC; Kids N/A.
Havana Overnight & Tropicana - A chance to see Havana and appreciate this vibrant city. The first day is spent in New Havana stepping back in time to the 1940s, seeing old American cars driving by. Spend the second day in Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site,with free time around the island's largest market. In the evening enjoy Cuba's most famous cabaret show Tropicana (66 CUC extra); When the sun goes down the lights come on for the world famous spectacular Tropicana Show; see with your own eyes the 200 dancers and their elaborate costumes.
Trip Operates - See Rep.
Price = 379cuc including Tropicana or 319cuc excluding Tropicana
Child = 247cuc excluding Tropicana .... (Tropicana = over 18s only).
Please Note; Airport tax of 50cuc perp person is not included in the above prices, these will need to be paid to the rep upon booking. Flight tickets are included in your excursion price (185cuc per person)
Havana - Tropicana Show
Old Havana - Catedral de San Cristobal
Santiago By Day Cuba's former capital and most heroic city - The Old santiago.
This trip will take you to the vibrant city of Santiago de Cuba where you will be part of the rhythm, warmth and history that has made this place a cornerstone of the Cuban nationality. Full Day with lunch in the city with 1 drink included.
Price:- Adult 85cuc ... Child 59cuc Trip operates:- Saturday
The Grand Safari - See the real Cuba; this is an excursion that cannot be missed. Tour the countryside of Holguin province and take in the sights of local Cuban life, stop to take postcard view photos, snapshot reminders of unforgettable memories. Stops on route will include Biran Castro, the birthplace of Fidel Castro. Pinares and its picturesque waterfall. You will experience a typical Cuban Lunch. This truly is discovering Cuba.
Trip operates Tuesday to Sunday inclusive. Adults 93 CUC; Children 69 CUC.
Challenge 4x4 - Full day Jeep Safari going through the local countryside, passing through rivers and farmers villages. You will also visit a farmers house where you will really experience the Cuban way of living! You will also visit the National Park Bariay with horseback riding and a show at the Indian Village with lunch included befor enjoying an exhilarating 30 minutes riding on jet skis at Marina Vita before returning to your hotel.
Trip operates Daily. Adults 93 CUC; Children 63 CUC
Cuba Life - A different day out for you to experience the everyday Cuba that moves around you at the Caribbean pace. You will visit a local farm with different plantations, Sama fishing village and the Chorro de Maita Indian Village. This trip will also take you to a doctors house and you will have free time in Guardalavaca and at the market and beach; Lunch is included. A perfect chance for you to relax and take in the surrounding area.
Trip operates Thurs & Sat. Adults 46 CUC; Children 19 CUC. Check for special Price offer with your Rep.
Natural Farmer - (Guajiro natural) An excellent combination of horseback riding, line fishing, and a Cuban Rodeo in Rocazul Biopark. Lunch included and take home your own farmer's hat.
Trip Operates Friday. Adults 46 CUC; Children 24 CUC
Also available at Rocazul - Line Fishing, Mangrove Fishing and Horse Riding
A Restaurant (El Ancla) By The Sea in Guardalavaca
SERVICES FOR YOUR RETURN minimum of six days notice required
VIP Lounge Leave cuba in style with the exclusive VIP service at the airport, with separate check-in and the benefits of an air-conditioned, comfortable lounge with all-inclusive drinks and snacks whilst you wait to board your return flight; ensuring to end your holiday as relaxed as possible.
Adults 29 CUC; Children 20 CUC - SPACES LIMITED.
Pre-Booked Seats - Pre-book your seats for your return flight - for just £10pp we will guarantee sitting together
Upgrade Your Seats - to exit seats (£40 pp) or "BIG" seats (100 CUC pp subject to availability)
Pre-Book Meal - Hungry on the flight? Why not pre-book a meal; adults £10, children £5
Extra Luggage - Buying lots of souvenirs? Why not pre-book extra luggage allowance to avoid those excess charges at the airport - 5kg (£20) or 10kg (£40)
Please Note :- Prices are in Cuban Convertible Pesos. Children's prices are for 2 years - 12 years. 24hrs notice is required for all cancellations if a full refund is to be given otherwise a charge of 25% will be deducted. Cubanacan will NOT authorise any refund on excursions by air should 24hrs notice not be given for cancellations.
Thomas Cook only act as an agent on behalf of the excursion provider. Your contract with the excursion provider will be subject to local laws and the excursion providers booking conditions. Bookings will not form part of your holiday package. If you miss an excursion due to illness a medical certificate must be shown before a refund is issued and this will be at the discretion of Cubanacan Agency.
