Sailing Cuba - South Coast Explorer
Those turquoise waters you always hear about in Cuba? They’re just as beautiful as everyone says — but don’t just see for yourself, you should try sleeping right on the gentle waves. This eight-day sailing tour starts and ends in vibrant Havana, then welcomes you onto our spacious catamaran to head down the southern coast. Along the way visit plenty of beaches, explore the colonial city of Trinidad, and snorkel right off the comfortable catamaran that’ll be your home away from home. With some of the freshest seafood you’ll ever taste, the only catch will be the daily one served at dinner.
Sailing along the southern coast of Cuba. Snorkelling, kayaking, and fishing equipment. Bath and beach towels. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities. EUR12 per day Cuba Sailing Tax.
Sail on a catamaran along the beautiful southern coast of Cuba, stop to snorkel or share a drink with friendly locals, sample delicious seafood – fresh from the ocean
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Right now is an exciting time in Cuba with rapidly changing legislation and local conditions. Cuba has seen a massive increase in tourism lately, which has put a strain on local tourist infrastructure. While we will strive to operate our tours as closely to published itineraries as possible, conditions often change from one day to the next, and minor tour modifications may be necessary with no advance notice.
1. Please note that space is very, very limited on the boat and especially in your cabin. It is important that you only take on board soft sided luggage such as a mid sized backpack or soft duffel bag, keeping your bag’s weight to less than 15kgs. Suitcases are not appropriate for our Sailing Cuba Adventure as they are not pliable enough to fit into the niches available for luggage. If you are on a longer trip, it may be possible to store excess luggage for one week at the yacht marina.
2. Fresh water is very limited on board, and as such we ask for your understanding that showers are limited to one quick shower per person a day. One towel per week is provided for showering purposes, and beach towels are also provided. Drinking water is provided free of charge on board the yacht.
3. It’s important to note that the beds in the cabins are not the usual length of a standard bed. The length is approximately 1.8 meters ( 6 feet)
4. Please let us know of any food allergies & requirements when booking, as there is very limited access to additional food once on the water.
5. The CUC12 or EUR12 per day Cuba Sailing Tax is included in the trip price.
6. Please note that debit and credit cards that are issued by American banks are not accepted in Cuba and will not work at ATMs. In addition, it is recommended to contact your bank to advise you will be travelling in Cuba regardless of your nationality, as local ATMs are likely to block your card unless a travel notification has been set up.
7. MEDICAL TRAVEL INSURANCE
From 01 May 2010 all tourists entering Cuba will require “Medical Travel Insurance” that is on a Government approved list. We urge you to check with your insurance provider to ensure your policy is on the list of approved providers. If it is not, tourists will be forced to purchase a Government approved policy on arrival in Cuba. The cost of buying this insurance in Cuba will be in addition to any insurance already purchased, and it is likely the rates for these polices will be inflated compared to what you may purchase in advance from home.
G Adventures has insurance policies available for travellers from a number of countries at competitive rates, and our insurance provider has been confirmed as recognized by Cuban officials. We can assist with medical travel insurance for residents of the United States, Canada, and Australia.
If you would like peace-of-mind and to purchase insurance from G Adventures, please contact our reservations team on 1800 465 5600 (from North America), or 08444 101030 (from the UK) or 39413 5820 (from Australia) or email@example.com
Group Leader Description
This sailing adventure is staffed by a qualified skipper, a local cook/first mate and a G Adventures CEO. Your onboard team know the island groups extremely well and are passionate about sharing their hidden secrets with their “crew”. They know the best secluded beaches, snorkelling spot, coolest beach bars and where you can check your internet.
Group Size Notes
7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners
Eating is a big part of traveling. Traveling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world.
Food is a major part of this sailing adventure. You will enjoy many home cooked meals lovingly prepared by our on board cook. Portions are generous and will include sea food, typical Cuban dishes and even the occasional breakfast fry up.
Drinking water is provided and beer, wine and soft drink is available to purchase at cost price aboard.
Non included meals are taken ashore at local restaurants.
There’s nothing left to do but kick back and relax!
