Motorcycle Diaries

Leather up and join Ernesto Che Guevara's son, also called Ernesto, on a Harley Davidson bike tour of Cuba. Inspired by the memory of his revolutionary father and his love of Cuba's open road Ernesto's tours offer an insight and immediacy like no other.

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Santiago Party

We recommend the weekly whirly-gig party on the top of the Casa Grande hotel where you can dance and enjoy the panorama of the whole city as you dance to the serenading salseros of Grammy-winning singer Septeto Santiaguero.

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Deep Sea Fishing

Ernest Hemingway immortalized the romance of deep-sea fishing in Cuba in The Old Man and The Sea so follow Papa's footsteps to the North West coast, his favourite fishing destination. Bill fishing in Cuba retains the power and magic of Hemingway's days and you can expect to find bonefish, tarpon, jack, crevalle, snapper, barracuda and snook. On a full-day charter in season there's a good chance of a 300-400lb specimen. But beware – these muscular mercurial creatures can swim up to fifty miles per hour!

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On the Ocean

Charter magnificent yachts manned by experienced captain and crew, or luxuriate on a 60-meter custom-built Benetti with a Michelin-starred chef, starlit cinema, spa and private nightclub. If you prefer to sail your own vessel, it is a six-hour fair weather journey from Quay West to Cuba, taking you through the Gulf Stream, across the shadows of container ships accessing the Panama Canal and in sight of the mountains of Matanzas. As you approach Havana from El Morro castle we will be waiting to take care of all your requisite paperwork and customs formalities.

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Galapagos of the Caribbean

In the untainted waters of Los Jardines de la Reina hammerhead sharks greet you with curiosity, staring stock still before pelting off into deep blue. Quicksilver shoals of tarpon dart past, giant rays drift and at night the coral outshines the stars with an epic fluorescence. At the end of the day you can relax in the comfort of your boat or private charter and consult with your group's dedicated scientist-guide.

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Archipelago of Dreams

Archipiélago de los Canarreos is a constellation of deserted islets where a chartered private catamaran can take you on your own Robinson Crusoe experience. Anchored for the night in a protected canal, you can lie back and count the shooting stars in the knowledge that the conquistadores in their Spanish galleons counted them before you. Meanwhile your skipper-chef will prepare the day’s fresh harpooned catches for a nightly seafood feast.

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Remote Coastal Villages

Fat palms overhang clapboard shacks that hug the shoreline, dappling shade onto pale sands where children play and villagers pull lobsters out of the water. Women hang their washing between the coconut trunks. In this one-phone sleepy place, locals will happily cook a snapper supper for their foreign visitors.  As the sun softens the horizon, workers in high straw hats head home in ancient jalopies or lead oxen and bony herds of Brahmin cows, blocking the road.

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The Back of Beyond

The villagers of Cocodrilo are descended from turtle-hunting Cayman Islanders and their simple wooden homes face a turquoise sea where small boys splash play, somersaulting dares from mollusk-crusted rocks. Locals drive horses and carts down the street. 18 kilometres on, tangled mangroves shelter a white sand beach populated by giant, sculpted shells. The water is as warm as a baby's bath. The silence is deafening.

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Cayo Saetia

On this little key, home to an African wildlife collection, you go 'on safari' in a Russian jeep. An ostrich struts across road, zebras scatter and canter through red Cuban dust. As the sun dips low it casts a honeyed glow against the surf plunging cliffs that embrace this island's secret coves.

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First of all Cuban Towns

In 1492, Christopher Columbus stepped onto Cuban soil in eastern Baracoa where the Cuchillas del Toa hills meet the glistening Caribbean Sea. He fashioned a crude cross from a mangrove tree to christen this new Spanish outpost. Enchanting and still isolated, Baracoa has just 80,000 close-knit residents.

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The Birds

The deltas, forests and swamps of the Zapata peninsula are home to the largest population of water birds in the Caribbean, including the Caribbean Flamingo, the Double-Crested Cormorant and the vulnerable West Indian Whistling Duck. Spot up to sixty bird species a day in Humboldt National Park or seek out the Olive Capp Warbler and the Bee Hummingbird amidst the stunning limestone peaks of Viñales. The mangroves and white-sand beaches of the Cayo Coco archipelago are one of Cuba's most important migratory landfalls.

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Wild Horses

Saddle up amid the limestone karsts and tobacco hills of Pinar del Rio and ride into a world that time forgot – across the Cordillera de Guaniguanico hills to the sea, sleeping on the floor of campesino houses along the way. The tracks are steep and gnarly, sometimes edged with forest, the luminous red soil eroded by storms.

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Mountains

Cuba's mountains are vast and secretive. The Sierra Maestra of the south east, home to Pico Turquino, Cuba's loftiest peak, and the place where Fidel plotted his revolution; the Alturas de Sagua-Baracoa in the far east; the Sierra de Escambray in the south-central part; and the Cordillera de Guaniguanico in the extreme west. Camp al fresco in ravines, deep river valleys or karst pockets and bathe in cool waterfalls.

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Perfect Day in the East

Jump off the waterfall at the end of the Humboldt National Park trek with local kids doing back flips next to you. Go wild swimming at dusk in one of Baracoa's many lost rivers. Drink aniseed mojitos and taste river prawns cooked in leche de coco at the home of a retired lawyer in a clandestine paladar away from the tourist track and then catch one of the best rumba groups in Cuba in the evenings at the Casa de Cultura.

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The 'other' Trinidad

In vibrant but touristic Trinidad, stay in Mansión Alameda, redesigned by Jonathan and Kendra Ashton of Havana's Casa Concordia fame. Dine at Restaurante La Redaccion, the culinary result of an Irish gourmet chef marrying a Cuban. Spend the day exploring the less-visited Sancti Spíritus, another of Velasquez's charming colonial capitals. Its Museo de Arte Colonial and slowly burgeoning artisanal shops are less busy; its sleepy, enchanting river enlivened by a few tiny local bars.

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Secrets of Santeria

Consult a high priest of the Afro-Cuban religion Santeria. The babalawo will consult Olorun, the all-seeing divine entity, about your past, present and future. After writing your name and date of birth, he embarks on a ritual of chanting in Yoruba. As you face your open palms towards him he will splash water from half a coconut shell, tap the table, click his fingers and throw down a chain hung with discs of coconut rind.

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Jumping Around

Wherever you are in Cuba we can entertain you and your children with a multi-active range of programmes. Riding in Vinales, kite surfing in Havana, stand-up paddle-boarding at dawn on peaceful Lake Hanabanilla, the only intra-mountainous lake in the country, trekking in the Escrambray Mountains, rock climbing in Vinales and canoeing off-shore in the Bay of Pigs.

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The Art of Tobacco

Find out where your beloved cigars come from. Take a ride in a vintage car to the rustic province of Pinar der Rio, and have an organic farm-to-table lunch with a campesino farmer under a mango tree on his country finca. Later, he may roll a cigar for you. That night, ride though the tobacco fields by the light of the moon.

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