Contact details: 430226 from 9am to 5pm. All excursions are operated and organised by Cubanacan.
SHORT & INEXPENSIVE INDEPENDENT MINI-EXCURSIONS FROM BRISAS
A small land train stops at Brisas at approximately 10/10.30am each morning, this trip will take you through the countryside into the small fishing village of Boca De Sama where you will get to perhaps see locals in their homes, visit the Jose M Ricardo school, a local clinic or dental practice, a farmers plantation, you will get to taste fresh fruits & perhaps even sample a fresh cup of coffee etc, it’s a nice 2hr trip and costs just $10 CUC per person.
Land Train Excursion
HOP-ON-HOP-OFF BUS - Operated by Transtur; 5 cuc per person
Take the open top bus to enjoy the best local views, shop at the Guardalavaca Craft Market or Visit the Stunning Guardalavaca Beach & Cafe Bars for a relaxing break away from your hotel. You can also stay on the bus/re-board the bus to visit the Indian Village.
The open-top-deck bus calls at Brisas daily, the bus will then call at other local hotels to collect passengers and will then briefly stop at Brisas again before travelling on a scenic route to the Indian Village in Yagujay where you will be greeted by the “Chief” and taken through the Indian Village to see a re-enactment of how the Tainos came to settle in Cuba.
Whilst this may be a fun; if not a little “cheesy” mini excursion it’s a nice way to escape the resort for a couple of hours and a wonderful opportunity for photo shots of the locality and beautiful countryside that surrounds Guardalavaca's local hotels. Refreshments are available to purchase at the Indian Village.
Cost of trip = $5 CUC for the bus and $3 to $5 CUC entry into the Indian Village - children under 6 go free. Enquiries should be made at your hotel reception.
Holguin Bus Tour (Operated by Transtur) = To Central Park for free time in Holguin City
Round Trip - 15 CUC per person - children under 6 years Free
Daily Collection Times:- Brisas 8.50am, Atlantico 8.53am, Rio de Oro 09.00am, Luna y Mares 09.05am, Playa Turquesa 09.15am, Blau Costa Verde 09.20am, Playa Costa Verde 09.25am, Playa Pesquero 09.30am
Returning from Holguin at 13.00hrs
IDEAS FOR MAKING YOU OWN EXCURSIONS
Tucked into the hills of the Banes zone (which includes Guardalavaca) are 96 archaeological sites from the Native American groups that once populated the area.
Museo el Chorro de Maita (Cerro de Yaguajay, Tel.24/3-0421) represents the largest and most important discovery of a Native American cemetery in Cuba. The community dates from 1490 to 1540, the burial ground contains the remarkably well-preserved remains of 108 Taino men, women and children (62 are on display), including a single Spaniard, most likely a friar, whose body is his shin, several skulls are deformed, a beautification practice that involved applying two pieces of wood to the head with ropes. Found among the remains were Spanish ceramics, and jewellery and objects crafted from old, copper, coral and quartz; many are displayed in the cases.
Aldea Taina (The Indian Village Across the street from the Museo El Chorro de Maita is Aldea Taina (The Indian Village) (tel 24/3-0422) a re-creation of a native Arawakan Indian Village that features models of native dwellings and life-size, clay-figure Native Americans performing tasks. It shows the cultural practices of a long-extinct culture. The highlight for most visitors is the live show of Native American dances and rituals performed by “Native women going..... Native!". On the village premises is a restaurant featuring some items that were staples of the Taino diet. The village is open daily from 9am-5pm. You can take the daily open top tour bus from your resort to the Indian Village; approx costs are 5 CUC for the bus and 3-5CUC’s per person entry to the Indian Village.
This old sugar town is just north of the Bahia de Banes. The 33km road from Guardalavaca to Banes winds between bohios (Taino language for homes) and royal palms through the Maniabon Hills – a really beautiful and scenic trip. Banes (i dont think) is worthy of a day trip alone, it is best to combine with other interests.
History of Banes
Banes is best known for its unlikely association with the towering figures of 20th century Cuba. Fulgencio Batista, whose government the rebels deposed in 1959, was born here in 1901. Fidel Castro and his brother Raul were born nearby in Biran.
Fidel married the daughter of the conservative mayor of Banes in 1948 at the small Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Caridad, on a plaza at the edge of the park. (They divorced six years later!).
