Cuban Culture & Mexico Beach

Combine Central America’s most up and coming destination, Cuba, with Mexico’s beautiful beaches. These two countries pair really well together in terms of flight accessibility, and combine to form a lovely 9-day itinerary.

Day 1: Arrival

Upon arrival, make your way through immigration, customs & collect your luggage. At the arrival hall your guide will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Santa Isabel Hotel is one of Havana’s most impressive colonial properties, acting as a hotel since 1867. A former mansion of the Count of Santovenia, it has an excellent location on the Plaza de Armas, one of the most important squares in Havana’s old town.

Stay: Santa Isabel Hotel

Day 2: Private tour of Havana

Enjoy a full day private tour of Havana today focused on the Colonial & Modern sides of the city. In 1982, UNESCO declared Havana’s historic city centre a world cultural heritage site, and there is no city in Latin America with a larger colonial centre. Take a walking tour of the old city centre along the alleyways and across the squares of Old-Havana: Plaza de Armas, Templete, Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza Vieja, Hemingway’s “Bodeguita“. Also enjoy the Malecón, Hotel Nacional, Avenida de los Presidentes, Plaza de la Revolución, Quinta Avenida and much more.

Your day includes the following:

  • Walking tour of the old town & Classic convertible car tour
  • Maqueta de Habana Vieja museum & National Colonial Art Museum
  • Lunch reservation at Palador Dona Eutimia
  • Colon Cemetery
  • Havana Club Rum Museum
  • Cocktail at Salon de la Fama in the Nacional Hotel

You have dinner reservations at Paladar Café Laurent this evening followed by Tropicana Show, known since its foundation in 1939 as one of the most famous Cabarets around the world. A nostalgic open-air show with more than 200 artists and a big live-orchestra in a beautiful garden setting. Be captivated by the rhythms of Cuban music and by the charming dancers.

Stay: Santa Isabel Hotel

Day 3: Exploring Vinales

Get an early start today with a full day private excursion to Pinar del Rio Region & Vinales. Take the “tobacco route” to the western part of the island, where the best tobacco-growing ground is found and the imposing limestone towers (Mogotes) can be seen. Take a panoramic tour through the Viñales Valley, where time seems to stand still.

Your day includes the following:

  • Bebdidas Guayabita liquer factory
  • Visit a Casa del Veguero or drying house whilst touring the tobacco fields
  • Los Jazmines lookout point
  • Lunch reservation at Paladar Balcon del Vallee
  • Cueva del Indio cave by motorboat
  • Visit Taller Casa Raices, a private house of a local artist showcasing his projects. Also take a short hike to a viewpoint.

In the evening, you will have dinner at Paladar La Esperanza.

Stay: Santa Isabel Hotel

Day 4: Day at leisure

You have today at leisure to explore Havana further, and we suggest the following activities:

  • Wander along colonial Havana with its cobbled streets and beautiful buildings
  • Visit the Fabrica de Tabacos H Upmann to observe the process and witness the skilled hands of the “Torcedores” (cigar rollers).
  • Visit the CDR (Committee for Defense of Revolution) in Centro Habana, with the possibility to talk to locals, as well as visit a local medical centre and a typical “bodega” (food store).
  • Walk through the “Callejon de Hamel” with its Afro-cuban Santeria paintings
  • Take a Hemingway focused tour, visiting his house and sampling his favourite cocktails in former haunts!

In the evening, you will have dinner at Paladar El Litoral.

Stay: Santa Isabel Hotel

Day 5: From Havana to Cancun

Today, arrangements have been made for your transfer to the airport in time for your flight to Cancun. Upon arrival in Cancun, make your way through immigration, customs & collect your luggage. At the arrival hall your driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel in Tulum, approximately 2 hours drive from the airport. Immersed in the natural beauty of the Riviera Maya, Nomade Tulum is an intimate hotel that’s perfect for a romantic escape. This property stands out for its rustic yet comfortable style that incorporates local materials and decorative details that blend with the Caribbean setting.

Stay: Nomade Tulum

Day 6 - 8: Days at leisure

You will have the following two days to relax at leisure, and we suggest the following activities:

  • Explore the spectacular coastal Mayan ruins of Tulum which overlook the Caribbean Sea
  • Head inland to the Mayan ruins at Coba – some would argue they are more authentic than Tulum as they have not been extensively restored. The top attraction is the Grand Pyramid, with a top accessible via a daunting climb up more than 120 steps. Once on top you’re faced with excellent views of the surrounding jungle
  • Escape the tourists and go snorkelling in Cenotes Sac Actun (White Cave System), an underwater cave that you can swim into with a guide. Thanks to the shallow, clear water, you’ll truly be able to appreciate the views of the stalactites and stalagmites.
  • Visit the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a vast area of estuaries, reefs, cenotes, and wetlands. Within the park you can take tours to spot the local wildlife, snorkel or kayak.
  • Whale shark season in the Riviera Mayan runs from June to September. Whilst a long day from Tulum, you can travel to Isla Holbox off the coast to snorkel with the largest fish in the ocean.

Stay: Nomade Tulum

Day 9: Departure

After check out, meet your driver in the hotel lobby for your private transfer to Cancun airport for your departure flight.


Duration Description Overnight
Day 1: Arrival Santa Isabel Hotel
Day 2: Private tour of Havana Santa Isabel Hotel
Day 3: Exploring Vinales Santa Isabel Hotel
Day 4: Day at leisure Santa Isabel Hotel
Day 5: From Havana to Cancun Nomade Tulum
Day 6 - 8: Days at leisure Nomade Tulum
Day 9: Departure



  • Accommodation with daily breakfast
  • Transfers
  • 24 hour emergency contact
  • Activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • English speaking tour guide

Not Included

  • International and domestic airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Visa fees and/or visa authorization
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Other expenses not mentioned on the itinerary
  • Travel insurance (please note that travel insurance is mandatory for all Lightfoot Travel holidays)


Santa Isabel Hotel Nomade Tulum

Price available upon request

Notes on our prices

  • This price guide provides you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your holiday.
  • Prices are generally based on two people travelling together (unless stated otherwise) on a shared room basis.
  • Prices can fluctuate depending on season, standard of accommodation, excursions selected (private versus shared) etc.
  • This basic structure works very nicely, but don’t forget that Lightfoot Travel can provide a range of experiences and we tailor-make each itinerary based on your travel requirements. Get in touch to start planning your perfect trip with your own travel consultant.