25m (82 ft) sailing catamaran
About our Transportation
Please note that this is a sailing catamaran, and the skipper will be using wind power when the winds are agreeable. Although this is not a learn to sail program, you may have a chance to learn a few tricks of the trade and assist the skipper with navigation while sailing. There are times when motoring the catamaran will be required, due to unfavourable wind conditions.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Twin/double bed cabins with shared bathrooms (7 nts).
This catamaran is equipped with 8 passenger cabins, some with 2 beds (upper and lower) and some with double beds. All cabins have attached bathrooms with showers (shared between two cabins) and the vessel has an onboard kitchenette, interior and exterior common areas, and plenty of outside deck space.
Power onboard is 220V on European 2 pin sockets. Please note that this is not suitable for sleeping aid machines, as the power source may not always be operating. Bringing a battery pack is recommended.
If you are traveling alone, you will be paired up in a cabin with another traveler of the same gender. Please expect the cabin to be very small. The bunk length is 1.8 meters (6ft) with limited head height and limited storage for luggage.
Most of our sailors tend to spend very, very little time in their cabins, just using them to sleep and store clothes.
For details of your meeting point please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
The best way to get to the arrival point hotel is via taxi from the airport. There are fixed (official) rates from the airport (25CUC at time of writing). It is a 25-30 minute drive (depending on traffic) into the city.
If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line, or go to the office of Cubanacan, the government agency, and ask for the Representative of Cuba Incentives (our local provider). If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.
Please be at the joining hotel (listed on your tour voucher) by 3pm to meet your group. A G Adventures representative will organize a short meeting, then depart on a transfer to Cienfuegos. Please note that the first night (Day 1) of your trip will be aboard the catamaran in Cienfuegos.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office San Jose, Costa Rica During Office hours (Weekdays 9am-5pm Local Time): +506 2224 5560
After hours emergency number: +506 8322 9140.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBER in CUBA (24/7):
ALTERNATIVE NUMBERS in CUBA:
Airport Representative: +53 5294-2410
Alternative emergency phone Cuba: +53 5287-0805
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000 Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000 Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618 Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Finishing Point Instructions
Please do not arrange any onward travel until after 5pm. We typically arrive back into Havana around 3pm, but in the event there are any delays, it’s best to plan ahead.
What to Take
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.
PLEASE NOTE: No hard suitcases are permitted due to limited space.
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Drybag (Will help keep cameras and essentials dry)
• External battery pack
• Motion sickness tablets
• Snorkel gear (optional) (Only if own equipment is preferred.)
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Laundry facilities are not available on the boat. You may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.
A “Tourist Card” is required for most nationalities to travel to Cuba. Many airlines to Cuba include the cost of this card in the flight cost and distribute the card during the flight. Some airlines do not provide this card, so it is best to call your airline and ask about it prior to travel. Tourist cards are also available from a Cuban consulate or embassy and cost approximately $20-$25CUC.
Please note that none of the airlines departing from the UK provide the Tourist Card on board and it’s no longer available for purchase at Gatwick airport.
Upon arrival to Cuba, keep your Tourist Card in a safe place, as it is necessary to show at all homesteads, arrival and departure from ports and also upon departure from the country. Please ensure that your tourist card is valid for the duration of your trip.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The currency in Cuba is the Cuban Peso (CUP) although the currency you will use on this trip will be Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC).
Cuba is primarily a cash operated country. Bringing cash is the easiest way to travel in Cuba, though please take extra security precautions to avoid theft. Please note that until further notice AUD and NZD are not accepted in Cuba. Because of these difficulties we recommend that you arrive in Cuba with CAD, EUR, GBP, or Mexican pesos which can be easily converted into Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) at the 8% conversion fee. Euros are the best to convert.
As of November 8, 2004 the US Dollar is no longer being used as official currency. The Cuban Convertible Peso is at a similar value to the US Dollar, and can be acquired at any change house or bank. Please note that any transaction involving the US Dollar in Cuba automatically incurs a 18% fee. We do not recommend travelling with USD.