Of perhaps greater significance in town is the Museo Indocubano (Av. General Marreo 305), specialising exclusively in Cuba’s pre-Columbian history. Its small but rich collection of Indian artefacts are among the best in Cuba; among the 20,000 items or so, exhibits include fragments of ceramics, jewellery, tools and a valuable 13thCentury gold “ Idol of Banesa”, just 4 centimetres high; which was unearthed near Banes.
A sleepy, charming early 19th century port, home to a number of fine colonial-style buildings. The town today is a modest little fishing village’ has great scenery overlooking a wide natural bay and a very tranquil atmosphere. Two little beaches and a promenade line the picturesque bay. Inland is the Silla de Gibara, a flat- topped mountain that locals claim is the hill described by Columbus when he first found Cuba.
Farther east on the top of Los Caneyes hill are the ruins of an old fortress – a 30 minute walk up the hill will reward you with most excellent views of the town and bay. There is no public transport to Gibara but it’s easy to take a cab there and back. (perhaps consider to combine this with a half day trip to Holguin city and then to Gibara)
Gibara houses a few museums (history and arts, closed between noon & 1pm), cigar factory. Iglesia de San Fuelgencio (1850) The Statue of Liberty, commemorates the 2nd War of Independence. On the western side of the square is a beautiful colonial Palace.
There are many restaurants, casa’s and Paladares (private homes) offering good food in Gibara, some ideally located over-looking the bay.
Gibara hosts the annual Film Festival in April.
The provincial capital, officially called San Isidoro de Holguin, may be known across Cuba as the “city of parks” but it doesn’t get a whole lot of tourist traffic other than excursions. Holguin is a pleasant but unremarkable city with only a handful of attractions. Still, it makes for a half day trip for resort visitors who would otherwise see nothing of Cuba.
Holguin, the fourth largest city in Cuba has a compact centre that is easy enough to get around. The majority of the city’s buildings date from 19th century. Look in on the main square for its Art-Deco theatre, art gallery and display of historical exhibits inside the Museo Provincial. The Carlos de la Torre Natural History Museum, just south of the square on Calle Maceo, in another colonial mansion, has a large collection of indigenous snail shells in dazzling colours.
Parque Calixto Garcia (also called Parque central) represents the heart of the city. Tribute is paid to the hero of the Wars of Independence by a large marble statue in the parks centre. Two nearby churches of note are the domed Iglesia de San Jose which has an unusual baroque interior to go with its remade neoclassical facade. The imposing La Catedral de San Isidoro de Holguin (18th century) features carved wooden ceilings (Mudejar).
Of special note in Holguin is the unusual Famillia Cuayo de Organos, a studio that still produces handmade air-compression organs (organos pneumaticos) with hand-cut music sheets and restores musical instruments; perhaps the very last of a rare breed! Eighteen workers make only four organs a year. A large organ costs about $25,000. You can drop in during business hours at carreterra a Gibara 301; someone is sure to give you a look around. (Tel 24/42-4162).
La Loma de Cruz (hill of the Cross) with its stunning views across the City of Holguin is worth a visit and can be ascended by its 450 stairs!!!! It can also be accessed by vehicular traffic! There is a cafe bar for light refreshments or a meal at Loma de la
PRIVATE TRIPS OFFERED BY TAXI-GUIDES
Mainly; excursions are operated by Cuban Government departments and prices tend to be set across the board no matter who you book with. However; as of mid 2011 the Cuban Government opened up to private enterprise so many locals are obtaining various private licenses to enable them to "tap" into the tourist market.
it is possible that you will come across people selling private trips by taxi where the driver will offer his services as a guide throughout the trip; these trips can be informative and fun and can prove to be very good value for money but you do need to question the reliability and condition of the car you will be travelling in and of course, insurance issues. If you travel in a Government taxi you are covered by adequate insurance, Im not so sure how you would get on if you were injured in one of the non-government taxis..... something to think about!
Breathe In ! Tunnel into Gibara
I am able to help you organise any kind of trip you'd like to do in modern, fully airconditioned, cars and various sized mini vans, the service would be provided by a fully licensed and insured Government agency who will be happy to run private independent excursions for you at very reasonable rates.
Here is an idea of some of his excursions you can do independently, all excursions are just examples and can be tailored to suit the client. Alternatively you can create your own excursion and command the services of a local taxi company/driver....remember to set a price before you go and do not pay until after the trip.
If you would like help or more details please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Some of the independent trips on offer are as follows:-
SANTIAGO DE CUBA DAY TRIP
Travelling time 2.45 hrs each way + stops
HOLGUIN CITY TRIP
PINARES DE MAYARI - waterfalls
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