People traveling in Cuba with Visa credit cards can still use them for cash advances, however all transactions will be subject to an 18% fee. Bank cards from US banks do not work in Cuba, and cards using the Cirrus or Maestro systems are nearly impossible to use. The best credit cards to bring are Visa Plus. Please note that ATMs are not widespread and generally speaking debit cards do not work in Cuba from any foreign banks.
If you plan to use a bank card, it would be advisable to check with your bank directly prior to your departure as to whether the card should work in Cuba.
We do not recommend you bring travellers cheques, as it is very difficult to exchange them in Cuba.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent). Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) are extremely difficult to convert outside of Cuba, be sure to convert any remaining CUC before departing Cuba.
You are advised NOT to change money on the street outside the airport or your hotel. Reliable money exchange may only be done at Cadecas (change houses), Banks, or Hotel Reception.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is customary in Cuba to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1.5-$3.5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO, Skipper and Cook did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $10-15 USD per person, per day can be used.
No optional activities
Please note: We do not have a constant power source onboard, and cannot facilitate the use of Sleep Apnea/CPAP machines. Bringing a suitable battery pack is required.
Inooculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
There are no specific health requirements for this trip. However, you should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
Cuba is a relatively safe country if you take the same precaution you would back home in any major and/or touristy cities, use common sense and do not hesitate to ask your skipper about specific areas to avoid. Also it is recommended to carry with you only the money and documentation you need for the day. Always keep an eye on your belongings.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
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Minimum age of 16 years for this trip.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
PRODUCT_LINE: CCVT, ID: 24906
Day 1 Havana/Cienfuegos
Have a safety briefing and dinner on board, then spend the evening getting acquainted with the crew and yacht, sailing out of Cienfuegos.
It is important to note that Cuba tends to be quite different to other areas of the world you may have travelled in. Buildings and infrastructure are generally old and may not have been maintained to the highest standard. Elevators, internet and A/C often break down, things happen very slowly and water pressure and hot water can be minimal. Cuba is an amazing place to visit but to fully enjoy and relax, western expectations should be left at home and your sense of adventure should be your guide.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 250km)
25m (82 ft) Cuba Sailing Catamaran
Day 2 Cienfuegos/Guajímico (1B, 1L, 1D)
Head down the coast to Guajimico, where you can enjoy a BBQ lunch, then free time in the afternoon to kayak, snorkel, or hike, and in the evening, indulge in local dishes and dance ’til you drop.
25m (82 ft) Cuba Sailing Catamaran
Day 3 Guajímico/Playa Ancón (1B, 1L)
Explore the Yaguanabo River in a kayak or dinghy, or relax on the picturesque beach, before continuing on to Playa Ancon.
25m (82 ft) Cuba Sailing Catamaran
Day 4 Trinidad (1B)
Travel into the town of Trinidad for a tour of the city and time to discover this Spanish colonial town that was founded in the 16th century and still preserves a look and feel of the past. Head back to the boat in the afternoon, and relax on the beach.
Trinidad Guided Tour
Day 5 Playa Ancón/Cayo Blanco (1B, 1D)
Head to Cayo Blanco and enjoy snorkelling the reef. Opt to try the specialty Paella for lunch, and kick back on beautiful beaches in the afternoon.
25m (82 ft) Cuba Sailing Catamaran
Day 6 Cayo Blanco/Cayos Machos de Fuera (1B, 1L)
Explore the remote and beautiful island of Cayo Macho. Snorkel the crystal-clear waters in search of colourful fish, relax on the beach, and dine delicious seafood.
25m (82 ft) Cuba Sailing Catamaran
Day 7 Cayos Machos de Fuera/Cienfuegos (1B, 1L)
Enjoy a final day of sailing the beautiful Cuban waters, as we make our way back to Cienfuegos. Opt to join the group for a final dinner, and night on the town.
25m (82 ft) Cuba Sailing Catamaran
Day 8 Cienfuegos/Havana (1B)
Depart Cienfuegos after breakfast and arrive back into Havana around midday when the trip will end. After being dropped off at the hotel your CEO will be able to help with onward travel arrangements.
Departure Day (Activities)
Private Vehicle (3.50 hour(s))